News Int-erference: Murdoch tightens grip on Times

A culture of fear has gripped News International's newsrooms. A senior source suggested that The Times general election coverage has become politically motivated.

A culture of fear has gripped News International’s newsrooms as the prospect of a hung parliament suggests that their endorsement of the Conservatives has not “had the impact that they wanted”, according to a senior source. Insiders are concerned that after The Sun’s early endorsement of David Cameron failed to guarante victory, The Times’ election coverage has been politically motivated.

After The Times spiked a story about Baroness Warsi’s remarks that Muslim MPs “don’t have any principles”, a News International executive told Left Foot Forward:

“There’s been alarm at the prospect that their endorsement of the Conservatives may not have had the impact that they wanted.

“Tom Newton-Dunn [The Sun’s political editor] is going around the News of the World saying that they have to get more fully on board as Rebekah [Brooks, chief executive of News International] wants to deliver.

“James Harding [The Times’ editor] – having been widely blamed by Murdoch for failing to land the expenses story – has been weakened and less able to resist pressure from Rebekah Brooks and James Murdoch over the political direction of the paper.”

There are also rumoured to have been meetings in the News International canteen where members of staff were told not to take the Liberal Democrats seriously. The remarks are consistent with other accounts of News International’s behaviour in the run up to the general election. Respected Vanity Fair journalist, Michael Wolff, reported that Mr Newton-Dunn told a group of journalists, “It is my job to see that Cameron fucking well gets into Downing Street”. Meanwhile, The Independent last week reported that:

“Gillian Duffy, the Rochdale pensioner whom Gordon Brown described as “a sort of bigoted woman”, turned down the chance to make a small fortune from selling her story to The Sun because the newspaper wanted her to say things she did not believe.”

39 Responses to “News Int-erference: Murdoch tightens grip on Times”

  1. StopTheRight

    RT @leftfootfwd: News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou #Torybias

  2. Malcolm Evison

    RT @leftfootfwd: News Int-erference: Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou

  3. Dick Mandrake

    RT @leftfootfwd: News Int-erference: Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou < #disobeymurdoch

  4. Political Scrapbook

    RT @leftfootfwd: News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou << *essential reading*

  5. Nishma Doshi

    Murdoch's ambition to control the world : http://is.gd/bV7ST @leftfootfwd <<< Terrifying!

  6. Jane Merrick

    v interesting piece RT @leftfootfwd News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou #Torybias

  7. Anne Greensmith

    RT @janemerrick23: v interesting piece RT @leftfootfwd News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou #Torybias

  8. Get Labour Out

    RT @ leftfootfwd News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou #Torybias < Bias from Jack Straw son's website??

  9. amol rajan

    blimey RT @janemerrick23 v interesting RT @leftfootfwd News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou #Torybias

  10. tom_watson

    RT @leftfootfwd: News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou #Torybias

  11. Shamik Das

    Britain's got… censorship: RT @leftfootfwd: News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times: http://bit.ly/bh7Hou #Torybias

  12. Richard George

    RT @tom_watson: RT @leftfootfwd: News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou #Torybias

  13. Vino Vethavanam

    RT @tom_watson: RT @leftfootfwd: News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou #Torybias

  14. artist-illustrator

    RT @tom_watson: RT @leftfootfwd: News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou #Torybias #ge2010

  15. workbench

    RT @leftfootfwd: News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou #Torybias (via @tom_watson)

  16. Alastair McKenzie

    RT @leftfootfwd: News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou via @tom_watson #ukelection #ge2010 #fomioe

  17. Carl Baker

    RT @tom_watson: RT @leftfootfwd: News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou #Torybias

  18. Robin Burchell

    RT @tom_watson: RT @leftfootfwd: News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou #Torybias

  19. JLo

    Tom Wolff! What a lovely idea – an amalgam of writer Tom Wolfe and VF’s Michael Wolff, the fellow I think you meant to refer to.

  20. Mary Maguire

    RT @tom_watson: RT @leftfootfwd: News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou #Torybias

  21. ciphergoth

    RT @leftfootfwd: News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou #Torybias

  22. kevinrye

    RT @tom_watson: RT @leftfootfwd: News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou #Torybias

  23. Andrew Wright

    RT @leftfootfwd: News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou #Torybias

  24. Hobson

    Didn’t Murdoch always interfere in his newspapers’ political direction? Why have Labour activists only started complaining about this since September 2009, when the Sun switched from pumping out Labour propaganda to pumping out Tory propaganda? Isn’t this just hypocrisy?

  25. Aedan Lake

    RT @DickMandrake: RT @leftfootfwd: News Int-erference: Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou < #disobeymurdoch

  26. Billy Blofeld

    News International in the blue corner versus the BBC in the red corner.

    With only the Guardian boxing for the yellows.

    ……. given the all consuming firepower of the BBC, the reds should have nothing to worry about…………

  27. James Macintyre

    RT @tom_watson: RT @leftfootfwd: News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou #Torybias

  28. Michael MacLennan

    RT @tom_watson: RT @leftfootfwd: News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou #Torybias

  29. Will Straw

    Great point, JLo. Have amended.

  30. johnj

    I assume you are equally shocked at the bias in the Mirror and the Guardian.

  31. Owen Blacker

    RT @tom_watson: RT @leftfootfwd: News Int-erference: #Murdoch tightens grip on Times http://bit.ly/bh7Hou #Torybias

  32. Will Straw

    Nice try, johnj. We all know and expect the Mirror and Sun to go into bat for their side (whatever that may be) with some enthusiasm, but we also expect them to do so with some degree of balance. Meanwhile, we expect the broadsheets to behave rather differently.

    The Murdoch press have fundamentally miscalculated in this election by coming out for Cameron in October. When the snowball effect failed to materialise, they got more and more desperate. By spiking legitimate stories about Tories they open themselves up to claims of bias. The Guardian, meanwhile, has been entirely open minded in backing the Lib Dems (rather than Labour).

    Next Left has more on The Times’ shift: http://www.nextleft.org/2010/05/does-murdoch-junior-want-times-to-toe.html

  33. Becca Hutson

    RT @dansabbagh: News Int-erference: Murdoch tightens grip on Times… | Left Foot Forward http://bit.ly/bh7Hou

  34. Trust GB

    The SUN's political editor: “It is my job to see that Cameron fucking well gets into Downing Street” http://tinyurl.com/3aglyhc

  35. Trust GB

    Gillian Duffy turned down The Sun "because the newspaper wanted her to say things she did not believe." http://tinyurl.com/3aglyhc

  36. Guerraeterna

    Murdoch tightens grip on Times. http://bit.ly/9XYnP9

  37. Dan Sabbagh

    News Int-erference: Murdoch tightens grip on Times… | Left Foot Forward http://bit.ly/bh7Hou

  38. Philip Bett

    RT @trustgb: Gillian Duffy turned down The Sun "because the newspaper wanted her to say things she did not believe." http://tinyurl.com/3aglyhc

  39. Vote 2010: An election reflection | Left Foot Forward

    […] favourable Institute of Directors. Worst of all they have been complicit in the disgraceful Murdoch-inspired right-wing attacks on Nick Clegg, which may well backfire. Their vacuous idea of a “Big […]

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