18 Sep 2012

Why won’t MacKenzie tell us ‘the truth’ about Hillsborough?

To be fair to The Sun, it was reporting in good faith what several police sources had told to a reputable Sheffield news agency. A local MP was also saying the same thing. It was not to know it was in the hands of a major police black propaganda operation – a cover-up.

Even so, that night, The Sun reporter who wrote the copy beneath the infamous headline insists he wrote a story about “allegations” concerning Liverpool fans at Hillsborough. He says he was measured, distanced. He could not be sure.

Harry Arnold, that reporter, recalls just what happened when he saw Kelvin Mackenzie writing that headline: “I was about to leave the newsroom when I saw him drawing up the front page,” he told the BBC, “When I saw the headline ‘The Truth’ I was aghast because that wasn’t what I’d written.”

He recalls a critical conversation which then took place with Kelvin MacKenzie:

HA: You can’t say that.

KM: Why not?

HA: Because we don’t know that it’s the truth.

KM: Oh don’t worry. I’m going to make it clear that this is what some people are saying.

And he left.

But that is not how things appeared in the paper, as the world knows. To date, Mr MacKenzie has never explained why he overruled the clear misgivings of many of his staff that day.

Moreover, except for a written apology last week in which he said he wished he’d written ‘The Lie’ instead, Mr MacKenzie has not given any interviews at all since the publication of last week’s Hillsborough report.

Channel 4 News repeatedly called him requesting an interview. We called yesterday in person to relay that message to him via his family at his large house in a private development in Surrey.

This morning I arrived there. I went straight to his house without any camera or recording equipment and asked Mr Mackenzie if he would kindly put on camera the remarks in his statement last week and generally give his side of the story.

Mr Mackenzie explained he was in the middle of writing an article for The Spectator and did not wish to do a TV interview with me. He then added: “F*** off.”

So I did. But not far. Just around the corner in fact to meet our cameraman and put on a radio microphone.

Pre News refresh player


We called again. And you can see what happened on the next two meetings at his house. This time, Kelvin MacKenzie had changed rapidly from the shorts and t-shirt of the earlier visit into a smart shirt and trousers.

I sensed he was going out. In fact he went in. He again said he did not wish to be interviewed and that he was ‘not going to let (Channel 4 News) set the agenda’. He slammed the door in my face.

What the camera doesn’t pick up is that, from within the house he said: “I’m not afraid” when I ask him why he’s afraid of speaking to us.

Equally, when we returned a second time, what you don’t quite hear is Kelvin Mackenzie emerging from his house to leave.

As he does so he says jauntily: “Ah Alex – you still here? And still employed?”

I confirm on the tape that I am, still, employed and the rest is all there for you. And needs no words from me.

But as a postscript, consider this from Chris Horrie and Peter Chippindale’s fascinating account of life under Kelvin Mackenzie at The Sun – “Stick It Up Your Punter: Rise and Fall of The Sun”:

“As MacKenzie’s layout was seen by more and more people, a collective shudder ran through the office but MacKenzie’s dominance was so total there was nobody left in the organisation who could rein him in except Murdoch.”

“The error staring them in the face was too glaring. It obviously wasn’t a silly mistake; nor was it a simple oversight. Nobody really had any comment on it, they just took one look and went away shaking their heads in wonder at the enormity of it. It was a classic smear.”

A smear for which Kelvin Mackenzie adamantly refused to apologise for many years. He still refuses to explain why he came to over-rule his staff and set in train a smear that hurts many to this day.

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116 reader comments

  1. steve williams says:

    That Adam scumbag journalist.

    If I was Kelvin I’d have nutted him!

    1. Phil M says:

      Why is that Steve? Because he asked him to answer some simple questions which he should be obligated to answer, he has refused to give interviews and locked himself away in his mansion as he knows that his cushy little number in public broadcasting is over due to the major role he played in perpetuating the myth that the fans, the innocent matchgoers were repsonsible for the tragedy of 15/04/89.

    2. Kalim says:

      Real proud of AlexT for holding back on the emotion for what clearly is an issue close to his heart; and Kelvin knew that too, but because KM lacks that most basic of Journalistic Ninja skills, he is shown for the puppet he is; meaning if no one is pulling the strings he can’t even drive a car off his drive.

      Note: don’t feed the Trolls

    3. Wilks says:

      It’s nice to see a “power-tripping” little twerp squirm… Signs of a man who realises he has done wrong; he insulted the people of Liverpool who suffered such a terrible tragedy and injustice.

      All for the sake of selling more newspapers and lining his own pockets – even Dick Turpin wore a mask!

    4. Wilks says:

      That’s gonna solve a lot! He probably couldn’t reach anyhow.. I bet he comes out all humble next week – get him doing community service.. maybe picking up dog doos – he’s dealt a lot with that sort of thing in past.

    5. Bob says:

      Since the news broke re: Hillsborough and the lies and cover up, I have been waiting for someone in the media to catch up with CM, the second most vile scumbag in journalism, behind murdoch and just above piers morgan (yes piers we all know that you are a lying dispicable s*** and your day will come) and channel 4 and AT have done the business.
      Keep up the pressure C4, be relentless, show no forgiveness, destroy him, destroy his credibility, make him an outcast. That will be some kind of justice.

