It’s a funny old world as Guardian Media’s Dan Sabbagh lauds Richard Desmond for £30m profit

Not so long ago Richard Desmond, owner of Express Newspapers, OK magazine, numerous digital porn channels and, recently, Channel 5 was boasting that he had so much money that he wanted to buy the Sun from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation for £1bn.

Now, it transpires, Desmond’s Northern and Shell empire has tripled its profits – from £8.9m in 2009 to £30.3m in 2010, respectable no doubt but hardly an occasion for hanging out the bunting. Murdoch, whose company makes billions a year, could be allowed a scoff.

And this has all been dutifully reported in the Guardian’s media section by editor Dan Sabbagh (pictured), a refugee from the rather more right wing The Times.

And Dan goes on to report that the hitherto rich-beyond-Croesus Desmond is not taking a dividend or boosting his presumably plentiful pension fund.

There are no on the record quotes from Desmond in this but it’s pretty obvious he’s been whispering in Dan’s shell-like.

Well fair enough, someone gives you first stab at the story so you give them a clean run.

But should Sabbagh, and the Guardian for goodness sake, be boosting Desmond’s fairly miniscule achievements like this?

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.