The Apotheosis of Murdochian Corporatism – Martin Ivens 140


The Sunday Times was once a great newspaper. It has had some great editors, and some very good ones – you may be surprised to learn that I include Andrew Neil in that. Whether you agreed with them or not, virtually all of its editors for 200 years have been formidable intellectuals. Until now, as the apotheosis of Murdochian corporatism, it is “edited” by a genuine intellectual featherweight, Mr Martin Ivens.

When called out on the lie that David Miranda had been arrested at Heathrow after visiting Snowden in Moscow – a lie crucial to the fabric of deceit they had twisted into a story to justify the “snoopers’ charter” – Ivens did not apologise or explain, he merely had the lie excised from the online edition with no explanation. The print edition was already out, and despite the fact that the online “story” which had already been full of holes, now made no sense at all, they continued with it.

I had produced an undeniable (and undenied, anywhere) analysis of why their story had to be a lie, pointing out the confusion of agents and officers, that neither the Russians nor the Chinese have killed an MI6 officer for 50 years, and that the Russians know who almost all the MI6 officers are anyway.

A gentleman called William Douglas sent my analysis to Mr Ivers, asking him for his views. Ivers replied:

Dear Mr Douglas,
:
: I think you should address your remarks to
: 10 Downing St. If you think
: they have lied to us then so be it.
:
: Yours faithfully
:
: Martin

That really is it. The editor of a once great newspaper does not think it is any business of his whether he publishes lies or not. He does not consider that there was any responsibility on himself or his journalists to find out whether the story was true before they published it. They did not attempt to take any other views or do any checking. And now they claim that what the Sunday Times publishes is not the responsibility of the Sunday Times, but rather it is the responsibility of government.

When the correspondent responsible for this disgraceful “story”, Tom Harper, gave his car crash CNN interview, I did not read too much into it. He managed to discredit his story across the mainstream media of the entire world, except of course in the UK, where it was covered up. It provoked great hilarity. For me, it wasn’t actually fun, it was like watching a child dismantle a jellyfish with a beach spade. The jellyfish is not only helpless, it does not even know it is being dismembered. Mr Harper may have the constituents of a brain, but they are distributed around his wobbly torso in disconnected nodules.

Harper’s astonishing admission that “We just publish what we believe to be the position of the British government” caused all of CNN’s audience to rock back in their chairs. But I just took it that a not very bright young man was misspeaking on TV. He did however say almost precisely the same thing twice, in response to two different questions.

But what we have now from Martin Ivens, in his response to Mr Douglas, is confirmation from the Sunday Times editor himself of exactly the same line. It is not the editor’s responsibility whether it is the truth or not, he just publishes what the government tells him to publish. The responsibility for what the Sunday Times publishes lies with the British government.

It is not just that Ivens is a lightbrain with zilch professional pride and a disgrace to his profession. He is in fact totally redundant, and his proprietor Mr Murdoch is sharp enough to realise he actually does not need to spend £200,000 a year on a Sunday Times editor. Software now exists which can put the government’s words straight into the paper without Mr Latham and Mr Ivens having to put their input of – actually absolutely zero – into the process.

Murdoch could then give the gentleman who cleans the toilets a raise of £1 an hour and entitle him the Editor. In fact, perhaps that may be how Martin Ivens got the job, as he seems to have no other qualifications. Oh, I do apologise – I realise I just gratuitously insulted the gentleman who cleans the toilets, who at least has a function.


140 thoughts on “The Apotheosis of Murdochian Corporatism – Martin Ivens

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  • Mary

    I am glad you followed this up Craig. Good old Medialens.

    Bon voyage to Ghana and safe return.

  • Resident Dissident

    “Craig, was the secret Home Office source a certain “Tyler Drumheller?” probably not. . .”

    No because the article said it was a “Downing Street source” which usually means that it was one the PM’s press spokesmen (or women).

    The Press, and in particular the Lobby, usually work to the rule that they do not name individual press spokesmen – and as a rule they don’t for fear of losing future quotes from the same source. Cannot say I like the system but that is what it is.

  • Resident Dissident

    I should add that it is very unlikely that the briefing of the Sunday Times – which will have probably been made at a specific time in order to catch the deadline for the Sundays (which is pretty common practice) would not have been cleared beforehand by the Prime Minister.

  • Abe Rene

    I thought David Miranda was arrested at Heathrow, so what statement are you saying is a lie?