    6. graham says:

      Poor journalism channel 4. Mimicking the suns jounalistic style is the sort of thing you expect itv to do. Left me feeling sorry for Kelvin and he doesn’t deserve my pity.

      1. Tam says:

        What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. McKenzie deserved everything he got, and more.

    7. dave says:

      i look at my lovely grandson and think “no way he can have evolved from a pond”. then i think of this repulsive retile mackenzie and i think “well maybe some of us have”

    8. taro says:

      I have the same impression for the interview of Alex Thomson to Mackenzie.
      He is very rude. Why anybody have to be shouted repeatedly, and stalked like what he did?
      He obviously interrupted Mackenzie to start his car, and intruded into Mackenzie’s lot and shouted at the place in front of his entrance door. Why is he allowed to do so?
      I think that some police question him about what he did. There is an evidence on the site
      of channel 4 as a video. I can’t understand why any person keep the evidence proving that
      he did a wrong-doing.

    9. John says:

      McKenzie and the other journalists on the red tops deserve everything they get. They have made ordinary people’s lives a misery throughout their ‘careers;’. Why anyone would have one jot of sympathy for him is beyond me’ If Thomo says it – it needs saying!

  2. darren says:

    That looked like great fun. But did you have any concern about bringing a camera onto his own private property, or do you think there was an overwhelming public interest?

    1. Phil M says:

      There’s great public interest in seeing this scumbag brought before a judge or committee to explain his actions of April 1989 and to reveal his sources who he claim fed him the lies that he printed.

  3. lewis wilde says:

    Has McKenzie been tweeted to appear on channel 4 as I received an odd tweet from him – the only tweet I have ever received from him – where he seemed to think I was from channel 4.

    I have no such association.

  4. Jim Brady says:

    Well done Alex, and not before time! I can’t accept however, the excuses of the Sun workers under him at the time. A bunch of grown men, professional journalists who drink every lunchtime, so scared of a loudmouthed bully that NONE of them would stand up and say “I’m not having this”? And THAT is why I do not excuse any one who works at the Sun from some degree of complicity in it’s countless campaigns of lies and defamation.

    1. Mike Cooper says:

      Standing up to MacKenzie would have cost someone their job. Would you sacrifice your job on a point of principle?

  5. Phil M says:

    Thank you Mr. Thomson for pursuing this vile individual who you can see is hoping this all blows over and he can continue his comfortable life going to and from BBC studios making haphazard appearances on tv panel shows on the back of his faux celeb status as a form S*n editor. Justice is coming Mackenzie!


    Your time is up MacKenzie, Never ever buy the Sun! Justice for the 96.
    23 years we have waited and we won’t stop now.

  6. Darren Green says:

    I shall be tuning in to watch that. CH4 News is like no other.

  7. Harvey says:

    Well done Alex!

    Glad to see you got that low-life riled. No apology should ever be accepted….. he should never be allowed to work in any capacity of the Media…. His punishment must be more severe….

    RIP the 96, YNWA

    1. Mike Marsh says:

      Good to see him tasting his own medicine. The wolves are gathering Kelvin! Thank you Alex.

      I complained to the BBC using their own complaints procedure (the link at the bottom of the post) I highlighted my disgust that a disgraced bigot has been given a publicly funded platform in order to peddle cruelty and bile. I am aware that in response to similar complaints in the past the BBC has claimed it is not responsible for the views of its employees if those views are aired on other channels or in other forums. However, their reply (below) indicates that Mackenzie may not be welcome in the future if enough voices of dissent are heard.

      Thanks for contacting us.

      We understand you’re unhappy with Kelvin MacKenzie contributing to BBC programmes following the disclosure of the Hillsborough reports.

      The BBC, like all other media organisations, uses a range of guests and contributors. Appearances are decided on a case by case basis.

      We would like to assure you however that we’ve registered your comments on our audience log. This is the internal report of audience feedback we compile daily for all programme makers, commissioning executives, and senior management within the BBC. The audience logs are important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content and ensure that your points, and all other comments we receive, are made available to staff across the BBC.

      Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

      Kind Regards

      BBC Complaints


      1. Dean Hennessy says:

        Nice one Alex and nice one Channel 4. That certainly made me smile to see Mackenzie squirm.
        Channel 4 – “one of our own”.

        Mike Marsh – RE: the BBC…. You’re not alone, I too have made several attempts to get some sense and justification from the BBC, for them continually giving a platform (and payments) to that shithouse Mackenzie and the predictable bile he spews.

