Archive for the ‘Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at 23 January 2006

Category: Page 3 - News in Briefs, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

Appropriate responses to the death of an innocent mammal (tick one):

[ ] Sadness
[ ] Sadness tempered with a sense of inevitability
[ ] Sadness tempered with a sense of priorities
[ ] “Hang on, there might be a quid in this…”

The Scum – Memorial to Wally whale: The Sun today launches a 10,000 pound appeal to save Wally the Whale’s bones for the nation. We have teamed up with experts and conservationists to help preserve the skeleton for crucial scientific research. We also want to provide a lasting tribute to the whale that captivated the world by swimming up the Thames into central London. Wally – who died on Saturday after two days of drama – belongs to the Queen under a salvage law passed in 1324.

I’m sorry but, as of now, ‘Wally’ is the property of News International.

Let’s go to Page 3 for the round-up:

Today, Keeley (19, from Kent) gets her cha-chas out to praise The Sun for saving Wally’s remains and says: “I was really sad that rescue workers were unable to save Wally. It is right that scientists try to find out more about her. They may stop a tragedy happening again.”

Myself, I’m really sad that they couldn’t afford Lady Diana this same level of respect.

Posted by Tim Ireland at 23 January 2006

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

Teh FearThe Scum – Poll shows anxious Britain: Modern living is causing a culture of fear in Britain today, a shock new poll of Sun readers reveals. You worry more about CRIME, HEALTH and MONEY than you did 15 years ago. But it is the horrors of porn on the INTERNET, chatroom PERVS, VIOLENCE against kids, DRUGS and the hoodie YOB CULTURE which cause you most anxiety. Almost nine out of ten Sun readers (86 per cent) in the MORI opinion poll want those guilty of serious sexual crimes against kids to be put away for life. And four out of ten (41 per cent) said child sex abusers should get the death penalty. There is overwhelming support across the board for The Sun’s campaign for prison ships to solve the crisis of overcrowded jails. Most people are against sending fewer convicted criminals to prison or making jail terms shorter. Almost six out of ten (57 per cent) reject the view that fewer should be jailed and shorter jail terms were rejected by over eight out of ten readers. Almost two out of three (65 per cent) say that if there are not enough cells, converted ferries should be used as floating prisons. And Sun readers are prepared to take tough action against murderers. Almost half (48 per cent) want the death penalty for murdering a policeman on duty – that increases to 58 per cent for murder by terrorists. More than six out of ten (61 per cent) would bring back hanging for murdering a child. By contrast, only nine per cent want the gallows for killing a husband or wife in a fit of rage. There is strong opposition across the board to early release of prisoners sentenced to life for murder. Four out of five (82 per cent) of you are opposed. Everyone worries about youngsters in this age of drugs and violent crime. But the MORI survey shows that half of Sun readers are very worried about the dangers of the internet. In the past three weeks 46 per cent say they have fretted a great deal about protecting their children from internet porn and 55 per cent about paedophiles contacting children through chatrooms. Many people share a fear that Britain is increasingly unsafe to raise children in a society blighted by yob culture. Almost six out of ten readers (56 per cent) worry about not having enough cash, well above 39 per cent in 1991, when the question was first asked. More than half (55 per cent) are concerned about health, sharply up from 41 per cent, and 54 per cent are anxious about children’s education, up from 38 per cent. Vandalism and crime alarm 50 per cent of people, up from 42 per cent. And six out of ten of you are upset by disrespectful or nuisance behaviour. The other hot issues covered in the survey, including your worries about bird flu, school truancy, under-age sex and terrorism, are shown in our graphics on these pages.

OK, what can we determine from all of this?

1. Sun readers represent the heart and soul of Britain. What applies to them applies to all of us.

2. It is modern living that causes these anxieties, not the irresponsible and manipulative behaviour of the Sun itself.

3. Prisons ships and the death penalty are the way forward.

The primary ‘fear’ graphic shows the clear priorities of Rebekah Wade Sun readers; the two top fears are ‘paedophiles in internet chatrooms’ and ‘internet pornography’… terrorism ranks 5th.


