Dog watches dog 21.10.04

NoW that’s what we call a guilty conscience

Working for the News of the World has always required a bit of a thick skin.

At this week’s Society of Editors conference, current editor Andy
Coulson recalled a tale from legendary NoW newsman Peter Earle, a man
with a “superior and stylish” air. For one story, Earle was required to
do a spot of doorstepping, only he was unsure precisely which house his
target lived in. At the first door he knocked on, a timid voice asked:
“Who is it?” “I’m from the News of the World,” Earle replied.

“But how do I know you are who you say you are?” the nervous occupant wondered from behind the door.

“Madam,” said Earle, “I have just admitted it.”

Express exclusive is the pits

It’s been a while since the Campaign for Real Exclusives made an
appearance, but this “exclusive” effort from the Daily Express was too
good to ignore.

T ITLE: Daily Express, Saturday 9 October E XCLUSIVE CLAIM: Bernie’s
bid to stage GP O RIGINAL: Northampton Chronicle and Echo, Friday 8
October The Chronicle had been running a ‘Save Silverstone’ campaign in
response to the World Motorsports Council’s decision to consider
scrapping the British Grand Prix in 2005.

Its team had developed a strong link with both Bernie Ecclestone and
the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC).Ecclestone called political
reporter Wayne Bontoft at the office on the Thursday to tip off the
paper that he was fed up with how the BRDC was running Silverstone and
was planning to put a takeover bid to it.

The Chronicle ran this on the front page on Friday 8 October, with pats on backs all round at having such a world exclusive.

You can imagine their annoyance, when reading the back page of the
Daily Express on Saturday 9 October to find their own story tagged as
its: ‘exclusive’.”


Purvis non-plussed by Black’s small talk

Former ITN chief executive Stewart Purvis, who delivered the Society
of Editors lecture, recounted a curious episode involving former
Telegraph owner Conrad Black.

The now-disgraced Lord leaned across to him at an industry dinner
and asked: “Are you one of us?” Purvis said he replied: “Probably not”,
and was given no further explanation, as Black didn’t speak to him
again for the duration of the meal.

Vetting of information

During a discussion on freedom of information, Kent Messenger Group
political editor Paul Francis noted that it wasn’t just the UK
authorities who were a little backward in coming forward.

When a giraffe died in a New York Zoo, he recalled, the local paper
asked for sight of the autopsy report, only to have its request turned

The reason? Patient-vet confidentiality.

Could this scene ever be repeated on the streets of Britain? Armed cops
zipping through the traffic on rollerblades? Fashion photographer Steve
Woods hopes not.

He was rolled over by the gendarmes in Paris, where skating has
become all the rage. Woods apparently jumped a light at a pedestrian
crossing and the next moment found himself surrounded by armed police.
He tried to explain that he had been robbed and was driving to the
Paris Fashion HQ to report the matter when he was stopped. The cops
didn’t believe him and thought he had nicked the car as well. He spent
30 hours in a police cell before the matter was finally sorted out and
he was told he was free to go and that there were no charges. As Woods
said: “There’s no point in jumping up and down; in France you’re guilty
until proven innocent.” He stayed just long enough to get a snap of the
rollerblading cops rolling in the direction he prefers to see them —
going away.





Spot the difference.

European golf star Thomas Levet celebrates his team’s Ryder Cup
victory with a group of excited fans, one of whom- theman in the black
cap and shades immediately to Levet’s left shoulder -happens to be Tim
Southwell, publishing entrepreneur and editor of Golf Punk, which
launched in the UK this year.

The version on the left appeared in the US version of Emap’s
GolfWorldmagazine. But in the version on the right, from GolfWorld UK,
the logo on Southwell’s cap has mysteriously disappeared.

A pure coincidence, Dog is sure.

Memories of Morgan may be a serial killer for Ebury

Book publisher Ebury, which paid former Daily Mirror editor Piers
Morgan a whopping £1.2m for his memoirs is, of course, hoping to recoup
a large chunk of the money by serialising the tome.

But Dog has got to wondering how easy that will be.

Morgan ruffled some powerful publishing feathers during his reign,
which might affect offers to buy the book. His lengthy feud with The
Sun might make News International chiefs a little reluctant to fork
out. Mail editor Paul Dacre is unlikely to have forgotten that his head
was once placed on the undignified figure of a Sumo wrestler. Trinity
Mirror has already coughed up enough cash in Morgan’s direction. Then
there’s The Guardian (whose editor Alan Rusbridger was once described
by Morgan as “little more than a common thief”) or the Telegraph
(which, according to Morgan, “last broke a story in 1912 and instantly
apologised to its readers for shocking them”). Which leaves the Express
(“religiously chooses the dullest story of the day to lead on”) and the
Indy (“nobody outside Islington reads it”).

But never fear. Dog has scrabbled down the back of the sofa and is prepared tomake a two-figure offer.

Meanwhile, Kelvin MacKenzie has urged his former protégé not to get
back into newspapers.He dropped him a line saying: “You’ve still got
your health, you’ve still got your sense of humour – now get out, and
stay out”


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