        Here is one of the final responses they sent me, simultaneously fobbing me off and pointing out they are above the Freedom of Information act:

        Subject: RE: FOI request re. Kelvin McKenzie – RFI20110944

        Dear Mr Hennessy,

        We appreciate that you are disappointed that we have declined to provide the information you have requested, outside of the scope of the Act. It may be useful to explain that the words ‘journalism, art or literature’ were intended to protect the editorial independence of the public service broadcasters, in line with Article 10 of the ECHR which protects freedom of expression and the rights of the media. The Information Commissioner has endorsed this, stating that:

        ‘the ultimate purpose of the derogation is to protect journalistic, artistic and literary integrity by carving out a creative and journalistic space for programme makers to produce programmes free from the interference and scrutiny of the public.’

        It is the BBC’s view that both comments made during a broadcast and payment to contributors is information held for editorial purposes as opposed to the running of the BBC. We therefore believe that the information is not covered by the Act and we are not obliged to provide it to you and we will not be doing so on this occasion.

        We do not offer to carry out an internal review where we believe the information is out of scope so if you disagree with our decision then you will need to appeal to the Information Commissioner.

        I am sorry we have not been able to help you further in this instance.


        Rachael Ward
        Adviser, Information Policy & Compliance

        So there you have it…

        I do get a sense that “Change is Gonna Come”.

        JFT 96 – Y N W A

  8. G O'Leary says:

    I have to congratulate you, Mr Thomson, for having the stomach to go near this character, never mind be subject to his vile responses. Is he suggesting you are lucky to be in a job, what with his ranging powers to hire and fire at Channel 4? That seems delusional..
    In all seriousness, please do pursue those who have tried to besmirch the name of so many decent people. Those affected by Hillsborough will, I pray, attain justice against this character and so many more, but the harm done cannot be taken away.
    As for the Spectator, haven’t they already tried to add to the derogation and thus ruined their own credibility?
    Remember, Mackenzie, “character is much easier kept than recovered.” We kept ours. You will not recover yours.

  9. Jamie Tetlow says:

    How much money has Kelvin made going on news and current affairs shows and spewing his vile opinion, but come the time he’s the news he hides away. Never should he be allowed back on television

  10. Tom White says:

    Anyone moaning about harrassment or privacy should remember the appalling treatment Mackenzie and his bully boys handed out to all and sundry when editor, with *no public interest involved whatsoever*.

    By contrast, in this case, this not just something the public is interested in – there is a GENUINE public interest in having him answer these questions.

    Oh, and Mackenzie once said on Newsnight in any case that he was ‘in favour of mob rule’. Let him try it with the boot on the other foot.

    Good for Alex Thomson, a journalist of great integrity.

  11. colin duncan says:

    Mackenzie is vile lowlife who should be given no public platform.
    On the week my mum died he wrote that it was a good thing that Scots died earlier than English. I will dance on his grave when he is eventually dispatched to hell. Absolute scum.

  12. walriley says:

    Alex. You look like a big, solid lad. Next time you catch up with Macker, put him on his arse for us.

  13. conker says:

    well done alex dont stop till this piece of crap is on his arse

  14. PSW says:

    Great work Alex, glad someone is finally trying to bring him to book.

    The man is pond life.

  15. laurie says:

    It will be interesting to see who, if any, ever have this detestable, self important, social leper on their tv channel

    1. concerned says:

      Every man has his day I was wondering when this horrible man would face his demons, his behaviour has been over the years nothing other than I can do as I like I am the power house and all power emanates from me. To see him being doorstepped is a humiliation not enough. When his face disappears from TV screens when he remians nonedescript living with the millions he had made from causing ordinary people misery and hurt., then the public would have senrt a signal that his type of behaviour is confined to the dark and distant past. He swears on TV frquently no network should even allow him to apologise on screen because he should be ashamed of his behaviour and behaviours. I hope Thiursday debate do not allow us to see him giving his none opioions again – retire him and stop the people of Liverpool from hurting.

  16. Tim Potter says:

    KM is clearly awful but I think this is appalling journalism and in allowing it Channel 4 has sunk to the depths of the worst time of journalism that KM himself was guilty of. If this wasn’t KM then Alex could be done for harrassment

    1. Jason Bird says:

      Actually Tim, while I agree these sort of tactics should generally not be used by journalists, I think it’s quite a clever bit of journalism in an ironic way, given the fact Alex was confronting Kelvin MacKenzie.

      MacKenzie’s history of using such tactics, and much worse, while editor at The Sun means he is fair game. While his actions and headlines concerning the Hillsborough tragedy means, for once, the much abused term “In the Public Interest” definitely apply to Alex’s methods and reporting.

  17. Ange says:

    Probably the same way that you dont always tell the truth Alex. 2 wrongs dont make a right and you were wrong to enter his property no matter what.

  18. James Hancorne says:


  19. Eric says:

    In publishing that story, what Mackenzie did was exceptionally poor. However Alex Thomson’s mocking of the Ibrox disaster was equally vile. His excuses afterwards should be embarrassing to a journalist.

    1. Andy says:

      Ah, there it is right there,I was wondering how far down I would get before it was revealed. A misguided OLD Rangers(that no longer exist) fan who are the only people who seem to be on the side of Kelvin scum. Typical, remember Alex Thomson has revealed stuff in Scotland for your stupid, blind, bigotted benefit too.

