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Liverpool balls: no comment from United Nations On Carragher spit – yet

The Daily Mirror leads with a photo of former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher gobbing at a 14-year -old Manchester United fan. And it will not rest until every molecule of water in Carragher’s spit has earned its own headline on the paper’s clickbait-heavy website. There are 1.674 x 1021 molecules of water in a drop of water. That’s a lot. But the Mirror has embarked on its mission with gusto.

There is no word on the incident – yet – from the UN, the Pope, Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, Prince William and other great moralisers on how Carragher’s flob epitomises the great societal ills at the heart of football, the working-class people who still follow the game and society. But when they do comment, the Mirror will top and tail the words into sensation.

The following news stories have been broken on the Mirror’s website:

Sky Sports to hold talks with Jamie Carragher after Liverpool legend’s “unacceptable behaviour” in spit storm

”Inexcusable!” – Liverpool fans condemn Jamie Carragher after Reds legend caught up in spitting storm

”Vile and disgusting” Jamie Carragher’s previous comments about spitting come back to haunt him after incident with Man United fan

Spit row pundit Jamie Carragher needs to learn that with great privilege comes great responsibility, says Alison Phillips

Lorraine Kelly slams ‘horrible’ Jamie Carragher after he was filmed spitting at 14-year-old football fan: “It’s not acceptable”

Jamie Carragher breaks cover for first time since spit storm as he prepares for showdown talks with Sky Sports

“Filth!” Vinnie Jones wants Jamie Carragher sacked and reveals what he’d have done if he spat at his daughter

“I didn’t see her”: Jamie Carragher claims girl was out of sight after he was filmed spitting at 14-year-old and her dad

Jamie Carragher backed by former Liverpool team-mate after spitting at Manchester United fan and young daughter

“You couldn’t make it up!” Football fans take aim at Joey Barton as he hits out at Jamie Carragher for spitting at fan

Danny Murphy reveals conversation with Jamie Carragher following Liverpool legend’s spitting storm

Richard Keys reacts to Jamie Carragher spit storm after former Sky Sports anchor was sacked for sexist remarks

Jamie Carragher arrives in London ahead of Sky Sports showdown talks after spitting at fan and 14-year-old daughter

Big debate: Who should replace Jamie Carragher as MNF pundit if he gets the boot after his spitting shame?

Jamie Carragher is removed from first TV pundit role after spitting at Manchester United fan and 14-year-old daughter

Billy Joe Saunders blasts Jamie Carragher for spit shame, branding former Liverpool star a “sick w*****”

Jamie Carragher fans trying to justify his spitting are the worst sort of football supporters – you can’t excuse the inexcusable

Gary Neville backs Sky Sports colleague Jamie Carragher after spitting shame and insists it “shouldn’t stop us working together”

Jamie Carragher forced to watch moment he spat at football fan and 14-year-old girl during Sky interview

Jamie Carragher suspended by Sky Sports after spitting at football fan and 14-year-old daughter

Manchester United fans make brilliant Michael Carrick suggestion as Jamie Carragher is suspended by Sky Sports

Jamie Carragher apology: Full transcript as Sky Sports pundit admits ‘disgust’ with himself over spit shame

Why Sky Sports have cut Monday Night Football by half an hour after Jamie Carragher spit storm

Monday Night Football without Jamie Carragher – live updates as Sky Sports suspend pundit following spitting video

Police to quiz father of Jamie Carragher spitting victim because he filmed football pundit while driving

Sky Sports presenter Dave Jones’ cheeky last remark as MNF FINALLY reference Jamie Carragher spit storm

Gary Lineker’s Jamie Carragher tweet sparks row with Sky Sports’ Geoff Shreeves

Body language expert analyses Jamie Carragher’s live TV apology following spit shame

Jamie Carragher spits at football fan and his 14-year-old daughter in shocking video following Liverpool’s defeat to Manchester United

Jamie Carragher’s former Liverpool teammate hints at personal turmoil behind spitting shame

John Arne Riise urges people to “move on” following Jamie Carragher’s spit shame

Spotter: Football 365

Posted: 13th, March 2018 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: Lacazette’s talking knee changes time

With Trinity Mirror’s purchase of the Daily Express and Daily Star, football fans who get their news online can expect a tag-team movement of total balls. All titles use their websites as clickbait farms. The latest tosh involves Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette, who has, says the Mirror,  “given an update on his recovery from a knee injury”.

In its dash for clicks, the Mirror tells readers approaching via Google’s bots that Lacazette is bidding “for a quick recovery” (as opposed to hoping for a slow recovery and lots of sick pay and daytime telly?), illustrating the teaser with a photo of Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin and, er,  Robbie Lyle, presenter of the entertaining Arsenal Fan TV


lacazette arsenal


Clicking into the story and readers are told Lacazette will be sidelined for “up to five weeks”. Arsene Wenger’s words to BeIn Sports that Lacazette could be out for “four or five weeks” are repeated. There’s no word on any “quick recovery”. That much is utter balls.

And then this spot some time illiteracy:

A return date on the pitch could occur against either West Ham on April 21 or Manchester United on April 28 with a return to first team training likely to begin at the start of April.

Lacazette underwent surgery on February 12. Four or five weeks after that take us up to mid March. Even if you add on a few days from the operation until Wenger spoke, Lacazette still looks likely to return well before April.

But having spun a nonsense story from a single photo of Lacazette’s poorly knee as he work out in the Arsenal gym – one taken by the player and posted to his Instagram page – the Mirror’s clickbait expert needs to hit his word count. So we get this:

Until Lacazette’s return, Wenger will put his faith in Aubameyang, though the Gabon striker is unable to help in their quest to win the Europa League. Despite overcoming Ostersund 3-0 in the first leg of the round of 32 tie, a probable last 16 tie will occur on March 8 and 13, with a potential quarter-final on April 5 and 12.

That means Arsenal’s most probable route back into the Champions League will rest on Danny Welbeck’s form.

No. It won’t because Arsenal are not a one-man team and Lacazettte will be back in March. In addition, the last 16 ties will be played on March 8 and 15. March 12 is a Monday. Europa League ties are played on Thursdays.

Apart from the story being factually inaccurate and based on total balls, it is spot on.

PS: But there is good news. Cop a load of the ads that wrapped around the balls. We counted – get this – 23 ads on this one story.




It’s almost as if the words are just a trick to make you see lots and lots and lots of ads…

Posted: 21st, February 2018 | In: Arsenal, Key Posts, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

VIP paedophile spotter Nick arrested by police that once believed him

Nick in the Sun – front-page news


The man known only as “Nick”, on whose word police investigated an alleged VIP peadophile sex ring and trawled for ‘victims’, faces multiple charges relating to the possession of indecent images of children. Nick said powerful child rapists were responsible for murdering three children. He pointed the finger at the entirely innocent Tory politicians Sir Ted Heath, Leon Brittan and Harvey Proctor, and former top soldier Lord Brammel.

The Metropolitan Police launched Operation Midland in 2014, describing Nick’s allegations as “credible and true”. The accused declared their innocence. Police never found a shred of evidence to support Nick’s claims. The Met paid out compensation. The investigation, which cost around £2..5m, was closed.



Reporting on this is varied. The Mirror buries the story of Nick’s impending trial on page 4. Once Nick was the Mirror papers’ biggest story:


the people paedo operation midland Nick


The Sun splashes the story on its front page and on page 5 lambasts the police.


Bashing the police in the Sun


Over in the Mail, politics is to the fore.


Leon Tory Nick VIP paedo daily mail


NickTomwatson paedo


It’s of less interest why ‘Nick’ told his story than it is why his story was believed and became front-page news?

