Thursday, 23 July 2009

Great news!

I can hardly contain my smiles on hearing that Richard Desmond has lost his libel case against Tom Bower.

This presumably means the jury disregarded his evidence, which may very well make him, officially, a liar.

As if we didn't know. Some of his evidence was clearly untrustworthy - such as the claims about him not using his awful rags to settle scores, when evidence about his long-running fights with the Mail is well known.

He also claimed - on the witness stand - he only read Bower's book on holiday in August 2007, when he had in fact instructed lawyers to take action in July.

The court also heard a tape of Desmond threatening Jafar Omid with the words: 'I am the worst fucking enemy you'll ever have'. He also said:

It's seventy-five grand, you know, and I think, fuck me, you know, we've done so much, you know, business together, you know. And we got, you know, a little, what's the word, situation over seventy-five grand.
This from a man whose newspapers, you know, complain about the language skills of others.

He denied he meddled with the editorial side of his papers - his friendship with Mohammed Al-Fayed clearly had nothing to with endless of pathetic Diana conspiracy stories appearing in the Express.

He has issued a statement, post-verdict, in which he has said:

I sued Mr Bower for defamation because he made inaccurate and damaging allegations about me...It was worth it to stand up in court and set the record straight.
Set the record straight? The jury clearly didn't believe what his version of 'the record' was, so what is he on about?

On top of all the libel payouts that the Express and Star have incurred recently, it's hard to believe that anyone bothers to buy either paper any more.

But the Express with its veneer of respectability (very thin, but the people who buy it do think it's a quality paper) it gives credibility to its incessant abuse of, and misleading articles about, minority groups.

I happen to have picked up a copy today and was amazed at how much advertising it had in it. A very rough count of quarter, half, or full page ads suggested that of the 80 pages, around 28 were adverts - that's 35%. (Compared with today's Times, for example, which had around 14 pages of ads out of 72, around 3 of which were for either the Times or Sunday Times, which is 19%).

It is a quite shockingly low rent piece of tat, with an insidious, racist agenda.

And its editor and owner are now both proven liars.

1 comment:

  1. Yesss! Double yesss!! Triple yesss!!!

    Close run thing, mind you - a lot of the really damning evidence didn't get aired. Check out Roy Greenslade's take which you can see on the Guardian website:


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