This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind
Friday, 31 July 2020
Piers Morgan - Photo Pants On Fire
The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog were crowing loudly earlier this week at a howler by the Guardian’s picture desk, after a piece by Owen Jones on the anti-Semitic outburst of grime artist Wiley was mistakenly illustrated with a photo of Kano. “Owen Jones felt forced to apologise this morning after the Guardian illustrated his column on grime artist and antisemite Wiley for [?] rapper Kano” they told.
And what's more, Ron
What had happened is that Jones had filed his piece, and the Guardian then added the photo. This is common practice; given the nature of copyright, and the circulation numbers, publications need to be sure they give appropriate credit to whoever holds the rights to the image. That is left to the picture desk. Some understood this; others pretended not to.
So it was that Jones ended up having to tell someone who goaded him with “It’s easy to say it wasn’t me” by pointing out “Do you want me to pretend that I had something to do with this? No newspaper columnist ever has any say over the image used with their column. That doesn't make this any less unacceptable”. Point made? Not as such.
Because it was at this point that former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan intervened to tell Jones that he knew more than the Guardian man. “This isn’t true. I never let any column go to print or appear online without reviewing it first, including all pix. Precisely for this reason”. What say Jones to this alleged voice of authority?
“I have never heard of any columnist being given approval over the image used with their columns in advance. That's never happened once in the near decade I've worked for newspapers, and I had absolutely nothing to do with what happened yesterday whatsoever”. Case closed? Nah, Morgan was only just getting warmed up.
“I don’t understand why any columnist would ever let a column go to print or online without having sight of the final version. Where’s the personal responsibility here?” Sniffy, much? But Nadine Batchelor-Hunt had seen enough. “There's a difference between seeing the final version of the *text* of the article & then seeing photos the editor is going to use - I've never had an editor show me photos they're gonna use … So don't do this, Owen has had so much sh*t over something that's not his fault already”. Indeed he had.
And almost as Luke Savage concluded “Piers Morgan is talking nonsense to try and discredit Owen Jones. Maybe his own brand is so big he gets final. approval on everything, but I'm sure he knows this isn't the standard throughout media”, the cavalry arrived. From a most unexpected direction - Morgan’s own outlet, Mail Online.
Owen Jones received a DM telling him “this from Piers is completely untrue. I (and many other) reporters have had to upload a Piers column. There is no ‘final approval’. The editor asks for the relevant images, pic desk upload them, and reporters put them in the article and caption them. The article is then set live. Piers does not review it before this happens”.
All that was left was for Tim Robinson to administer the coup de grace: “How strange that Piers would now choose to die on the hill of whether pictures that go in a newspaper are accurate or not”. Ah, shades of that inglorious exit from the Mirror.
Once again, the Old Media faithful prove their ability to talk well, but lie badly.
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