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

Posted by Tim Ireland at 6 March 2009

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

PA – [Rebekah ‘red mist’ Wade and] Ross Kemp given ‘quickie’ divorce: In a written question-and-answer style divorce document before the court Ms Wade, 40, is asked: “State briefly your reasons for saying that the respondent has committed the adultery alleged.” She answers: “I found certain evidence indicating adultery. The respondent then admitted the adultery.” Asked on what date it first became known to her that he had committed the adultery alleged, Ms Wade said it was in October 2006. In another question she was asked: “Do you find it intolerable to live with the respondent?” She answered: “Yes.”

Another quiet mention here.

Meanwhile, Jade Goody gets front-paged for an outburst with a neighbour FFS, and we’re all to watch.

I must say; it’s turned out nice for some.








Posted by Tim Ireland at 4 March 2009

Category: Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, The Political Weblog Movement, Updates

Two pretty things to kick us off:

1. I made an art.

2. While I’ve got you nicely freaked out, here’s a little sample of what manufactured pop used to sound like.

And now, to business:

I shared a direct email exchange with our Mr Jenvey last night and I expect our conversation to continue later today.

Also on the immediate horizon is a little show of numbers in the media war.

Brace yourselves.

UPDATE (12pm) – It goes slowly with Mr Jenvey, who has just signed off for a time. The short version is that I’m willing to take on board all claims of ummah.com’s involvement with terrorism and listen with great interest to anything he’s got to say on the record, but Glen’s doing everything he can to avoid answering this question:

Did you register to comment on ummah.com using the profile names ‘saddam01’ and/or ‘r.tims’ ?

(I should point out that, in reply to this question, Mr Jenvey has again denied posting as ‘abuislam’. Twice.)








Posted by Tim Ireland at 24 February 2009

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

Guardian – Alan Sugar sues Sun over terror splash: Sir Alan Sugar has begun legal action over a Sun front page story that alleged he was named on a “terror hit list”… Sugar… yesterday issued a writ at the high court in London against the Sun’s publisher and News International subsidiary, News Group Newspapers. The businessman and TV star is understood to have been angry at the story, which he felt risked his personal security… A spokeswoman for the Sun had not responded by the time of publication. (via)

I actually had to call The Sun today about a detail regarding the Jenvey story after they’d ignored an earlier email. This recent development might be why they were so shy/jumpy about a simple question (that didn’t get an answer).

No matter. I’ll just press on quietly where I can, leaving Sir Alan (and the PCC) to their business.








Posted by Tim Ireland at 19 February 2009

Category: Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

I’ve noticed on my travels that it’s often the biggest frauds who put the most official sounding names on things.

Like John Beyer, that clown who’s claimed the name ‘Media Watch’ and secured it exclusively for the narrowest of agendas, or a publicity-hungry quack who calls a school for other quacks something like the Royal Global Academy of Alternative Medicine College.

It’s a worrying trend, and I’d hate to be mistaken for any of these people… so I’m calling my new project The Media Watch Rock-a-Hula:

media watch rock-a-hula

Don’t make that face. My mind is made up.

(Besides, I can delete this later… like it never happened.)








Posted by Tim Ireland at 18 February 2009

Category: Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, The Political Weblog Movement

I really wanted to have a better logo ready for today, but hopefully you can see where I’m going with this, and I won’t need a long paragraph explaining exactly what this change in priorities means for ‘Murdoch Watch’:

The Sun: Tabloid Lies needs a tidy up and some focus, but I’m very happy with the ‘document the lies’ strategy so far, and plan to expand on it very shortly with a similar project targeting The Daily Mail.

The latter project will finally stagger into a soft-launch following a post from me within the next week.

I found the time cataloguing the dishonesty of amateur hacks like Iain Dale and Paul Staines to be very useful on this front, because with up-and comers and amateurs it’s not only easier to see the strings, it’s also easier to jiggle them about a bit and watch where/how the puppet show falls apart (and, crucially, where/how it manages to keep the illusion going).

If you can picture the skills/experience/resource gap that exists between Derek Draper and Paul Staines, you can easily appreciate the skills/experience/resource gap that exists between Paul Staines and Rebekah Wade. All that really separates them is practice in (or access to) any given format; the techniques they use are almost identical.

[Psst! Those watching Paul closely these past few years will have noticed where Paul’s character has, for example, evolved from showing casual indifference to torture, to having a more tabloid-like position; selective outrage (depending on who is doing the torturing, natch). Baby P was a watershed moment in this ‘growth’.]

Some of the blow-back from the Glen Jenvey affair (that I’m not at liberty to share with you just yet, but it will blow your effing mind) follows the same attack pattern and plugs in neatly with my wider experience with tabloids especially.

The short version is this:

If you remain calm, and simply document outright lies, they will have very little to throw back at you.

It won’t stop them trying, mind, but they’ll be operating without a scrap of evidence (i.e. they will be forced to make shit up) and anybody who takes 30 seconds to look at your site will see…. evidence, evidence and more evidence.