    Besides, Martin Ivens, from the text you have printed, appears to disclaim responsibility, not for telling the truth, but for Mr. Douglas’ opinion about whether the British government told it, which is another matter.

    Finally, it is not true that no-one denied your analysis. I disagreed with it. You should have added the qualification “of any importance in society”. Then, at least it would be a true statement. In any case I wouldn’t accuse you of lying in the sense of intending to mislead!

  • craig Post author

    Abe Rene. read it again. The lie is that David Miranda was arrested at Heathrow after seeing Snowden from Moscow. he had not been to Moscow. It is fundamental to the argument about where the files were.

    I do not care about your position in society. It is that kind of muddle in your reasoning which mars you.

    ResDis if you listen to the CNN interview he very distinctly says the original source was Home Office. Actually all a Downing St spokesman has done is to contradict the lie that anyone has been harmed.

    No it’s not Tyler Drumheller. What a pointless speculation. Please don’t post that kind of nonsense.

    Unlike Martin Ivens, as a NUJ member I have both professional ethics and pride. I have therefore given a right to reply and contacted the government department and source. I shall include their reaction.

  • Resident Dissident

    “Actually all a Downing St spokesman has done is to contradict the lie that anyone has been harmed.”

    And then be accused of making schoolboy mistakes and lying by yourself.

  • Beth

    [mods-cm-org – spam filtered at 00:27]

    Brilliant!
    This is off topic but it is very topical…..Just wondering what you think of the SNPs plans to create a database (costing millions) of the medical details of every child in Scotland and potentially storing this information abroad ?

  • BrianPowell

    This has become a common trait across most newspapers and the BBC. Way back Glenn Greenwald ripped Kirsty Wark to pieces when he pointed out very clearly she was supposed to be a journalist but was simply repeating the Government position as fact, and asking him to explain himself in reply.
    He did it again with the Sunday Times story.

  • YouKnowMyName

    Sorry Craig, I mentioned Mr Drumheller in a playful mood, after he allegedly spent some years informing the next president – famously on the Uk & France taking down Libya, but he denies the briefing rôle. I don’t actually think the Home Office is staffed by that many foreign security officers.

  • Geoffrey

    So,the story is the ineptitude of the Sunday Times in printing a government lie without checking whether it was true or not.
    Any fool could see it was rubbish, just as almost certainly the story about the pilgrims from Bradford going off to Islamic State is mostly untrue.In fact a very high proportion of what we read is bollocks,but even lies tell us something.
    Don’t you think that the ST should at least be commended for not trying to deny that their story is propaganda?

  • fred

    The crucial question is whether the Russians and Chinese have actually decrypted the files or not. The rest is just smoke and mirrors on all sides. Taking state secrets and publishing them in the public interest is one thing handing state secrets to foreign powers is something else entirely.

  • Abe Rene

    @ Craig “The lie is that David Miranda was arrested at Heathrow after seeing Snowden from Moscow. he had not been to Moscow.”

    According to the Guardian he was on a flight from Brazil to Germany. That sounds like a factual error on the part of the ST (which they withdrew from the online version), but it’s not the same as an intentional deception.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “The crucial question is whether the Russians and Chinese have actually decrypted the files or not. The rest is just smoke and mirrors on all sides. Taking state secrets and publishing them in the public interest is one thing handing state secrets to foreign powers is something else entirely.”
    ________________

    As often, Fred has got to the only important question. All the rest is froth, hysteria and spurious indignation.

  • giyane

    Nevermind:

    “This so called kidnap of children could have easily been controlled by them, they had the handle on them first time they tried to leave, why were they allowed to leave second time round?.”

    Under the British Raj an administrative class was created to divide Asian society. Most people were left as peasant nobodies by British rewarding of the few. The Asians who live in the UK don’t a repeat to happen , in fact they want a reversal . with themselves placed in silver=lined privelege and you and me and everyone else on the planet struggling to shrug off the UK intelligence agencies bonds.

    This is by way of an explanation that you should suspect totally complicity between UK police, UK intelligence and Asian Muslims as your first position. Obviously there are hundreds of thousands who are not playing this game, and thousands who are rebels against this prostitution. Don’t let’s get caught out by Habbabkuk for Anti-Asianism. I am anti-anybody of any nationality who colludes with the corrupt USUKIS machine to control opposition to their disgusting medieval global hegemony campaign.

