More about the “Mirror” tabloids

By The Last Tear (Lou)

“Bad roots, Bad fruit”: this is a very true statement when it comes to the tabloids. But before getting “inside the roots”, let us post the latest message from the Estate of Michael Jackson regarding recent tabloid stories: 

We know many fans have been upset by recent tabloid stories in the UK about Michael. In his song “Tabloid Junkie” Michael Jackson sings: Just because you read it in a magazine or see it on a TV screen doesn’t make it factual. 

Sadly, we were recently reminded of just how prophetic Michael’s lyrics were when these disgraceful, stale and discredited stories more than two decades old were published making unfounded allegations about Michael and so-called FBI “files.” It should be no surprise that one of the authors of this rehash has a long history of writing tabloid articles about Michael. It also should be noted that he formerly was a top editor at a scandal-ridden British tabloid that folded following revelations that the phones of celebrities, public figures and even a child murder victim were illegally hacked. Even more unseemly was one press account in which the tabloid’s source was identified as a former investigator whose license was revoked and who also has filed for bankruptcy. He isn’t denying that he was paid to tell these falsehoods, but he is boasting about his pornography career. It goes without saying that this callous and brazen disregard shown Michael’s children, family and fans is beyond reprehensible.

Responsible journalists who don’t practice checkbook journalism have thoroughly debunked this disgusting story and its unreliable sources. Showbiz411 titled its story: “ ‘FBI Files’ Are From People Discredited Long Time Ago” ( CNN called the London tabloid reports a “questionable” rehash while noting that, “A website can enjoy a sharp spike in traffic — which can translate into advertising revenue — with a sensational headline” ( in describing how media can play fast and loose with the truth to drive viewers or readers to their site.

We believe unethical tabloid journalists and publications spreading falsehoods about Michael for their own selfish reasons are best ignored. Sadly, they hide shamelessly behind a legal shield allowing them to smear those who are no longer with us. As readers abandon them and their businesses collapse, they desperately seek attention and publicity. We don’t believe they deserve it, and are confident that discredited articles such as these vanish quickly and are easily forgotten.

Rest assured that Michael’s legacy is his artistic genius. It’s his humanitarian work that touched millions, and his global messages of peace. Most important, Michael’s legacy is his enduring love for his children, his family and his fans.

– John Branca and John McClain, Co-Executors, The Estate Of Michael Jackson


Also on July 9, the blogger AndJusticeforSome posted an open letter to the media especially to the tabloids. Several Michael Jackson fan groups signed this letter:

Open Letter: Tired of Schemes: Michael Jackson Fans Scream For Justice Final Version

A few days ago, The Sunday People, a well-known British tabloid, published a misleading and titillating report stating that Michael Jackson had paid off dozens of boys to keep quiet about abuse they suffered at his hands. The Sunday People cited the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as their source for these incredulous allegations, and very quickly, media outlets around the world (from People Magazine to Huffington Post) have copied and pasted the fabricated story without first vetting it. Had they read the story before pasting it onto their own sites or papers, many would have noticed the inconsistencies in the Sunday People’s story.  Roger Friedman pointed this out first, while it took CNN mere days to debunk the original piece.

Following CNN’s lead, several legitimate media have since come out and challenged or dismissed The People Sunday’s fabricated FBI stories. These allegations are categorically false. The ONLY Michael Jackson files, which the FBI published a few months after his death in 2009, DO NOT corroborate the tabloid’s stories.  Tom Mesereau, Jackson’s lead defense attorney in the 2005 molestation trial, confirmed this point, as he read Jackson’s released FBI files and none of the claims reported in the Sunday People, were true.

 In fact, these very stories date back several decades.  They were first published by another tabloid over two decades ago, only to be disproven by a handful of ethical journalists and Jackson’s activist fans. The People Sunday’s faux-FBI files are nothing more than statements made by a Jackson’s disgruntled ex-employee, who admitted on tape to fabricating and selling his stories to the tabloids. In addition, this former employee admitted to embellishing his version of events, based on how much the tabloids were willing to pay. The more outlandish the stories, the more money they would collect. Quite simply, The Sunday People have recycled an already debunked story from decades ago.

