Dog watches dog 31.07.03

Two scalps this week as our Campaign for Real Exclusives continues to take the world of journalism by storm.

TITLE: The People, Sunday, 27 July, 2003

EXCLUSIVE CLAIM: Daughter-in-law dumped my boy & stole my husband

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SOURCE: Bella, 22 to 29 July

NOMINATED BY: Bella editor Rebecca Fleming

NOMINATOR’S COMMENT: The story was about a woman who became the victim of a rather sneaky bit of nicking. There’s a lot of it about these days…

DOG EXCLUSIVITY RATING: 10/100, for getting some fresh quotes


TITLE: The Sun, Saturday, 26 July 2003

EXCLUSIVE CLAIM: Game Academy – Barnet side all move into home of boss Martin Allen

SOURCE: The Non-League Paper’s It’s a Funny Old Game column, Sunday 20 July 2003

NOMINATED BY: Ian Lamont, freelance

NOMINATOR’S COMMENT: The NonLeague Paper may not have the circulation of The Sun, but it was still cheeky of the latter to tag its story as Exclusive, six days after it appeared in the former

DOG EXCLUSIVITY RATING: 20/100, for sending round a photographer


Public sex is not this doggy’s style

Dog is seriously considering consulting the kennel’s lawyers after a dreadful slur was made on a recent edition of Radio 4’s Farming Today.

The respected BBC radio programme seemed to abandon its commitment to fair and unbiased reporting this weekend when it highlighted a big increase in public sex “gatherings” that are apparently organised over the internet.

Dog nearly choked on a well-known brand of breakfast dogfood when the journalist described how police have begun referring to people who are indulging in such exhibitionism as doggers” because when they are approached they use the lame excuse that they are “just walking the dog”.

Farming Today claims it has impeccable sources for the story – Dr Richard Byrne, a senior lecturer in countryside management, whose study has revealed a sharp increase in the number of internet-arranged sex groups meeting at advertised locations in the countryside.

But Dog wonders if there are dark forces” at work linking this upstanding column to such a sordid activity – and is determined to clear the kennel’s name.


Alert Dog spotter Clive Booth, head of communications at Lewis PR, contacts the kennel with this beauty. “Always on the look-out for examples of the challenges of international marketing, we’ve just come across this one for Powergen,” says Booth. “It’s got an Italian subsidiary which has its own localised website, still under construction. So far, so good, but I don’t much rate the url it’s registered: Oh dear.”


Baker’s boob

BOOBTUBEGATE: WEEK 8: After weeks of kennel speculation, Company editor Sam Baker has confirmed that it was her magazine behind the Boobtubegate scandal.

“It was Company, I put up my hands,” said Baker of the ludicrously small boobtube, which has been a subject of hot debate since Janice Turner mentioned it in her Press Gazette column.

“There were production problems that we didn’t find out about,” said Baker, adding that the “hideous” experience of August 2000 is one of the main reasons why she hates covermounts. “I’d say about three-quarters of them were a decent size, because we tested them and had them fitted and tried on loads of people. And then they came in, andunfortunately most of them were the black ones that everyone wanted – they were minute.”

Baker said she wrote personally to everyone who complained.

“The question of the boobtube has probably generated so much interest because people want to disassociate themselves from it,” added Baker. “We called it a bandeau at the time, but it was technically a boobtube.”

But Baker denies that there was ever a blue boobtube, as claimed in Dog’s most recent exposé. “They were pink and black, definitely.”

A letter arrives in a brown envelope. Ever wary of protecting sources, Dog will never reveal that it’s from Sam Sheperd, the features editor of Bournemouth News Service.

“I must confess to still being in possession of the neon pink boobtube given away by Company. After three years of hard exercise, I am finally small enough to fit in it and this month actually wore it in public (well, the back garden) for the first time. Wild horses dragging a truckload of used covermounts would not persuade me to part with it now.”

Next week: the final word on Boobtubegate (promise)


Keyboard cock-up

Oban Times staff were surprised to read in Press Gazette that Tony Blair visited the West Highlands port in October 2001. It was the first they’d heard of it.

A report on page 2 of last week’s edition about Kate Adie’s libel win against The Sun erroneously referred to a prime ministerial trip to Oban.

As Oban Times chief reporter Marian Miller pointed out, the report should have said Oman. She commented: “I wish we were that important.”


Column takes pot shot at political correctness

Mervyn Hancock, a Western Daily Press journalist, has been causing quite a stir with his new columns in the Somerset Standard and Somerset Guardian. The papers have received many letters from delighted fans and outraged opponents who want to comment on Hancock’s opinions, which include the effectiveness of “peppering a thief’s backside with buckshot”. This reader was particularly impressed.

“How refreshing to hear from someone who is not afraid to say what they think. And how refreshing to find an editor who is unafraid to offer such people a platform in this era of political correctness.

“I must agree that it is high time we brought back the birch for truants – perhaps even hanging for persistent offenders (if we were able to find a policeman to arrest them, of course).

“I look forward to such illuminating articles as ‘Keeping the poofs out of the pulpit’ and ‘Hitler; was he right about Eastern Europeans?’ Still, it means I no longer have to buy the Daily Mail.”



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