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?