Posted: 8th, February 2018 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Recasting mosque murderer Darren Osborne as a grooming victim

How do you report on Darren Osborne? Yesterday at Woolwich Crown Court, Osborne was convicted of the murder of Makram Ali, 51, and the attempted murder of other Muslims outside a mosque in Finsbury Park, north London.

The Mirror calls him a “racist thug”. An “ex-schoolmate” calls him a “complete dick”. A former lover calls Osborne a “pill-popping sponger” who was banned from Toys R Us for “trying to steal Lego”. He stole from his “blinded great-grandad” and served a two-year prison sentence for assault. He’s the Sun’s “twisted loser” – a “maniac”. Darren Osborne, folks, a life-long bastard.


darren osborne muslim killer

The Sun says 4 weeks; the Star and Guardian says three.


But the Sun says he “turned into a hate-filled extremist in just four weeks”.  The Star declares “3 Weeks To Turn Into Racist Killer”. The Times classifies Osborne as a “a white loner” who was “rapidly radicalised after accessing far-right material on the internet”. No circumspection. One minute you’re browsing for photos of cats, online banking and asking to see a schoolboy’s fillings and when he opens his mouth to show you gobbing inside it (as Osborne reportedly did), the next you stumble across a website, get brainwashed by murderous loons and go on a killing spree. To see is to do, runs the mantra.

How long before Osborne is described as a victim because police “believe the catalyst for Osborne’s descent into hate was watching a BBC drama about a sex abuse scandal involving Muslim men, a swell as viewing extremist inline content” (Guardian)? Was he, you know, groomed?


darren osborne muslim killer

The Guardian


More descriptions of Osborne, 48, are forthcoming in the Times. He’s “unemployed”. He’s an “alcoholic”. Seeking background to those conditions might tell us more about the kind of man who deliberately drives a van into people minding their own business. But it’s the “radicalisation” that excites the old media, the State and police most. You can’t control a man as easily as you can control what a man sees and hears. So we read this:

Police said that Osborne, from Pentwyn, Cardiff, acted alone and was radicalised soon after joining Twitter and immersing himself in far-right material online. He took a particular interest in Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the English Defence League, and Jayda Fransen, the co-founder of Britain First.

Commander Dean Haydon, the head of Scotland Yard’s counterterrorism command, said that the first trigger for Osborne was a BBC television drama about the child-grooming scandal in Rochdale.

He was triggered. Like a switch going off (or on), the narrative is that Osbourne was a normal, average, rational and reasoned individual, a man whose motto was ‘Live and let live’, who never had a racist thought, and who after watching one show on the telly embarked on a mission to murder Muslims. There but for the grace of god, go we, eh. That’s hope the internet is trammelled, censored and controlled by those who know best so that we too are not damaged.


darren osborne muslim killer

The Mail: the web and BBC dunnit


Mr Haydon goes on the record: “That [a BBC TV show on rape gangs ] was the catalyst for him having a hatred for the Muslim community. From thereafter he accessed extreme right-wing material. He then became obsessed with that material and that sent him into a further spiral of him wishing to carry out an attack.” Haydon called Osbourne a “devious, vile and hate-filled individual”. Well, he did murder one man and try to slaughter many more. He did pledge: “I’m going to kill all Muslims.” Haydon’s appraisal of the convicted murderer is pretty spot on, but not needed. We, like the jury that took less than an hour to convict him, can make up our minds without police guidance.

But the police are not only there to tell; they are also there to censor:

The Met will not disclose the details of Osborne’s hate-filled interviews, or the full note that he left behind in the van that contained various slurs against Muslims, for fear of inciting more hate incidents.

From being an alcoholic loner, Osbourne is now an inspiration. He watched the telly to be become a killer; you only need to read a note to flip the switch. You’re all that vulnerable (aka: thick and in need to State-led supervision).


darren osborne muslim killer

The Sun


And then this:

Osborne was also said to have become angered after the string of Islamist attacks last year in London and Manchester.

So not just the telly show, then. There was more.

Two nights before the attack he told people at his local pub that he was “going to kill all Muslims” and said that he was going to take matters into his own hands. Callum Spence, a soldier, told the court: “I heard him saying: ‘All our families are going to be Muslim. They are all going to be terrorists.’ Things like that.”

The ravings of a deranged and violent criminal, who was, as the Guardian notes, thrown out of a pub near his home in Cardiff for making racist comments”. But Harun Khan, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, says Osbourne is a terrorist. “The scenes we witnessed last summer were the most violent manifestation of Islamophobia yet in our country,” he says. “We cannot be complacent and regard this as a one-off terrorist incident.”

But it was a one-off, a rare crime, thankfully.

Why can’t Osbourne be like other terrorists who we’re told operate as lone wolves, gurning loons who represent only their own grotesque disregard for life and freedom, and have no truck with a greater cause and movement?

Khalid Oumar, a trustee of the mosque and founder of the Finsbury Park Attack victims’ voice forum, puts the case for trust in ourselves well: “The scars will stay with them for ever, but the community is determined to go about daily life without fear and to stand together against victimisation and violence.” Right on. Let’s not let this be all couched in dispiriting victimhood. We’re better than that.

Note: Darren Osborne has been sentenced to a minimum term of 43 years in prison. He’ll die there.

Posted: 2nd, February 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Benzema joins Arsenal for the umpteenth time

Karim Benzema is on his way to the Emirates. Yeah, really. Sports Illustrated announces: “Arsenal Strikes Deal to Bring Karim Benzema to the Emirates.” We’ve been here before. Many times. And before we turn to the Daily Mirror, the source of the SI’s scoop, a look at what we wrote in April 2017:

“Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema to be Alexis Sanchez replacement,” thundered the Daily Mirror.

Newspaper readers will know that Benzema joined Liverpool in 2014 (Daily Star) and Arsenal in 2015 (MetroDaily Star (twice), Daily TelegraphThe Sydney Morning Heraldand again in 2017 (The Sun). He never left Real Madrid. And today the papers are having another crack at the Benzema to Arsenal story.

And so to today’s Mirror: “Real Madrid star Karim Benzema has agreement with Arsene Wenger to join Arsenal but Gunners must improve bid.” And: “Real Madrid star Karim Benzema has agreed to join Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, according to reports.” What reports? “The 30-year-old would be welcomed at the Emirates and reports from Spain now suggest he has an agreement with Wenger.”

No link to any report and suggestions coming out of Spain. But the Express, however, does, linking to Diario Gol. Slap it through Google translate and you get:

On the sidelines, his immediate step points to London: as Diario Gol has learned, the player’s agreement with his compatriot / friend, Arsène Wenger , who wants him at Arsenal next summer, is total. The only problem is the figures of the transfer: the club ‘gunner’ does not exceed 40 million between fixed and variable Karim to maintain the cache. While Real Madrid requires a minimum of 60 ‘kilos’.

There’s not a single source for the story. But one orphaned report on a Spanish website enough for it to become a big story in the British mainstream media. And this in the Star:



And this from the Express:


“Karim Benzema has agreed to leave Real Madrid for Arsenal, according to reports,” says talkSport. Not so. It’s one claim reported on many times.

Benzema to Arsenal. We’ve heard it all before.

Such are the facts…

Posted: 27th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Aubameyang’s Arsenal debut is stating the obvious

Transfer balls: are Arsenal going to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Germans have turned down two bids this transfer window. But a third bid might just do it because the BBC says Arsenal are “already planning the 28-year-old Gabon striker’s debut”.

Says who? The Beeb links to a story on the Daily Express (aka, which announces: “Aubameyang to Arsenal: Arsene Wenger very confident of deal, debut already being planned.” The Express links to Bild as the source of its story. t the foot of a story on how the German’s want Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud and how the Frenchman would fit in at Borussia, the writer notes: “Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger (68) is scheduled to plan with Aubameyang for the next match at Swansea City (January 30).”

