As if to demonstrate that the Press Establishment made a mistake that was excessive even by their lamentable standards in awarding the deeply repellant Dan Wootton of the Murdoch Sun an award this week, their choice has just demonstrated why the only award that he truly merits is that of the boot. On top of that, Private Eye magazine has told the world exactly why he threw a mardy strop with Alexandra Burke.
It's bizarre how anyone listens to the SOB
After the British Journalism Awards citation claimed “Dan Wootton’s stories show a showbiz journalist at the top of his game. The interviews show many years worth of earned trust”, his column in today’s Sun showed that this was total tosh. Wootton is so knowledgeable about pop culture that the latest Bizarre offering came complete with the kind of howler that would have got lesser hacks sent down the road.
Alexandra Burke - in the Strictly final despite Wootton's smears
Worse, the howler comes as part of Wootton shamelessly recycling a PR item for pop promoter Louis Walsh, second only to Simon Cowell (aka The Black Helmet) in manipulating the rep-top press to his advantage. “X Factor judge Louis Walsh hails ‘Fab Four’ as he confirms Westlife reunion … minus Brian McFadden” tells the headline. So we get a photo of Westlife - an easy one, nothing more demanding than a Google search.
This is Westlife ...
But after prattling “‘I’m looking after Shane, I’m talking to Mark all the time, I’m talking to Kian and talking to all of them - I’m really good friends with all of them’ … As well as negotiating a huge pop comeback, the talent show judge is also getting to grips with his temporary career change … He’s starring in new stage show Nativity The Musical, which runs from tonight until Sunday at London’s Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, ticking off one of his bucket list dreams”, the clanger is well and truly dropped.
... and this certainly isn't (it's Five) ...
Because there is a photo, and whoever it is, it isn’t Westlife. Oh dear! Realising that The Great Man had fouled up, the Murdoch goons swiftly edited the photo out of the online version of the article - but not swiftly enough, because several eagle-eyed observers took a screenshot, including, er, me. And then came the Private Eye revelations.
... so they were hurriedly edited out
The Eye (issue 1458, available at all good newsagents, or you can subscribe as I do) told readers how Wootton’s attacks on Alexandra Burke had very little to do with journalism - or, indeed, facts - and rather a lot to do with sulking over not getting an interview with the former X Factor winner. Ms Burke had instead given an exclusive to Fabulous! magazine, which has been published in its latest issue - out last Sunday.
What’s in the interview? “ALEXANDRA Burke has opened up about losing her mum and finding ‘The One’ as she returns to the spotlight … The former X Factor star also discusses those rumours about being at war with dance partner Gorka over his relationship with rival celeb Gemma Atkinson”. How do we know this? Because Fabulous! magazine is included with the Sun on Sunday - so the teaser is on the Sun website.
That’s the same paper Dan Wootton claims to write for. So he’s basically gone rogue, turning his own loss into a vendetta based on malicious lies. But don’t forget, he’s “a showbiz journalist at the top of his game”. Which happens to take place at the bottom of the barrel, utilising a scraper. Still think he’s worth that award, press people?