Former BBC staffer and Newsnight journalist Paul Mason and Tory MP Ken Clarke are talking about the steel industry on BBC Newsnight. The one thing you can’t escape noticing is how often Mason gurns and interrupts. The other thing is that not so long ago Mason was presented to viewers as a unpartisan expert, Newsnight’sEconomics Editor giving it to us straight:
Terry Bollea, the retired pro wrestler known as Hulk Hogan, was awarded a total of $25m in punitive damages on Monday, in his invasion of privacy lawsuit against Gawker Media.
These damages come on top of the $115m already awarded to Hogan last week which concluded a nearly two-week trial in St Petersburg, Florida. There, jurors heard how Hogan, 62, had not been contacted by the website before it posted a nine-second video clip of the wrestler having sex with the wife of his friend, DJ Bubba “The Love Sponge” Clem. Hogan has said he didn’t know he was being taped.
Gawker Media itself was hit with a $15m judgment, while its owner, Nick Denton, was personally ordered to pay $10m in damages.
Ouch. That’s one pricey / lucrative shag.
Turkel said Gawker Media’s gross revenues in 2015 were $48.7m and that founder Nick Denton has a total of $121m, including a $3.6m Manhattan condo. Gawker Media is worth $83m, the lawyers said.
How much of that $121m is tired up in Gawker stock? And with this hanging over the company, isn’t that same stock now worth a whole lot less?
How does new journalism work? Stephen Hull, editor-in-chief of Huffington Post UK, was talking with Steve Hewlett on Radio 4’s Media Show yesterday. He was asked why the website doesn’t pay for content. His answer is remarkable:
I’m not getting unpaid workers for a large corporation to suck them dry; I’m keeping you real, man.
What a visionary Hull is. To prove his dedication to a world free of filthy lucre still further, we can expect him to dispense with a salary, and give away the money he’s been paid to write during his time as Head of Content at Metro and with the London Olympics editorial team. He will then become authentic – a real journalist in this brave new age of opportunity.
Note: Hull reminds us that the HuffPost is no longer owned by minted socialite Arianna Huffington. She sold it for £300m. It’s now owned by Verizon, whose market cap stands at $202.5 billion. In March 2014, Bloomberg reported:
Verizon Communications Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam received $18.3 million in total compensation last year, a 16 percent increase. McAdam’s base salary was $1.58 million, $100,000 more than in 2013, his cash bonus fell to $3.8 million from $4.13 million, and his stock award jumped 28 percent to $12 million, the company said Monday in a regulatory filing.
But if McAdam were to decided on a new career in journalism at his own organ, surely he’d do it for free. Purity is all at the HuffPost.
When The Financial Timeswrote a few words on Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman, the company’s marketing chief, Henry Gomez, was upset by the article’s tone. He threatened to stop placing he company’s ads with the newspaper, warning that “FT management should consider the impact of unacceptable biases on its relationships with advertisers.”
My piece was not biased and I fear you misunderstand our business model. It is my editors’ steadfast refusal to consider the impact of stories on advertisers that makes us the decent newspaper we are. It is why I want to go on working here. It is why the FT goes on paying me.
The Anorak Inbox features this plea: Nigerian Astronaut is lost in space needs $3Million to come home
Subject: Nigerian Astronaut Wants To Come Home
Dr. Bakare Tunde
Astronautics Project Manager
National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA)
Garki, Abuja, FCT NIGERIA
Dear Mr. Sir,
REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE-STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
I am Dr. Bakare Tunde, the cousin of Nigerian Astronaut, Air Force Major Abacha Tunde. He was the first African in space when he made a secret flight to the Salyut 6 space station in 1979. He was on a later Soviet spaceflight, Soyuz T-16Z to the secret Soviet military space station Salyut 8T in 1989. He was stranded there in 1990 when the Soviet Union was dissolved. His other Soviet crew members returned to earth on the Soyuz T-16Z, but his place was taken up by return cargo. There have been occasional Progrez supply flights to keep him going since that time. He is in good humor, but wants to come home.