  20. Andy d says:

    Ridiculous! A.T and Sky have ballsed that up. You don’t attack shoddy journalists with shoddy journalism. He’s just made Kelvin look like the victim. I think Lord Leveson’s head may just have exploded.

    1. Andy says:

      Where do they find you people? Let alone allow you use of a keyboard.
      Oh I’m sorry, lets allow this piece of work to just go on without any recourse whatsoever after all the hurt he has caused. why don’t all the Alex Thomson haters put themselves in the shoes of the families of the 96. You lot are IDIOTS

      1. Philip says:
      2. Harry (Wandsworth) says:

        Interesting that you pointed this out. The reason why the Great British unwashed deserve EVERYTHING that is happening to them today and what is to come is the complacency, arrogance, IGNORANCE, and downright lack of empathy unless of course it is them that is effected by some wrongdoing and then they wish all of us should be crying on their behalf. This insidious and disgraceful human being was prepared to take the devil’s shilling to say and print anything. Him and his employer have undermined everything that you apparently stand for, but I suppose you have to have a level of education to understand what the damage is that has been perpetrated on you. No one can reasonably accuse the British Public as a rule of being educated.

  21. Niall says:

    Really amazing job in showing up this scum for the pathetic coward he is, running from the very tactics he employed for so many years.
    Thanks for this. Truly great TV.

  22. Damien says:

    They don’t like it up them!

    How many members of the public had that scumbag sent to doorstep, harass, hound and abuse?

  23. teemeek says:

    Well done Alex for trying so hard to get some answers….but did you really expect that craven coward and bully to have the guts to defend his actions

  24. SadButMadLad says:

    So Channel 4 is ok with one of their journalists entering private property, something that is seen as extremely dodgy actions for a proper journalist especially post Leveson. Plus Alex prevented Kelvin leaving – even the worst offenders on Watchdog aren’t treated as badly as Alex treated Kelvin.

  25. Nick Maloney says:

    Although I don’t like Kelvin MacKenzie or his newspaper, it was sad to see a Channel 4 reporter behaving in an uncivilised way. Why stoop to the thuggish methods of the tabloid journalists? What were you looking for? An unsubstantiated, thoughtless, throw away line to make another piece of poor journalism? Very disappointed to see on what is the best news programme on mainstream TV.
    Please don’t stoop again to doorstep hassling.

  26. NickP says:

    Thank you Alex for seeking to get KM to simply answer questions about his actions 23 years ago that caused so much pain to people already suffering through the terrible tragedy of Hillsborough….

  27. Kevin Summers says:

    Absolutely brilliant, a taste of his own medicine

  28. Adrian Mason says:

    Good for you Alex. I salute your intelligence and courage, not just on this story but over many years at channel 4 news.

  29. Mark M says:

    Pathetic journalism. How dare you say “don’t assault me” when you were stood in the way after he clearly asked you to let him close his door. Kelvin MacKenzie may be a horrible piece of work, but you have no right to go about bullying and harassing anyone at their home. I have made an official complaint to Channel 4 about this.

  30. simonlondon says:

    great stuff Alex. Glad to see that bullyboy bigot Mackenzie getting a taste of his own medicine. Scandalous that the BBC deem him worthy to employ. That really is outrageous.

  31. Harry says:

    Alex that was not reporting!
    What are you doing?
    You behaved like a bully, just like McKenzie no different!
    I am sorry you lost your argument and message because of it.
    What a shame!

  32. Louise says:

    I just switched Channel 4 news off after seeing your piece on Kevin MacKenzie and will think twice about watching it in the future. Persisting for so long to try and force somone to speak to you when they have made it quite clear they don’t want to I do feel is unreasonable to say the least, especially standing in the way of their car door. It really put me off watching the rest of the programme. Just because Mr MacKenzie used unacceptable tactics to make a good headline, does not entitle other journalists to use any means necessary to gain an interview with him. Just something to think about for the future: put your determination and persistence to better uses please!

    1. Mike says:

      Louise what was good about the headline that K.M wrote are you for real, I can understand that you did not appreciate the manner in which A.T conducted himself but to say it was a good headline, you have to be kidding. Next time you look in the mirror give yourself a good uppercut. TELL THAT TO ALL THE PEOPLE IN LIVERPOOL THAT IT WAS A GOOD HEADLINE

    2. Helen says:

      Louise, I’ll ignore your use of the words ‘good headline’ & ask you to do a bit of research into the lowlife you are defending. Not only did he invent that “good headline” you so disrespectfully refer to, he defended it knowing he had no reliable source. He continued to defend his foul opinions of the Liverpool fans on that day for 23 years and has recanted at least 2 apologies for it so far, in the face of mounting evidence, that he was indeed wrong. He is not a nice person. I don’t condone this type of journalism but given the choice (as he did NOT give the people of Liverpool) I’d take this over anything the sun prints anyway! JFT96.

