Most newspapers are trying to come up with new angles on the phone hacking scandal but it seems one in particular is getting some extra help from the state broadcaster.

Yesterday afternoon (at 17.14 according to the time stamp) the Guardian posted audio of a phone conversation in which Barry Beardall, a scam merchant working for the Sunday Times, tricked someone at the solicitors Allen and Overy into giving up information about the sale of Gordon Brown’s flat.

A short time later the audio was taken down, as noted on Twitter by Reuters’ Anthony De Rosa and the Times’ David Rose:

@DRoseTimes David Rose
Guardian pulls audio of Sunday Times obtaining Gordon Brown’s property details “pending investigation” HT @AntDeRosa

Adrian Monck, the former head of City University’s journalism department, suggested this was probably done at the BBC’s behest:

@amonck Adrian Monck
@DRoseTimes Audio prob pulled as BBC wanted exclusive at 10 – they just ran it

David Rose found it hard to believe that the Guardian and the BBC would be so cooperative (where has he been?) :

@DRoseTimes David Rose
@amonck And you think the Gdn would just back down over that? Or share editorial decisions? Also no mention of Sun Times defence on Beeb!

Monck replied:

@amonck Adrian Monck
@DRoseTimes Depends who scored the audio. Besides reporting was v weak + Beeb led on royal angle..

A clip of the Beardall phone call was then played on Newsnight as part of a Michael Crick report into the Brown revelations which, Crick said, “came from investigations by the BBC and the Guardian.”

Monck informed Rose:

@amonck Adrian Monck
@DRoseTimes Crick just nailed it as Beeb tape… co-investigation with Gdn

Rose checked with Kevin Bakhurst (Controller, BBC News Channel and Deputy Head, BBC Newsroom):

@DRoseTimes David Rose
@kevinbakhurst – is this correct? RT @amonck: @DRoseTimes Crick just nailed it as Beeb tape… co-investigation with Gdn

Bakhurst replied:

@kevinbakhurst Kevin Bakhurst
@DRoseTimes @amonck yes I think so yes

So, a co-investigation.

Once the BBC had broadcast the audio as an exclusive, the Guardian was free to re-post it on its own website.

The licence-funded BBC joining forces with the loss-making left-wing Guardian to attack Murdoch. Agenda? Perish the thought.

UPDATE 11:00. The BBC claims this morning’s interview with Gordon Brown was an exclusive:

Gordon Brown has alleged News International used “known criminals” to get access to personal information when Labour was in power, in an exclusive interview with the BBC.

But the Guardian’s Nick Davies says:

In an interview with the BBC and the Guardian…

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  1. Roland Deschain says:

    As Guido says, “No allegation of illegality, but too late, the story is out. The timing of yesterday’s intervention couldn’t have worked better to keep the story alive here , and across the Atlantic.”  It’s beginning to dawn on more people, I think, that the bad smell round this story isn’t just coming from Murdoch Towers.

    Anyone catch Today this morning after 8:00?  Note the balanced selection of people to talk about the scandal:  those paragons of virtue Keith Vaz and Ken Livingstone. 

    Actually, Ken let the cat out of the bag a bit by reminding people that Yates of the Yard, who is being targeted for allegedly not pursuing the case properly, is one and the same as Yates who investigated cash for honours.  Funnily enough, it never occurred to Mr Naughtie to suggest that this targeting of Yates could be payback:  almost as if it was something the BBC didn’t want you to remember.  I’d have thought it was a pretty crucial point to raise in giving listeners the full context.


    • My Site (click to edit) says:

      It all does seem rather… what’s the word… ‘unique’.


      Well, there was the Clarke County thing. And AV.


      Maybe it’s all the sisters’ fault when personal chatting strays into reporting?


      And then there’s the women: Mrs. Wade/Brooks, Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Mumsnet (whose affiliations Newsnight neglected in its balanced round table Friday). Best buds… gossiping away… well, until recently.