In the 14-years since he has been on the station, he has accumulated flight pay and interest amounting to almost $ 15,000,000 American Dollars. This is held in a trust at the Lagos National Savings and Trust Association. If we can obtain access to this money, we can place a down payment with the Russian Space Authorities for a Soyuz return flight to bring him back to Earth. I am told this will cost $ 3,000,000 American Dollars. In order to access the his trust fund we need your assistance.
Consequently, my colleagues and I are willing to transfer the total amount to your account or subsequent disbursement, since we as civil servants are prohibited by the Code of Conduct Bureau (Civil Service Laws) from opening and/ or operating foreign accounts in our names.
Needless to say, the trust reposed on you at this juncture is enormous. In return, we have agreed to offer you 20 percent of the transferred sum, while 10 percent shall be set aside for incidental expenses (internal and external) between the parties in the course of the transaction. You will be mandated to remit the balance 70 percent to other accounts in due course.
Kindly expedite action as we are behind schedule to enable us include downpayment in this financial quarter.
Please acknowledge the receipt of this message via my direct number 234 (0) 9-234-2220 only.
Yours Sincerely, Dr. Bakare Tunde
Astronautics Project Manager
Arsenal raked in more cash from match-day activities last season than every other club in Europe. The Gunners took a whopping £101.6m, beating Real Madrid (#99.9m), Barcelona (#980m) and Manchester United (#87.8m).
Given that three other clubs directly behind Arsenal in the list of top earners all boast larger grounds, it’s clear that Arsenal are getting rich on having supporters willing to pay top whack for tickets and snacks.
The car’s the star in the tabloids. Manchester United players love a Bentley.
Daily Mail: “Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal arrives at favourite restaurant in a Bentley”
The car’s value is not stated.
Daily Mail, December 21: “Defender Chris Smalling rolls into Carrington in his sporty Bentley following United’s 2-1 defeat by Norwich on Saturday”
Not before the defeat. After it.
Daily Mirror, January 3: “Memphis Depay spotted in £250,000 Rolls Royce – hours after being slammed by Ruud Gullit”
Make the link. Can you? The Mirror seems to be suggesting that Depay is so upset at what Gullit said about him he’s downgraded his car. Depay risks being mocked by his Manchester United teammates for looking cheap. Right?
In other team news:
Daily Mail, January 5: “Like many of the most gifted players, Arnautovic is a mixture of raw ability, eccentricity and insecurity. He arrives at Stoke’s training ground from his Cheshire home every day in a personalised Bentley.”
In “Women peep in Utd loos”, the Sun reports on Marcus King, a man who claims that whilst working at Manchester United’s training ground he was spied on by three women. “He told a a tribunal he heard sniggering outside the disabled toilet when he sat on the loo.
The three women he alleges bullied him at work are all called…Sue.
The case of reverse nominative determinism continues.
Elizabeth Dickson has won damages from Playboy Enterprises for an incident at the Playboy Golf Finals at the Industry Hills Golf Club in Industry on March 30, 2012.
Dickson’s job was to act as novelty divot. Lying face down on the grass, her shorts shirt lipped down to help the golfer focus, the tee tucked between her taught buttocks, Playboy Morning Show host Kevin Klein stood over her and took aim.
Linsey McGoey has been writing about The Bill and Melina Gates Foundation for the Guardian. The article begins with a rather ghoulish view that the charity would be better were Gates dead:
Would the Gates Foundation do more good without Bill? Philanthropic organisations such as the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations have had greater flexibility since their founders died
As Gates wonders whether death would be helpful to his causes, McGoey looks at the living Bill Gates:
What the sociologist Darren Thiel and I term “charismatic advantage” is more than just celebrity pulling power; it is the way one of the most powerful organisations in the world largely escapes negative media attention because Gates has come to signify something sacred about ourselves.
It’s an advantage that Bill Gates did not strategically design, and in many ways, to his credit, he doesn’t necessarily cultivate. But it means that important critical debate doesn’t happen as openly as it should.
