When Michael “Oiky” Gove secured the first interview by a British journalist with the new US President, Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, there was much positive reaction. One might disagree with Gove’s politics, but his getting the inside track with The Donald deserved significant kudos, despite the cheesy pose with the thumbs-up sign, and despite the strong possibility that it was his being a Murdoch hack that clinched the deal.
What we were shown ...
But now we know that it was not merely his being a Murdoch hack that got “Oiky” his entrée into Trump Tower: Creepy Uncle Rupe was there too. Think about that. The head man at 21st Century Fox, News Corp., News UK, however you want to title him, was also at the so-called “interview”, minding Gove, although I’m sure “Oiky” was allowed to make up his own questions and write down the answers. Or maybe not.
No wonder the “interview” threw up so little of note, except for platitudes like “The UK stands to gain from a Donald Trump presidency because Britain has a ‘special place in his heart’”, as his mother came from Scotland. Sky News (“first for breaking wind”) “suggested a UK-US trade deal would be done ‘quickly and properly’”. Trump had “honeyed words for almost everyone”. And it was all personally approved by Murdoch.
All that the revelation is missing is a photo of Gove perched on Murdoch’s knee, but helpfully Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell has supplied a suitable artist’s impression. Meanwhile, how is our free and fearless press responding to this news? Sadly, the same way as anything Murdoch related: most of the usual suspects observe the iron rule of Omertà and say nothing. The list of honourable exceptions is pitifully small.
... and what we weren't ((c) Steve Bell 2017)
The Independent had the story, but is now no more than an online presence. Their report stated the obvious: “Media mogul reportedly has close ties with new US President”. The Guardian added “One insider at News Corp said Murdoch would be unlikely to have sat quietly throughout the interview” and noted that Trump was also giving an interview to Sean Hannity of Murdoch’s Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse).
At least the Mirror covered the story, meaning one of the red tops ran it, simply saying “Rupert Murdoch sat in on Michael Gove’s interview with Donald Trump, it was revealed today … The Tory former Justice Secretary obtained the first British newspaper interview with Trump after his election victory, which was published in the Times in January … But the newspaper’s proprietor Mr Murdoch, was in the room throughout the interview”.
And one major source in Australia ran it too: the Sydney Morning Herald told “News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch was in the room when former Tory minister Michael Gove moonlighted as a journalist for The Times of London to interview President Donald Trump in January … The interview … was lampooned as ‘gushy’ in the UK press”.
But don’t get your hopes up for finding a crack in the Murdoch dam: the SMH is owned by Fairfax Media, which has no problems in running copy that Rupe may find embarrassing.
“Oiky” needed a minder to take him to see The Donald. For many journalists, that would be a thing of shame. But in Gove world, it will be portrayed as a merit badge. Sad but true.