Thursday, September 09, 2010

Channel 4 fails to check its Metgate facts

Desperate, presumably, to defuse the MetGate scandal, Channel 4 news has just put up this piece:

 A former News of the World journalist's claim that Andy Coulson would have been aware about an alleged culture of phone hacking at the paper has been thrown into doubt because he had left the paper before Mr Coulson became its editor, Channel 4 News understands. 

The source of Channel 4's understanding? News International. There's a surprise. 

It is true that Paul McMullen left the News of the Screws in 2001, and Coulson became editor in 2003. However, the Press Gazette, which we must assume is accurate, (although in the present fevered climate it seems that anything can happen), the Press Gazette records that Andy Coulson was appointed deputy editor of the News of the World in May 2000. So McMullen and Coulson did overlap.

[in the present version of the page, a line has been added:
In fact Paul McMullan only overlapped with Mr Coulson for 18 months, while Mr Coulson was deputy editor. ]

Guido Fawkes blogged and tweeted this triumphantly under the title "Coulson  Cleared".

The words "plot" and "losing" come to mind, Guido.

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