Good job the Guardian is there to peer inside and investigate Bill.
At a time when activists are challenging corporate clout, the Gates Foundation is enriching for-profit companies: it has offered tens of millions in non-repayable grants to wealthy corporations such as Mastercard and Vodacom.
We need to challenge this silence. We need loudly to ask an uncomfortable question: do foundations narrow wealth inequalities or simply preserve them? Are foundations at their most radical when they exist to serve a benefactor’s hopes and whims – or when they’re emancipated from such an obligation?
Former boy scouts, listen up. Your skills are needed. Tesco is hiring “Christmas Light Untanglers”. If you are “able to untangle 3 meters of Christmas lights in under three minutes” and are “passionate about Christmas”, you can spend your days elbow-deep in flex.
Your roles and responsiblities will include:
• Man and managing the Christmas Lights Untangling stand
• Taking time to listen and help out wherever you can: Every little helps
• Check lights and bulbs for signs of breakage / broken bulbs and report findings to the customer
• Handle customers Christmas lights carefully to keep everything in tip-top condition
• Talking to colleagues, sharing your enthusiasm and helping to create team spirit
• Getting to know your customers, greet them with a smile and serve them with pride.
• Give a brilliant customer experience, making sure you deliver only the best service and put a smile on customers faces
• Successfully untangle customers Christmas lights neatly, quickly and efficiently and in an orderly fashion
• Abide by our Health and Safety policies
• Always be there on time and properly presented
• Be passionate and knowledgeable about the service you are offering
Try not to slit your wrists. Those bulbs can be sharp! Also: strangling.
In the Anorak Inbox today, this missive form a desperate
A UK betting site has offered odds on which England football will come out as gay, following the news over the weekend that two Premier League footballers are set to do so. Players such as Luke Shaw, Daniel Sturridge and James Milner all appear in the low tier with odds of 10/1 or lower, whilst the likes of Joe Hart, Jordan Henderson and Wayne Rooney all appear at odds of 20/1 or lower.
More information can be found below, but please do get in touch if you require any further information.
Following the news over the weekend that two Premier League footballers (one of whom allegedly plays for England) are ready to come out as gay, a betting website based in the UK has become the first to offer customers the chance to bet on which footballers might do so. Visitors to the site can take a punt on which footballers they think will make the announcement; with the sportsmen split into low, medium and high tier odds according to the perceived likeliness of their involvement in a potential upcoming announcement.
The odds for different players vary according to likelihood, as judged by Win Cash Live’s trading team…
Speaking about offering odds on which footballers are likely to come out as gay, Ashley Faull (founder of www.WinCashLive.com), said the following:
“…there’s no denying that this is a very hot topic right now and we couldn’t see that any gambling sites were offering odds on which footballers will come out as gay, following the news and rumours over the weekend. We know that there is a lot of speculation and the public will want to see if they can guess correctly, so we’re offering them the chance to get a return on their inklings.”
You think you’ve reached rock bottom but there’s always someone with a new spade whose ready to dig….
For just £500 a month, you can live in a cupboard in Clapham, south London.
Alex Lomax, who travelled from Nottingham to view the property, says:
“There was a landlord and I was shown the kitchen and the under-stairs cupboard – he seemed deadly serious, which is the worrying part. He said, ‘You would be sharing with three others people’, and I just wanted to get out of there, so I made my excuses and left. I wish I’d been more angry because it’s clearly ridiculous and I’m annoyed at myself for basically just making my excuses.”
Sunderland FC striker Jermain Defoe is looking for a new executive personal assistant to keep his life in order. The role is “demanding“. You will take his calls, stock the fridge, build him apps and turn Jermain Defoe into a global brand with a clothing line and fragrance.
Arsenal director Philip Charles Harris, Baron Harris of Peckham, tells theDaily Mailthe Gunners are rich enough to buy almost any player in the world.
So why don’t they?
The story begins: “Arsene Wenger has more than £200m in the bank, says Arsenal director.”
