Tag Archives: News International

Breast is best

There’s a story which may be an urban legend, because certainly when I heard it, it was in the form “friend of a friend”. But I haven’t found it on Snopes, and if I did, I think it would probably be “Veracity: Undetermined”.

A woman went to work for an engineering firm. She was the first woman hired on the technical staff: apart from a couple of administrators, the office had been all-men until her arrival, and several of the men had their cubicles plastered with soft porn pics of women with big breasts.

She tried complaining, because the pics made her feel uncomfortable, but this was quickly dismissed, her manager and the men involved arguing that it was none of her business what they had in their cubicles, this was just personal self-expression, if she didn’t like it, she didn’t have to look. Continue reading

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Filed under In The Media, Women

Yes, we will still have a BBC

The BBC just works. We all pay our licence fee: in return we get TV without breaks for adverts: TV that pushes all the other TV companies in the UK to a higher standard.

If Scotland votes Yes in 2014 we may have cause to worry about Alex Salmond’s close relationship with the Murdochs and the plans News International may have for abolishing the BBC in an independent Scotland.

There is no reason to suppose we would have to lose the BBC. Indeed, as Jennifer Dempsie pointed out in March, the direct revenue from the licence fee to programmes made in Scotland at what I suppose we would then call the SBC, would actually go up.
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Filed under Elections, In The Media, Scottish Culture, Scottish Politics

Is Kelvin MacKenzie still lying?

Harry Arnold said in Hillsborough: Searching for the Truth:

“On the Sun, Kelvin MacKenzie was the rather controversial editor at the time. He liked to write his own headlines.

“He wrote the headline ‘The Truth’, and the reason I know that is I was about to leave the newsroom when I saw him drawing up the front page. When I saw the headline ‘The Truth’ I was aghast, because that wasn’t what I’d written.
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Filed under In The Media, Unanswerable Questions

The truth about Hillsborough should lead to justice

David Cameron made an excellent speech today in the House of Commons on the Hillsborough report:

The evidence in today’s report includes briefings to the media and attempts by the police to change the record of events. On the media: several newspapers reported false allegations that fans were drunk and violent and stole from the dead. The Sun’s report sensationalised these allegations under a banner headline, “The Truth”. This was clearly wrong and caused huge offence, distress and hurt.

News International has co-operated with the panel and, for the first time, today’s report reveals that the source for these despicable untruths was a Sheffield news agency reporting conversations with South Yorkshire police and Irvine Patnick, the then MP for Sheffield Hallam.

The Conservative MP Irvine Patnick reportedly told these stories to Margaret Thatcher when he was walking her round the Hillsborough football grounds. Kelvin MacKenzine says they came from Patnick and an “unnamed police source”. Irvine Patnick was knighted in July 1994.
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Naked Harry in the Sun

So many years ago that I can’t find it on Youtube or on IMDB, Jasper Carrott, who invented the “Sun readers” jokes, did a sketch on Carrott’s Lib of himself and another stand-up putting on huge Australian accents and talking about the bloody Poms, sex, and the Royal Family.

This was about Kathleen Dee-Anne Stark, actress and photographer, stage name Koo Stark, who appeared at the age of 20 in Emily, soundtrack by Rod McKuen:

Evocative of the Roaring Twenties, “Emily” is an erotic coming-of-age film featuring meticulous period detail and music. The sharp class distinctions of British society are blurred by the universal nature of sexual desire.

You may also remember her as Lady Sabrina Mulholland-Jjones from Red Dwarf.

Emily includes full-frontal nude scenes. So when, a few years later, Prince Andrew and Stark had an affair, the British newspapers had a huge ethical decision before them. Not whether or not to report on the affair – the British have always regarded the sex lives of the British Royal Family as our own personal reality show – but whether to use stills from Emily when running stories about Prince Andrew’s latest girlfriend, headlined “Randy Andy”.

For The Sun, I suppose the ethical dilemma consisted of whether or not to use the Stark naked pics on the front page.

One of the exchanges from that Carrott sketch was “Is that what they’ll put on the stamps?”- “You never can tell with the bloody Poms!”
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Filed under In The Media

Murdoch, Salmond, and the Swamp of Destiny

On Tuesday 13th March David Cameron proved himself a brilliant game-player – albeit the kind that buys cheat codes.

He left the country for a state visit with Barack Obama.

Early that morning the Metropolitan Police arrested Cameron’s life-long friend Charlie Brooks and Rebekah formerly-the-CEO-of-NI Brooks and four other News International employees. By the time anyone knew about this, David Cameron was safely on a British Airways plane, mid-Atlantic.

As Fleet Street Fox notes, the convenient timing of this arrest just when David Cameron could not be ambushed with questions about his friendship with Charlie, Rebekah, and the horse, must be purely coincidental, and:

It is entirely coincidental that a public inquiry currently scrutinising relations between the police and members of the trade under examination has heard in recent days of senior coppers who have not been doing their job properly.
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Filed under Elections, In The Media, Scottish Politics