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8 November 1979
Jeremy Thorpe: A Secret Life 
by Lewis Chester, Magnus Linklater and David May.
Fontana, 371 pp., £1.50
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... letters. They arrange their material in chronological order, and the course of events is easy to follow. The same could not be said of Penrose and Courtiour’s The Pencourt File (1978) or PeterChippindale and David Leigh’s The Thorpe Committal (1979), the latter being straightforward court reporting of the Minehead committal proceedings. The authors do not waste much time on the South African ...
6 December 1990
Stick it up your punter! The Rise and Fall of the ‘Sun’ 
by Peter Chippindale and Chris Horrie.
Heinemann, 372 pp., £14.99, November 1990, 0 434 12624 1
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All played out: The True Story of Italia ’90 
by Pete Davies.
Heinemann, 471 pp., £14.99, October 1990, 0 434 17908 6
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Gazza! A Biography 
by Robin McGibbon.
Penguin, 204 pp., £3.99, October 1990, 9780140148688
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... it with the headline ‘EVIL MYRA GAGS THE SUN’. Under Mackenzie, the Sun has become the purveyor of a kind of dark vaudeville, an always prurient and frequently malign parody of a newspaper. (Chippindale and Horrie turn up a good anecdote about one of the most celebrated examples of this malignity, the use of the single-word headline ‘GOTCHA’ about the sinking of the General Belgrano. Mackenzie ...

Bravo l’artiste

John Lanchester: What is Murdoch after?

5 February 2004
The Murdoch Archipelago 
by Bruce Page.
Simon and Schuster, 580 pp., £20, September 2003, 0 7432 3936 9
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Rupert Murdoch: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Media Wizard 
by Neil Chenoweth.
Crown Business, 416 pp., $27.50, December 2002, 0 609 61038 4
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Autumn of the Moguls: My Misadventures with the Titans, Poseurs and Money Guys who Mastered and Messed up Big Media 
by Michael Wolff.
Flamingo, 381 pp., £18.99, January 2004, 0 00 717881 6
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... editor, had second thoughts about that one, and changed it in later editions to ‘DID 1200 ARGIES DROWN?’ ‘I wouldn’t have pulled it if I was you,’ Murdoch told MacKenzie, according to PeterChippindale and Chris Horrie’s deathlessly great history of the Sun, Stick It Up Your Punter! ‘Seemed like a bloody good headline to me.’ So ‘gotcha!’ still probably wins the prize, though ...

The Club and the Mob

James Meek: The Shock of the News

6 December 2018
Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now 
by Alan Rusbridger.
Canongate, 464 pp., £20, September 2018, 978 1 78689 093 1
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... a deplorable, insensitive deception on the public’. It was fake news, big time, or, as it used to be called, lying. In their book about the Sun, Stick It Up Your Punter! (2012), Chris Horrie and PeterChippindale describe what happened next: Years afterwards a hack went to interview Mrs McKay for a magazine and asked her why she had been so reluctant to make a complaint. She showed him a grudging ...

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