    There has been several years of BBC sweetening the USUKIS plan to take control of the Middle East through Al Qaida, Freedom fighters and all that eyewash, but Islamic State carries the title of the pinnacle of Islamic ambition, the Caliphate. A coalition of different countries succesfully collaborated with the British to destroy the Ottoman Caliphate, hoping to bet it transferred to their own hands. Instead, Kurdistan where the main hopefuls resided was chopped into pieces, each one placed under the shoes of their enemies by the British.

    Kurdistan does not want to regain its former territory. that is a lie by USUKIS politicians to justify not arming the Kurdish Peshmerga because it would fuel nationalist ambitions. In fact they know that if the Peshmerga was properly armed, it would not only quickly demolish islamic state but put the whole of Obama and Cameron’s Al Qaida in the garbage bin. I would join them inshallah. At the moment the farmer is drowning the kittens in the water butt. The MiddleEast is controlled by them and their Zionist agenda is to use their Takfiri militants to decimate their populations.

  • giyane

    Habeas corpus

    “froth, hysteria and spurious indignation”

    I could not have found a fitter description for your various contributions. well done.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Giyane

    “Habeas corpus

    “froth, hysteria and spurious indignation”

    I could not have found a fitter description for your various contributions. well done.”
    ___________________

    No, I’m sure you couldn’t. But there again, you’re not very good, are you.

    By the way, what was I doing in your screed on…well, I’m not really sure what:

    “Obviously there are hundreds of thousands who are not playing this game, and thousands who are rebels against this prostitution. Don’t let’s get caught out by Habbabkuk for Anti-Asianism…” ?

    Is it a case of “Habbabkuk on your mind”? 🙂

  • deepgreenpuddock

    The whole incident is really quite odd. It is the sheer incompetence that is so surprising. I am not sure your description of a jellyfish being whacked by a spade on a beach is right. He reminded me of someone who ‘sort of’ knows that he has been rumbled and does not quite know what to do, so he sticks to the apparently ‘safest course’ of repeating the line. However, his confidence has drained away, and it all goes out of control and gets into that horrible situation of self-destruction with every move-the soft lies just bounce against hard facts.
    The interviewer did not actually wield any spade sharp cutting questions-he simply asked straight questions, but even these provided no cover for hapless Harper.

    What is strange however is the inability of the combined wit of the intelligence and propaganda (press officers) of various government departments , and the editorial ‘might’ of the Sunday Times, to concoct a thread that is believable, or at least not so immediately cut to ribbons. It is also strange that they have made the ‘working relationship’ between government and the press so transparently obvious.

    They cannot have fqiled to know that anything to do with Snowden would come under close scrutiny, even without the context of the Anderson report the previous week. I am pretty sure that if I was angling for some fabricated front page scoop’, I would be fact-checking madly and possibly feeding tiny, under the radar, unrebuttable snippets in advance of the main story.
    I have no doubt in my own mind that there are quite well known journalists and others in public life who, when they were at oxbridge University, were approached with the offer of a handsome retainer, on the understanding that they would cooperate in the management of public information and policy . The individual would simply apply for a regular job and no doubt get some junior reporter position but would be quickly accelerated through the ranks. At times in his life he would be invited to a meeting or briefing or a private seminar, or training sessions, and given some guidelines about the preferred message. I doubt if it would be ‘unsubtle’. It would be couched in terms of great national interest and it would have a compelling public interest angle that allows the journalist to self-justify their compromised position. and obviously, such an individual would have great skills in managing the process.
    This is what is so strange about the latest incident. How could all these clever individuals (there is no use denying they are clever) get it so wrong.
    It is also very likely that the editors and probably deputy editors of major news outlets would be ‘managed’ in some way by the intelligence / propaganda services.
    I would quite like to hear some thoughts about this.

  • giyane

    Beth:

    “Just wondering what you think of the SNPs plans to create a database (costing millions) of the medical details of every child in Scotland and potentially storing this information abroad ?”

    This is very relevant to the topic. Craig lightly demolished the issue of “abroad” with his answer to Anon 1 in 5 reasons why the MI6 story is a lie: 14 June 12.01 pm:
    “Aaah I forgot those oriental types can’t understand computers.”

    If the computers are made in China Malaysia taiwan etc and their engineers are targeted on Malaysian planes by USUKIS false flag operations, how can abroad be an issue? They know everything we know and vice versa including all of the encryption.
    The question is whether it matters that confidential information is known to ‘abroad’ so long as it is not known by sick individual predators operating in the Pants Down Kingdom.