How Bild knows that is not mentioned. And, then, all it claims to know – that at the end of the transfer window, Aubemayang could play for Arsenal. that’s not insider knowledge; that’s stating the obvious. But hook it to the journalisomobile and you get the Mirror delcaing: “Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ‘set to make Arsenal debut next Tuesday’ as Gunners close in on £60m deal.” And then the killer first line: “Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could make his Arsenal debut as soon as next Tuesday.” Or to put it another, he might not.

But to the Mirror, guesswork amounts to something being “revealed”:


arsenal balls daily mirror


And this:


More revelations than Elijah


Such are the facts…

Posted: 25th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Clickbait balls: Is this a hint Manchester United’s Sanchez is new face of Greggs?


Trinity Mirror is looking to take control of the Express. The company, which publishes the Daily Mirror, will then surely set about creating the largest clickbait farm in British football news. Both newspapers sites are stuffed full of utter tosh designed with one purpose: to trick fans looking for news on their club into clicking links and seeing the ads.

In today’s Express, readers are presented with the headline: “Is this the clue Arsenal will sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang?” A clue? Well, Arsenal’s deal makers are in Germany and Borrussia Dortmund, Aubemeyang’s club, say the Gunners have tabled an offer for their star player. But those are not the clue to which the Express refers. The clue is that “Ladbrokes believe striker Aubemayang is set to arrive too with the odds on him joining now 1/8.” Yep. What a bookie “believes” is a clue to a multi-million pound deal.


.”Manchester United was one of the teams that he dreamt about” says  Barbara Astorga 

After what looks like a sponsored story dressed up as clickbait, which itself is balls dressed up as news, the Mirror shows the Express how they do it.

When the Manchester Evening News reported on a drive-thru Greggs coming to the area – “The first AND ONLY drive-thru Greggs is in Greater Manchester and it’s open now” – other Trinity Mirror ignored the sore’s uniqueness and noted:

The Leicester Mercury: “A Greggs drive-thru has opened in Manchester – so we asked whether one is coming to Leicester.”

“When we heard the news that Manchester were getting their very own drive-thru, we wanted to know if we were getting one in Leicester – soon. so we got in touch with Gregg’s to find out – but it’s not good news. Greggs got back in touch to say there are no further Drive Thru shops planned to open in the immediate future.”

The Liverpool Echo the story was headlined: “Is Liverpool getting a Greggs drive-thru?”

“But unfortunately for all our Scouse Greggs fans, there are no current plans to open a drive thru in Liverpool.”

The Grimsby Telegraph: “Drive-thru Greggs may find its way to Grimsby as new concept is trialled for nationwide rollout.”

“The concept is being tried out at Irlam Gateway Service Station, in Salford, before a potential nationwide roll-out, though bosses say there are no immediate plans to open any more.”

Lincolnshire Live: “Could drive-thru Greggs be coming to Lincoln? Bakery’s new concept set for nationwide roll-out”

“The concept is being tried out in Manchester before a potential nationwide roll-out, but bosses say there are no immediate plans to open any more.”

The Bristol Post: “Is Bristol getting a Greggs drive-thru?”

“Although the company hasn’t said yet whether it plans to open a drive-thru branch in Bristol, its chief executive Roger Whiteside said it wanted the chain to have drive-thru shops in all sorts of convenient locations – so we wouldn’t rule out one appearing here just yet.”

Somerset Live: “Will Somerset get a Greggs drive-thru if the first one is a hit?”

“The concept, follows the launch of Greggs delivery service in Manchester, is being tried out here before a potential nationwide roll-out, but bosses say there are no immediate plans to open any more.”

If the Express and Mirror merge, look out for such scoops as: “Is Manchester United’s Alexis Sanchez the new face of Greggs?”; “Is this a hint Manchester United’s Sanchez is new face of Greggs?”; “Is this the real reason Sanchez left Arsenal for Manchester United?”

Spotter: Press Gazette


Posted: 22nd, January 2018 | In: Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United’s fee for Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez confuses the Daily Mirror

Manchester United are going to pay an “incredible” £182m for Alexis Sanchez. So says the Daily Mirror. And it’s wrong, of course. A desperate and rich United have agreed to pay a £35m transfer fee for the 29-year-old Chilean. That’s pretty much it.

But the Mirror tots up the £500,000-a-week ages Sanchez will earn before tax on a four-and-a-half year contract and adds £117m to that £35m. It then adds a further £20m Sanchez will get by way of a “signing on payment”. That’s £172m. But the Mirror conjures £182 by double counting £10m Sanchez’s agent will earn, which is already incorporated in the £35m transfer fee.


daily mirror sanchez

£10m becomes £20m at the stroke of a pen


But aside from the pisspoor accounting, readers have to imagine that United will pay Sanchez over four years wages in one tranche. They won’t, of course.

And there’s the wages. The Sun says Sanchez will earn £505,000 a week. The Mail says it’s £450,000, a week – £350,000 basic plus £100,000 in image rights. That’s a licence for United to exploit Sanchez’s name commercially on stuff like mugs and other merchandising spin-offs. Buying Sanchez is not just about buying his ability on the pitch. United will earn from Sanchez’ name. It’s not wages. It’s a partnership.

Sanchez stands to earn a fortune. But the Mirror thinks his vast income is simply not sensational enough and needs inflating.

But you can get to £180m if you include wages, fees and tax:



Posted: 18th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Money, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Manchester City won’t pay Arsenal star’s wages up front

It’s not just the Mirror online that seduces online readers with news that exists in headline form only. Today’s back page lead is that Manchester City are going to hijack Manchester City’s bid to recruit Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez. And the fee? Well, it’s an eye-popping £124m!


sanchez mirror


And after the headline the facts: Arsenal want £35m for their player. But before you can work it out how £35m becomes £124m, the Bleacher Report has echoed the Mirror’s “exclusive”. “Manchester United ‘Close to Agreeing’ Alexis Sanchez Deal Worth £124m,” yells the website.


How close? The BR doesn’t know. It’s story is based on the Mirror’s story. And over there we read:

Blues are baulking at paying £124million this month for striker who is set to be a summer free agent — and Jose Mourinho is lining up a stunning player-plus-cash deal involving Henrikh Mkhitaryan

On what planet are Arsenal getting £124m for Sanchez? They’re not. The Mirror has added up the “striker’s demand for a three-and-a-half-year contract worth £400,000-a-week” and his “£15million signing-on fee”.

Do all clubs pay the entire wage packet up front?

The other part of the news is that Manchester City “believed a £20m fee and contract worth £300,000-a-week would be enough to land Pep Guardiola’s No 1 target”.

Well, £20m is tad low. And just three days ago the Sun told us: “Arsenal news: Alexis Sanchez ‘agrees deal to join Manchester City’… it’s now just a matter of when.”

And a bit of if. Arsenal have said they will only sell Sanchez if they have a replacement lined up, which is why they didn’t flog him to Man City in the summer.

Such are the facts.


Posted: 12th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Manchester City, manchester united, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Wenger watch: Arsenal manger swore at Chelsea player and never flinched

How did Arsene Wenger find life sat in the Chelsea press box for Arsenal’s League Cup match semi-final tie? Well, last time we discovered that he has a huge garden:

A year ago, when he was also serving a touchline ban, Wenger crept to his seat beside the corporate area in the East Stand at Stamford Bridge and was welcomed with a handshake by an Arsenal supporter.

“I said, ‘Good afternoon’ and he replied, ‘I’m your gardener at your house’,” Wenger said. “I didn’t even know him. I do have a big garden.”

