Posts Tagged ‘The Sunday Times’

POLITIK | Newsweek har publicerat ett bearbetat utdrag från David Folkenfliks bok Murdoch’s World: The Last of the Old Media Empires.

Newsweek 28 okt - 4 nov 2013

Där blir det tydligt hur insyltad Rupert Murdochs medieimperium News International är med den politiska världen. En av dessa nyckelfigurer – och Murdochs skyddsling – är Rebekah Brooks.

Många politikerna har varit rädda för att stöta sig med tidningarna som lätt kan användas för att bedriva negativa kampanja mot både politiker och partier.

Uppgifter som dykt upp i efterdyningarna av avslöjanden om journalisternas avlyssning av personer i offentligheten, men även av privatpersoner, visar att oavsett vem som sitter i 10 Downing Street har alla strävat efter att ställa in sig hos Murdoch.

Det var först efter Murdoch och Brooks var skadeskjutna som politikerna vågade ge igen för gammal ost.

Several lawmakers with the Commons Select Committee on Culture, Media, and Sport told reporters they decided against compelling her testimony in part because Murdoch had privately warned that her papers might retaliate by investigating their personal lives.


Brooks and [hennes första man Ross] Kemp favored Tony Blair’s New Labour, and she befriended Prime Minister Blair, his wife Cherie, and Blair’s close friend and fierce rival Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah. Brooks and Kemp split after Kemp’s confession of marital infidelity, and Brooks took up with Charlie Brooks, an Eton classmate of the leader of the opposition, the Conservative David Cameron.

The Brooks rented homes on the grounds of Blenheim, the Churchill family’s estate, and Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, where they dined with Cameron and other leading Tory and media figures, including James and Elisabeth Murdoch. Charlie Brooks raised horses, and soon Rebekah was riding too. In one text to Brooks, Cameron wrote, “The horse CB put me on – fast unpredictable and hard to control – but fun.”

In the wake of a key address by Cameron, Brooks cheered him on: “Brilliant speech. I cried twice. Will love working together.” Later, Brooks tutored the prime minister in the protocol of their modern communiqués. “Occasionally, he would sign them off, LOL—‘Lots of love,’ ” she said, “until I told him it meant ‘laugh out loud.’ ”

In August 2008 Cameron flew on the private plane of Elisabeth’s husband, Matthew Freud, a London public relations executive, to the Greek isle of Santorini and met on his yacht with Murdoch and his inner circle.

Cameron attended Brooks’s June 2009 wedding. So did the prime minister, Brown. A month later, the Murdochs elevated her to become CEO of News International.


On July 8, 2011 [Cameron] announced investigations into hacking by police and MPs, and a broad-ranging inquiry into the practices and ethics of the press.

“Because party leaders were so keen to win the support of newspapers, we turned a blind eye to the need to sort [out] this issue,” Cameron said. “The people in power knew things weren’t right. But they didn’t do enough quickly enough – until the full mess of the situation was revealed.” Cameron said if he were in Murdoch’s position, he would have accepted Brooks’s resignation.


[Gordon] Brown declared The Sunday Times had misrepresented itself to obtain his private financial records. There were suggestions the Sun paid hospital workers to secure documents confirming his infant son had cystic fibrosis. He said he had been punished for challenging the company’s plans for consolidation.

The scandal, Brown said, was “not the misconduct of a few rogues or a few freelancers but, I have to say, lawbreaking often on an industrial scale, at its worst dependent on links with the British criminal underworld.”


By February last year, News International’s containment strategy had crumbled. The effort to contain scrutiny to a single reporter and investigator had failed. So had attempts to limit attention to a single newspaper and to protect Rebekah Brooks. Anyone without the last name Murdoch was expendable.

In mid-February, police arrested nine Sun reporters and editors on suspicion of having bribed a breathtaking array of government and law enforcement officials. On February 27, the Leveson judicial inquiry released emails from 2006 suggesting Rebekah Brooks knew Glenn Mulcaire had been paid more than 1 million pounds to hack into cell phones for News of the World. Two days later, James Murdoch resigned from News International.

Tidskriftsomslag: Newsweek den 28 oktober-4 november 2013.

