Thursday, 24 September 2015

Media Quotes of the Week: Lefties love the Daily Mail and at last Jeremy Corbyn gets a good press

David Wooding ‏@DavidWooding on Twitter: "Who'd have thought it? Suddenly, all the Lefties just love the Daily Mail!"

Former Met Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson on the setting-up of the Leveson Inquiry, quoted in the Daily Mail from its serialisation of Call Me Dave: ‘It’s that classic leadership trick, which a number of us pull when we’re in deep difficulty, to say: 'This is disgraceful and we must have an inquiry.’ I think they deliberately spread it wider to try and take the flak away from the decision to employ Coulson . . . I think there was a very strong agenda there to spread the heat around."

Oliver Letwin, who led talks with editors, as quoted by the Daily Mail from Call Me Dave"‘I don’t know why I’m doing this. I hate journalists, I hate all journalists,’ he wailed at one point. It was a strange thing to admit to a room full of editors."

Isabel Oakeshott, co-author of Call Me Dave on Channel 4 News, quizzed about the pig allegations: "We're very careful about the way we worded the story, and as I say it's up to people to decide whether they think it's true or not. We don't say whether we believe it to be true."

Francis Beckett ‏@francisbeckett on Twitter: "I fear Oakeshott can't stand it up. She bought a poke in a pig."

Simon Heffer in the Telegraph: "By – so far - avoiding the evils of spin and speaking in proper sentences he [Jeremy Corbyn] may well create a public demand for other, more successful politicians to do the same. And if we end up not being patronized quite so much, or treated as blithering idiots, we would have something to thank him for."

Ed Vulliamy in The Observer:  "The Observer – a broad church, to which I’m doggedly loyal – responded to Jeremy Corbyn’s landslide with an editorial foreseeing inevitable failure at a general election of the mandate on which he won. For what it’s worth, I felt we let down many readers and others by not embracing at least the spirit of the result, propelled as it was by moral principles of equality, peace and justice...Instead of a stirring leader, which did not have to endorse Corbyn but could celebrate the spirit of the vote along with those who delivered it, we’ve left a lot of good, loyal and decent people who read our newspaper feeling betrayed."

Noel Whelan in The Irish Times: "With typical self-regard the British media have made the change of opposition leadership about them. Large chunks of the news cycle have been given over to whether Corbyn’s media style, or lack of it, has already fatally damaged his leadership. It is no surprise that Corbyn has faced trenchant hostility from the Tory and Murdoch press since they oppose the politics he espouses. This week, however, even the coverage of him on the supposed fair or left of centre media has been over the top. Frankly, some of it has been disgraceful and undemocratic. It is as if the Oxbridge university elites, who dominate much of Britain’s political media, as they do much of Britain’s establishment politics, have determined that Labour is not entitled to elect a leader of his views."

Peter Preston in The Observer: "Former speechwriters, aides and spin doctors have never had it so rich. The in-office tangles where 'Corbynites' and 'Blairites' snipe away are just as vitriolic as anything you find on the net. And both sides, naturally, can cite 'media distortion' as a reason for their failures, a scapegoat in waiting."

Professor Jane Chapman, Jeremy Corbyn's first wife, in the Mail on Sunday: "I think a better communication strategy can complement his natural authenticity. There is an amount of anti-media feeling in the Labour Party historically. That's always been the case and for good reason – the press have always been very damaging to Labour, so I can understand that antipathy to the media. But this is the 21st Century and we've got to accept that the media won't go away."

The Telegraph in a leader: "It is only because of investigative journalism that the conduct of Sir Malcolm and Mr Straw became known to the voters they were supposed to serve. Yet the committee 's report amounts to a warning to journalists not to carry out such investigations in future, promising to 'consider further the role of the press in furthering…understanding and detecting wrongdoing'. At a time when politicians have still not ruled out new laws to muzzle the free press, such veiled threats from a parliamentary committee risk having a chilling effect on journalism, to the detriment of British democracy. "

Dominic Ponsford on his Press Gazette blog: "If a journalist was secretly filmed suggesting they would take money to use their influence to get stories in the paper they would get drummed out of the profession. They would probably also be sent to prison for committing an offence under the Bribery Act. Yet when reporters expose MPs keen to take thousands from foreign special interests, the MPs are exonerated and Parliament's watchdog accuses the media of unfairly tarnishing their reputations."

Met Police spokesman on the decision not to prosecute Lord Sewel after the Sun on Sunday's drug taking allegations: "The investigation, led by officers from the Special Enquiry Team of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, has now concluded. Following a review of all the material, including a forensic examination of an address in central London, there is insufficient evidence to proceed with this investigation and the matter is now closed.”

Andrew Barrow in the Guardian on art critic Brian Sewell who has died aged 84: "Sewell was high-spirited to the end: passionate, cruel, kind, far-sighted, puffed up, self-hating – and, the author of many secret acts of kindness, always loyal to old friends and new."

Ian Hislop asked by Press Gazette's William Turvill who his favourite editors and journalists are: “Oh God no – I’m certainly not [going to answer] that. No. Absolutely not. None. No admiration at all.”

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