And this time, what did we learn?

Here’s Jeremy Wilson in the Daily Telegraph:

Spending 90 minutes literally just a few feet from Wenger ensured a fascinating insight. Not for anything he said, but simply the magnified perspective provided by his body language. We hear so often of how football managers live every moment of a match that we become almost immune to the draining reality of that statement. Yet to see Wenger fidgeting with each pass, almost straining to make every tackle and, even surrounded by media, still letting out the occasional shout of encouragement or kick of frustration was to feel just how much it all means.

Phil McNulty was there for the BBC:

Wenger remained relatively calm, even when Lacazette wasted a presentable first-half chance, only rising from his seat once during the game when Welbeck was penalised for a foul on Moses, but it was also easy to detect the strains and stresses.

He banged the table in front of him when Granit Xhaka committed a foul against Eden Hazard, shifted constantly in his seat, throwing back his head in frustration when opportunities came and went, such as Lacazette getting carelessly caught offside and when a promising free-kick position was wasted.

The Islington Gazette:

“I was two rows down so I couldn’t hear what he was saying, but colleagues reported him kicking the backs of their chairs and using the odd swear word, especially when possession was lost or the ball hoofed into the air.

“Whatever you think of him you simply can’t deny his passion.”

Jack Polden in the Mirror:

Commenting on referee Martin Atkinson blowing up for a foul on the Spaniard, Wenger shouted: “Every time Alvaro Morata goes down it’s a f****** free-kick.”

Gary Jacobs dedicates an entire column to Wenger Watch. Highlights include:

Wenger gently leans back in his seat, as Arsenal look more comfortable…

Wenger’s presence is noticed by Chelsea fans to his left. They stand, thrust their arms towards him and chant, “We want you to stay.” There is no response

Jack Wilshere is injured — again. Wenger never flinches

Such are the facts.

Posted: 11th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, Broadsheets, Chelsea, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Liverpool balls: Mahrez guff, Coutinho paid to leave and Nike called the shots

So keen was Philippe Coutinho to quit Liverpool than he paid part of his own £142 million transfer to Barcelona. The Times says it’s “understood” the Brazilian invested £9 million “out of his own pocket and is committed to paying another £2.5 million in the future”.

Of course, it’s not hard to understand anything in the world of big business than now owns top-flight football: it’s all about the money. As Liverpool were reiterating their desire to keep hold of their best player, Nike, which sponsors Barcelona, Coutinho and Brazil, last month published a photo of a Barcelona shirt with the player’s name across the back. “Where the magic happens,” said Nike. “Philippe Coutinho is ready to light up Camp Nou. Get your 2017/18 FC Barcelona kit with the Magician’s name on it. Act fast – free personalisation only available until January 6.”


Liverpool looked strong when they blocked Coutinho’s mover to Barcelona six months ago. At the season’s start, after Liverpool had rejected three Barcelona bids for their playmaker, Jurgen Klopp told media: “I wasn’t manager when Suarez was sold, I wasn’t manager when Sterling was sold, and we’re not selling Coutinho.”

Faced with predators from Nike and Barcelona, Liverpool caved in, waving a not-all-that-fond farewell to the player who now joins another former Anfield star, Luis Suarez, in attack.

Minds now turn to what Liverpool will do with all that money. Well, £75m has been invested in Virgil van Dijk. And the rest? We, the Times says, “There is no appetite, as it stands, to pursue AS Monaco’s Thomas Lemar or Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez”.

Or as the Mirror puts it: “Liverpool to test Monaco’s resolve over Thomas Lemar transfer with January bid.”



Which on Sky Sports becomes:



As for Mahrez, well, the BBC reported on January 7: “Liverpool are set to sign Riyad Mahrez, with the 26-year-old Leicester City and Algeria forward expected to have a medical on Sunday.”

The story echoed a report on BeIn Sports, which guffed:


Total balls, then. Who Liverpool sign next is unclear, but one thing is certain: they’ll pay well over the odds.


Posted: 8th, January 2018 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: Arteta invests in a watch to replace Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he always sees out his contracts. But the BBC says the Frenchman “could cut short his latest contract and move into the boardroom in the summer”. The source for this speculation is the Mirror, which tells readers:

Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger could quit as manager THIS summer — and is eyeing Mikel Arteta as hand-picked successor

Well, he could. But surely the Mirror’s job is to tell us if he will? Right now there is nothing to say that Wenger will leave Arsenal this summer. And it’s not as if the Mirror has a faultless track record is saying what Wenger’s planning:


Daily Mirror wenger quits Arsenal


As for Arteta taking the role, a man who played for the Gunners but has never managed a club:

One of the names in the frame is former Gunner Mikel Arteta, who is impressing as a coach alongside Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

Arteta certainly left a lasting impression with Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis, using some of the money raised in club fines to buy the American a prestigious watch.


As official collector of the money from players’ misdemeanours, the ‘present’ came as a surprise to some of Arteta’s team-mates.

But Arteta’s organisational skills on and off the training ground have impressed Wenger as he contemplates his future.

Forget Fergie time, this is Arteta time. The Mirror’s seems to be to show that Arteta is good with money. And because this is the modern media in which no scoop, however shallow, can pass unrepeated by rivals, the Sun reads the Mirror’s non-story and thunders:

QUICK TURNAROUND – Arsene Wenger ready to quit Arsenal and leave Manchester City coach Mikel Arteta in charge at the Emirates

Form something that “could” happen to Wenger being “ready ” to leave all in a morning. The paper looks at Arteta’s watch:

And the retired playmaker apparently impressed Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis by buying him a posh watch during his time as Gunners bursar.

Arteta was in charge of collecting fines at Arsenal and he put the money toward a watch for Gazidis – to the surprise of his team-mates.

Anyone know any facts about this watch, which is quickly passing into folklore?

Posted: 7th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, Broadsheets, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

John Warboys: sex attacker worse than Savile grooms the CPS

In 2009, London taxi driver John Worboys was given a prison sentence of indeterminate length after being convicted of rape and sexual assaults. He’s to be released on licence. The trial judge ordered Warboys to serve a minimum eight years behind bars for one rape and 19 charges of drugging and sexually assaulting at least 12 women. He has convinced the three-strong Parole Board panel that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that he remain in custody. The therapy has worked.



The problem is that police “believe” there are many more victims. In October 2010 detectives stated their “belief” that Worboys had attacked at least 102 women. The Sun says Warboys attacked 200 women. The Mirror leads with the headline that Warboys took part in “100 rapes and sex attacks”. Police “believe” Warboys is “probably Britain’s most prolific sex offender”, says the Times. Wore than Jimmy Savile, even, the BBC DJ and TV presenter who never got his day in court but post-death was nonetheless branded the man “who groomed an entire nation” and “one of the UK’s most prolific sex offenders”. Savile was a depraved criminal hiding in plain sight. But, as with Warboys, to accept each claim as proof is troubling. There’s no need to hurdle barriers to justice in court, where both sides of a case are heard, when you can announce guilt and trawl for ‘victims’.

And there are lots of victims:

Detectives told The Times that they feared he might have assaulted as many as 500 women, but his use of drugs meant that many could not recall details of what happened to them.

The Mail says “police suspected him of more than 500 attacks”.

It’s worth looking at this BBC story from April 2009:

The Metropolitan Police was told sex offence units were overstretched months before the arrest and release of taxi rapist John Worboys, it has emerged.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating why he was released after an arrest in July 2007.

A report said specialist sex offence units, known as Sapphire teams, were understaffed and overstretched.

A report by Government inspectors, which was seen by Met chiefs nine months before the original arrest and release of Worboys, found that Plumstead CID, in south east London, needed urgent reform.

