After criticism that its coverage of the HSBC tax scandal was toned down because of commercial interests, the Daily Telegraph has fiercely denied that its recent name change to the PotNoodleGraph has anything to do with the lavish two-page advertisement taken out in its pages by noodle makers Unilever.
The paper’s chief political commentator Peter Oborne resigned on Tuesday, complaining that the influence of advertisers had ruined the newspaper’s journalistic integrity.
In a scathing editorial leader this morning, the paper “makes no apology” for its decision to ignore the HSBC tax story, and goes on to insist: “Love buckets of joy, plastic pots of paradise, call them what you will, our noodly snacks deliver knockout flavour right on the kisser.”
Commentators have been noticing subtle changes in the former Telegraph’s content for a while. The much-loved Matt cartoons seem to have suffered recently, with the caption for every day in the last six months being “Round about now, I usually have a Pot Noodle™”.
Meanwhile, observant crossword fans are even beginning to suspect subliminal messages, and the answers to the across clues in today’s cryptic do in fact spell out the phrase “WE’RE A BUNCH OF CORRUPT MERCENARY BASTARDS AND IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT BUY THE GUARDIAN SUCKERS”, although this may be pure coincidence.
Some readers have denied that there has been any decrease in quality of the paper, however. Albert Renfrew, a subscriber since 1962, ridiculed claims that the Telegraph had recently got worse, saying: “Of course not – it’s always been a steaming pile of Tory shit”.