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SKANDAL | När The Spectator 2009 skulle ranka landets politiska skandaler utsåg man Profumoaffären på 1960-talet till den största.

Christine Keeler 1963, Lewis Morley

Skandalen som tvingade John Profumo, premiärminister Harold Macmillans krigsminister, att avgå innehöll allt ifrån sex, politik och ryska spioner.

Clive Irving, som då ledde ett team av undersökande journalister på The Sunday Times, har nyligen i Newsweek berättat om händelserna och hur Macmillan försökte hantera media.

I call Macmillan’s press officer, Harold Evans (in this era the prime minister has no spinmeisters; Evans—not the illustrious namesake who later became editor of The Sunday Times—is a career civil servant, avowedly apolitical). I ask if I can submit a list of questions. Evans invites me to call and present them in person.

I take Wallington with me—his legwork is the reason our timeline has the goods. It’s obvious that Evans is well briefed on where we’ve been, who has talked, and how deep our knowledge is. He goes through the timeline and ticks every box, adding some details about who has been present during interrogations, but denying nothing. The final question then asserts itself: why did Macmillan leave the interrogation of Profumo to others?

Evans asks that we go off the record. Nothing he says can be explicitly used. We have to understand what kind of man the prime minister is—his life, his values, his scars. He sees himself as a statesman. Profumo’s behavior was beneath contempt: members of Macmillan’s clubs don’t lie. That was the shock—not the squalor of the scandal, but the total absence of honor.

I realize as I listen that there is probably only one door between us and the subject of our conversation. Macmillan is working in his study.

But Evans isn’t finished. There is more, he says, and this is absolutely unpublishable. Macmillan had been cuckolded. For 30 years his wife, Lady Dorothy, had been having an affair with a famous bad boy of the Tory party, the bisexual Robert Boothby, and there had been a daughter from the union. Evans is surprised we don’t know—it’s a mark of how wet behind the ears we still are. (Unpublishable but not unknown to older colleagues at the paper, as it turns out.) The prime minister just could not confront a sexual scandal and wished that it would go away—which it very nearly had.

At the time, this revelation had the desired effect on our final judgment on Macmillan in the book we published, that he had shown “willful amnesia.” On reflection, as bizarre as the Macmillan ménage was, its use as an alibi now appears to me to be weak. Double lives like Profumo’s (and other members of the Macmillan cabinet) were a commonplace—whether in domestic arrangements or espionage. As long as it seemed that Profumo could get away with his lie, Macmillan was not disposed to deal with it.

Bild: Lewis Morleys klassiska bild av Christine Keeler.

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KAMPANJ: Nick Clegg, partiledare för Liberal Democrats, har seglat upp som ett hot mot båda partierna Labour och Conservative i årets valrörelse.

Efter att ha gjort mycket bra ifrån sig i de två första tv-debatterna skrev The Sunday Times bland annat följande: Clegg nearly as popular as Churchill

Men media kan svänga snabbt. Plötsligt kom kritiken på bred front. Många spekulerade att denna kritik var orkestrerad. Liberaldemokraterna anklagar själva Torypartiet.

Oliver Burkeman på The Guardian gör dock en annan analys:

To the untrained eye, yesterday’s [d.v.s. 21 april] unprecedented wall-to-wall assault on Nick Clegg in the pages of Britain’s right-wing newspapers might have looked like an orchestrated attack by a Tory media machine – a notion that one seasoned observer, [Labours] Lord Mandelson, spent the day doing his best to promulgate. But the truth, according to those with knowledge of the editors and newspapers involved, was far more visceral and chaotic.

”It’s raw panic, that’s what it is,” was how one former senior Fleet Street executive put it, adding that he had never witnessed anything similar in his entire career. The rise of Clegg has not just thrown into doubt the prospect of a trouble-free election victory for David Cameron. (…)

The Mail’s front-page claim that Clegg had committed a ”Nazi slur on Britain” in a 2002 Guardian column, alongside reporting on his expenses in the Daily Telegraph and a hatchet job in the Sun, triggered a backlash and a day of energetic online activity. On Twitter, critics of the Mail sarcastically blamed Clegg for everything from the Icelandic volcano to the fall of the Roman empire, while the Daily Mail-O-Matic website generated parodic Clegg headlines (”Could Nick Clegg molest house prices?”).

