Top Executives at Associated Press are worried that the Evening Standard has gone too far in its attempts to oust Ken Livingstone.
The recent front page headline that falsely accused Ken's campaign of being run by suicide bomb backers, was received with a mixture of horror and ridicule by the rest of the media. However, it now seems that top executives at The Mail group feel they have got carried away with their attempts to elect Boris Johnson.
Writing in the Independent, Margareta Pagano reveals that:
"I hear there is unease in Associated's highest circles about the vehemence of the Ken-baiting (beyond the excellence of Andrew Gilligan's reporting). Perhaps that explains last Monday's front page, which reported that Johnson's poll lead had been halved, and Wednesday's story on the cost of Boris's Routemaster (right) plans."
In fact the day after the Standard put out the libelous front page headline: "Suicide Bomb Backer runs Ken's Campaign," they suddenly ran with three uncharacteristically critical stories on Boris Johnson. Pagano's revelation therefore fits in with the impression that even The Evening Standard themselves realise that they have gone too far.
There have been further signs of unease. Since I posted about their false headline on Wednesday my webstats have shown a surge of interest from the offices of the Daily Mail and Evening Standard group. It was also particularly gratifying to receive a click from the internal email account of Andrew Gilligan himself.
Coincidentally there has also been a surge in anonymous trolling comments, most of which I have sent to the trash. However, if anyone from the Standard does want to come out of the shadows and justify their campaign, then I will be more than happy to put them on the record.