What also helps is a united front. A group is harder to classify as being a bit mental, which is the usual charge thrown about by someone not wanting people to read clear evidence that they’ve been lying, cheating, stealing etc. (“He’s delusional! And it’s *catching*! Stay away, children!”).

[Note – ‘Boring’ is the other one; it’s ‘mental’-lite. But, I’m working with a variety of writers, each with their own engagement/communication skills. We should be resilient enough, and it’s not a damaging tactic, so there’s room for improvement on the fly.]

The only time this ‘mental’ tag is ever likely to become a problem with a group? When that group strays from the ‘lies only’ mission and editors begin to lose their independence.

Putting what I personally think of them to one side, the fact is that the position of ‘Biased BBC’ is easily undermined because they as a group operate on a single almighty assumption and build every case from this perspective.

‘Bias’ is a perilous area to go into, as many of us will have learned in the past.

It is a slippery slope, and you even need to watch your step near things like hypocrisy, omission and obfuscation. It’s going to be painful to stick with at times, but it is my opinion that you’re better off sticking with cataloguing outright lies, because if you have a worthy target, there will be plenty.

Even if you stick to this, there will be people that won’t believe you.

But that’s OK. I’ve grown beyond unrealistic expectations of stopping this or crushing that, and now work towards speaking to the ‘softs’ in any given audience.

Paul Staines will never admit it, but I’m one of the key reasons why he mainly has “window lickers” on the loose in his comments. His page views may have gone up, but the quality of his (public) feedback has plummeted. Reasonable people started abandoning him in droves once they realised what he’d been up to and Staines reacted by giving his shouty anonymongrels more and more room to play.

MORE SHOUTING! THAT’S THE TICKET!!! ZANU LABOUR! RAH RAH RARRRGH!

*ahem*

(Hell, I was one of those people once; I bought into Paul Staines’ bullshit, and it took me far too long to snap out of his spell, because I was so focused on the poor souls having their genitals slashed in the name of T.W.A.T. – the turning point came with Oaten and Paul’s attempt to put the whammy on me at a later facetime event. He’s a lying, manipulative scoundrel who will say pretty much anything to get you to do what he wants you to do, and Alex Hilton is a damn fool to trust him.)

So, starting with The Sun and The Daily Mail, I’ll be documenting lies in tabloid newspapers with the help of other talented writers and bloggers.

New projects will emerge as opportunities present themselves and/or priorities make themselves clear, but the prime directive will remain the same; show readers of any given title/broadcaster if/when they are being lied to.

Every day, millions of people in this country needlessly worry, rant and rave about stuff that Just. Isn’t. Real.

Perhaps I can ease their minds on one or two specific matters.

Maybe, just maybe, I can teach some people how to recognise (or identify!) habitual liars; the heartless fuckers who play on your fears to profit monetarily and/or politically.

I’ll probably do no more than dent, deter, or isolate people like Wade and Staines… but I’ll salt great swathes of earth for those who wish to follow them.

Hopefully, especially because it brings other bloggers along on projects, it will also set a better pattern of blogging development than the often shouty, spin-heavy not-at-all-credible strategy folks have been following behind Iain Dale, the grand ambassador of political blogging

(FFS, the sponsor of the UK guide to political blogging for three years running has been APCO. They *astroturf* for a bloody living! We need to step away from such influences if we want blogging to be any different or more democratic than other channels.)

So, just before I get started, does anyone see any downsides to the ‘lies only’ plan? Does anyone think I’m being a wee bit unfair to certain tabloid editors (or bloggers)?

Now’s the time to speak up, because this is where I want to take Bloggerheads for the next year or two at least… and this is not a strictly ‘my site, my rules’ issue.

I’ll be sharing power with a lot of other people, but everything will be built on this framework, and I trust you appreciate that this deliberate landscaping will have an impact on the layout of at least one corner of the playing field.








Posted by Tim Ireland at 6 February 2009

Category: Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, The Political Weblog Movement

Hi folks! Regulars at Bloggerheads will know by now that I’m simply fascinated by the craft of sock-puppetry, and I have a cracker of a sock-puppet to show you.

[Note – If this is of little to no interest to you, then I invite you to instead enjoy the exciting events currently unfolding over at the Bad Science weblog; copyright claims are being used to dodge scrutiny. Hat-tip to Thomas for the heads-up.]

So far, an unknown number of anonymous web users operating primarily via the Lionheart weblog have been attempting to muddy the waters on the Glen Jenvey affair by claiming that the website hosted at Ummah.com is a terrorist/fundamentalist/extremist hive, hostel, hotbed, and what have you, as Jenvey himself was busy claiming after posing as an extremist on that website and passing off his planted comments as genuine.

I encountered a fresh pro-Jenvey sock-puppet this morning when I saw it being used to remove the following text from the Wikipedia entry for Glen Jenvey:

Criticism

Jenvey has been accused of falsifying evidence of Islamist threats. On 7 January 2009 the UK tabloid newspaper The Sun ran an exclusive front page story claiming that participants in a discussion on Ummah.com, a British Muslim internet forum, had made a “hate hit list” of British Jews to be targeted by extremists over the 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza conflict. Jenvey was quoted in the article as an anti-terror expert, stating, “Those listed [on the forum] should treat it very seriously. Expect a hate campaign and intimidation by 20 or 30 thugs.”