      Hardly ‘What stays in Fight Club’ (politico media elite drawing rooms being our Vegas, apparently) really.


      And speaking of Ken, and memory loss…



      I guess it depends who you ask. And, often, who is doing the asking.


      ps: I have to say Mr. Yates, and the police, do have some ‘serious questions to answer’. And i want them pursued. Just… not by equally complicit and wholly venal types who are abusing legitimate criminal processes for petty political point scoring or advantage in securing idealogical control over the broadcast media.


      By impartial professionals , not market rate genetic mutants. If any can be located in the MSM sewers.




  2. Natsman says:

    Sleazy, lardy, Asian slimeball meets left-wing scaly lizard has-been…


  3. My Site (click to edit) says:

    Mr. Backhurst’s recent tweets are interesting.

    Doubtless due to the strength of their reporting and heft of the storylines, and in no way due to a position of vastly funded monopoly across every broadcast means imaginable, he is very proud of the crushing dominance (the good kind) of BBC ne…views on the nation’s audiences.

    Good job they have no issues of balance, evidenced by who they are in bed with story wise, guest wise, opinion wise….


    • My Site (click to edit) says:

      ps: Luckily, though plastered with who he works for…

      but all the views on here are my own…


  4. Stuart Jamie says:

    Only the BBC could spin the story that it vastly overpays its ‘talent’ into this:



  5. Scoobywho says:

    My local radio station is currently giving over a whole segment to allowing the local political editor to stand on his soap box and tell the listener about the whole history of the “oopps, forgot to change my PIN – gate” story, right back to the Prince William knee story. It’s going on so long they’ve had to have a break – now it’s a quick song and back for more.

    Anyone else’s local station running a ‘hack-gate’ marathon ?


  6. George R says:

    We know there is a deep political alliance of BBC-NUJ-Guardian as manifested in the common daily ‘news’ propaganda, role at College of Journalism, as well as the BBC-NUJ daily political programmes and its Guardian contributors.

     How is the daily political agenda set between them? Who is involved? And for how long has it been going on?

    This close alliance does not prevent their growing links with Islamic Al Jazeera.

    Is this how their agenda is to be viewed?:


    ” If we make a list of groups or institutions that are promoting the dispossession and destruction of Europeans it would look something like this, starting from the top down:

    1. The Unites States Government.2. The European Union.3. Muslims.4. The anti-white Leftists controlling Western academia and mass media.5. Multinational corporations and their lobbyists plus a business class hungry for open borders with unrestricted access to global markets and cheap labor.6. 

    The anti-white bias and genetic Communism aggressively promoted by Hollywood and the American entertainment industry.”


    • Demon1001 says:

      I followed your link to the Gates of Vienna and followed all the comments to this blog.  I was quite shocked to see the overt racism (of the real variety) that a lot of the bloggers were pushing.   It susrprised me because I have previously looked at blogs on the GoV and never noticed it before.


  7. George R says:

    A case in point

    [Concluding extract]:

    “The left-liberal media is engaging in a fight for control of our minds by doing all it can to control the news we hear.  Far from upholding media plurality they are actively striving to restrict it.
    This is something we should all be mindful of and should all strongly oppose.”


  8. Lloyd says:

    Only a minor point, but I noticed, when the story was in it’s infancy, that mumsnet founder Justine Roberts made a couple  of appearances on BBC news*.Now as well as having her own column at the Guardian she is also married to Guardian Deputy Editor Ian Katz. I’m not really the investigative type, but I would be amazed if there weren’t also a link between these two and Robert Peston.

    * i’m 99% certain it was Roberts, but I could be mistaken, however it was certainly a spokeswoman for mumsnet.


    • My Site (click to edit) says:

      Not so minor.