Ch Supt Nicola Grevatt, of HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, said the Greenwich borough only had six officers with specialist training to deal with sex offences. Detectives were investigating up to 20 rape investigations each, the report added.

The effect had been that rape victims were losing contact with the police or withdrawing their support.

Ms Grevatt also said senior officers were responsible for poor communication, in-fighting and an atmosphere of political correctness and paranoia.

Worboys was held at a police station in Plumstead, south-east London, but released on bail.

In February last year he was arrested for a second time, which led to the charges on which he was convicted.

Do we have faith in the police, who failed women seeking help but when talking to media believe everyone is a victim; choosing to tell rather than to listen? Do we trust the justice system? Here’s an easier one: do we admire politicians? The Times makes the link between Warboys and the Labour Party explicit in its reporting. The headline tells readers: “Labour law chief backed ‘lenient’ term for taxi rapist John Worboys”:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal, the former Labour attorney-general, decided against referring the sentence handed to John Worboys back to the courts despite an outcry over its leniency, it emerged last night… Lady Scotland’s decision not to challenge the sentence is one of a series of actions by legal authorities that might have enabled his early release…


Scotland Yard said that in the aftermath of the trial it had been contacted by 19 further suspected victims and referred their cases to the Crown Prosecution Service in October 2010. It was told that further prosecutions were not in the public interest.

The director of public prosecutions was Sir Keir Starmer, now Labour’s frontbench spokesman on Brexit.

The Sun also notes that Starmer was “in charge of the CPS as 115 new victims told police Warboys had attacked them”. The Mail (page 5), thunders: “How Labour’s Keir Starmer let him escape more charges”. Starmer is “accused of ignoring scores of women” who claim Warboys attacked them. A “senior Whitehall source” opines: “If Warboys had been ordered to stand trial for more attacks, it is possible he would have been convicted”. If. Possible. So much for considering the facts. And do we know if Starmer had any role to play in the Warboys trial? No. The Mail concedes: “It is not known if he was personally involved in the decision not to prosecute.”

In the Left-wing papers, the Guardian makes no mention of Starmer and Baroness Scotland in its report “John Worboys: MP demands reasons for release of ‘black-cab rapist'”. The Mirror declines to mention Baroness Scotland and Starmer in its tale of the “sex beast”.

Biased reporting to the fore, then, in a story about a sexual predator’s depravity and prison’s ability to rehabilitate even the most sickening criminals.


Posted: 5th, January 2018 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: the Sun spins Wenger’s words to annoy Liverpool fans

Forget circumspection. When opining about Alex Oxlade-Champberlain, the player Arsenal sold to Liverpool for the best part of £40m, Arsene Wenger was scathing. The Sun and Mirror heard Wenger accuse the former Arsenal player of laziness and made it their lead sport story.

The Sun thunders: “OX LAZE – Arsene Wenger accuses Liverpool star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of sitting in a rocking chair and refusing to fight for Arsenal spot.” Wenger gave Oxlade-Chamberlaie a “verbal battering”.


mirror ox arsenal


The Mirror says Wenger aimed a “dig” at Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The Sun quotes Wenger. It’s much the same in the Mirror:

“What do you want to be, a big player and not have to fight? You can’t be a big player, sit in your rocking chair and say I do not want to fight. It doesn’t work like that. Every player has to fight. In a big club you have big competition with some good players. That is absolutely normal…

“I offered him a contract to stay but in the end he decided to go and we just had to try and get the best possible price.Sometimes it happens when one player who we don’t want to go, goes.

“We respect his decision and I have no problem with that. What’s important is that the players make a good career, preferably in your club. If it doesn’t happen, you still want them to have a good career. I personally think he will be an important player for England and will continue to develop.”



What neither paper finds room to note is what Wenger also said. This in the Guardian:

“What do you want? To be a big player and not have to fight? What do you want on top of that – sitting in your rocking chair and saying: ‘I’m a big player? I don’t need to fight?’ No. It doesn’t work like that. Every player can do that and Chamberlain does it. I am convinced it’s part of being a top player.”

If that’s a verbal battering, the mind boggles as to what praise looks like?

Posted: 30th, December 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Liverpool, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Rebecca Dykes: abducted, murdered by the Uber killer and a rape that wasn’t

Rebecca Dykes


The man arrested in connection with the death of British diplomat Rebecca Dykes is Tariq H, says the Guardian. Rebecca Dykes’s body was found by the side of a motorway in Beirut, where she’d been working for the British government.

Reporting has been sketchy. The Mirror leads with news that the woman “in her early 30s” (she was 30) was “raped and murdered”. The Sun agrees, stating that she was “raped and murdered”. But she wasn’t raped, at least not according to autopsy reports. And we don’t know that she was murdered. Indeed, the Express says she was, er, “strangled to death”.

Still, at least we know that the dead woman “graduated with a 2:1” (Mirror) and went to “posh Rugby School” (Sun). 

The Telegraph says she was “abducted some time after” leaving a cafe where she’d been out with friends.

Kidnapped? No, says the Standard, which delivers the headline: “Uber driver’ arrested after British embassy worker found ‘raped and strangled’ in Beirut.” Did she catch a cab using the Uber app? An Uber spokesman goes on the record: “We are horrified by this senseless act of violence. Our hearts are with the victim and her family. We are working with authorities to assist their investigation in any way we can.”

Can it be that a taxi driver hired using an app which tracks his movements and that of his client did it? And if he did, is this an open and shut case?

The Telegraph also notes: “The Lebanese driver picked her up from Gemmayzeh and then drove to the nearby Achrafiyeh neighborhood where she lived, but did not drop her off there. Police traced the suspect’s licence plate through surveillance cameras on the highway, where he dumped the body around 4am, Lebanese news agency NNA reported. The suspect has a criminal record, but it is not known if he was picking Miss Dykes up in his capacity as an Uber passenger or not.”

The Telegraph also tells us for reasons unclear: “She had not been drinking as she had an early flight to catch home early the next morning for the Christmas holidays.” Or as the Times puts it: “Another of the crowd at the bar said Ms Dykes had recently been suffering from a bug and was not drinking heavily.”

The only thing certain is that Rebecca Dykes is dead.

A family spokesman tells everyone: “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Rebecca. We are doing all we can to understand what happened. We request that the media respect our privacy as we come together as a family at this very difficult time.”

How does bad reporting help them?

Posted: 18th, December 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Brexit: breakthrough deal please the status quo

“REJOICE!” screams the Daily Mail from it front page. “WE’RE ON OUR WAY?” Where to?  Out of the European Union, dummkopf. “It’s a “HUGE BREXIT BOOTS,” declares the Daily Express from its front page. “Now let’s get on with ditching the EU.”

Agreements have been reached. But we don’t know what the UK’s relationship will be with the EU.


eu brexit newspapers


The Mail gives over an entire page to nodding heads. “Theresa May won,” says Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, wafting perfume into the stultifying air. “The doomsters and pessimists have been confounded,” says Norman Lamont, former chancellor. The deal is “the personal success of Theresa May”, says Donald Tusk, the European Council president.  May “negotiated in  “very gentlemanly manner”, says Jean-Claude Junker, European Commission president, muddying the eye of those who say a woman cannot behave as well as a bloke in demanding company. At the bottom or 13 opinions, we get to Jeremy Corbyn, who says it’s “Tory chaos and posturing”.

Having hailed the historic handshake” (Page 1), “triumph” (pages 4-5), a “breakthrough deal” (pages 6-7), the early arrive of Christmas for City bosses (pages 8-9), a confounding of the “Jeremiahs” (page 9), “record booms for British exports” (page 8) and May making it “back from the dead ” (page 25), the Mirror gives front-page space to someone calling May  “lily-livered”. “Softly Softly,” says the Mirror on pages 4 and 5. Is that praise or criticism? “Softly, softly, catchee monkey” is taken to mean “Don’t flurry; patience gains the day.”