The UK magazine Private Eye discovered that Jenvey, posting to the forum under the pseudonym “Abuislam”, was the only forum member promoting a hate campaign, while other members promoted peaceful advocacy. The story has since been removed from The Sun’s website following complaints to the UK’s Press Complaints Commission.[5][6]

The name of the profile used for the removal of this text is PCCLIES, and as that name suggests, the person behind it seeks to clear Jenvey’s name not only by hurling accusations at his accusers, but also by hurling accusations at the industry body currently investigating their accusations.

Clear so far? Good.

I’ve saved a screen capture of three of the main edits of five used to make this latest accusation, and you can follow those edits yourself in this order – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 – but I thought you might like to see what the final accusation would look like if it had been written in red crayon:

Tch. What is it about Jenvey’s many anonymous supporters than their uniform difficulty with spelling and apostrophes?

[Psst! I know the claim about Private Eye discovering the Jenvey/Abuislam link is highly questionable, but there’s not a lot I can do about it until Private Eye admits in print that perhaps the anonymous tipster they’ve claimed elsewhere as their source obtained their information by the novel means of reading my website. There’s also the small matter of one of Private Eye’s own people emailing me and seeking help with the story prior to their publication, a hitherto-unpublished fact that I’m far more inclined to go public with now that I’ve emailed them about this and not had so much as the courtesy of a reply. Anyway, the short version is this is the way Wikipedia works, and not a lot can be done about it until the peeps at Private Eye decide to be a little more reasonable. Please do not try to correct this anomaly via Wikipedia, no matter how unfair it may seem.]








Posted by Tim Ireland at 30 January 2009

Category: Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

Press Gazette – Revised Sun freelance rates ‘lowest on Fleet Street’: The Sun and The Times have cut the freelance rates paid for stories and pictures to levels condemned as “completely unacceptable” by the National Association of News and Picture Agencies. The move follows a review of operations which could also see widespread cuts to staff journalists across News International – especially among production staff, according to sources at Wapping… Sun deputy managing editor Richard Barun has informed news agencies of the cuts to rates in a letter in which he insists that The Sun remains the “the biggest overall payer in the business”. He said: “I’m please to say that The Sun will continue to pay more than any of our rivals for great exclusive words and pictures.”

The Sun, by their own admission, concentrate their spending on splash at the expense of substance, to a greater extent than any competitor… and they seem quite proud of it.

You know what this story needs for that added human touch? This story needs an extra quote or two… preferably from a member of the National Association of News and Picture Agencies.

Say… the South West News Service, if I were to choose a member agency at random.

/cheeky








Posted by Tim Ireland at 29 January 2009

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, Updates

This is one hell of a first post. It is at the very upper end of the scale. You should not feel bad about not being this good on your first time out.

Put aside where Jonathan might be agreeing with me about this or that, and look at the quality of the device. Admire the smooth, sharp edges.








Posted by Tim Ireland at 29 January 2009

Category: Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

My original point stands; if it comes to a choice between the BBC and Murdoch, I still choose the BBC and will continue to wear this button myself…

Click here to find out why.

…but it’s not a happy state of affairs if that’s about the only comparison that works out in the BBC’s favour:

Doctor Vee – A BBC scared of its own shadow isn’t worth it

The BBC’s primary problems date back, as we all know, to this same event. (Take another bow, Gilligan.) In their since-weakened state, they’ve capitulated needlessly – in varying degrees – to tabloid newspapers, pressure groups, and even clearly-confused nuisances.

The refusal to run the Gaza appeal, a move matched step-for-step by Murdoch-owned rival SKY, is a new low in this unmistakable pattern of decline. Their only defence of their position on the appeal is that they are afraid of how it will look, and as a result they damage their reputation further by being just a little too sensitive about it.

And I don’t expect the Conservatives to act as a positive, rejuvenating force, do you?

In as little as a year or two, we could be looking at the first real fruit of the liberal media myth; a fully-crippled BBC.

A pathetic beast brought down by a mob of monstrous moguls screaming ‘monster’.

(Of course, if this were a movie, we would all gang together, there’d be a musical montage*, and a tougher, more strident BBC would emerge, immediately ready to kick arse. But this isn’t a movie, and right now it looks like our starting point is a hospital room. Critical ward.)

[edit: Double-post fixed. Thanks to poons for the heads-up.]

(*alt)








Posted by Tim Ireland at 28 January 2009

Category: Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

Guardian – Sun front-page story on ‘terror target’ Sir Alan Sugar under investigation: The Press Complaints Commission is investigating a front-page story in the Sun newspaper that claimed Islamic extremists were targeting The Apprentice star Sir Alan Sugar. The PCC has launched an investigation and will consider whether Abuislam is Jenvey. The regulator has contacted the Sun and is awaiting the paper’s response. It is understood that the Sun story originated from a news agency. The Sun declined to comment on why it had removed the story from its website.

“It is understood that the Sun story originated from a news agency” is an interesting little fig leaf, isn’t it?








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