Category: Media

Jeremy Corbyn’s £3million state-funded salary and pension revealed


Jeremy Corbyn has made more than £3million from the state in the past 30 years, according to official records.

The Labour leader has made more than £1.5million in salary as an MP and will benefit from a generous £1.6million pension when he retires.

That was the headline and first two paragraphs in the Telegraph today.  “In the past 30 years”; I don’t think I’ve ever read anything more ludicrous or biased.



Highlighting Western Victims While Ignoring Victims of Western Violence

The Intercept:

You’ll almost never hear any of those victims’ names on CNN, NPR, or most other large U.S. media outlets. No famous American TV correspondents will be sent to the places where those people have their lives ended by the bombs of the U.S. and its allies. At most, you’ll hear small, clinical news stories briefly and coldly describing what happened — usually accompanied by a justifying claim from U.S. officials, uncritically conveyed, about why the bombing was noble — but, even in those rare cases where such attacks are covered at all, everything will be avoided that would cause you to have any visceral or emotional connection to the victims. You’ll never know anything about them — not even their names, let alone hear about their extinguished life aspirations or hear from their grieving survivors — and will therefore have no ability to feel anything for them. As a result, their existence will barely register.

That’s by design. It’s because U.S. media outlets love to dramatize and endlessly highlight Western victims of violence, while rendering almost completely invisible the victims of their own side’s violence.

Perhaps you think there are good — or at least understandable — reasons to explain this discrepancy in coverage. Maybe you believe humans naturally pay more attention to, and empathize more with, the suffering of those they regard as more similar to them. Or you may want to argue that victims in cities commonly visited by American elites (Paris, Brussels, London, Madrid) are somehow more newsworthy than those in places rarely visited (Mastaba, in Yemen’s northern province of Hajjah). Or perhaps you’re sympathetic to the claim that it’s easier for CNN or NBC News to send on-air correspondents to glittery Western European capitals than to Waziristan or Kunduz. Undoubtedly, many believe that the West’s violence is morally superior because it only kills civilians by accident and not on purpose.

But regardless of the rationale for this media discrepancy, the distortive impact is the same: By endlessly focusing on and dramatizing Western victims of violence while ignoring the victims of the West’s own violence, the impression is continually bolstered that only They, but not We, engage in violence that kills innocent people. We are always the victims and never the perpetrators (and thus Good and Blameless); They are only the perpetrators and never the victims (and thus Villainous and Culpable).


Phone hacking: Met had the evidence. How will it explain five years of failure?

The Guardian:

Over the two-year timeframe, Yates repeated his misleading version of events to two Commons select committees and visited the Guardian to complain to the editor, Alan Rusbridger, about the paper’s coverage. Later, he threatened to sue the Guardian for publishing claims that he had misled parliament. Yates and Hayman specifically denied that Prescott had been a victim even though Caryatid in August 2006 had found evidence Mulcaire had been intercepting his voicemail from the phone of his special adviser, Joan Hammell.

The home affairs select committee criticised Hayman for his “cavalier attitude” towards his social contact with News International staff being investigated by his detectives and suggested this had “risked seriously undermining confidence in the impartiality of the police”. They also accused him of “deliberate prevarication in order to mislead the committee”.

Leveson found that Yates had adopted an “inappropriately dismissive and close-minded attitude” to the scandal and had been dogmatic and defensive in his comments.

Neither the select committee nor Leveson concluded Hayman, Yates or anybody else at Scotland Yard had let their judgment be influenced by contact with or fear of News International. Leveson concluded that although there had been “a series of poor decisions, poorly executed”, there was no evidence to challenge the integrity of the senior police officers concerned.

On the specific questions raised by the new information from the Old Bailey trial, there is no evidence at all – no phone records, no diaries, no internal memos, no expenses records, no interviews with the key players – because Scotland Yard has failed to commission the inquiry which might have found it. The questions hang there, looking for an answer.