  • giyane

    Hand Bag

    I abide by rules. I’m an electrician. I am a Muslim. I wouldn’t want to unwittingly give you a chance to play your pro-Israel card in defence of Zionist-bought Asians. You rush to defence of everyone else they have bought, including on this page the journalists of the Sunday Times:

    “Taking state secrets and publishing them in the public interest is one thing handing state secrets to foreign powers is something else entirely.”
    ________________

    As often, Fred has got to the only important question”

    The important question being whether the Chinese government will benefit from having proof of USUKIS lying. Yes because like the Irish, the Scots, the french the etc etc they have been the victim of USUKIS lying. why should they not get justice against their enemies lying? It might destroy the seeds of hate that your friends USUKIS are constantly sowing.

  • deepgreenpuddock

    Fred and Habbabkuk
    If the files are decrypted then it must be that they were provided by some person other than Snowden. The Guardian was obliged to destroy the computers which had lodged the material.
    It seems utterly unsupportable that Snowden ‘went to Russia’ ( he didn’t) to give these away in exchange for the right to remain in Russia. Preposterous.
    If that was his intention, why would he pre-release some of the material and give copies to journalists who then report the event.Why would he put himself at such hazard? It is arguable that he may have revealed something through interrogation but no-one is suggesting that he had information other than procedural or organisational information in his head.

    Besides, the point of the ‘intelligence’ is not the ‘data’- it was the methods and consequences and legality of the methods of the collection that were the focus of interest. The information that was sensitive was the fact that the intelligence services on both sides of the Atlantic have probably broken the law and remain unaccountable for their actions.
    As with so many things the issue here is the (absence of) accountability of governments.

    If the Russians or Chinese have the raw ‘data’ by whatever means, they will have the further task of analysing the data. Without other key information, selecting out useful information may be extremely laborious, if at all possible.
    It may be that by trawling through the data they would be able to identify weaknesses in their own intelligence operations-i.e.finding that are potentially detectable by the means used by NSA and GCHQ. I guess that might be a irritation to competing intelligence services.

  • YouKnowMyName

    @Habba\Fred

    your kind input on “Snowden and Sunset Times state backed lies”

    “The crucial question is whether the Russians and Chinese have actually decrypted the files or not. The rest is just smoke and mirrors on all sides. Taking state secrets and publishing them in the public interest is one thing handing state secrets to foreign powers is something else entirely.”
    … – . –. .- -. — –. .-. .- .–. …. -.–
    As often, Fred has got to the only important question. All the rest is froth, hysteria and spurious indignation.

    is negated somewhat by a certain Michael Hayden who this week told a conference about how little fallout the NSA has suffered after the Snowden leaks. He said to his audience at the Wall Street Journal’s chief financial officer conference:

    If somebody would come up to me and say ‘Look, Hayden, here’s the thing: This Snowden thing is going to be a nightmare for you guys for about two years. And when we get all done with it, what you’re going to be required to do is that little 215 program about American telephony metadata – and by the way, you can still have access to it, but you got to go to the court and get access to it from the companies, rather than keep it to yourself,’ I go: ‘And this is it after two years? Cool!’

    When asked if Snowden was working for a foreign power, Hayden replied that, thinking inductively as intelligence operatives are supposed to do, there was “no evidence” Snowden had defected.

    Who do you trust on this, the Sunset Times or the former director of the national security agency?

  • Resident Dissident

    Deepgreenpuddock

    What about the encrypted files that Snowden and Assange placed on WikiLeaks as insurance – surely the Russians, Chinese and anyone else who wishes has access to that raw data?

  • Resident Dissident

    I should also ask that there are still an awful lot of unanswered questions about Snowden, regardless of silly mistakes and the inability to challenge received statements by Sunday Times journalists

    This guy has not a few that he would like to see answered

    http://20committee.com/

  • fred

    First the question must be answered because if the answer is not negative it must be assumed it is positive.

    It is of no matter opinions on the usefulness of any information it’s the act of handing it over which is the crime whether the information is of use or caused harm or not.

  • giyane

    RD

    Our best insurance, as humanity, not just as Edward Snowden, against continuing war including world war 3, is for as many super/ordinary powers as possible to know as much as possible about eachother’s evil intentions.

    I’m not sure what benefit information about me personally will give them.

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