  33. Biz Miller says:

    Wonderful to see MacKenzie get a taste of the harassment he has dished out to his victims over the years.
    I would not buy the S*n if it were printed on a two-ply perforated roll, and had hoped by now it would have gone crashing down the way of the NotW, and SKY too, with Murdoch buried in the rubble. Still, we have all the ‘phone hacking trials to look forward to. It used to depress me, but I’m enjoying the news again these days!

  34. Ged says:

    Well done Alex Thomson. Well done.

  35. Mr M J Daley says:


  36. Atticus Finch says:

    Please Alex, please? Please Alex. Snivelling little rat. I take great comfort that he’ll suffer in hell when it’s his turn.

  37. tom potter says:

    I was close to a number of victims of Hillsbourgh, I simply never by the sun. and switch off the bbc when that evil doer K<Mc is on. I tried writing to the BBC and was, totaly ingnored each time. Next I,m withdrawing my licence fee.
    Tommy Potter Stoke on Trent

  38. Mike Lee says:

    As a tv correspondent I have done many ‘ambush’ interviews. They are easy and dependably farcical, which make for a spicy segment. But they seldom create any new information. Still, it makes the tv station, and its intrepid reporter, and the target, look like, well you fill in your own term depending upon your view of this incident. A piece of advice to potential targets of ambush interviews: Keep your mouth closed and don’t let yourself be round up. Poor ol Kelvin, he lost it.

  39. Pádraic Mac says:

    You were 100% right to confront that cowardly scumbag. He is vile whenever he’s on tv and hopefully more people like you will put it up to that coward. This is the type of journalism most of us want to see and it’s a pity C4 is one of the few English media outlets that do constructive reporting.

  40. Devin says:

    While I don’t know about MacKenzie’s guilt, but I do despair at the continuing move to “presume guilt and have to prove innocence” that the media seems to take with these sensational cases. The tactics used were bullying tactics.
    He does not HAVE to speak to you, just like you wouldn’t HAVE to speak to anyone if you didn’t want to. It is far to easy to have what is said miscontrued and used against you, even in a court of law and the smart thing to do whether innocent or guilty is to keep your mouth shut.
    You would be the first to jump up and down about human rights if someone was held without trial, but haven’t you just done the same thing?

  41. Maya says:

    FANTASTIC! Well done Alex Thomson. MacKenzie has had that coming for such a long time… you have made my day. Thank you.

    It’s a shame the BBC refused to listen to viewer’s complaints earlier. MacKenzie was always a disappointing and unhelpful bigoted guest when invited on Question Time, he was nauseating to watch. The BBC should take the viewer’s complaints more seriously, we have to pay the TV license fee, the BBC need to listen.

    RIP Hillsborough 96. The truth is out – Justice is coming.

    Look forward to seeing you explaining your actions in court MacKenzie.

  42. Kevin May says:

    Well done Alex. Although not the behaviour of a journalist we should see today, it was a taste of Mackenzie’s own methods and justifiable for this lowlife. I wonder could you publish his ‘private estate’ address? I am sure there a lot of people who, whilst doing no more than the practices this lowlife countenanced whilst the Scum, would like to ask him to to explain his actions and lack of conscience. The man is vile, a true lowlife.

  43. Louisa Lane says:

    I am not condoning Kelvin’s behaviour in any way but i think that it is ridiculous how it is considered acceptable for a person to harass another person in this way, preventing him from going about his own daily life. He should answer for his crimes but he doesn’t deserve to have a Alex force himself onto his property. You hear stories about celebrities have the press harrassing them and feel sympathy for them, however when it’s someone who’s done something people disagree with then he “deserves it”. He “deserves” to be ambushed and bullied by a journalist?

  44. Stevie says:

    As much as i hate MacKenzie, i thought that you Alex Thomson showed your true colours.
    You are no better than MacKenzie or are you looking to make a name for your self. As it has been already been said you lost your argument and message.i wonder how you would like it if it was MacKenzie who was at your door acting like a thug.

    1. Dave says:


      McKenzie wouldn’t have the guts to go to anyone’s front door – he’d send a junior reporter instead.

  45. David Phelps says:

    At last, someone prepared to take on the tabloids and give them a piece of their own medicine – well done Alex Thomson and everyone at Channel 4. Even now the Sun has no scruples (Harry in Las Vegas partying before risking his life in Afghanistan) and they and their staff deserve to be treated with the same amount of respect that they show others – i.e NIL.

    Let’s see if McKenzie has the balls to appear in public and make a statement as he is suggesting.

  46. Gareth says:

    Great to see that horrible, outspoken, right wing reactionary Mackenzie finally reaping what he has sowed. There’s quite a few others who deserve the same treatment. Vile little man.

  47. C. Wright says:
  48. balanced says:

    Frankie Taggart•3 hours ago−

    Any properly trained journalist will understand that this piece of showboating is unethical and that MacKenzie’s track record is neither here nor there. Kelvo, perhaps shrewdly keeping in mind he is on camera – is the epitome of reasonableness in the face of extreme provocation.
    The C4 idiot – like many solipsistic broadcast journalists who fail to understand the story is not about them – is trying to provoke a scene, to get MacKenzie to hit him.
    It goes without saying that using force against anyone, let alone a 65-year-old on private property, breaks one of the fundamental rules of journalism. And the law.
    What dismays me most about this is the sniggering of the anti-redtoppers enjoying MacKenzie being abused by a thug. As usual, my friends on the liberal Left forgets their morals and prove themselves shallow and inconsistent.