“We would back him to break the club’s transfer record. If he wanted the man, he could have him,” says Harris (estimated wealth: £285m). “Apart from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, he could have any player.”
Karim Benzema? Eden Hazard? Gareth Bale?
Arsenal’s most expensive recruits have been:
Mesut Ozil – Real Madrid, £42.4m, September 2013
Alexis Sanchez – Barcelona, £35m, July 2014
Andrey Arshavin – Zenit St Petersburg, £15m, February 2009
Santi Cazorla – Malaga, £15m, August 2012
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Southampton, £15m, August 2011
Undoubtedly Arsenal are spending more on players than ever before. But surely it’s fantasy to believe they have the same financial muscles as Manchester United, Real Madrid, PSG, Manchester City, Chelsea or Bayern Munich.
“Money was tight when we moved to the Emirates but it’s a lot freer now,” continues Lord Harris. “We could go into the market and probably buy any player in the world, apart from half a dozen who are unbuyable. We get a list of the players that Wenger wants. On the list is a centre forward, but I’m not going to tell you who he is.
“You’ve got to get the other team to want to sell him, but I think he wants to come. It basically comes down to whether the other team can find a superstar to replace him, because they don’t have to sell.”
So. Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema it is, then. Unless PSG, Chelsea, Man City, Man United etc. outbid the Gunners.
To Salzburg, Austria, where brothel keeper Hermann ‘Pascha’ Müller, owner of the licensed Pascha brothel, vows to no longer be “the tax office’s pimp”. So Müller is offering free sex at his houses of ill repute. He is, however, paying the prostitutes’ usual hourly rate “out of his own pocket”.
“In the last decade I have paid taxes of almost €5 million,” says Müller said. “The problem is, the tax office wants more and more, and they are not cracking down on illegal street and apartment prostitution.”
We wonder why Pascha doesn’t enlarge his BDSM business and invite masochists to pay his pax bill for him? After all, he’s already appealing to the every kind of pervert – including golfers:
The result from the ‘Walmart-palooza’ company shindig in Fayetteville, Alaska, has resulted in a list of changes to keep the 1.3 million workers working.
Item 1: Celine Dion and Justin Bieber will not longer be played over the P.A. system.
“There is nothing I like better than hearing about your jobs, your ideas, your hopes and dreams, and frustration, and listening to how we can make your lives easier,” said Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran.
No small ambition to make the dreams of so many reality. Bob in Texas dreams of riding a pink windmill to Mars; Su-Anne from Maine wants to date Brad Pitt; and Steve from Iowa has ideas that require urgent therepay, and that he is never left alone in the store’s gun section – although removing Dior and Bieber from earshot should curtail his visions of fire-bombing Canada.
But none of them, were among the 3,000 assembled workers who made it to the show.
Things Greg – can we call you Greg? – can do are as follows (via D&T):
Individual stores will now have more control over their thermostats rather than having headquarters decide.
Associates will now be able to wear black and khaki denim.
Associates doing more physical work will be allowed to wear blue denim.
Walmart associates will wear new name tags that say “Our People Make A Difference” so that they never forget that they are, in fact, people.
Walmart associates will get more opportunities to socializethrough a new rule in which they are required to greet and make eye contact with any customer within 10 feet of them.
Store associates and managers will be able to give suggestions to headquarters regarding what items their local Walmart sells based on their day-to-day interactions with any customers within 10 feet of them.
Modest cash incentives.
Who does not dream of ‘modest’ cash incentives, or pay as the workers call it?
“Dear god almighty, you’ve got to read this,” writes Tim Worstall.
He links to a story on the FT about Max-Hervé George, 25, who has taken on insurance company Aviva France.
Dan McCrum says it is “the worst contract in the world”, a peculair thing first reported in the French magazineChallenges:
The company was L’Abeille Vie. In 1987 it began to offer a special deal to its richer clients, a Fixed Price Arbitrage Life Insurance Contract… prices for the funds were published each Friday, and clients were allowed to switch funds at those prices anytime before the next price was published, even if markets moved in the meantime.