The Michael Jackson fan community will no longer turn a blind eye to these blatant lies, and outlandish stories. The lack of journalistic integrity coupled with the need for website hits and fierce competition for ad revenue, have allowed the media to forgo ethics for profit. This “break the news first and vet the story later” attitude is irresponsible, reprehensible and does a great disservice to the public and the profession.

We implore the media to apply due diligence and restore some level of integrity in their news coverage. Allow the public to have some confidence that the stories we are reading from our favorite newspapers, magazines or websites were vetted…not fabricated. 

If the tabloids continue to knowingly publish false stories, Michael Jackson’s fans will have no other choice than to contact their bottom line; their sponsors, their advertisers and ultimately, their profit.


The tabloids mentioned in the Estate’s message and in the open letter, are parts of Mirror Group Newspapers which is a merger between Trinity Mirror plc and Mirror Group plc in 1999. Wikipedia gives us a short and concise history about Trinity:

Trinity Mirror plc is a large British newspaper and magazine publisher. It is Britain’s biggest newspaper group, publishing 240 regional papers as well as the national Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and People, and the Scottish Sunday Mail and Daily Record. Its headquarters are at Canary Wharf in London. Listed on the London Stock Exchange, it is a constituent of the FTSE SmallCap Index []

Read more here:

One of the “roots” of Trinity goes back to 1930 and to the first owner of Daily Mirror and Daily Mail, Harold Sidney Harmsworth or first Viscount Rothermere who was a pioneer of British tabloids. In 2005, several documents released by MI6 revealed that Rothermere supported the Nazi Party and visited and corresponded with Hitler:

Months before war, Rothermere said Hitler’s work was superhuman

Richard Norton-Taylor The Guardian, Friday 1 April 2005 02.20 BST

The proprietor of the Daily Mail sent a series of supportive and congratulatory telegrams to Nazi Germany’s leaders, including Hitler, just months before the second world war, papers released today reveal. Intercepted messages from Lord Rothermere to Berlin are among the first papers to be released from Foreign Office intelligence files.

The files also show how, as early as 1906, MI6 drew up detailed plans to plant agents in Europe “in the event of war with Germany”. At the end of 1938 they were telling London that Hitler believed Britain was “enemy No 1”. Yet in the summer of 1939, Rothermere was still appealing to Hitler not to provoke a war, saying that Britain and Nazi Germany must remain at peace. “Our two great Nordic countries should pursue resolutely a policy of appeasement for, whatever anyone may say, our two great countries should be the leaders of the world,” he told Joachim von Ribbentrop, Hitler’s foreign minister, on July 7 1939. Ten days earlier, Rothermere had written to Hitler: “My Dear Führer, I have watched with understanding and interest the progress of your great and superhuman work in regenerating your country.” []

Please read this article too:

When Rothermere urged Hitler to invade Romania

By Neil Tweedie and Peter Day 12:01AM GMT 01 Mar 2005


The other “root” of Mirror Group goes back to Robert Maxwell:

Robert Maxwell, in full Ian Robert Maxwell, original name Jan Ludvik Hoch   (born June 10, 1923, Slatina-Selo, Czechoslovakia—died November 5, 1991, at sea off the Canary Islands), Czechoslovak-born British publisher who built an international communications empire. His financial risks led him into grand fraud and an apparent suicide. Virtually all of the young Hoch’s Jewish family living in Czechoslovakia and Budapest died in the Nazi Holocaust, but he was able to make his way first to France and then to Britain, where he became a British army officer and participated in the Normandy invasion []

Thursday, 29 March, 2001, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK

Robert Maxwell: A profile

In seeking to explain Robert Maxwell’s actions in later life, many commentators point to the extreme poverty and deprivation of his childhood. The media mogul once claimed that he did not have a pair of shoes until he was seven. []

Maxwell had long hoped he would be able to take over a national newspaper, but had twice lost out to Rupert Murdoch, who succeeded in taking over the Sun and the News of the World.He got his chance to run a national newspaper when he bought Mirror Group Newspapers in 1984 from Reed International. The purchase of America’s Macmillan publishers dragged his company further into debt.In 1991, he floated MGN as a public company, desperate to raise cash because the rest of the company was veering towards bankruptcy with debts of over £2bn. Exactly how desperate he had become was not clear until after his death, when it transpired that he had taken money from pension funds to keep his companies afloat and boost the share price.