On page 4, the Mirror says any deal could be “ripped up” should trade talks fail. And, er, that’s it. The leading Left-wing tabloid can muster just three pages for the Brexit deal, the Mail calls “historic”.

Over in the Sun, which sees the Brexit news as less important than an actress being “pelted with glasses in a pub” and Toff’s jungle bikini, Trevor Kavanagh says May was “summoned in her pyjamas by three unelected bureaucrats”. But “we will not be surrendering last year’s referendum vote by carrying on as EU member in all but name”. Brexiteers, says Kavanagh, are “keeping their powder dry”.

Have we “taken back control”, then? No. The Brexit vote was radical. But when the same old faces are organising it, what did you expect, revolution? Here’s Gove in the Telegraph:

“If the British people dislike the arrangement that we have negotiated with the EU, the agreement will allow a future government to diverge.”

Keep on voting! Eventually you’ll reach the right decision.

Anyhow, here are three key things from the agreement, as told by the BBC:

No “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic

The rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU to live, work and study will be protected. The agreement includes reunification rights for relatives who do not live in the UK to join them in their host country in the future

The so-called “divorce bill” will amount to between £35bn and £39bn, Downing Street sources say. This includes budget contributions during a two-year “transition” period after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019

You can read the full text of the UK-EU agreement here.

Posted: 9th, December 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Thomas Markle gets doorstepped

Turns out that Thomas Markle is’t all that “reclusive” after all. He’s on the Daily Mirror’s front page talking about his daughter, Meghan Markle.


thomas markle


“I’m delighted,” says Thomas of the wedding. For reasons that are not clear, the Mirror presents Thomas Markle with a bottle of French champagne and some Darjeeling tea. “Thank you, that’s very kind,” says Thomas as a stranger gives him free treats.

Not that Thomas needed a free drink. The Mirror’s says it “tracked him down” to his, er, home, and looked on as Thomas Markle “bought a four-pack of Heineken and cigarettes”. Lest we be disbelieving, the Mirror features a video of Thomas walking from a store.

Lest you think that invasive and not in the least bit newsworthy, the Mirror uses an editorial to tell readers: “Thomas Markle’s eyes will have a little more sparkle than most” when he walks his daughter own the aisle. The booze, right? The Mirror says the “British public” will “instantly take to such a down-to-earth chap”.

That’s the divorcee sat in the gold coach, scarfing booze and puffing on a fag. And that’s Camilla wondering what might have been…

Posted: 8th, December 2017 | In: Celebrities, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Meghan Markle: show us your dirty laundry

Meghan Markle has a “rift “with her father. Well, she had, apparently, because in a video from when she was 19 in the summer of 1999 that’s now the Sun’s front-page news (“MEGHAN: MY RIFT WITH DAD”), the actress tells her pal “my dad and I aren’t on the best of terms”. We’d like to keep up with the Markles, but we’d have to check a new source because the video shooter was Ninaki Priddy, a woman no longer mates with Meghan, 36.

Alongside a photo of Meghan in a short dress, we read that Thomas Markle “now lives a nomadic life driving between rented homes on LA and Mexico in an old Volvo” – a car the Mirror tells us is an “old batted blue Chrysler PT Cruiser”.

The Sun says Thomas’s home is a “cliff shack”. He “proudly tells the locals Meghan’s is his daughter”. Odd because the Mail was looking for the “elusive” Thomas and telling readers that “placed in his position, many fathers would be singing their joy from the rooftops”. The Sun says Thomas’ roof might not take the weight, given that it’s atop a “tiny red-tiled home…on a 120ft cliff overlooking the Pacific.”

Having given a front page and two inside pages to Ninaki Priddy’s scrapbook, the Sun today finds space for Jane Moore to accuse Priddy of “betrayal”. So the tabloids don’t do chequebook journalism any more, expose celebs and feature kiss ‘n’ tells about the beautiful people? Or is it different for Royals? Why shouldn’t a woman sell her story for loadsa money when her ex-pal – and do we know why they fell out?; Priddy says “What came to light after Trevor [Engelson – Meghan’s ex] and I spoke ended my friendship with Meghan”? – is due to remarry, this time to a billionaire’s scion?

We never did get the full story of Princess Diana and Charles when they were engaged. The media kept the knobs on a pedestal by delivering a narrative soaked in magic and star-written love. Let’s not have it again.

Much guff has been written about Meghan and Harry. “Don’t underestimate the symbolism of a royal marriage. From now on, it will be impossible to argue that being black is somehow incompatible with being British,” trumpets the Guardian. “Is it too mad to wonder, once the Brexit dust settles, whether the younger royals may – against all the odds – represent a Britain looking forward to the future rather than an imagined past?” the Indy muses. Once more the royals are showing us the way. But if we want to be modern – and wouldn’t that involve getting shot of them? – then surely we should know who they are and why we need to crane our necks to see them.

Posted: 6th, December 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Damian Green: taxi for David Mellor and police in the dock

The Daily Damian: a look at de-facto Deputy Prime Minister Damian Green in the newspapers. We kick off on page 2 of the Daily Mirror, where former Tory minister David Mellor says Green would not be missed for a “millisecond”. Mellor, who fell on his bellend (surely sword – ed) in 1992 after a sleaze scandal, tells one and all: “Damian Green should have said, ‘I will resign to clear my name’ and he would have lots of sympathy.” But no job. Mellor adds: “Damian is the sort of guy who, under Mrs Thatcher, would have been the Minister of State for Latrines and would have lived in total obscurity.”

Sorry. Yes,. Mellor. M.E.L.. He’s the top bloke who told a London cabbie (something he later apologised for): “You’ve been driving a cab for 10 years, I’ve been in the cabinet, I’m an award-winning broadcaster, I’m a Queen’s Counsel. You think that your experiences are anything compared to mine?”

Ring a bell? No? This bloke:

david mellor newspapers sex

Yeah, him. But not her:



In the Sun, Green’s story is a police issue. On page 6, the paper hears Cressida Dick, the Met’s top copper, say is was “quite wrong” for “ex-Detective David Lewis to go public on the contents of Mr Green’s machine”. (That’s Green’s computer which allegedly contained lots of porn. He denies it.)

Nick Cohen writes in the Spectator:

The police, or rather the retired officers, want to use legal but shameful behaviour to destroy their target. In Russia, Putin’s agents send women to lure opposition activists into honey traps, then post sex tapes on the web. Our police seem too close to their colleagues in Moscow for comfort…

I am sure an eager detective could find something to discredit you. Everyone has legal but potentially shameful secrets, and if you do not, you are too good for this world…


…the inquiry into Damian Green’s conduct has nothing to do with computer pornography real or imagined. Green is accused of the sexual harassment of Kate Maltby, a women 30 years his junior, and a family friend to boot.

I am told on good authority that it is not just Maltby’s story the inquiry is hearing. Other women have gone to Sue Gray, the director-general of propriety and ethics at the Cabinet Office, to tell stories of their own.

Should we hear them, too?

The Mail (page 4) continues to stick it to the police. Cressida Dick “condemns” police leakers. A Tory MP says Green is a “steady pair of hands”. No, not wandering. Steady.

On page 14, the Mail rages against “police flouting the law”. Police have made a “clear attempt to ruin Mr Green’ career”. On page 17, Richard Littlejohn wonders: “If the Deputy PM isn’t safe, what chance have we got?” Which makes you wonder why the Deputy PM should be viewed as being any different to the rest of us?

