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Nick Davies' House of Corrections

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EVERYWHERE (Rixstep) — Nick Davies is still trying to pick up the pieces after he was outed at this site and others for going on a deliberate and malicious character assassination attack against Julian Assange. Most recently he was outed by 'Bella Magnani' at WikiLeaks Central.

But Bella really did a number on him, contrasting his flowery language with his actual deeds, and this prompted the suddenly reclusive Davies to respond at WikiLeaks Central itself.

Unfortunately, all of what Davies writes there is only more prevarication.

Here is a brief run-through of Davies' most recent 'dodge 'em' attempt.


Nick Davies claims he came into possession of a copy of the Swedish police förundersökningsprotokoll - the preliminary investigation documentation for the 'case' against Julian Assange - by spurious means, had the documents translated in a flash, and then published a 'balanced' account of what he found.

Unfortunately, the international media didn't see it that way. And once Rixstep released a complete translation of these documents to the public at large, everybody could see it.

Nick Davies has been keeping a very low profile ever since.

Bella Magnani approached this site last week with a copy of her article, suggesting it be published here. Staff at Rixstep suggested the article could have more impact at WikiLeaks Central and Bella then sent it there. Publication followed shortly thereafter.

Bella Magnani really did her research: she not only researched the Nick Davies hit piece, she researched Nick Davies himself and contrasted his earlier attacks on 'nasty media' with what he's involved in today.

Where once journalists were active gatherers of news, now they have generally become mere passive processors of unchecked, second-hand material, much of it contrived by PR to serve some political or commercial interest. Not journalists but churnalists. An industry whose primary task is to filter out falsehood has become so vulnerable to manipulation that it is now involved in the mass production of falsehood, distortion, and propaganda.
 - Nick Davies

Those were the days. Did they ever exist?

Nick Davies spent most of his time the past years going after News of the World, an admirable rag cited as such by no less than John Lennon himself, a rag in the great tradition of the Globe, and National Enquirer, and now the Grauniad itself, a rag that leaks £25 million per year and has the second lowest hard copy sales in the country, and would be nowhere without Jules Assange and WikiLeaks.

All of which Bella Magnani points out. And obviously she hit Davies where it hurts: for the latter did the unexpected - he signed up as a member of WikiLeaks Central to respond to her article in a comment that's bound to send the world into fits of rapture and lulz.

So how is Nick Davies claiming Bella Magnani is wrong and Nick Davies is as pure as East End snow?

Nick Davies' House of Corrections

'Sorry for the slow posting', Davies begins, 'I've only come across this article.'

Nice try, Nick: the article was only published the day before.

'I'm afraid you've been misinformed.'

Whoa. Bombastic start. Laced with phony compassion. He knows his trade.

'You say that what we published was based on only one side of the story. But if you read it, you will see that repeatedly we recorded points in Julian's defence.'

Oh what a mouthful. Anyone reading the police documents available at this site is immediately struck by now skewed Nick Davies deliberately made his story. Davies' excuse is the lame 'we didn't have it all': that his copy was an earlier copy and that supposedly (for he's admitting as much between the lines) the later copy would have exonerated Julian Assange (which it did).

But Nick Davies:

  • has never come forward to revise his story or his article; and
  • has never before declared he knows his story is skewed and needs correction.

And the Nick Davies version of the truth doesn't hold much water anyway. For example: Davies repeatedly refers to the character witness who's since given interviews to AOL News amongst other publications. Davies cites the fact the witness told the police Anna Ardin was 'credible'.

This is deliberately twisted by Nick Davies in a malicious way: the witness (Donald Boström) was actually saying Anna Ardin was a damned good liar.

Boström repeatedly pointed out to the police that Ardin had demonstrably hoodwinked him on a number of occasions and in the end had given him five different versions of what had happened. This is all part of the one and only interrogation Boström participated in. Nick Davies had access to that complete interrogation. He consciously chose to skew it.

Nick Davies has all along taken the typical stance of the Old Media: journalists have their sources, they have a patent on the truth, they're never going to let you see what they have, you're going to have to take their word for it.

The Old Way is Gone

This is the 'old way'. Of the 'Old Media'. And that way is gone forever. Nick Davies lies - all journalists lie. And the only way to keep them honest, the only way for people to know the truth, is to release the source documents - just like WikiLeaks.

But Nick Davies won't do that. And he knows the world knows he won't. Nick Davies doesn't dare: those documents are his trump card: they give him the ability to claim anything he wants (just like Claes Borgström). They keep his readers in suspense, coming back for more crumbs tossed from his scavenger table; he'd be exposed as a liar.

Nick Davies is used to having a patent on the truth, still writes (and lies) as if he has one, and can't accept the fact his world is old and wizened and he no longer has control. His 'stooping' to entering WikiLeaks Central is proof enough of that.

Another Nick Davies prevarication:

'You say we have stayed silent on how we came by the statements. We haven't. See http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nick-davies/post_1506_b_802680.html.

But all that's found there is this.

'I am not going to serve up that source's identity to satisfy Jagger's temper. A police file like that gets widely distributed. It happened to make its way quite legitimately into the hands of somebody I have come across in the past. This person has absolutely no connection with the Swedish prosecutor or the Swedish police or any other individual or organisation with any kind of antipathy to Assange. The source passed it on, and I got it translated.'

Nick Davies will have to stand for the claim the 'file' got widely distributed; he will also have to stand for the completely prevaricated claim he had an 'earlier' copy that didn't have complete interrogations; he will also have to endure criticism for not coming forth when those supposed 'new versions' of the files became available to explain how wrong he got things in his article; he'll have to apologise to Bianca Jagger and a lot of people; and he'll have to live with himself for what he's done.

Nick Davies' house of corrections is a house of cards.

See Also
Rixstep Red Hat Diaries: Deconstructing Davies
Rixstep Industry Watch: Assange & Davies Again
Rixstep Industry Watch: Nick Davies' Deep Throat

Huffington Post: Nick Davies: 'Let's Clear the Air of Misinformation'
Bella Magnani: Another example of the Guardian's creative 'redacting'

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