Having won an award recently, the Murdoch Sun’s associate editor and keeper of the paper’s piss-poor Bizarre column Dan Wootton might have thought that he could do no wrong, that he may actually be popular among all those slebs on whom he regularly, and so inaccurately, reports. But he also presided over the entirely fictitious and malicious attacks on former Strictly finalist Alexandra Burke.
His "exclusive" is on the front page ...
And when he was inexplicably gifted the Arts and Entertainment journalist of the year award last December, Private Eye magazine was on hand to remind the world what a complete and utter shit Wootton had been to so many people. Then his not really knowledgeable column failed to correctly identify boy band Westlife, while the Eye revealed that his attack on Ms Burke was because she didn’t give him an interview.
Yes, Dan Wootton is a deeply repellant creep whose journalistic credibility is not unadjacent to zero. And today he has underscored this in the most unfortunate manner, as his latest “Exclusive”, with his own name on the by-line, turned out to be nothing of the sort. Once again, the subject for the claim was Ant McPartlin, and the Sun was trying to score cheap sales and clicks off the ITV star’s impending divorce.
So what was the allegedly exclusive news? “SHARE OF THE DOG … Ant McPartlin and estranged wife Lisa Armstrong battle over custody of their dog … The ITV superstar is expected to be forced to share ownership of chocolate Labrador Hurley to ensure their marriage ends amicably outside of the courtroom”. And there was more.
To the sound of barrels being scraped over at the Baby Shard bunker, readers were told “The chocolate Labrador is so close to the I’m A Celebrity presenter that he even gained special dispensation for him to visit while in rehab last year … But we can reveal he is likely to be forced to share custody of the five-year-old in order to see the marriage end amicably out of court”. Yes? Yes yes? Yes yes yes?
... but, er, not in his own paper
Who has Wootton got to back up this lamentably rank slice of hokum? As if you need to ask: “A source close to the couple”. Now colour me sceptical, because I am sceptical, but didn’t McPartlin give Wootton an interview recently? So he qualifies as “A source close to the couple”, or in other words, this is yet more made up bullshit.
And not only is is made up bullshit, it’s not exclusive: the Ant’n’Wife dog story has been plastered all over the front page of the Daily Star, the ultimate downmarket news destination. That report depends on the testimony of “An insider”, as in the inside of the Daily Star’s newsroom, or what is left of it after Richard “Dirty” Desmond sent most of the hacks and subs down the road. It’s crap, but at least there’s no “exclusive” pretence.
Dan Wootton’s abysmal behaviour ensures that when the Murdoch mafiosi decide he’s no longer worth the candle - which could come sooner rather than later - he’s going to find out just how popular he is, and how bankable all those “exclusives” really are.
Be careful who you upset on the way up, and all that. Another worthless Murdoch clown.