For more read, please check the report document from Mirror Group plc

and another BBC article:


In March 2013, 4 tabloids journalists of Mirror Group were arrested by Phone-hacking police. Please read the following articles:

14 March 2013 Last updated at 18:15 GMT

Mirror Group journalists held by phone-hacking police

 Four journalists or former journalists at Mirror Group Newspapers have been arrested in London by police investigating alleged phone hacking.

It is the first time Scotland Yard has indicated it has identified a suspected plot to intercept telephone voicemails involving the newspaper group.

The inquiry centres on the Sunday Mirror between 2003 and 2004.

The four, who include ex-Sunday Mirror editor Tina Weaver and current People editor James Scott, were later bailed.

The Metropolitan Police said they have been asked to return to police stations on various dates in April.

Police working on Operation Weeting said three men, aged 40, 49 and 46, and a 47-year-old woman were held at separate addresses in south-east and south-west London at 06:00 GMT on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept telephone communications contrary to the Criminal Law Act 1997.

All are journalists or former journalists on Mirror Group Newspaper titles, they confirmed.

‘Primary focus’

An email to staff from Simon Fox, the chief executive of parent company Trinity Mirror, confirms the names of four people arrested.

The email says another serving members of staff, Nick Buckley, the deputy Editor of the People and Mark Thomas, a former editor of the newspaper were also held.

All four are being provided with legal support, it added.

The People editor Mr Scott is also the former deputy editor of the Sunday Mirror while Ms Weaver is now an editorial member of the Press Complaints Commission.

All four are being interviewed at various police stations in London and searches are being carried out at a number of addresses.

They are yet to respond publicly to the allegations.

The Metropolitan Police said its officers would be “making contact with people they believe have been victims of the suspected voicemail interceptions” in due course.

In a statement it said: “Detectives on Operation Weeting have identified and are investigating a suspected conspiracy to intercept telephone voicemails at Mirror Group Newspapers…

“It is believed it mainly concerned the Sunday Mirror newspaper and at this stage the primary focus is on the years 2003 and 2004.”

Police said the probe was separate to cases involving the News of the World, which closed down in 2011 in the wake of claims about phone hacking at the paper.

Police launched Operation Weeting in 2011. The investigation is running alongside Operation Elveden, a probe into illegal payments to public officials, and Operation Tuleta, which is an looking at computer hacking and other privacy breaches.

‘Supergrass’ takes hacking scandal into new territory

Mirror Group shares fall by 20 per cent as editor, deputy and two former editors are held


Friday 15 March 2013

Evidence from a “supergrass” is understood to have prompted today’s arrests of the former Sunday Mirror editor Tina Weaver and three other executives from the Mirror Group on suspicion of phone hacking.

An insider with knowledge of the workings of a number of tabloid titles is thought to have handed the Metropolitan Police significant new information about the Sunday Mirror and the News of the World.

Scotland Yard is also thought to have obtained evidence from a recent exchange of emails between a small group of current and former Mirror Group executives. Detectives have already drawn up a list of preliminary list of possible victims whose voicemails may have been illegally accessed by Mirror Group journalists. The disclosures have opened a new front in Scotland Yard’s inquiries into illegal news-gathering by tabloid journalists.

Trinity Mirror shares plunged 20 per cent on the London stock exchange, wiping £60m from the firm’s value. Earlier in the day the company announced a 75 per cent fall in profits.

At 6am today, detectives from Operation Weeting raided the homes of Mrs Weaver, who edited the Sunday Mirror for 11 years, until she was ousted last year in a surprise move, and her former deputy (and former People editor) Mark Thomas.

James Scott, current editor of the Sunday Mirror’s sister paper the Sunday People, and his deputy Nick Buckley, both based in the paper’s offices in London’s Docklands, were also arrested. They are the most senior serving journalists to be arrested in the police inquiries into press misbehaviour, which have so far led to more than 100 arrests.

All four were taken to police stations in London and questioned about a new alleged conspiracy to trawl the voicemails of newsworthy individuals for stories.

The operation cast a further shadow over Trinity Mirror, which owns both the Sunday Mirror and the People along with the Daily Mirror and scores of regional newspapers.