  49. Kate says:

    Pity that the irony of Alex’s approach to MacKenzie eludes his critics.
    I wonder how many of those above who found it unacceptable also wrote each time to MacKenzie whenever he or one of his minions employed similar tactics to the hundreds of people barnstormed on their own doorsteps over the years?

    Good work, Alex – a little of his own medicine!

  50. balanced says:

    AT is lampooning exactly the sort of feral tabloid behaviour KM and The Sun adopts for stories. Wake up and smell the irony

  51. balanced says:

    He’s supposed to be a reporter, not a parodist. It’s poor whatever lens you use to examine it.

  52. Az says:

    Kelvin is scum, but that doesn’t give journalists the right to harass him.

  53. balanced says:

    In no way intended as a defence of Kelvin Mackenzie or his despicable front page (and subsequent comments afterwards), but this isn’t journalism from Thomson, it’s just a stunt. And frankly a cheap one.

    Incidentally, isn’t Alex Thomson the same journalist who a couple of months or so back cheerfully retweeted a joke mocking the victims of the Ibrox disaster, then lied about his knowledge of what statue in said graphic he found so amusing was for? Not sure he’s the right person to doorstep Mackenzie in those circumstances…

  54. balanced says:

    This is dreadful foot-in-the-door journalism, in which the reporter achieves the almost impossible by making the appalling Kelvin MacKenzie look like a victim. MacKenzie deals with the intense provocation, which takes place on his private property, reasonably well. Alex Thomson seems completely oblivious to the irony that he is lecturing MacKenzie on Press ethics while simultaneously practising the type of gutter Press tactics of which MacKenzie himself would have been proud as editor of the Sun.

    I’ve no idea what Thomson was trying to achieve, since he knew MacKenzie wouldn’t give a statement, but it backfired spectacularly and now he’s boasting about it on Twitter. Dear me!

  55. Terry says:

    Not great journalism perhaps, but it is great to see McKenzie squirming for a change. He did enough damage to others, now he knows what it’s like to be hounded.

  56. Frank says:

    Brilliant work by C4. Mackenzie showing what a cowardly lowlife he really is. Nice to see him almost in tears and on the run.

  57. Mike Marsh says:

    All of those with sympathy for Mackenzie or outrage at C4 can you not see that this was a stunt laden with intended irony. They subjected the man who had made a huge contribution to the degradation of British journalism to the worst kind of example of his own standards. They were not advocating doorstepping as good journalistic practice they were exposing both that type of journalism and that type of man. Just check how Jon Snow introduces the piece.

  58. Philip Edwards says:


    I applaud the way you gave that piece of utter low life a full-on taste of his own medicine. He will never ever escape the consequences of his actions. And nor should he.

    Meanwhile, this is how Merseyside unites and shows there IS such a thing as society:

    But I don’t expect MacKenzie and his type to even remotely understand.

  59. Matt says:


    On video you came across as a bullying prick.

    1. Dave says:


      Best you don’t watch it again.

  60. Mick says:

    Well done Alex. I enjoyed that. One thing I was wondering though. Why didn’t these shocked Sun hacks, including HA, come out at the time and say they did not want that headline/front page and it was all down to KM? They could have easily leaked it anonymously to another paper or Private Eye or Channel 4 News. If that many of them were there, it wouldn’t have been possible for KM to find out who did it. This is one story where saying, “more than my job’s worth” just doesn’t cut it.

  61. Shahzad says:

    Well done Alex, great job and well done channel 4, I hope this man is hounded and harassed

  62. Harry Cole (Wandsworth) says:

    Mackenzie like his ilke are cowards. Pusillanimous character of the worst kind. He frankly disgusts me and if he ever appears as the pontificating nonentity that he is on any BBC show, then I will calculate the minute costs of my licence fee and deduct it from my next payment. I hope the Ghosts of the poor 96 keep that SOB awake for the rest of his miserable life.

  63. Persemillion says:

    Most journalists in The Sun newsroom that day didn’t actually know what the headline was going to be and only those higher up the ladder knew. And plenty of details were leaked, both to Private Eye and the aforementioned book Stick it up Your Punter

  64. niall says:

    surely everyone can see this was just a rather cack handed stab at satire. the tormenter being tormented. satire is an age old journalistic tool and perfectly valid i just don’t think A.T. has the comedy chops for it. C4 should have sent chris morris instead. the questions would have been funnier and more pertinent and the response from the victim a great deal more telling.

  65. Mark says:

    Good for Alex and C4. McKenzie got what he deserved. Please Alex do more like this.

  66. Mac McCully says:

    Alex Thomson’s actions were a disgrace against journalisim, were it me I would have called the police and had him arrested for trespass. He should be sacked from Channel 4 and never work again. His actions are that of a bully and proof that the press should be rained in !

