Dog watched dog 05.08.05

NEIL’S GUSHING PRAISE PROVES HE’S THE ROCK

The resignation of Lachlan Murdoch, eldest son of News Corp boss
Rupert, caused a predictable outpouring of comment from the usual
suspects.

Most predictable of all were the comments of Andrew Neil, one of
Murdoch’s former golden boys who later fell out of favour with the big
boss.

“The genius of Rupert Murdoch is his ability to keep it all
together,” he gushed to The Guardian in a piece explaining why the
whole empire was bound to come crumbling down once Rupert shuffles off
this mortal coil. “Murdoch’s genius dies with him.”

The Murdoch
family are never impressed by ex-employees who make much of their
associations with the former boss, and now have their own nickname for
Neil – after another needy lacky who can’t let go of the past. They
call him Paul Burrell.

Family comes before cards for Mail’s Born poker face

Matt Born of the Daily Mail has rejected a £1,000 prize that could
have given him the chance of scooping £100,000 in a leading poker
tournament.

Despite winning a Media Tournament that qualified him to enter the
Palm Beach CelebPoker Classic Tournament, being held this weekend at
the Palm Beach Casino, Mayfair, Born will be staying at home. “My wife
and family are returning from Italy just as the main tournament is due
to begin, and she expects me to be there,” he explained.

CelebPoker,
the tournament organiser and celebrity poker website, has awarded
Born’s spot to both the runners-up, who had roughly the same number of
chips at the end of the Media Tournament. They are Anthony Holden,
Observer music critic and author of the poker classic, Big Deal; and
Phil Shaw, editor of PokerEuropa.

Western Mail sparks alert

In these days of terror alerts, it’s good to see newspaper groups
taking the lead in calming the nerves of the public. Particular praise
must go to the Western Mail for the part it played in an incident in
Brecon.

Police sealed off the main road into the town after two suspicious
packages were found outside the Liberal Democrats’ party office on
Watergate. The alert ended only after officers were able to confirm the
boxes contained nothing more dangerous than glossy A5 sized town
guidebooks, produced by Cardiff-based tabloid paper the Western Mail.

Lib-Dem
staff member Johnny Pappas said: “The boxes were left without being
addressed to anyone or with anything to identify where they had come
from.”

A Western Mail spokesman said: “We regret the
inconvenience caused to the people of Brecon, and to the police. We
have taken strict measures to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

 

All the ingredients were there – a Swiss football team called Young
Boys, a new stadium called Wankdorf – so it was predictable enough that
the headline sub on the Soccernet website would get a little
overexcited.

 

Cracking good job

Congratulations from the MD on a job well done is not all it’s
cracked up to be… just ask Jay Crawford, programme director of
Scotland’s Real Radio station.

The station’s MD, Billy Anderson, was so delighted with the news of
Crawford’s afternoon programme being listed as the biggest regional
drivetime show that he embraced Crawford in a bear hug.

The
programme director’s screams were not entirely ones of delight. After a
couple of sleepless nights, he took himself off to A&E, where
X-rays revealed he had two cracked ribs. Crawford said: “I haven’t
slept since… it’s so painful. I’d sue him if I knew he had any money.”

A
chastened MD, who is now known as Crusher Anderson, confessed ruefully:
“I clearly didn’t know my own strength, but those sessions at the gym have paid off. I feel really bad to have done this to Jay just three weeks before his wedding. I hope I’m still invited.”

 

From a regional press bulletin board. Presumably, the “sharp-eyed
sub-editor” with “a perfectionist’s attitude to accuracy” will have
spotted something crucial. The inability to spell the word “veterinary”
in the magazine’s title.

 

A
note of caution for all those underpaid regional journalists who might
be considering jumping ship to the more lucrative world of public
relations. A Dog fan in Basildon explains that the image is of press
officer Adam Keating, who was required to dress up as superhero Captain
Basildon for Basildon Council’s two-day festival, Basfest.

“It proves that all the money may be in PR but that sure as hell doesn’t stop you from getting all the rubbish jobs.

“Still, we were all glad to see that they didn’t waste any more taxpayers’ cash providing him with a mask.”

 

The daddy of all flattery

At last we know why Toby Young’s play about the antics at the
Spectator, Who’s the Daddy?, got such rave reviews: shameless flattery.

“There are so many weird and wonderful characters working as theatre
critics,” Toby Young told The Stage. “The fact that my fellow critics
are so eccentric and barely housetrained is actually a virtue – it
makes them fiercely independent.

“They can’t be bought and they
do all care passionately about the theatre. I have come to admire them
as exemplifying all that’s best about British journalism.”

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