Saturday, December 08, 2007 

There be gold in them thar canoes...

I might just be the only person on the planet not to give two shits about the vanishing canoeist and his subsequent reappearance while his wife went to live in Panama, but what is intriguing is just what sort of deal the Daily Mirror and Mail have done in order to get Anne Darwin's exclusive story.

The toothless Press Complaints Commission has been so concerned that it apparently sought meetings with both the Mail and Mirror in order to ascertain whether Darwin has been paid - something that may potentially breach the PCC's code if Darwin is subsequently charged, as her husband now has been. The PCC seems to have been satisfied that no money has changed hands between the two papers and Darwin, but the Grauniad reported this morning that the legwork in tracking down Darwin was by the Splash news agency, with the Mail and Mirror just behind, subsequently doing a deal to share the scoop. Whether Splash, not bound by the PCC's code, has paid Darwin is another matter entirely, and as the Mail and Mirror have relied on Splash one is entitled to wonder whether the cash has been funneled through.

In any case, the Mirror and Mail's scoop has already led its first inevitable conclusion: the Scum running a less than flattering front page "story" describing Darwin as a witch. The Sun's failure to get the story has also likely enraged Rebekah Wade, who earlier in the year went on the warpath after Pete Doherty gave an exclusive interview to the Mirror following his split from Kate Moss, lambasting her hacks as "having all lost any journalistic ability you ever had". With Les Hinton gone to the Wall Street Journal, having previously acted as her shield from unpleasantness over her own split from Ross Kemp, Wade herself is looking increasingly isolated.

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