    1. Dave says:


      Personally I’m delighted that someone out there isn’t afraid to take on the Murdochs, News International and all of their cronies. It night not be “pretty” journalism but it’s journalism that KM understands only too well.

      No other TV channel would have had the guts to do what AT and Channel 4 did.

  67. Philip says:

    Oh dear, oh dear! How many sensitive souls are put off by a C4 news team & reporter entering the property of that well-known shrinking violet Kelvin Mckenzie & doing unto him what he got his reporters to do a hundred times over and more! It’s the same taste of his own medicine that I’d like to see elsewhere – e.g. bankers having to live on benefits for a year. But there will always be Murdoch-groupies (because of his political allegiances – just see how far he’s into the Tea Party in the USA) and unreconstructed Rangers fans, so i suppose we shouldn’t expect anything else.
    Don’t you realise exactly what KM did immediately after 96 people died? Poured the blame on to them, without any real evidence! Why are you sympathising with a man who could do something like that – to anyone, but not least to the dead children!

  68. Megan says:

    This is cheap and lazy journalism in my opinion. Well done Alex! You succeeded in making me feel just a tiny bit sorry for KM – a thing, before now, I did not think possible. It was just showboating! Nothing more & nothing less. When the journalist becomes the story, he has failed. You chose to make a point about dodgy journalism by behaving like the worst sort of dodgy journalist. You are not there to make ironic points or to parody. You are there to report. Much as it pains me to say it, I think KM was remarkably polite & restrained in this instance. You, Alex, were most certainly not!

    1. Dave says:


      You are obviously a kind hearted individual who considers the feelings of others. Unfortunately KM and his like do not share the same high standards as you – they only understand the culture of the gutter and how to make a quick buck. There is no option but to tackle them head on as this is the only way it gets through their thick skulls that people have had enough.

  69. mark wharton says:

    i want to see his head on a silver platter…literally, then i can urinate on him

  70. Suzanne Bosworth says:

    Clipped from the referring article:

    “Mike Marsh wrote: “All of those with sympathy for Mackenzie or outrage at C4 can you not see that this was a stunt laden with intended irony. They subjected the man who had made a huge contribution to the degradation of British journalism to the worst kind of example of his own standards.”

    Point made. McKenzie’s petard is well and truly hoisted.

  71. John says:

    Alex, next on the list, Thatcher, who knew all about the cover-up but had to back up the police as they had done such a good job for her at Orgreave! Oh, and then the West Midlands police who did such a fabulous job of investigating the South Yorks police. The government, the gutter press and the police were rotten to the core so no, I don’t think Thomo was being to hard on the poor old pensioner. Kelvin’s pen is not mightier than Tomo,s pen.

  72. Ash says:

    AlexT we (the public) salute you. This is how true journalism should be adopted and is lesson for all journalists, Exposing the scum for what it is. Kelvin shows his true colours and its not hard to expose the truth because scum always reveal themselves in time. Kelvin is guilty is manipulating even the Sun staff that worked for him, when he alone decided unilaterally took decision write his own distorted story on Hillsbourough at lay the blame on the Liverpool supporters.
    Kelvin is known for his oppressive views on victims. Take for example his aggressive views he has on occupation on the Palestinian lands at the hands of state sponsored Israeli terrorists.
    We all get our comeuppance and this is first of many humiliating encounters for Kelvin that will reveal the extent to which Kelvin has manipulated others to paint false and potentially incriminating accounts of news all over the world. Hats off to AlexT for uncovering the truth and may you uncover many more !

  73. Bryan Jefferson says:

    I guess Kelvin couldn’t bring himself to adopt the Des Lynam approach to being doorstepped by another journalist – invite them in for a cup of tea and a few biscuits. Then again Kelvin would be stepping outside his comfort zone if he did that.

  74. Sam says:

    Mackenzie is always on TV it seems spouting his rubbish with out having to justify his extreme positions. It’s about time he faced the music. Thanks so much to Alex Thomson (one of our best journalists) for showing that he’s not afraid of the establishment in his own profession. What a legend!

  75. Annie Weatherly-Barton says:

    You carry on harassing him and get the answers to your questions. He needs to answer to the allegations he made in the Sun after this awful disaster. He would do the same remember. If some of the public don’t like it, tough, as this is journalism at it’s best. If McKenzie doesn’t like the heat then he should have got out of the kitchen a very long time ago. The only thing that seems to come out of his mouth is a lot of hatred, lies and contempt especially aimed at those who cannot defend themselves. You carry on asking the questions. As you will see by the latest poll 88% agree with what you are doing. It ought to say something to you all. Most of the public want answers from this evil man and we want them now! How did he write this stuff? Who was telling him to write to this stuff? Where did he get his “truth” so called from? You know the drill better than me.

  76. Ryan Blackwood says:

    I’d think a righteous dose of irony is healthy and in the case of Sun’s Kelvin Mackenzie it’s extremely satisfying. Chanel 4 have rightly gauged the the public mood that this man does not have the same privacy rights as the rest of us. Very well done Alex. Yes I can see why some are questioning the ethics of it in this case it was totally justifiable.

