The press has picked up on the collapse yesterday of the trial on drugs charges of singer Tulisa Contostavlos, after Judge Alistair McCreath concluded that Sun on Sunday’s “ace reporter” Mazher Mahmood had lied to him, with the sole purpose of manipulating evidence. Or rather, most of the press has picked up on the story: no prizes for guessing which title kept schtum.
Yes, while the Mail thundered “The 'lying' Fake Sheikh who tricked Tulisa and new shame for The Sun as former X-Factor judge is CLEARED of arranging cocaine deal with undercover reporter”, and the Mirror went for the more prosaic “Tulisa trial collapses: Dramatic scenes at Southwark Crown Court as case THROWN OUT”, the Murdoch Sun remained tight-lipped and ashen-faced.
While the Evening Standard noted that “Tulisa Contostavlos weeps as judge throws drugs case out of court ... ‘Fake Sheikh’ tainted integrity of the court, says Tulisa judge”, and the Guardian told that “Tulisa Contostavlos trial collapses over Mazher Mahmood's evidence ... Judge says case cannot go on because of belief that 'fake sheikh' had lied at pre-trial hearing”, Rupe’s downmarket troops said nothing.
That was then ...
Even the Times only managed a footnote on the front page, which one might have easily missed, were one not looking out for it. How different it all was when Mahmood stung Ms Contostavlos: under the proclamation “World Exclusive”, the Sunday Sun headline screamed “Tulisa’s Cocaine Deal Shame ... X Factor star caught setting up secret sale with drugs pal”.
The paper’s daily stablemate was not backward in coming forward for a piece of the action, announcing beneath the claim of a “Drug Shame Exclusive” the news “We Will Arrest Tulisa Say Cops ... Star to be quizzed over cocaine deal”. So anyone trying to spin the angle “the daily wouldn’t comment because they’re two separate papers” is advised to take that lame deflection and shove it.
... but this is now
What about today’s Super Soaraway Currant Bun? You jest: while everyone else is reporting the shame of Britain’s allegedly favourite paper, the Murdoch faithful ask readers to “look over there” at Young Dave being jolly tough with Vladimir Putin, the only trace of sleb presence being Katie Price. That means they’re desperate. Not even a mention of their having suspended Mahmood.
The Guardian noted that “Often posing as a rich Arabic businessman or royal, he claims to have conducted stories which saw 100 people jailed, including paedophiles and arms dealers. He has also duped celebrities such as the Countess of Wessex and Sven-Göran Eriksson into revealing secrets”. Perhaps Mazher Mahmood might like to try a first-hand investigation of the criminal justice system next?
And perhaps the Murdoch faithful can come clean about their stables. Which aren’t.