“Ex-officers may face court over MP porn claims’,” says the Express (page 2).

Meanwhile… the Cabinet Office has still to report on Green’s computer and Maltby. Why not let them do their job and see what occurs?


Posted: 5th, December 2017 | In: News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Damian Green: flagrant abuse is what we love best

The Daily Damian: a look at Damian Green in the newspapers. The story so far: the Deputy PM is accused of having porn on his PC and chatting up a younger woman, whose knee she says he touched. The Cabinet Office is investigating. Damian Green say he’s innocent. Now read on…

The Sun (page 6) says Education Secretary Justine Greening “all but called for him to be sacked”. Greening told BBC viewers to Andrew Marr’s Sunday morning show that  “most employers” would think it unacceptable to watch porn at work. On the other side (ITV) was Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, telling everyone that he trusts Damian Green and “I believe what he says”.


damian green



On Page 10, Trevor Kavanagh says the story is based on a “politically motivated vendetta” against Green by two “bitter” former police officers, Bob Quick and “co-conspirator” Neil Lewis. We learn that Quick “led the scandalous raid” on Green’s office in 2008 over alleged leaks from the Home Office. Quick “seized the computers. Lewis fund the porn.” And then comes the worrying bit: “thousands of perfectly legal images were copied – against orders – and squirrelled away by Lewis for future use.” Kavanagh alleges it’s part of moves to get back at Theresa May for threatening to “smash  their Mafia-style trade union”.

Over in the Mirror (page2 ), Justine Greening is telling Green to “fall on your sword”. Which isn’t a euphemism for masturbation, rather a euphemism for career suicide, or maybe actual suicide. On page 8, Kevin Maguire wonders if the Tories would back an “ordinary worker” – are MPs made extraordinary in anything but the glorious building they occupy? – “if police found thousands of indecent images on his or her desktop.” Dunno. Maybe police should all check their PCs and let us know what occurs?

And how is watching porn on your PC any different from watching porn in a magazine or newspaper, say, perhaps one that on Page 41 offers readers the chance to call premium-rate phone numbers and get some “X-RATED CHEAP CHAT” from “18-94 years olds” and “REAL HOUSEWIVES”? The Mirror does. And it offers no warning against doing so whilst at work, nor displaying the porny images that go with the adverts lest it offend workmates and paymasters.

The Mail (pages 6 and 7), says Lewis “could be prosecuted – as watchdog accuses him of ‘flagrant violation of the public’s trust in police.” New Met commissioner Cressida Dick says the force is thinking about investigating Lewis. Dick, you will recall, was in charge when armed police shot dead innocent Jean Charles de Menezes as he waited for a train on the London Underground. No police employee was disciplined for that.

Speaking on BBC Radio London today, Dick said: “All police officers know very well that they have a duty of confidentiality, a duty to protect personal information. That duty in my view clearly endures after you leave the service. And so it is my view that what they have done based on my understanding of what they’re saying… what they have done is wrong, and I condemn it.”

We also hear in the Mail from Eleanor Laing, who says deputy speaker of the Commons, who says in a letter dated November 14:

A member of my parliamentary staff has told me that, several years ago, before we had effective screening of our parliamentary computers, she used to find pornographic images on her computer every morning when she switched it on…

She was certainly not accessing pornographic sites deliberately or even accidentally. The material was just there on her computer every day. She simply deleted it. This happened before 2010.Thus, it would appear that material found in the parliamentary computer system can be proved to have been put there by some other means than by the deliberate actions of the person operating the computer.

Lax security in parliament. Who knew?

Over in the Guardian, a columnist thunders: “!If Damian Green harassed a woman or lied, he must go.” Yeah. If. But do consider it for as long as it takes to read 500-odd words about today’s burning issue.

In other news: I took up porn to help me stop smoking, says man looking for five-minute work break.

Posted: 4th, December 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Meghan Markle’s dad Thomas is an international man of mystery

Meghan Markle has a “mysterious dad”. And by mysterious we mean not a man who weaves mysteries, vanishes in puff of smoke or is, as one dictionary defines it, “difficult or impossible to understand, explain, or identify.” We mean a man who doesn’t much fancy being a celebrity.

The Daily Mirror makes Thomas Markle Senior its front-page story. They say that aside from his family, “no-one even knows where Thomas Markle Senior is.” It might be less a mystery than a question of budgets and being bothered to track down a man who was living in Rosario Beach on Mexico’s Baja California Peninsular. He moved on, says the Mirror, “determined to avoid any chance of public attention”.


Thomas Markle


Not that the man’s absence detracts from the story. He “gets by on his £1,307 monthly pension”, we learn. How the Mirror knows what money he earns and spends is moot. The ‘facts’ are provided to fit the narrative of the future princess’s dad living if not in poverty then at least in humdrum simplicity. Thomas is “driving around in an old batted blue Chrysler PT Cruiser”. His new family-to-be are “one of the richest and most powerful in the world”. He “devoted his life to his daughter”. He “may” be avoiding the spotlight “due to the humiliation of bankruptcy”.

Thomas Markle’s “solitary life means Harry has still not met his future father-in-law”. Or as the Mail puts it: “EXCLUSIVE: Prince Harry has met his girlfriend Meghan Markle’s father.”


Thomas Markle



That’s not to say the Mail isn’t also on the scent.

“Why is Meghan’s dad so determined to hide from the world?” wonders the Mail. “Where is the elusive Mr Markle? Why has this enigmatic man concealed his whereabouts so determinedly?” And: “After all, placed in his position, many fathers would be singing their joy from the rooftops.” Why, because an American – a citizen of the world’s greatest republic, a bastion of freedom and hope to the world – is getting shackled to a man who symbolises inequality? Maybe not because the Sun says Meghan’s dad is “said to be impressed by Prince Harry”.

Shedding light on the international man of mystery is Thomas’s brother Michael, who tells everyone: “Tom is trying to comply with the royal directive to keep a low profile so that’s where he’s coming from. He doesn’t want to upset the Royal Family.” Indeed, there’s nothing like a normal bloke to undo the ‘magic’ of monarchy.


Posted: 4th, December 2017 | In: Celebrities, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Madeleine McCann: Luisa Todorov gets scoured

Madeleine McCann was not kidnapped by Luisa Todorov.  “It wasn’t me,” says the woman. You will recall that criminologist Heriberto Janosch Gonzalez featured in the Daily Mirror beneath the words: “Maddie hunt woman” is a…”waitress”.

“Scotland Yard detectives want to speak to a female dressed in purple who was seen by two people standing outside the youngster’s apartment,” said the Mirror. And criminologist Heriberto Janosch Gonzalez “claims to have identified the woman as Bulgarian waitress Luisa Todorov”.

News was that 58-year-old Luisa and her husband, Stefan, 50, were working at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz when Madeleine vanished in 2007. Both gave statement to the police at the time. “They both denied having any knowledge of the case and have not been spoken to again for over a decade.” Why police would have spoken with either of them again is moot, as the Mirror gave readers the side-eye and stated: “British police are now scouring the globe for the pair so they can ask them if they saw anything suspicious.”

Scouring the globe? Not looking to speak with them. Scouring. That’s what you do when you want to reveal what’s beneath the dirt and grime. You scour. Is “scouring” the way to find two innocent people? The paper then noted: “Luisa is believed to be the woman seen standing by a lamp post just outside the apartment at 8pm on May 3, 2007.”

Gonzalez was quoted:

“Examining all the known statements it seems highly likely the police are seeking the Todorovs. They are the only known people with a clear link to Bulgaria. I have been unable to trace them in Portugal and believe they could have moved away. It is widely known that many workers at the Ocean Club were made redundant so it is possible they went to Bulgaria seeking work.”