Until today Britain’s second-biggest newspaper group had largely avoided being dragged into the hacking scandal which has trashed the reputation of Rupert Murdoch’s News International and cost its owners at least £250m.

Scotland Yard said it was in the process of identifying a new series of victims of hacking “mainly” by the Sunday Mirror during 2003 and 2004. Since the Leveson Inquiry started last year, Trinity Mirror has held two internal investigations into phone hacking. A review headed by Paul Vickers, the company secretary and a barrister, questioned senior journalists.

The former chief executive, Sly Bailey, subsequently told Lord Justice Leveson that Mirror Group was a “healthy” company and there was no evidence any Mirror Group journalist had ever broken the law.

Simon Fox, who took over after the departure of Ms Bailey, was forced by shareholders to hold another probe when civil actions over alleged hacking were lodged last October. Again all Mirror journalists were described as working within the law.

But The Independent understands that the company was told last year that police investigating possible hacking by Mirror Group journalists were concentrating on obtaining an “insider” account, and that arrests could be imminent.

The arrests were approved after an apparent supergrass familiar with both the News of the World and Mirror Group titles began providing information to police.

Officers are also examining a sequence of emails between key former and current Mirror Group personnel. It is believed the emails were sent recently. A Mirror Group spokesmen said the company was “co-operating with the police”, but it is understood that no emails have been handed to police by the firm.

Last year The Independent revealed details of evidence held by Scotland Yard which identified a former Mirror Group executive as paying a private investigations firm up to £125 a time for mobile phone numbers and pin access codes two years before phone hacking became a routine practice at the News of the World.

Police sources confirmed that Sven-Goran Eriksson, the former England football manager, Shobna Gulati, the former Coronation Street actress, Abbie Gibson, the nanny of David and Victoria Beckham, and the former captain of Blackburn Rovers football club had been identified in the preliminary list of potential victims of Mirror Group hacking. Claims for invasion of privacy against Trinity Mirror by Mr Eriksson and the three others were lodged in the High Court last year. Trinity Mirror has applied to strike out the claims.

Last month police arrested six journalists from the features department of the News of the World over “a further conspiracy” to hack phones.

Explaining the arrests, Scotland Yard said: “Detectives on Operation Weeting have identified and are investigating a suspected conspiracy to intercept telephone voicemails at Mirror Group Newspapers. This conspiracy is being treated as a separate conspiracy to the two being investigated at the News of the World.”


This is no surprise if tabloids journalists like James Desborough and David Gardner – the two reporters who are the authors of the tabloid articles mentioned by the Estate and the Open Letter – works for papers in Mirror Group.

In fact the biography of James Desborough – a tabloid journalist who has written many lies about Michael Jackson – is shocking:

Phone hacking scandal and Operation Weeting

On August 18, 2011, Desborough was arrested by officers from Operation Weeting on suspicion of phone hacking. Newspaper reports confirmed that Desborough’s arrest was printed on the Guardian’s news website, before it actually took place. Later that day an officer from Operation Weeting was arrested at his desk over suspicions of leaks to the media []

Read more here

Also this well-written article:

The art of lying

How a fabricated quote and a British tabloid brought the “George Harrison Is Dying” story to life.

By Martin Lewis

As for David Gardner, he likes very much to slander Paris Jackson. It seems that he shares Rothermere’s passion for the Fuhrer; even if Gardner does not deny the crimes committed by the Fuhrer, he has written a book about Hitler’s nephew. Gardner seems to be fascinated by the nephew and his descendents who have become Americans.

One last notice about the Mirror Group; the boss of the group is Simon Fox who was the CEO of HMV. Fox left HMV in August 2012. Billboard published an article about HMV and Fox doing business with a group of people which included AEG:

HMV, UK’s Largest Entertainment Retailer, Reports Loss For Fiscal Year

| August 09, 2012 8:08 AM EDT


In terms of its live music business, HMV earlier this year agreed to sell the Hammersmith Apollo venue, which has hosted the likes of Oasis, Queen, the Beatles and David Bowie, to a consortium that includes a unit of Philip Anschutz’s Anschutz Entertainment. The live unit also includes 12 other event sites, including the Forum in London’s Kentish Town and Camden’s Jazz Cafe, and music festivals.


A little comfort for innocent people who suffered and still suffer at the hands of the tabloids.


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