Dog watches dog 04.02.05

SOMETHING ISN’T RINGING TRUE

“0870 rip-off” raged a Daily Mail 96-point page lead in Monday’s paper.

Sean
Poulter’s piece explained how banks and power companies were “feeding”
on their customers by taking cashback from phone calls made to them.

Phoning
0870 or 0845 numbers, it explained, can cost nearly three times as much
as a national or local call. It added that BT is not profiting from
0870 numbers because most of the charge goes to the firms providing the
phone service.

The piece was supplemented by a leader column entitled “wrong numbers”.

The
follow-up on Tuesday went on to explain how even calls to some health
service lines were charged at just under 8p a minute, “more than double
the amount most people pay for phone calls”.

The piece added that: ” Daily Mail readers reacted with fury yesterday to the revelations about the 0870 scam.”

So
presumably none of those furious hordes would have been tempted by the
offers at the foot of Christopher Hudson’s features based on new books
– which ran on Monday and Tuesday. Both provided a number they could
ring to order a copy: 0870 161 0870.

 

Simon
Donohue, feature writer for the Manchester Evening News, trotted out a
wonderful acronym in an interview with Coronation Street actor Anthony
Cotton, who plays a camp knicker factory seamsterperson in the soap.

Anthony
was talking about his secondary schooldays and described his teachers
as a “bunch of See You Next Thursdays”, which livened up the feature
somewhat. Maybe the subs didn’t notice; maybe they did. Nice one Simon.

Next you’ll be referring to the editor as Cupid Stunt.

 

Today’s special

Dallas
Morning News columnist Paula LaRocque recently ran a collection of some
of her favourite newspaper corrections, including this gem: “In last
week’s issue of Community Life, a picture caption listed some unusual
gourmet dishes that were enjoyed at a Westwood Library party for
students enrolled in a tutorial program for conversational English. Mai
Thai Finn is one of the students in the program and was in the center
of the photo.We incorrectly listed her name as one of the items on the
menu. Community Life regrets the error.”

 

From the Wolverhampton Express and Star.

You don’t say.

 

Ruff stuff: Herald’s Spiers bares his teeth

The Herald’s chief sportswriter Graham Spiers is not afraid of taking a pot-shot at some of his fellow sports-writing hacks.

Confessing
that he is not an admirer of the policies of Glasgow Rangers’s
multimillionaire chairman David Murray, Spiers confided to his readers
there was another reason why “my smooching up to Murray in print wasn’t
required”.

He explains: “Frankly, Murray has enough prominent
poodles in the press who do that; journalists who, for all their
bravado, have hardly dared write a critical column about Murray in
their lives. We all know the deal: ‘David, I won’t write bad things
about you if you will kindly drop the odd story in my lap’.

“Just
about every time you see a socalled ‘Murray exclusive’ in print this is
the deal behind it. Murray and his media pooches are famous for this
brand of Winalot journalism.”

“Poodles, pooches, Winalot”, it seems to Dog that angry man Spiers is somewhat canine-fixated.

 

Daily
Express staffing levels may not be what they used to be, but surely
they haven’t reached the point where readers can be on first-name terms
with every reporter?

Yet that seems to be the case from this
page-lead byline. Mail night-deskers were quickly on the telephone to
Express HQ saying: “We didn’t realise morale was so high that you’ve
decided to use firstname credits from now on.”

Freelance Tony
Brooks, the reporter in question, who has been bylined in the Daily
Express and Daily Star on a regular basis since he joined the Express
in 1964, confessed: “In all that time I’ve been credited with Toni
Brooks, Tony Brook and Tony Brookes, but never just Tony.

It’s a real collector’s item – definitely one for the scrapbook.

“And yes, morale is pretty high at the Express at the moment.”

 

No, not from a top shelf magazine. It’s a headline from the Lytham St Annes Express.

About beer.

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