Now here’s a fine example of British journalism at its very best:
Via Arsenal News Review (with one extra added by moi) a list of 9 of the 10 journalists reported to have been flown to and from Moscow by Alisher Usmanov on a Gulfstream 550 private jet and put up at the five-star Kempinski Hotel:
David Bond (The Daily Telegraph): The resulting article makes much of Usmanov’s ‘knowledge’ of Arsenal, describes Murray’s allegations as “an extraordinary attack” and our only hint about travel and accommodation is given in the following passage; “…in an effort to dispel the mystery and set the record straight, Usmanov invited British journalists to Moscow, to explain his side of the story.”
Shaun Custis (The Sun): The resulting article is very light on detail when discussing Usmanov’s past, which this ‘journalist’ describes as ‘smears’. There is no mention of travel or accommodation.
Matt Dickinson (The Times): The resulting article mentions travel, but not accommodation.
Richard Galpin (BBC) The resulting article says that “in the cramped conference room were British newspaper journalists intrigued to discover more about Russia’s 18th richest man,” but fails to mention that they were not intrigued enough to make the journey under their own steam. There is no mention of travel or accommodation.
UPDATE: It seems we can excuse Richard from any major junketeering criticism as it would appear that he is currently based in Moscow.
Martin Lipton (The Mirror): Articles headed ‘Martin Lipton in Moscow’ here and here, but no mention of how he got there, and no mention of any fuss over Usmanov’s past. All the folks at home get is “Alisher loves Arsenal.” Way to go, Martin Lipton.
Charlie Sale (The Daily Mail): Sale is quite specific about travel and accommodation here and here, but he dutifully states in his main article that; “Usmanov was pardoned by former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev” (all that jetting about can’t have left much time for research).
Matt Scott (The Guardian): The resulting article airs more detail than most, but does not mention travel or accommodation.
So that’s 9 out of a reported 10 journalists, flown to and from Moscow by Alisher Usmanov on a Gulfstream 550 private jet and put up at the five-star Kempinski Hotel. Only one of them is completely honest with their readers about the extraordinary and luxurious circumstances surrounding the interview.
Can any say ‘conflict of interest’?