Showing posts with label Andy Coulson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Andy Coulson. Show all posts

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Pope,His Butler The PI, A Hooker & The MP

Are the wheels about to come rolling of the wagon that besieged MP Craig Thomson has been lashed to by Fairfax Media and the Federal Opposition ?.
As the days go by and the dust settles, it seems Craig Thomson may have been the victim of a massive set-up that involves dirty political deeds to unseat a Federal Member of Parliament, which if successful, could have brought down Julia Gillard's premiership.

The sight of Coalition leader Tony Abbott sprinting to the doors in the Chamber 2 days ago, and hammering to be let out as Craig Thomson crossed the floor to vote with Abbott's party was one of the most extraordinary scenes witnessed in Canberra for some time.

Channel 7
Fairfax senior journalist Kate McClymont has written over a dozen tales about Thomson (without interviewing him ) including about  his alleged visits to bordellos and the money supposedly racked up on his union credit card. Where McClymont obtained the documents published in the original tale is a  mystery. Did they come from Thomson's union enemy Kathy Jackson?.

 Dark clouds are now gathering around Jackson and her partner, a judge with Fair Work Australia who investigated Thomson's spending of large sums of union money including contributions to Thomson's election campaign. Thomson has slammed the Fair Work report and the Electoral Commission has dismissed the claim about his electoral expenses.

It seems odd that a bordello that has changed hands twice in the 7 years since Thomson allegedly visited (long before he became an MP) would keep such pristine records. When it was pointed out to McClymont that the photocopied credit card slip showed the name as ThomPson , not Thomson, her Twitter reply was "ask him, he spent the money". Odd words for an investigative journalist.

However the website Independent Australia has been investigating while others like Fairfax and News Ltd have seemingly sung from the same song sheet.

 It appears all is not what it seems with the claims against Thomson and in particular, the documents from the bordello. IE have uncovered that the credit card slip actually carries a rejection code on it. In other words the card was rejected by Mastercard. The very idea that the bordello would keep a rejected slip for over 7 years seems like a fantasy.

Channel Nine's tabloid show, A Current Affair had been frothing at the mouth about it's interview with a hooker for which she was to be paid a $60,000 fee. She claimed to have slept with Thomson while working at the brothel. Yesterday ACA quietly announced they wouldn't be broadcasting the interview.

 Last Thursday noted private investigator Frank Monte was interviewed on 2UE's Drive Time.
Monte scorned the idea that a prostitute could possibly remember a client from 7 years ago particularly as Thomson was an unknown face.
When Frank Monte became involved with the David Jones $38M  harassment suit, within 4 weeks the matter was quickly settled for a 20th of that sum. The rumour at the time was that Monte had uncovered damaging information.

Frank Monte today refused to either confirm or deny if he was involved with Craig Thomson or investigating on Thomson or Channel 9's behalf. Yet within days of his interview, suddenly the Channel Nine interview, trumpeted by them so vocally in the media, vanished.
                                                                                                         Even more bizarre was the attack piece McClymont wrote 5 weeks ago about Monte, much of which was just a re-hash of a previous piece by a hack. She even dredged up the now tainted  Gianni Versace case in 2000 where Donatella & Santo Versace spent over $4M suing Monte in the Federal Court.

Monte had written a book Spying Game in which he said fashion great Gianni Versace was murdered by the Italian Mafia. Santo and Donatella were 'outraged'. Donatella, surrounded by lawyers and under oath, said via video link-up to the Federal Court that she had 'never ever' used illicit drugs. Two years later she gave a well publicised interview to Vogue saying she had 'been addicted to drugs before and after Gianni's murder" and that friends like Elton John has persuaded her to go to re-hab.
There is word the matter may be returning to the Federal Court. If it's found Donatella lied, she could face serious consequences let alone a gigantic law suit from Monte. At the moment, the ex-News Corp editor Andy Coulson is being interviewed in respect of possible perjury in a court case in Scotland. In the Scottish case, socialist MP Tommy Sheridan was jailed for 3 years (serving one) for perjury. Now Coulson is being questioned about evidence he gave in Sheridan's trial.

In 2010 Italy's most respected investigative journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi published a book in which he confirmed what Frank Monte had said 8 years previously-that Gianni Versace was indeed killed in a Mafia hit. Santo Versace vowed to sue anyone who repeated the claims. The Shuttle has received emails from 4 Italian newspapers that did in-depth stories on Nuzzi's Versace claim. Not one has heard a peep out of Santo and they don't expect to. Nuzzi says he is not worried by Santo's threats.