‘Carry On policing’

The Guardian:

A detective investigating phone hacking has been asked in court if police had conducted a “Carry On”-style search of Rebekah Brooks’s office on the day she resigned as News International chief executive.

Officers from the Metropolitan police’s Operation Weeting seized computers and other IT material from her office but did not search the cabinets in the area outside it where her secretaries kept her business and personal records.

Detective Constable Alan Pritchard told the court that officers had been confined in their search because of a prior arrangement with News International executive Simon Greenberg, a former head of communications and one of the members of the management standards committee.

“Mrs Brooks is removed, almost marched out of the building. This stuff is there when you arrive later that evening and not a bit of it recovered by the police?” Laidlaw said to Pritchard.

Pritchard replied that he was had no instruction to search the PAs’ files. “The area we had consent to search was her office and that was what the search was confined to.”  He said he was not included in the arrangements made prior to the search and the correct person to question would be the head of Operation Weeting, Detective Superintendent Mark Ponting.

Asked by the prosecution who had made this arrangement with police, Pritchard replied: “Simon Greenberg”.

News International  restricted the search area and, as a result, nothing was found.

Phone-hacking trial told of Brooks and Coulson’s ‘six-year affair’

The Guardian:

The prosecution in the phone-hacking trial lobbed an emotional bombshell into the case by stating that Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson had a secret extra-marital affair between 1998 and 2004, whose existence had been revealed in a highly charged note that the crown argued implied an intense bond between the two.

Andrew Edis QC said that the jury needed to know about the clandestine relationship because the two former editors face charges of conspiracy to hack phones. “The first question, therefore, is how well did they know each other? How much did they trust each other? The fact that they were in this relationship, which was a secret, means that they trusted each other quite a lot with at least that secret. That’s why we are telling you about it,” the prosecuting QC said.

At that time, Coulson had been married to his wife Eloise Patrick since 2000, and Brooks had been married to the TV actor Ross Kemp since 2002. Brooks was editor of the Sun, and Coulson was editor of the News of the World; previously Coulson had been her deputy at the News of the World, when she edited the Sunday tabloid between 2000 and 2003.

Coulson’s vetting when he worked for Cameron would have uncovered this, so we can assume Cameron knew.

Four admit to plots in Brooks and Coulson eras

The Guardian:

Three former news editors from the News of the World have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to hack mobile phones during a six-year period when Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson were editing the Sunday title, it was disclosed in court.

The two high-flying tabloid journalists were accused of knowing about voicemail interception at the newspaper, of plotting to pay money to corrupt public officials – and, in the case of Brooks, participating in “a cover-up” when concerns about hacking became public in 2011.

Opening the Old Bailey trial of Brooks, Coulson and six others, crown counsel Andrew Edis QC said the guilty pleas meant that the original claim made by the tabloid’s publisher, News International, that the hacking was the work of just one reporter, Clive Goodman, was demonstrably incorrect.

The three former News of the World news editors who had pleaded guilty to the interception of voicemails were Greg Miskiw, Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup. Edis told the jury that the paper’s specialist hacker, Glenn Mulcaire, had separately admitted intercepting the messages of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

And so it begins.

News International investigated as a “corporate suspect”

The Independent:

The Independent has learnt the Metropolitan Police has opened an “active investigation” into the corporate liabilities of the UK newspaper group – recently rebranded News UK – which could have serious implications for the ability of its parent company News Corp to operate in the United States. One of Rupert Murdoch’s most senior lawyers has been interviewed under caution on behalf of the company and two other very senior figures have been officially cautioned for corporate offences. John Turnbull, who works on News Corp’s Management and Standards Committee (MSC) which co-ordinates the company’s interactions with the Metropolitan Police, answered formal questions from detectives earlier this year.

The development has caused pandemonium at the upper echelons of the Murdoch media empire. Shortly afterwards, executives in America ordered that the company dramatically scale back its co-operation with the Metropolitan Police.

Finally, the really serious stuff.  Not just journalists but the corporate entity, with all the ramifications for US broadcasting licenses.