Dog watches dog 08.05.03

Another fine mess over Stanley story

Red faces at the Press Association over a diary story it ran prior to the High Court ruling over a judicial review into the conduct of an inquest into the death of Harry Stanley. PA’s story said that the dead man was a Metropolitan Police officer.

Er, not quite. Stanley was actually shot dead by the Metropolitan Police in September 1999, while carrying a chair leg in a bag on his way to his home in Hackney, North London.

An inquest last June delivered an open verdict, but this was overturned last month by the High Court, which declared there had been “insufficient inquiry”.

PA corrected its blunder later in the day.

Double incentive to run

Dog knows the media in Iraq has been under fire as never before, but as this exclusive picture shows, the situation is getting hopelessly out of hand.

What’s that? What do you mean a fake? Ah. In fact it shows freelance photographer Julian Andrews refusing to let his London Marathon training go to waste – even though he was sent to cover the war in Iraq for the Daily Mirror.

Andrews, 35, had promised to run to raise money for Berkshire bereavement charity Daisy’s Dream, but missed out on the big race last month because he was in Baghdad.

Andrews kept his promise, however – by completing a solo 26-mile ordeal at Ramadi – just outside Iraq’s bombed capital.

The finishing line – next to a blown-up Iraqi tank – was calculated by Andrews’ guide and translator, Adil Dagher. Andrews crossed it in an impressive four hours and 29 minutes, despite the sweltering heat.

Interest mounted as he wound his way around Ramadi. Andrews said: “The only worrying moment was when I thought I was being shot at, but it was just a local man firing in the air to encourage me.”

Andrews’ run will boost the £5,000 already raised by the Daisy’s Dream team. The charity offers grief support for bereaved children.

Wash your hands of Iraqi loo brush

When Iraqis are reported doing it, it’s called looting. When US journalists get caught doing it, it apparently “besmirches” the profession.

But what, Dog would like to know, do you call it when their UK counterparts (and you know who you are) get away with it? Cue one British freelance who comes back from Iraq with one of Saddam’s gold-plated loo brushes, and sells it on auction website ebay, where packs of “Iraq’s Most Wanted” playing cards, Comical Ali T-shirts and Saddam-festooned Dinar notes are doing brisk business (well, maybe not the playing cards – there are thousands of the damned things).

Dog understands we’re not quite clear of the media recession yet, but is becoming a part-time spiv in the meantime quite the way forward?

And as for the clever clogs that does buy it, Dog has only this to say: Can you be sure it’s genuine? No? Then for God’s sake put it down – you don’t know where it’s been.

Footie friendly

A late-season friendly was held in Islington to mark World Press Freedom Day on 3 May. Journalists from the exiled journalists’ unit of Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders) in London lined up against opponents from “Cardiff City”- journalists who were (once) students together at Cardiff and City Universities. The score was not really the point.

PM keeps spirit up without Viagra

Since Tuesday was the Prime Minister’s 50th birthday, Dog of course spent lunch with Tone making sure he didn’t get too depressed about reaching the Big Hawaii. The birthday boy revealed that he has to be very wary about what he says when those ghastly journalists are in the room.

He confided to Dog (yes, and to 250 other Newspaper Society members, if you must be such a stickler for detail) that he recently made the mistake of eating a banana in his office while journalists were in the room.

“A few weeks later I was astonished to be told that I was now practically a banana obsessive, that without bananas I am nothing and that the secret of my success is devouring endless bananas,” he said.

But at least the hacks aren’t doing it for commercial gain. On the morning of his birthday he found he was being used in an ad – without permission, he noted – for Sanatogen, the vitamin pill. Still, he looked on the bright side.

“As someone pointed out to me this morning, that’s better than the advertisements that Pelé is being used for.”

The great footballer’s face, for those not in the know, adorns the campaign to promote Viagra.

Royal rumpus over Pike pics

The Stage’s gossip columnist, Tabard, has been reporting that security measures have been taken at the Royal Court Theatre following the appearance in the Daily Mail of pictures of actress Rosamund Pike in the buff during the run of the show Hitchcock Blonde.

It appears that Royal Court staff spotted a photographer in the audience trying to take sneaky pictures of the voluptuous Die Another Day Bond girl Pike.

Tabard reports: “When security tried to evict the snapper, his bodyguards stepped in and a fight ensued.” Pictures eventually appeared in the Daily Mail, although whether the same photographer was responsible is not known.

“Either way, audiences now have to check their bags in at the cloakroom after fears that more journalists would sneak in cameras.”

Tabard gravely pronounces: “It is well known that we hacks would sell our own grans for a good story, but one would assume the moral troubadours at the Daily Mail would be above that sort of thing.”

 

Gary Lineker told young journalists getting Prince’s Trust Awards last week about the fabulous put-down that his young son had delivered to him at breakfast that morning. “Wouldn’t it be great to be David Beckham’s son,” said Lineker junior. “He could give you all those good football tips.”

 

Charlie Gilmour of Ayrshire Weekly Press sends this initially innocuous looking photograph that he took at a function at James Watt University attended by Labour minister Helen Liddell. Then he noticed the intriguing hand signal from Liddell.

“I’m not sure if it’s a signal to the press or to our readers,” says Gilmour.

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