Dog watches dog 06.02.03

Gary’s TV cock-up makes a splash

The following items appeared in quick succession on news wires last week. Dog reproduces them without further comment.

“NEW_AGNEWS sl 846366 QUAGNEWS-NEW TR BT blues SPLASH NEWS AGENCY To Whom It May Concern: Since November my DirecTV bill has shown adult movies being ordered more than once a day. I called in December to report this being a mistake, but paid the bill to avoid late charges.

It continued to happen and the DirecTV consultant told me it was possible my card had been cloned. He sent out a replacement which I have now swapped over so hopefully it is now sorted. I am therefore asking DirecTV to give me credit for the adult movies since November.

In the past I have ordered the odd movie, but to imagine that I would order two or three a day almost every day for several months can only be explained by a cloning of the card or a malfunction of the system. I have paid the disputed bills in good faith that DirecTV will honour its obligations to its faithful customers. I look forward to hearing from you. Faithfully, Gary Morgan MARINA DEL REY CA 90292.”

A few minutes later, this followed: “SPLASH NEWS AGENCYÉ. GARY MORGAN SPLASH NEWSÉ. PORN MOVIESÉ. TO ALL DESKS…. I’M SURE YOU’VE ALL HAD A GOOD LAUGH NOW ABOUT MY CABLE TV BILL. IF ANY OF YOU COULD PLEASE WRITE TO THE DIRECTTV ADDRESS AND GET MY MONEY BACK I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE IT!!!!!!!! MEANWHILE FEEL FREE TO TAKE THE PISS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.

Yours GARY MORGAN.”

We wouldn’t dream of it, Gary.

No sign of The People

Ten years after it was first published, Vernon Coleman’s novel Mrs Caldicot’s Cabbage War has been re-issued to coincide with the release of the film of it, starring Pauline Collins.

Dog is particularly interested in a passage from the book in which Coleman – a columnist for the Sunday People – takes the opportunity to reinforce a few press pack stereotypes when his colleagues descend upon the eponymous heroine.

Thus the lady feature writer from the Mail arrives in a light grey suit and Ascot hat. The Independent’s writer shows up in miniskirt and baggy jumper. The Guardian representative wears corduroy trousers and a jacket with leather patches on his sleeve. The Sport’s hack is clad, of course, in a grubby macintosh, while the Mirror sends a “girl in her early twenties”. But what’s this? The FT’s man, wearing evening dress, has come direct from a dinner engagement. Doesn’t he realise there’s a ban on entertainment expenses?

And Dog also notes that the People – Coleman’s own newspaper – is not mentioned in the pack. Couldn’t be because there aren’t enough staff left to send anybody, could it?

‘Mr Bailey, are you an accountant?’

A wonderful courtroom exchange from the ongoing saga of Hollinger versus Desmond. Conrad Black, alert readers will recall, is suing the Sunday Express over a ‘Frank Bailey’ piece alleging that all was not financially well in the Telegraph empire.

The Express has still not filed its defence, but this week wheeled in four boxes of documents to show that its ‘forensic accountants’ (read private detectives) needed more time to investigate Black’s finances.

Had ‘Bailey’ seen these documents prior to writing his article, the judge wondered? Er, no. “Forgive me then,” he continued, “I’m more an apples and oranges man, myself – but is Mr Bailey a qualified accountant?”

Not quite, m’lud. He is of course the pen name of Anil Bhoyrul – the financial wizard drummed out of the Mirror after the Viglen share scandal.

 

The case of the Harley Street surgeon whose penis expansion operations were alleged to have flopped has struck a chord with many a man.

Alas, Daily Mail readers will not have read of the let-down allegedly experienced by patients of Doctor Ravi Agarwal. Reports of his General Medical Council hearing in Manchester have not been carried by any of Associated’s titles after an edict from high up that the story was “tasteless”.

The disciplinary hearing, lasting four days, had the tabloids reaching for their chequebooks after male strippergram Garrie Dunk claimed he didn’t like to any more – hence The Sun’s classic “Doctor Bodger Bent My Todger”. Mail readers instead had to make do with a gloom ridden piece in the Good Health section on why men need HRT for loss of libido. Still, Dog is sure that the Mail always knows best when it comes to elections.

Now that’s a picture

Barnsley Chronicle assistant editor Ian Thompson is renowned for his courteous phone manner. When callers request a photographer, he’s always at pains to explain that guarantees can’t be made. But even the newsroom fell silent at the eloquence he showed with a recent caller who sought persistent assurances that a photographer would attend a small-scale event at a certain time on a particular day.

“Madam, we shall make every effort,” he said. “But were Lord Lucan to ride through Barnsley on Shergar with Glen Miller following with a bucket and shovel, you must understand that we would have to cover that instead.”

The caller said no more.

Your pictures paint a thousand words

“We are looking for similar artistic pictures to print in our letters page every week,” says the 29 January edition of the Surrey Herald. But the picture is nothing to the artistic licence in the caption for this image. “It shows the extent of the floods in Walton Lane, taken by the bridge,” apparently.

 

Not even Houdini could have matched the incident outlined in the first paragraph of this report from the Yorkshire Post, says one of Dog’s spotters in East Yorkshire. He makes no mention of a rather better-known resurrection. Fierce debate often rages in Press Gazette’s pages over how much subs should change reporters’ copy. In this case it seems neither side won.

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