      Even club members on the Newsnight blog seemed less than impressed at the composition of the panel as a whole, and Ms. Roberts’ introduction to the viewers as a ‘mum’ and not much else. Like Mr. Peston (or maybe Mason of the other bloke) who travelled where there be dragons outside the M25 to get the ‘views’ of some ladies who he’d just ‘happened’ to ‘find’ and whose views oddly coincided with the narrative.

      Middle class, like that moppet Prezza found who wasn’t working class as she, also (as all seemed quiet free during the day) ‘weren’t werking’.


  9. Umbongo says:

    The local London BBC1 News at 10:30 last night devoted more than half its time to – you guessed it – the Yates/Met involvement.  It added nothing to the national news except to replay a very old clip in which Boris – having been lied to by the Met – said that the NOWT imbroglio was Labour Party inspired clap-trap.  Why would the BBC show such a clip when it knows very well on what evidence Boris said what he did when he did?  Can it possibly be that the BBC wishes to show how upright and honest in comparison is its candidate for the next Mayor of London?

    This whole issue is becoming this Summer’s “climate change” for the BBC.  It’s brought into everything.  No item of news or current affairs (or BBC “comedy” offering) is complete without some reference to Murdoch, News International, Cameron’s appointment of Coulson, Cameron’s closeness to senior NI executives etc etc.  Be assured, the BBC won’t let this one go – ever!  Mind you, at least there is overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing in this instance.  Apart from evidence that the climate – as always – is changing, there is little convincing evidence for CAGW (not that the absence of evidence stops Richard Black playing the advocate rather than the reporter – and smearing sceptics into the bargain).


  10. Phil says:

    The most sinister thing about the BBC/Guardian overkill on this whole affair is the very, very small proportion of their coverage devoted to the most serious aspect of the matter – alleged corruption by public servants.

    Corrupt police officers are much more of a threat to our democracy and society than a few alleged criminal journalists from a downmarket newspaper.

    It looks like the BBC/Guardian are going in hard on a commercial competitor while virtually ignoring the alleged crimes of those they usually champion – state employees.

    The Guardian can do as it likes, but the BBC’s lack of balance and proportion is disgraceful.


    • Grant says:

      I agree. It is just one more example of why I have no faith in the British police and “Justice” system.


  11. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Good catch, DB.  The BBC calls the shots for another media organization, and they know they can get away with it.  Who has too much power and influence again?


  12. Kendall Massey says:

    I have suspected from the start that the campaign was co-ordinated between the Guardian and the BBC.


  13. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Isabelle Webster’s report on the News Channel just now said that Millie Dowler was “a potential” victim.  Is there no proof?  Has there been no information proving this poor murder victim had her privacy violated? The BBC has otherwise allowed everyone to state it on air as fact.  What the hell is going on?


    • thespecialone says:

      I agree. Has anybody found conclusive proof that this did actually happen? Of course if it did then it is disgraceful. But as I work shifts and in bed at odd times, I may have missed something.

      Why are ITN or Sky or any other MSM not investigating whether Brown’s story is a pack of lies? Is it up to blogosphere to reveal the truth yet again? Unfortunately, as always, the sheeple will believe what the BBC tells them. That is why it is so very important for the BBC/Guardian siamese twins (oops sorry I meant ‘conjoined’) to be shown up by sites like this. When I paste links from here and other blogs I read, I get comments from people I know who cannot believe the BBC are not telling the truth!!


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        Everything else is either part of Murdoch’s Evil Empire, or just the generic “Tory Press”.  Only the BBC and Guardian are on the side of truth, justice, and the angels.


  14. D B says:

    [Cue theme tune to Soap] The BBC said its Gordon Brown interview was an exclusive. The Guardian said it was an interview with the BBC and the Guardian. Confused? You won’t be after this tweet from Kevin Bakhurst:

    “The interview was a BBC interview – Nick Davies was there though. The story was worked on by both.”

    To save further confusion I think it’s probably best to assume that the BBC and the Guardian are one entity for the time being.