It seems like only yesterday that the Backing Blair truck issued this warning to the people on the street: The internets are full of pornography! Stay away from the internets! Place your trust instead in the many fine media outlets owned by Rupert Murdoch.

UPDATE – CuriousHamster – Murdoch’s just this guy

Posted by Tim Ireland at 22 January 2006

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

I noticed that the NOTW site has a bit of a ‘fish-wrapper’ thing going on, so have set up a new weblog that will post/preserve one NOTW article per week and invite comment. I expect it’ll get shot down pretty quickly, but it’s a trend worth starting, I feel:

News Of The World – Archived Tabloid Stories

Posted by Tim Ireland at 20 January 2006

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

F4J “Kidnap Plot”: Is The Sun Exposed in Bribery Scam?: On Thursday, Martin Matthews, one of the subjects of the police investigation said in a statement that a “3rd party” had offered him “10K from the Sun newspaper” to accuse Fathers4Justice leader Matt O’Connor of masterminding the alleged kidnapping plan.

Posted by Tim Ireland at 19 January 2006

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

Telegraph – Plot thickens over the ‘world exclusive’ based on pub chatter

Mirror – Leo Blair kidnap plan was merely F4J pub ‘banter’

Oh. My. Goodness. How ever did the Downing St Echo get their hands on this story?

Independent – Father of all plots: the kidnap that wasn’t and the end of a protest group: However, it seems the latest ruse, far from being a serious attempt to kidnap Leo Blair, was, at most, the slightly inebriated flight of fantasy of three men in a pub. Mystery surrounds how the plan came to The Sun’s attention and why it took the Met’s Anti-Terrorist Branch (SO13) more than a month to approach the men believed to be behind it… In the febrile world of Westminster gossip, there have been dark mutterings about collusion between No 10 and The Sun over the leaking of the story during a week of embarrassing headlines for the Government over health and education. Fuel was added to the fire by reports that Dave Hill, the Prime Minister’s communications director, had been involved in lengthy discussions with the editor of The Sun, Rebekah Wade, before the story broke. But when the political editor of Sky News, Adam Boulton, implied as much, he received a dressing down from No 10.

Health and education? Try instead rendition and torture. This is a government that thinks in a forward direction, remember?

I think the time has come to ask if Jo Moore is still working for 10 Downing St in an ‘unofficial capacity’, because it seems to me that every time the public needs to be focused on how important it is that Blair get his way on one civil liberties issue or another, or if there’s something new that needs covering up, a phantom threat like the Ricin Non-Conspiracy or the ‘foiled’ ‘plot’ to bomb Canary Wharf pops up… with the Sun leading the pack.

Milk it, baby. Milk it hard!

The Scum – Father Christmas 4 Justice: Cops smashed the Leo Blair kidnap plot by threatening to SHOOT the four dads who hatched it, The Sun can reveal. Special Branch officers called at the lunatics’ homes the day after they were seen discussing the snatch while dressed in Santa Claus outfits. They were told to abandon the plan – or risk death by a police marksman’s bullet. The four were on the fanatical fringe of the Fathers 4 Justice group, which has campaigned for broken home dads to have better access to their children. And the exposure of their shocking plot led founder Matt O’Connor to formally DISBAND the organisation yesterday. The plotters – two of whom have criminal records for violence – hatched their scheme to abduct Tony Blair’s five-year-old son on December 9. They went to a seedy London pub after a Fathers 4 Justice demo in which bell-ringing marchers dressed as Santas. But unknown to them, police alarmed at growing calls for “direct action” were investigating extreme elements of the group. Scotland Yard had already been warned of a plan to firebomb offices of a Family Court service which liaises between parents and children in divorce proceedings. The four were still in Father Christmas costumes as they planned the kidnap in a smoky corner of the pub, unaware they were under surveillance. They aimed to snatch Leo to make the “ultimate” protest. But they were soon warned off. Graham Manson, a member of the extremist splinter group The Real Fathers For Justice, said last night: “They were told by SO12 officers that they knew what they were up to – and that they would be shot if they tried to carry out their plan.”

