Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Sunday 19 April 2020

Murdoch Paywall Pleading PATHETIC

After the Sunday Times article detailing the shortcomings of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson in his leading Britain’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic was made freely available online, and a number of extracts from the piece were circulated via social media, several journalists became conspicuously righteous in their indignation at the busting of the Murdoch mafiosi’s paywall.
Rupe shows his appreciation for the support
A member of the journalist establishment explains his straitened circumstances to the lay person

Much of the conspicuous righteousness - a phenomenon to rank alongside that of conspicuous consumption, with which, one suspects, some of those involved are already familiar - was directed at campaigner and Guardian journalist Owen Jones. Some was merely lecturing and patronising. Most likely none of it has had any effect.
Jones Tweeted out a long thread (link HERE) which began “The Sunday Times investigation into the government's catastrophic handling of the coronavirus is one of the most important things you've read. It's behind a paywall, so here's a thread with the key points. Make sure everyone sees it”. The adverse comment was not far behind.
In the vanguard was Oliver Kamm, who managed not to declare an interest. “It is quite extraordinary that instead of posting Guardian copy, Owen Jones copies-and-pastes material that Sunday Times journalists have researched & written, and sees nothing wrong in doing so. I hope someone explains the issue to him”. Thank you Tedious Maximus.
After Polly Vernon had exclaimed “My god! The Sunday times article is not ‘sitting behind a paywall’ so as to deprive those who can’t afford it... it’s asking that people pay for it, so more articles like it can be produced. Don’t read it for free!” Caitlin Moran added “This is a really simple but important point: that Sunday Times piece is an incredible piece of journalism, which everyone should read, & might topple the PM - but it simply wouldn't exist if those journalists had tried to write & research it for free in breaks from waitressing”.
I did warn you there would be patronising, and there it was. There was also admonishment from Hadley Freeman. “Note to people sharing the Sunday Times article by cutting and pasting snippets: you are not helping. Newspapers are dying right now. If you want to support journalism, link to the newspaper itself. People get 2 free articles a week from the Times when they sign up”. This point was also made by James Ball.
Anyone can read that Sunday Times article for free by registering on the website (you get two free articles a week). There is absolutely no excuse for doing a thread on it, or reposting it ‘without the paywall’. It is shitty, self-regarding behaviour”. Very good James, you can fuck right off too. And let me put all these august individuals straight.
Give the Murdochs personal information so I can view two articles a week? There’s a lot of people wanting to be told to shove it today. Feel guilty about a multi-billionaire being short of a monkey or two? Well, my heart fails to bleed: this article was well researched, but papers like the Guardian and FT also put free content out there.

This is, after all, the paper edited for so many years by John Witherow, whose use of illegal information gathering is well known. It is part of the same stable as the late and not at all lamented Screws. And the Sun, also the subject of phone hacking claims. And I should give it my personal information? They sup some strong stuff in that media bubble.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at



Andy McDonald said...

Some years ago I heard a radio interview with Eve Pollard, who was very clear about newspapers and money. Nobody, she said, should think of a newspaper as a money maker. Instead, if you own or run one, you're buying influence. And regardless of politics or views, they need money to be thrown at them.

That was (I think) around the time Richard Desmond had bought Northern and Shell and was cutting staff, costs and quality across the board. But well before online papers were a major thing.

Derek said...

Dear Zelo ,
Hilarious really , on the basis of one honest article the whole corrupt chain now claim to be journalists . Maybe some time on the dole queue and bankruptcy for the industry could generate some genuine ‘green shoots of recovery’ and provide outlets for real journalism , such as Zelo . The BBC better not try to resume payments for my OAP license fee either , they can sod off , too

Nigel Stapley said...

The most ludicrous aspect of the whinging is the notion that the ST journos would not have been paid for writing the story but for the paywall. As this story is part of the continuing war between Murdoch's 'asset' Slithy Gove and the Barclay-backed Al DePiffle, of course they would have been paid for it, and paid the going rate if not more.

The preciousness and sense of entitlement of the like of Kamm and Freeman is boundless.

Anonymous said...

Strange how Murdoch has suddenly turned on Johnson. Anyone would think he had another person he thinks could do a better job. Maybe a senior government figure who used to work for him and that he still holds in high regard according to Wikipedia.

David said...

"that Sunday Times piece is an incredible piece of journalism, which everyone should read, & might topple the PM"
In which case Uncle Rupe has decided he wants a new man at the top, and I'm not paying for his propaganda.

Simon said...

Message understood, Murdoch rags will close if you don't pay for them. Sounds good to me.

Anonymous said...

Just pull up a chair.

Pour yourself a chilled glass of something nice.

And relish the glorious spectacle of Murdoch-Rothermere cunts sliding down the shitter.

What joy.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The oddest thing is that this is precisely the kind of story that should 'showcase' the ST's journalism and encourage people to pay for it via the paywall (Compare either the DTel's reliance on apparently godawful comment articles behind a paywall or the Guardian's freely available + subs/donations model.) Yet faced with such a huge story not only did they put it behind a paywall, but they also didn't make it the front-page lead in the print edition.

And there's Freeman going into bat for an organisation that would happily see the Guardian go under in a heartbeat rather than defend a colleague (I suspect the whole Suzanne Moore/transphobia row also has something to do with it, as Jones is in solidartity with trans women and Freeman...isn't).

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Anyone else sensing that the saga, as related, stopped abruptly around 2 March, just as BoJo had made The Big Decisions? Since when, it's been doom, gloom and internecine war among the Cabinet's pygmies.

For some reason I'm remembering John Donne:
Who ever loves, if he do not propose
The right true end of love, he's one that goes
To sea for nothing but to make him sick.