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Monday 11 January 2016

Trevor Kavanagh - Unfit For IPSO

New press regulator IPSO, which, as I explained to Al-Jazeera’s Listening Post strand last month, is the same PCC fluid in a differently labelled bottle, has recently made a change to its board membership, appointing one Trevor Kavanagh, ultimate Murdoch insider and faithful retainer and attack dog to Don Rupioni for many, many years. Here was the press establishment giving its opponents the finger, and big time.
Why did Kavanagh cross the road? Because Rupe indicated that it was in his best interests to do so

And they might have got away with it, except for one horribly inconvenient fact: among all the smears and hatchet jobs that Kavanagh has been involved in over the years has been the Sun’s coverage of the Hillsborough stadium disaster. Kelvin MacKenzie, the paper’s singularly unsavoury former editor, is not the only identifiable figure from the past involved in the infamous front page smear of Liverpool fans.

The Independent - note that this is a paper which has not signed up to IPSO - has toldIn 2012, Mr Kavanagh revealed how he passed on what he thought was an ‘apparently copper-bottomed corroboration’ about the story his newspaper was about to run on Hillsborough”. He passed on the claims about Liverpool fans that then appeared on the front page of the Sun, under the headline “THE TRUTH”. 

There was more. “He said his sources - South Yorkshire’s chief constable, Peter Wright, and a trusted colleague of the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher - ‘don’t come much higher’. ‘At least partly as a result of my “evidence” The Sun went ahead with its infamous headline: “The Truth”’, he said”. Kavanagh then explained “He said he and his newspaper had ‘apologised profusely, repeatedly and sincerely’”.

How long it took for the apologies to be wrung out of him and his paper is not, for some reason, told, nor is the way the Sun dismissed all criticism in the aftermath of making the initial claim - while other papers that had run the same smear were rowing back and saying sorry. The Murdoch press took years to own up, and even then, Kelvin McFilth claimed that he’d only apologised because Rupe told him to.

Kavanagh is part of that whole disgraceful episode, and now he has been appointed to the board of IPSO, the regulator that is meant to monitor and enforce press standards. Those who lost family members at Hillsborough have told what IPSO’s management appeared to be unable to grasp: that appointing Kavanagh was wrong on so many levels. “Press standards”? What “Press standards” would those be, then?

IPSO has done next to nothing to restrain the worst excesses of the press. The dishonesty, smears and misinformation continue much as they did before the Dowler hacking was revealed to the world. And appointing Trevor Kavanagh to its board is telling the hacking victims, all the others who suffered at the hands of other bad press behaviour, and, yes, the Hillsborough families, that most of the Fourth Estate doesn’t give a damn about them.

IPSO could redeem itself a little, though. And that is by sacking Kavanagh. Right now.


Anonymous said...


They won't sack Kavanagh, and you know it.

They won't sack him because they're every bit as corrupt as Kavanagh, Murdoch and his employees, and Dacre and his employees.

IPSO is as rotten as the people it is supposed to investigate.

Which means not only there will be no change, but that matters will get much worse. How disgusting.

Next time people whine about corruption "abroad" they might start to think about cleaning out our own filth back here. Staring with Kavanagh and IPSO.

Andy McDonald said...

Hillsborough is just another case of They Just Don't Get It.

McKenzie's 'justification' for running the story has always been that he was given information by the police and a local press agency and who was he to doubt them? That a tabloid editor, ostensibly the one to root out the facts however disturbing they may be, to speak truth to power however uncomfortable it is, to be as cynical as possible in the face of 'official press releases', chooses that day of all days to put absolute trust in 'the system' sounds unbelievable and is. He was writing to order, and in this case business and pleasure came together.

He and his paper were all too ready to put the boot into Liverpool because they saw Scousers as scum. Dirty, unemployed, northern, Labour-voting, not-with-the-programme scum. People from a city whose great source of pride throughout years of decline had been football. Football, which Murdoch, Thatcher and co had plans for. Plans to gentrify it, repackage it, and make a killing out of it.

No wonder they've never shown any real contrition.

Anonymous said...


In the same way as the BBC refers to "so-called" Islamic State, dismissing their claims of legitimacy, couldn't / shouldn't we start referring to "so-called IPSO", since they are the only ones who believe in their independence from the papers that bankroll them?

Anonymous said...

Nice on Anon @ 16:26.

rob said...

Seen on Twitter

"IPSO ‏@IpsoNews 19 mins19 minutes ago

Vacancy: Complaints Officer http://bit.ly/1jhHmBC"

Job description?

Must be able to string together a tape on loop saying "Sorry for your hurt , we feel your pain, but there is nothing we can do - by order of KavNav"

Andy McDonald said...

"Must be able to judge all complaints on their individual merits, carefully consider appropriate responses and restitutions, draft responses to individuals, roll them up into a ball and throw them in the bin".

Anonymous said...

Another outbreak of foldy arm photography