Hmmm… surveillance by SO12 officers, you say?

I think that perhaps I might have been too charitable here.

UPDATE – Well *said*, good sir! (But you do know that your son-in-law was probably in on it too, yes?)

As Leo Blair’s grandfather, I find it utterly unbelievable, actually unforgivable, that the Sun newspaper would endanger the personal safety of my five-year-old grandson by not only publishing details of the alleged kidnap plot, but also splashing this little boy’s photograph across its front pages.

There can be no excuse for this action.

I recall, at the end of last year, the discretion exercised by that same newspaper over the contretemps between its editor, Rebekah Wade, and her partner, Ross Kemp. Then the only issue was of the personal dignity of a pair of adults, not the personal security of an innocent child. Shame on you Wade and your unthinking cohorts.

Tony Booth
Blacklion, Ireland

Posted by Tim Ireland at 18 January 2006

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

The contents of my Inbox this morning make it clear why the PCC took so long to address our complaints regarding Rebekah Wade and her 90-day detention inventions (though they very kindly kept me informed of ongoing progress); the PCC clearly wanted to address all complaints at once, as everybody I’ve heard from received the final decision on their complaint in yesterday’s mail.

For now, I’m only going to post the details of their decision, highlight two passages of interest, and close with some words from The Scum:

Commission’s decision in the case of
Ireland v The Sun

The Commission noted that the complainant had raised concerns over the newspaper’s coverage of the ninety day detention legislation. The complainant raised the following points: that the newspaper had contended that the ninety-day legislation enjoyed widespread support when in fact only around 3% of readers phoned to register their support; that the newspaper had sought to distort the data in its favour by only offering readers the opportunity of registering support for the law; that the newspaper’s coverage of the issue – despite the outcome of the vote – had increased the threat of a terrorist attack; that the newspaper had sought to undermine the democracy of the country in its encouragement to readers to lobby their MPs; and that the newspaper had falsely branded those MPs who had voted against the law as “traitors”.

The Commission firstly emphasised that it could only reach a decision on those matters relating directly to the Code. It could not – therefore – comment on the complainant’s views on the increased risk of a terrorist attack, television footage relating to the article, or his contention that the newspaper had sought to undermine democracy in its actions.

The Commission considered the complaint under Clause 1 (Accuracy), which states that the press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted material. It also emphasises that newspapers are entitled to be partisan but must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.

Turning first to the complainant’s concern over the support that the newspaper had claimed existed amongst the population for the introduction of a ninety day terror suspect detention law, the Commission noted the complainant’s view that 100,000 only amounted to a small proportion of the newspaper’s readership. However, in considering this aspect of the complaint, the Commission also noted the following: that 100,000 readers had indeed phoned to register their support; that the newspaper had quoted other sources – including David Davis – who had claimed that the vast majority of the population supported the introduction of the law; and that the newspaper had not contended that there were no members of the public who were opposed to the law. In these circumstances, the Commission’s view was that the newspaper was entitled to claim that Tony Blair had public support in the manner which it had. It did not consider that readers generally would be misled into believing that there were not many who were opposed to the law, or that there was no alternative view on the matter. On this point, it was satisfied that no breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) had been established by the complaint.

The next task for the Commission was to consider the complainant’s concern that the newspaper had distorted the data, as it had only provided readers with a means of registering support for the introduction of the laws. However, given that the newspaper had encouraged readers to phone “if you back the 90-day law”, the Commission’s view was that readers would have been aware that opposition to the law could not be registered, and that any results published by the newspaper would be on this basis. It therefore considered that the newspaper had not misled readers in a manner which would establish a breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy).

