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Sunday, 10 April 2016

Murdoch Panama Papers Spoiler Busted

The so-called Panama Papers, the leak of a whopping 2.6TB of information from the files of Mossack Fonseca, the world’s fourth largest provider of offshore services, has been headline news for the past week. The information went first to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, and was then shared via the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists to organisations including the Guardian and BBC.
That's what I bladdy think of youse bladdy Guardian's bladdy exclusive, ya bastard Pommie drongoes!

Of the latter two, the Guardian has headlined the story for several days, and the Beeb will screen a special edition of Panorama tomorrow evening on the news. Other papers in the UK have tried to piggyback off the scoop, notably the Mail early last week, but they were not parties to the ICIJ distribution network. Nor, as far as is known, was any part of the Murdoch press. So what happened yesterday evening raised eyebrows.
The Murdoch Sunday Times declared that it, too, was in on the Panama Papers story, as its Twitter feed announced “At midnight, the Sunday Times will release exclusive data on more than 40,000 Panama companies set up by Mossack Fonseca”. They have an exclusive? How convenient for a paywalled site to have an exclusive!
There was more: “You can search for directors, shareholders and legal agents linked to the Panama law firm’s offshore companies … The data contains over half a million records and more than 37,000 names - including David Cameron’s father, Ian Cameron”. Very good, but where did the ST get it, if it wasn’t part of the ICIJ distribution network? The Murdoch doggies were not, surely, claiming their own leak from Mossack Fonseca?
Then we got “The Mossack Fonseca offshore property map: Discover properties owned by companies listed in the #PanamaPapers”, which has next to nothing to do with the Panama Papers. It’s just clickbait, or, if you prefer the hard copy version, an incentive to prefer the ST over other upmarket Sundays at a time when those who used to buy the Independent on Sunday are looking for an alternative.
That was confirmed by David Leigh, a proper investigative journalist who worked on the phone hacking story for the Guardian, and who has an ability to detect bullshit when he sees it, and Tweeted “This seems to be a worthless fake and not the real #panamapapers at all. Shame on S Times”. The Murdoch doggies have indeed served up a dud.
Either they came by the information they are presenting through less than totally proper means, or it was requested from someone on the ICIJ distribution list - and so is not new information, and isn’t exclusive. Alternatively it could have just been cadged from the Guardian website. However it was obtained, it is nothing more than a good old-fashioned spoiler, from the same paper that brought us the Hitler Diaries.

The real Panama Papers story is in the Guardian, and will be laid out by BBC Panorama. Those are the genuine UK sources for the information. Ignore the Murdoch intervention - it’s just another attempt to ride on someone else’s coat tails. And David Leigh rumbled it.


Arnold said...

"Mossack Fonseca, the world’s fourth largest provider of offshore services".
Probably not for much longer. Clients are surely leaving in droves and considering lawsuits. Clients who can afford very expensive lawyers. I can't see MF surviving this.

rob said...


Sunday Times new remarkable on the spot investigation can now reveal that bears do crap in the woods.

You have heard it here first! Possibly. May be.

*********Possible apology for Page 2*****************

Sorry we missed the Whitters revelations but we were in the pub at the time with Guido who also apparently has missed out. It seems Whitters didn't reply to Wickers undercover sexting message so he gave up. No stamina these tea boys!

rob said...

A Sun headline that didn't appear?


NB. Our source in the wine bar that informed us of the spiked story asked us not to reveal his name - furthermore his Grand National tip is still running.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who wants to see just how far Murdoch corruption extends need only view a rerun of today's Sunday Politics on the Beeb.

There were five talking heads, including the tenth rate Murdoch boot boy "presenter" Neil.

Of those, four of them work for, or used to work for, the Nazi Murdoch.

That's Beeb "objectivity" for you. The only question they need to answer is: "Who the fuck do you think you're fooling?"