Sunday 24 June 2018


Meanwhile over at the Observer, Carole Cadwalladr is continuing her dogged (some say obsessive) pursuit of Arron Banks and Leave.EU. 

As ever, she's receiving a lot of fervent support and plenty of derisive flak on Twitter.

This week she's got some emails showing that Mr Banks and Andy Wigmore of Leave.EU wanted to behave like investigative journalists and dig up lots of dirt on certain people - in this case their journalistic  opponents - and, worse, they actually intended to use it (if they actually found any) to discredit them. And one of their targets was a (then) high-profile BBC editor. 

"How low can you go?", she asks.

To summarise the main part of her story today, here's one of her tweets about it
As John Sweeney of BBC Newsnight prepared a report on Arron Banks mystery £££ & how he funded Brexit, the leaders of the LeaveEU campaign agreed to hire a private investigator to dig up ‘personal stuff’ about Ian Katz, the programme’s editor.
Shocking! Arron and Andy were even thinking of digging into Ian Katz's personal life and finances.

(Private citizens obviously shouldn't do that kind of thing. Such things should be left to proper people, like BBC reporters and Observer journalists).

Ironically, she's absolutely fuming this morning at the BBC for not going big with her 'scoops' every week, and her supporters and hopping mad at the Beeb too, piling accusations and demands on the corporation. She's accusing them of letting 'the bullies' win:
No news organisation in Britain followed up our reports from last weekend. The BBC stands silent. The bullies are winning.
Her Observer colleague Nick Cohen, an ally, must have spotted the irony in her attacking the BBC too, tweeting a 'covering' point:
Critics of the BBC, who I admit have a point, should note that however cravenly Marr, the Today programme and Panorama have behaved, at least Newsnight is a home for decent journalism.
In fairness to the BBC, some of them probably think that there's something in Carole's investigations; others probably think there's very little in it. If so, which is right? On the strength of this week's 'scoop', and despite a lot of sound and fury about it, I'd say the latter.


  1. Just as the EU works on the principle that you keep having referendums until you get the result that suits the EU, so too Carole Cadwalladr seems to work on the principle that you throw out wild accusations one after the other until by luck you find happen upon one that is accurate.

    She's been proven wrong and had to apologise on I think three major claims in as many months and has had to withdraw her claims.

    I'd like to make some wild claims of my own.

    Carole Cadwalladr works for a newspaper that started life as a state-subsidised propaganda mouthpiece, that enthusiastically supported appeasement towards Hitler, whose editor David Astor consorted with prostitutes and Russian intelligence operatives, and which supported Blair's Iraq war. I think you'll find all those wild claims are actually true.

  2. I don't know which I'm more shocked by - David Astor consorting with prostitutes and Russians or Nick Cohen claiming decent journalism for Newsnight. Is he a pal of the editor? It went to pot under Katz.


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