The Commission finally turned to the complainant’s concern over the reference to MPs who had voted against the laws as “traitors”. However, in this instance, the Commission’s view was that “traitor” was the newspaper’s term of description for those MPs who had opposed the bill, which it was entitled to publish in the manner which it had. It did not consider that readers generally would be misled into believing that the named MPs were disloyal to their country, or that there was no alternative view on the matter. The Commission was therefore satisfied that no breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) had been established by the complaint.

There was no breach of the Code.

Printed in The Sun on November 10: TREACHEROUS MPs betrayed the British people last night by rejecting new laws to combat terror. They IGNORED the wishes of the vast majority of Britons…

Posted by Tim Ireland at 18 January 2006

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

The Scum – Cops foil plot to snatch Leo Blair: Special Branch cops smashed a plot to kidnap little Leo Blair while monitoring a small band of fanatical dads, The Sun can reveal. They stumbled across the startling plan as they investigated the activities of men on the lunatic fringe of the Fathers 4 Justice group. Tony Blair and his wife Cherie were told about the threat to five-year-old Leo – the youngest of their four children. A security source told The Sun: “They were naturally very concerned, as any parent would be. But they have been assured the police are on top of the situation.” A security assessment of the Prime Minister’s family was carried out by Special Branch after the plot was uncovered. It included analysis of the protection given to the Blairs’ other three children – Euan, 22 tomorrow, Nicholas, 20, and 17-year-old Kathryn. The source said: “Appropriate steps have now been taken.”… Special Branch came across the plan to abduct Leo just before Christmas. No details of how the fanatics intended to snatch the child have been disclosed. But it is understood the men only wanted to hold Leo for a short period of time and were not intending to harm him. The security source said: “Fortunately we think we have nipped this in the bud at an early stage. There have been no arrests although inquiries are continuing. It was good intelligence work.”

Those fellas will want to watch themselves… Leo can be a dangerous little sod when cornered.

Incidentally, I love how this plot – that appears to be as close to realisation/reality as the plots to bomb Heathrow, Canary Wharf, etc. etc. etc. – takes over the front page today.

Over the past few weeks, Abu Hamza man has appeared in court on race-hate charges, and Rebekah Wade has responded with front pages, double-paged spreads, priority-placement in the editorial(s), courtrooom sketches… the works.

But when leading members of the BNP appear in court on race-hate charges, the report is relegated to page 22. No front page, no editorial… you get the picture, I’m sure. Or rather, if you’re a reader of the Sun, you don’t… but, then again, you do. Kongfused? Hang in there…

Independent – Court hears Griffin’s tirade against ‘evil’ Asians: The leader of the British National Party fabricated a “nightmare vision” to provoke fear and resentment of British Asians, a jury was told yesterday.

Now, why does this seem so familiar?

Ah. I see.

But, of course, not everyone foams at the mouth like Ann Coulter or Pat Robertson. Or Abu Hamza or Nick Griffin. No, the clever money is on failing to condemn certain people, and/or carefully prioritising your condemnations – just to let everyone know (nudge-wink) on which side The One True Bread is buttered.

(PS – Strangely, this view is imperfectly echoed by Nick Griffin of all people: (It was alleged that) Mr Griffin had said Asian community leaders would condemn the attacks to the press but not to the attackers themselves. “It’s part of their plan for conquering countries. It’s how they do it,” Mr Griffin said.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at 13 January 2006

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

I went to the newsagent (right?) and went to turn to Page 3 of The Scum (right?) – only to check for a serious editorial (right?) – only it weren’t The Scum I were looking at… it were The Mirror (right?!!):

Spill the skeedos!

UPDATE (20 Jan) – Ah, now *that’s* more like it.

Posted by Tim Ireland at 14 December 2005

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

I’ve been invited to do some guest-blogging on the BBC website as part of the Today programme ‘Who runs Britain?’ event.

The other contributors are Oliver and Judy.

I really should begin by congratulating Judy for ‘spoiling’ any mention of Murdoch in this earlier post (mirrored here).