Last week as a result of Nuzzi's investigations of The Vatican in his book Vaticano S.p.A, Pope Benedict's butler was arrested.

And last night the Shuttle attended an Eastern Suburb's function and chatted to a local Liberal Party heavy. He mused that the Coalition's Thomson attack was a shambles and that he expected that, rather than Julia Gillard, it will be Tony Abbott who will be gone within 4 months. You read it here first.

Below is a reminder of Tony Abbott at work:

Monday, July 11, 2011

Murdoch The Movie-The Empire Strikes Back

Getty/The Beast

In January the Shuttle brought news of a proposed movie based on the life of Rupert Murdoch-the Sun King who has arrived in London to try and stem the fallout from the great hacking scandal.

Getty/The Beast
'Murdoch' the movie was commissioned by the UK's Channel 4 and written by TV script writer Jesse Armstrong but 4 decided against making it. It's now being handled by a top agency Creative Artist's Agency who are looking for a producer and backer.  Presumably Fox Studios won't be bidding for the rights any time soon.
Colin Myler- editor of the late NoTW (Getty/The Beast)

The script blurb reads : "As his family gathers for his birthday party, Rupert Murdoch tries to convince his elder children to alter the family trust so that his two youngest children by his newest wife will have voting rights in the company."  The events of the last week must surely mean that it's just a matter of time before this film is made.

All movie scripts evolve over time and we proposed a number of actors to take leading roles including Barry Humphries (manager of gigastar Dame Edan Everage) as Rupert Murdoch (he's already played him in the Hitler Diaries) and Hayden Christensen as the good looking James Murdoch.

New characters have moved into the frame though, so to speak. In particular Rebekah Brooks the CEO of Murdoch's News Corporation who from all reports, Rupert regards as  one of the family. And Andy Coulson the hapless former adviser to British PM David Cameron.

Fortunately The Daily Beast has come up with an updated cast list which looks spot on and you can see from our pictures some of the proposed new cast for the movie.
As the scandal swirled around the News Corp bunker at Wapping in East London and in the offices of the 168 year old tabloid News of The World, journalists were already seething over the flame haired CEO of News Corp and the former editor of the newspaper Rebekah Brooks who most of the hacks had come to the conclusion had led the the tabloid into treacherous waters with her 'take no prisoners' style of editing.

There are reports of writers being berated for up to an hour at the 11am editorial meeting and tales of younger journalists fleeing to the toilets in tears over Ms Brooks threats that they would receive their marching orders unless  they came up with a major celebrity or political based piece of scandal to fill the pages.

In it's final weeks a YouTube video was doing the rounds-unbeknown to Rebekah-that was viewed with glee by the staff. It's a clip from a movie called Vile Pervert produced by pop mogul Jonathan King who spent time as a guest of Her Majesty and has often complained that the tabloid unfairly distorted reporting of his predicament.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Hacking Scandal that Will Not Die

Andy Coulson
2 days after the Shuttle wrote about the News of The World newspaper phone hacking scandal that refuses to die, it's been revealed that the former editor of that newspaper has been grilled by British police over persistent claims that the illegal hacking into mobile phones was far more prevalent than previously claimed.

Andy Coulson who was editor of the NoTW between 2003 and 2007 was questioned on Thursday.
Coulson now works as the communications manager for British Prime Minister David Cameron.

In 'Allo 'Allo 'Allo broadcast on the ABC's Foreign Correspondent program, former features editor of the NoTW , Paul McMullan demonstrated how easy it was to hack into a phone and claimed Coulson must have known of the illegal practice.

 The scandal originally came to light when Royal minders noticed very personal stories about Prince's William and Harry appearing in tabloids
Singer Robbie Williams also revealed during the program that his phone had been hacked into by a tabloid and that he hadn't carried a phone for over 2 years because of it.

Perhaps the British parliament should hire Sydney and LA based private eye Frank Monte who was interviewed on the Channel 7 program Today Tonight a week earlier on new Internet programs that allow people to hack into phones and read text messages.

 Monte says the applications are proving very popular among housewives looking to catch out a cheating husband, cutting him out of potential work.

Perhaps that's why he may be headed for the Upper House in NSW. He intends to stand for election in the March 2011 state election.

The announcement of his election bid was first featured on the Shuttle. Rupert Murdoch's Mx newspaper followed our lead with a story about Monte's election bid on it's front page in Friday's late edition.