When faithful Murdoch retainer Trevor Kavanagh joined the board of sham press regulator IPSO, it was already a sinking ship. Now that the ship has finally sunk, he’s decided to leave before he is caused to leave: Kavanagh has left the IPSO building only two years into a three-year term. He’s been sacked. Gifting one of the Murdoch mafiosi’s Hillsborough smear enablers a job was never going to work out. And so it has proved.
Why did Kavanagh cross the road? Because Rupert Murdoch indicated that it was in his interests to do so
Press Gazette, as befits its status, has merely told that “Sun columnist Trevor Kavanagh has stepped down from his role as a board member at the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) after two years … Kavanagh was two years into a three-year contact when he stepped down at the end of last year … IPSO is currently advertising for a new board member with recent senior experience in a national mass-market newspaper”.
The “experience” Kavanagh brought to the role included abusing his position when he attacked Channel 4 News presenter Fatima Manji for having the audacity to complain when Kav’s then fellow Sun pundit, discredited former editor Kelvin McFilth, suggested that a woman wearing a headscarf on the day of the Nice truck attack should not have been permitted. For this, Kavanagh was censured by IPSO.
As IPSO’s principal raison d’être is to wipe the press’ backsides, what he did must have been exceptionally bad. Kav also distinguished himself during his time at IPSO by dredging up Nazi-era bigotry as he asked what was to be done about the “Muslim Problem”. The Islamophobia was blatant, the excuses unconvincing (he claimed that the blindingly obvious re-use of anti-Semitic tropes never occurred to him).
So it is no surprise that Miqdaad Versi of the Muslim Council of Britain has observed “Kavanagh has departed from press regulator IPSO after a series of monumental disasters that many believe irreparably damaged the reputation and integrity of IPSO. Very welcome albeit long overdue”, and added “As a board member, Kavanagh attacked a complainant for complaining to IPSO, breached the Editor’s Code that IPSO is supposed to oversee and made a number of disturbing and inaccurate comments about Muslims”.
At the same time as Kavanagh went after Ms Manji, he also laid into Match of the Day lead presenter Gary Lineker for showing humanity towards refugees, something which is Streng Verboten at the Baby Shard bunker. He claimed of child refugees “two out of three of those elbowing their way to the front of the queue are lying about their age”. Versi pointed out that the actual amount was 18.3%. Such is the accuracy of Sun columnists.
IPSO was from the outset nothing better than the old and discredited PCC, er, fluid in a differently labelled bottle. It has consistently sided with the press against complainants and declined to admonish Kavanagh for his “Muslim Question” column, as the Editor’s Code does not allow complaints from groups. Thus its ineffectiveness is doubly magnified.
And by putting a smear merchant, liar and bigot on its board, as it did with Trevor Kavanagh, IPSO has discredited itself yet further. It always was a sham regulator. Now that Kavanagh has had two years to damage it further, it is truly beyond redemption.
If our free and fearless press still wonders where all those sales are going, it need look no further than the IPSO and Kavanagh débâcle. Not that it will bother. No surprise there.