And to today’s Mirror news, we get an update. Get this:

A criminologist claimed to have identified Luisa Todorov as the mystery person police are said to be searching for. And we discovered she lives less than a mile from Praia da Luz in the Algarve, where Maddie disappeared.

She isn’t living in Bulgaria. No-one had to scour the globe to find her. And she isn’t the “woman in purple”. Indeed, who is? And why is she newsworthy? It was British expat Jenny Murat who introduced us to her. She said: “She caught my eye because she was dressed in purple-plum clothes. It struck me as strange. It’s so usual for anyone, particularly a woman, to be standing alone on the street in our resort, just watching a building. The next morning, we heard that a little girl had gone missing, and I later told police about the woman I’d seen right outside. I didn’t recognise her and don’t have a clue who she is, but she seems a bit suspicious.”

Murat is, of course, mother to the innocent Robert Murat, who was monstered and libelled. Odd that her words are now being used to zoom in on another foreigner living an working in Portugal. Indeed, it was Mirror journalist who introduced us to Robert Murat, telling readers that he found him “creepy”. Now Luisa is in the crosshairs.

These are some of the reactions to her name:

Madeleine McCann: Mystery ‘woman in purple’ sought by Met police identified as waitress – Indy

‘Woman in purple’ mystery witness tracked to Bulgaria. Waitress Luisa Todorov, seen twice near the holiday apartment on the night Maddie disappeared, could be a significant witness – International Business Times

Madeleine McCann mystery woman spotted outside Portugal apartment is identified – Leicester Mercury

MADDIE CLUES – Madeleine McCann cops hunt Bulgaria for waitress believed to be ‘woman in purple’ – The Sun

Madeleine McCann: Police hunt waitress believed to be mysterious ‘woman in purple’ – Daily Express

Today she tells the Mirror: “I’ve no idea about any woman in purple. It wasn’t me. I spoke to the police a long time ago about the Madeleine case. I don’t really want to talk about it, nobody around here does, it brings back lots of bad memories. Nobody knows what happened to her. If the British police want to speak to me that’s fine, but I don’t know anything.”

The restaurant worker, originally from Madeira, gave a statement to Portuguese police five days after Maddie’s disappearance, along with husband Stefan, 50.

He also worked at the Ocean Club resort, in the kitchens, and is believed to have returned to his native Bulgaria without being quizzed again.

He worked in the kitchens? But the Express told us:

Luisa’s husband Stefan Todorov, 50, was working at the Tapas bar, where the McCanns and their seven holiday friends were dining when Madeleine was abducted.

Over in the Sun, Luisa Todorov’s innocence is a “twist as waitress denies she is the mysterious ‘woman in purple’”. It’s not a twist, is it. It’s woman stating a fact.

Luisa Todorov was named as the woman that police wanted to speak to, after a shadowy figure was spotted by witnesses the night the three-year-old went missing.

Can you be “shadowy” dressed distinctively in purple and standing in full view?


But the hung continues. after all, the Indy reported:

Detectives working on Madeleine McCann’s case have travelled to Bulgaria in search of a paedophile’s widow known as the “woman in purple”…

On the evening of Madeleine’s disappearance an eyewitness saw a woman startng [sic] intently at the apartment block next to where the McCann’s were staying in Portugal.

The woman is believed to have been the wife of a man of a convicted peadophile, who has is now believed to be dead.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 27th, November 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, Money | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Come On Effzeh! The Daily Mirror trolls Arsenal and Spurs fans by misreporting FC Cologne song

Come On Effzeh! The Daily Mirror trolls Arenal and Spurs fans by misreporting FC Cologne song


At last night Europa League match between Cologne and Arsenal (-0 to the Germans), the Daily Mirror heard fans offering some tag-team anti-Spurs abuse. The headline is unequivocal: ‘”Tottenham are s***!” Arsenal and Cologne fans “join forces to troll Spurs” during Europa League tie”.



They did? No, of course they didn’t. The Mirror is trolling Arsenal and Spurs fans. But Mark Jones is hearing what he wants to, telling Mirror readers:

Arsenal fans seemingly joined forces with their counterparts from Cologne to troll Tottenham Hotspur during their Europa League tie in Germany on Thursday night… the two sets of fans linked up in perfect harmony at the RheinEnergieStadion, although Spurs fans won’t want to hear it.

Wrong. The Cologne fans chant “Come on FC!” or “Come on Effzeh!” over and over and over at every match. Cologne fans are not trolling Spurs fans. They don’t give a s*** about Spurs fans. But the Mirror’s advertising clicks do.



Spotter: 365

Posted: 24th, November 2017 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Jack Maynard: let’s feed him to the cockroaches and Dennis Wise

JAck Maynard


They’re gunning for Jack Maynard, the YouTuber who left the I’m A Celebrity Jungle accused of making alleged racist and homophobic tweets. Exposed by the Sun, Maynard is hammered by the Mirror, which leads with his face and the headline:”Teenage girl: I’m A CelebJack begged me for pic in my bra.” It might have been kinder to have Jack Maynard buried in a cockroach-infested hole in the Australian jungle with Dennis Wise for company. But that’s not to diminish from his apparent offence. Being buried alive for TV entertainment was too good for him.

On page 8, we read: “Your boobs are nice & would look good in bra shot…Ever take one?” The claim is that Jack “pestered the girl” when Jack was 17. We’re told there is “no suggestion he knew the girl was only 14 at the time”.

We then get introduced to the ‘victim’, who says she was a fan of Jack’s brother Conor Maynard and “sought his advice on becoming an online model”. They then allegedly got into an exchange, in which Maynard was told he is only famous through his brother and he told her: “Who the fuck even are you? You’re an ugly freak.”

We then hear from her: “I looked up to Jack as a role mode and I found his persistence annoying. But I saw it as relatively harmless flirting given the small age gap… I don’t think he was aware I was younger than him. He was just a bit of a dickhead…” The Sun ignores the bra and says, “he had also begged a 14-year-old fan to send him nude pictures.”

The Sun also quotes the ‘victim’, no aged 10, who says: “He was 16, I was 14. It was something that happens to everyone. [The Mirror said he was 17.] I never once felt harassed. We were kids, it’s not once harmed me at all in any way. It’s in the past. It is a serious allegation to make, but you’re a kid, you make mistakes. He didn’t know how old I was, and I didn’t know how old he was at the time. I cannot stress enough that the messages were harmless.”

And that’s it. “I’m sorry to anyone that I upset, anyone that I offended, anyone I made feel uncomfortable,” says Maynard. “Growing up I was all over social, my entire life was on social media an through that it led to be my job. I’ve tweeted some bad things, some horrible things, that I’m just ashamed of.” The Sun says he wad “grinning” and “smirking” when he apologised in a video.

Thankfully, no journalists ever said anything that might have caused offence.


Posted: 24th, November 2017 | In: Celebrities, News, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Clickbait balls: Daily Mirror tricks Manchester United fans with rehashed FIFA 18 press release

Clickbait balls in the Daily Mirror, the self-styled “intelligent tabloid”, which appears not to have the utmost respect for its readers. The headline is unequivocal: all-time Manchester United great Peter Schmeichel has named an “ultimate XI” that does not include a single players from his former club:



That’s newsworthy stuff, especially for Manchester United fans. But click on the link and you get the story that Schmeichel wasn’t picking actual players. He was picking virtual footballers made up of code and pixels. It’s a glorified press release from EA Sports, who asked their man to name a FIFA 18 ultimate XI from the game’s current choices, taking in every player in every virtual team in every virtual league.


It’s clickbait.



Why not just name the video game in the headline? Well, it’s all about the clicks…


Posted: 22nd, November 2017 | In: manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0