There were signs that the newspapers’ broadsides were causing a fracturing of unity on the right: the Tory blogger Iain Dale called the attacks on Clegg ”a terrible indictment of the British press”, warning that they would backfire and ”only serve to increase his popularity and position in the poll”. (…)

John Lloyd, director of journalism at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University, said: ”Clearly, the newspapers and editors who are ideological Tories are suffering from a howl of rage, now that what had seemed to be a shoo-in has turned into the risk of a hung parliament.” (…)

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TIDNING: På söndag kommer nya The Observer att lanseras. Världens äldsta söndagstidning kommer att få ny design och mer koncentrerat innehåll.

The Observer har funnits sedan 1791 och håller idag hög kvalitet på innehållet. Redaktören John Mulholland beskriver idag tidningen som ”an independent voice and one that is committed to liberal and social democratic values”.

In the news section, we will tilt toward more news analysis and comment. We will continue to be driven by domestic passions such as the need for constitutional and voting reform but will give more prominence to international affairs. We will be internationalist and proudly European.

We won’t just provide news, but a context for news, too. More analysis, more reflection, more debate, and more discursiveness will mark out an Observer that will seek to interpret, analyse and, crucially, to offer different voices and opinions to help the reader make their own sense of the world.

Förhoppningsvis fortsätter man att sätta innehåll och kvaliten lika högt framöver. I Sverige finns det nämligen knappast någon morgontidning som matchar – vare sig på vardagar eller söndagar – vad gäller journalistisk kvalitet det som The Observer eller de mer konservativa The Sunday Times och The Sunday Telegraph lyckas leverera.

Se även: ”A short history of the world’s oldest Sunday newspaper” är en slideshow på tidningens hemsida.

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wash38_smallINFLYTANDE: Ken Silverstein, Washington redaktör för Harper´s Magazine, har nyligen utkommit med boken Turkmeniscam: How Washington Lobbyists Fought to Flack for a Stalinist Dictatorship.

I boken (en första version publicerades i tidskriften Harper´s) beskriver Silverstein hur han kontaktade en rad lobbyfirmer i Washington DC för att se om man ville jobba för stalinistdiktaturen Turkmenistan.

Silverstein låtsades representera en fiktiv London baserad investeringsgrupp med intressen i landet. Det visade sig inte vara speciellt svårt att få lobbyisterna att nappa på förslaget att förbättra diktaturens image och inflytande i USA.

Bland annat lobbyistfirmorna APCO och Cassidy & Associates visade stort intresse.

[E]ven the best-endowed regimes need help navigating the shoals of Washington and it is their great fortune that, for the right price, countless lobbyists are willing to steer even the foulest of ships.

Enligt Silverstein har amerikanska lobbyister arbetat för diktaturer åtminstone sedan 30-talet när PR experten Ivy Lee – via en firman German Dye Trust – hade kontrakt med nazistregimen i Berlin.

Bara för att nämna några få andra har Jefferson Waterman International jobbat för regimen i Burma och Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly hade på sin tid kontrakt med motståndsledaren Jonas Savimbi i Angola. Patton Boggs har jobbat för Kamerun och Carmen Group för Kazakstan osv. osv. (Kuriosa: Patton Boggs har även representerat Sverige.)

Även andra har använt sig av Wallraffande för att kunna skriva om lobbyfirmornas arbete för olika diktaturer. The Sunday Time gjorde nyligen detsamma med Stephen Payne, en lobbyist som tidigare jobbade för Bush administrationen.

En reporter på tidningen låtsades representera Kurdistans expresident och Payne föreslog bland annat;

Well, why don´t you make a donation to the Bush Library?

Enligt Silverstein är klimatet i maktens Washington DC helt annorlunda än i övriga delar av landet;

If you went to a cocktail party in many parts of the country and you talked about representing the government of Turkmenistan – ‘Yeah, well, this is what I do for a living. I get up in the morning, go to work and lobby for dictators’ – most people would find that that morally repugnant. But in Washington you talk about it without fear of embarrassment.

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