If you’re in an enclosed space that’s packed with pachyderm, the best way to counter any complaint about the lack of elbow-room is to proclaim loudly; “I bet someone mentions the elephant!”

Anyway, here’s the mirror of my entry:


If the question is ‘Who runs Britain?’, then today’s candidate – the European Union – shouldn’t even be considered for the top spot.

We are voluntary participants in that union. Even if you hold the view that an unelected bureaucracy with a mind of its own drives/cripples/threatens our economy, laws and rights, you have to acknowledge that we helped to create this animal…. and that the primary weapon used to beat this mythical creature is a rolled-up newspaper.

We can say goodbye to the union or seek to change or re-shape it at any time we please. We have that power. But the terms under which we the people get to have a say about this have been shaped not by the elected government of the day, but by media owner Rupert Murdoch.

As a candidate, the European Union serves primarily as a clear example that allows us to put the following alternative candidates in their correct order:

1. The Media
2. The Government
3. The People

OK, that’s the question addressed… a short and clearly biased rant follows:

The EU is a foreign and largely unelected body that drains our economy and interferes with our affairs… so say the newspapers owned by the unelected tax-dodging foreigner who continually meddles in our affairs.

(Feel free to ignore this information… it’s all part of a nutty conspiracy theory.)

Posted by Tim Ireland at 30 November 2005

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

Wade piss-up with little Miss MurdochFrom today’s Media Monkey diary: Of all the possible successors to the Sun’s Richard Littlejohn, David Blunkett was probably quite a long way down most people’s lists. But the former home secretary was unveiled today as the paper’s new columnist, giving his “candid and insightful analysis” of the week’s events. Well, he’s not exactly a straight replacement – Blunkett’s column will be on Thursday, Littlejohn used to be on a Tuesday. Blunkett is mates with Sun editor Rebekah Wade, of course, and famously dined with her and hubby Ross Kemp on the night she, er, ended up in jail. Littlejohn, doubtless, will be delighted. Blunkett was always one of his number one targets (there have been a few) culminating a while back in “the secret sex diary of David Blunkett, aged 57 3/4.” Perhaps Blunkett will give us an exclusive peak into Littlejohn’s memoirs once he starts at the Daily Mail.

This has also been reported by Brand Republic: The Sun has announced that Blunkett’s “forthright and outspoken views on life and politics” will be aired in a weekly column starting tomorrow and then every Thursday. To publicise the move, Blunkett has given his first full interview to the paper. The article appears in today’s edition and recounts his resignation from the pensions brief due to “mistakes” in not disclosing a two-week directorship of DNA Bioscience, before taking up the role after the May election… It is understood that Blunkett met with Sun editor Rebekah Wade shortly after his latest resignation, by coincidence on the same night as her alleged “ginger ninja” attack on her husband, the actor Ross Kemp.

This is just one of the reasons why I wish Private Eye would use online publishing more strategically. Please excuse me as I feed this to indexing robots in an effort to correct a significant error in the echo chamber:

Sky were very careful to push the whole ‘evening with Blunkett’ thing, but the truth is that – while Wade and Kemp did meet up with David Blunkett in the early evening – they actually spent most of that night getting pissed at a party thrown by Matthew Freud and Elizabeth Murdoch.

PS – I haven’t photoshopped for a while. Today I just happened to post the following images to B3ta:

Rebekah Wade
Ross Kemp

Oh, and you simply must watch Ross Kemp and Steve McFadden dancing to Kung Fu Fighting.

(Thanks to Alan, James and Rob for the links and leads.)

How about that? I got all the way though this post without saying “You couldn’t make it u….”


UPDATE (see comments) – Heh. OK, now is the perfect time to plug Guido’s Press Plagiarist of the Year Award. If you wish to be an informed voter, details of the final three are here.

UPDATE – And now is the perfect time to mention that Ian Hislop owes me a lunch and I aim to claim it.

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