Friday, October 05, 2007

Borschtola: Is Alisher Creosotemanov Buying the Press?

Tim Ireland has reported that Alisher Creosotemanov has been buying rather than bullying the mainstream media. With swanky flights, luxury hotels, gift books and a nice bit of scran to boot.

Hats off to the FT who mostly insist on paying their own way. But I must say that eg music, film and lifestyle publications - especially the big ones - often get treated to trips by their subjects or record companies. Particularly the richer ones who paradoxically could afford their own fares.

We don't see these things disclosed. And nor do the artistes always get positive reviews or whatever.

When the figure is political, even with a small p, this is a more serious matter. Though expecting journalists to behave like politicians around ligs and freebies and disclose every last little drip of grease that crosses their palms and glass of bubbly that crosses their lips, as the gonzo journalist Iain Dale seems to, well that's possibly a bit OTT.

Imagine filling out your declaration after a three-week slog going round party conferences. Homily Pie from Campbell, Sausage and Mash from Brown, Eton Mess from Cameron?

But even the FT accepted a meal from the formerly imprisoned, blogger bashing art lover and oligarchioso Alisher Creosotemanov.

Is this a problem? How big a problem?

And shouldn't it also be expected that currently un-outed pundits, radio phone-in participants and so on also declare their allegiances?

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