  77. CE says:

    Well done Tomo, odious toad of a man.

  78. Mark says:

    That is a first class piece of journalism. Well done Alex Thompson and Channel 4 News to have the courage to do this, it is absolutely appropriate that Mackenzie should be approached in this way, he is hiding when he should face up to what he has done and it is quite right that he should be confronted in exactly the same way that he has ordered his own journalists to behave in the past.

    Quite apart from all that, it is exceedingly joyful to see that particular bag of slime squashed into the gutter where he belongs. Nice one Alex.

  79. Mike Fox says:

    Do people not get the irony of the piece?
    It was bully boy Sun reporter tactics on a former Sun editor!!!!!!!
    This is not Channel 4 News’ new reporting strategy.
    It was more about the reaction of McKenzie to being treated like one of his own victims!
    I don’t think he liked it.

  80. Debra Creevy says:

    I loved it! It was ironic and it was brilliant. The best news item I’ve seen in a long time. Channel 4, you get a gold star for this! This demonstrates that the door can swing both ways. Perhaps the only way to get journalism out of the gutter is to drag it out. Nothing else seems to be working, does it? Channel 4 is not lowering its standards – it just raised the bar for everyone. For those of you who air concerns about how this door step ‘looked’ … you must be extraordinarily concerned on a daily basis. Our papers are full of it. Brim full. And no one seems to be able to fix it. We don’t want to hamstring freedom of speech and freedom of the press, but ‘gutter journalism’ is out of control. I hear there’s money in it. That writing lies, gossip and rubbish sells. Well here’s a News Flash for you … what Channel 4 just did would be the best seller of all. I was so impressed with seeing Kelvin get a dose of his own medicine, i would have paid money to see it. Do I want all of journalism to be in the gutter? No. I’d rather we fixed this problem and have none of it in the gutter. I’m tired of waiting for our society to sort this out. If we ‘can’t’ fix the problem with journalism, then I expect we’ll be seeing more gutter pedlars getting a dose of their own medicine – because people like it. In lieu of appropriate controls, it feels like ‘justice’. The answer is not to criticise channel 4. The answer is to fix the problem. Cudos to Channel 4 – it was a brave move and by the stats I’ve seen thus far, it’s paid off. Well Done.

  81. Bedd Gelert says:

    I’m not entirely sure how dragging yourself down to Kelvin Mackenzie’s level is supposed to ensure you keep the ‘moral high ground’.

    I thought it made you look a bit of an eejit, to put it mildly. [And I’ve ‘cleaned that up for TV’].

    Your comment about being ‘assaulted by the car door’ or whatever is just poor journalism, and woefully inaccurate. It is a bit like that old ‘Not The Nine O’clock News’ sketch with, I think, Inspector Savage about some par sap headbutting the police officer’s truncheon, or some such.

    Well, if you get in the way, and refuse to move when asked…

    For the avoidance of doubt, I am quite happy to admit that I am the pot calling your kettle black and I am being entirely sanctimonious and hypocritical because I can be rude when provoked.

    But I would also happily concede that this is a bit of a useless tactic, and I am not a journo, so the abysmal level of my standards doesn’t mean you can get away with it, any more than Marco Pierre White could get away with delivering my staple diet of beans on toast.

    1. Tam says:

      Kelvin McKenzie (and I have cleaned that up from the last time I wrote that things name, believe me. He has a new middle name. Starts with ‘C’) has done and authorized far worse than that in his career.

      Seeing him get the merest taste of his own medicine is delicious.

    2. Dave says:


      As a Sun reader please can you explain to me what the word “sanctimonious” means?

  82. JMC says:

    Outstanding Alex, simply outstanding!

  83. Pat Carmody says:

    It was all a bit reminiscent of Brass Eye. I enjoyed Mackenzie getting just a tiny taste of his own medicine immensely.

  84. Peter Jones says:

    Well 23 years of wrongful accusations are quite crucifying for the families and everyone affected by Hillsborough. This guy needs to stand up like a man and have his past actions questioned. Thats what you would teach your children, isn’t it, to challenge wrong deeds? Thank god for the mothers who fought for us.

  85. Peter Jones says:

    ‘urinating on the dead’, say it to yourself a few times. Now lets talk about fair journalism.

  86. Dave says:



    I see that you’re now going to take action against the Yorkshire Police for forcing you to put the headline “THE TRUTH” on the front page. Last week you told AT that you were going to make a public statement – do you still plan to do that so that we can all understand the pressure that the police put you under?

    I think you ought to as I’m really starting to feel a bit sorry for you now!

  87. Carl says:

    Whatever happened to employing proper journalists, John Pilger, Greg Palast and maybe Ian Hislop take over at the BBC? heheh.

    This may sound like a bit of a conspiracy theory, Hillsborough proves they do happen. Is large portions of the media, simply not investigating anything? and just repeating? Very worrying scenario for any society.

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