[Update at end of post]
Following this morning’s post on the continuing business of Phonehackgate, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his tame gofer Henry Cole, the Laurel and Hardy of the blogosphere, have maintained their attack on the appalling Piers Morgan via the Guido Fawkes blog, while pretending not to have been looking in on Zelo Street.
The dead giveaway came in a post on the Fawkes blog timed 1325 hours today, where readers are told “how quickly Morgan was to use the magazine Private Eye” in his defence. A glance at Morgan’s Twitter feed shows no mention of the Eye, only links to two posts, one on The Drum (of which more later), which also makes no mention of the Eye, and one to this blog, which does cite the Eye.
So I’m glad to see the less than dynamic duo looking in on Zelo Street to see how it’s done properly. And let me put them straight at the outset: as regular readers will know, this blog doesn’t quote the Eye without having another source to hand. And, as for the accusation that Morgan “went for the man rather than the ball”, this is merely further confirmation of Olbermann’s dictum, that “The right exists in a perpetual state of victimhood”.
Anyhow, on to the corroboration: the Guardian effectively confirmed that the Mirror Sven’n’Ulrika-ka-ka-ka story was a spoiler on April 20 2002, and echoed the Eye’s assertion that the next issue of the Screws was going to clear a whole eight pages for their scoop. In addition, it notes “the News Of The World ... has records of text messages and voicemail messages”. Who is Ulrika suing, Fawkes folks?
Backing up the Guardian version is the previously mentioned post on The Drum by Noel Young, where we learn that Ulrika’s Mum was involved, and that another paper not happy about the Mirror’s scoop was the Daily Mail, domain of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, which had shelled out an estimated £700,000 to serialise Ms Jonsson’s biography. The Screws and Mail are recent clients of the Fawkes blog.
And, just to make three corroborations, we have the account of Matthew Bell in his Independent On Sunday diary only last weekend, where he reveals the involvement of the sadly departed Sean Hoare, and that the Mirror scoop “came from a tip-off by a News Of The World journalist, who had hacked the relevant phones”.
The simple fact of the matter is that Hoare and his fellow Screws hack had met the Mirror man in the pub, bragged about their story, and this got back to Morgan via his show-business man. The Screws only published once a week, and the Mirror beat them to it by a day.
Piers Morgan may be in the mire. He may not. But that is no excuse for the abysmal standards of the Fawkes blog. As I said earlier, time for some proper research. If Staines and Cole can’t be arsed doing it, someone else will.
[UPDATE: Unlike the less than dynamic duo of Staines and Cole, this blog likes to get its details right, and in the penultimate paragraph I was wrong to say that the Mirror beat the Screws by one day. The Mirror led on the Sven'n'Ulrika affair on Friday April 19, 2002, and so was two days ahead of the Screws]