A deal between Microsoft Corp and the UK’s best known satirical news magazine Private Eye has lead to horrified fans of the publication speculating that its editor has done a ‘deal with the devil’. Ian Hislop, Private Eye’s editor and television celebrity, was himself once described as the sperm of the devil by the ex-wife […]
A deal between Microsoft Corp and the UK’s best known satirical news magazine Private Eye has lead to horrified fans of the publication speculating that its editor has done a ‘deal with the devil’. Ian Hislop, Private Eye’s editor and television celebrity, was himself once described as the sperm of the devil by the ex-wife of singer Bob Geldoff and girlfriend of the late Michael Hutchence, Paula Yates. Private Eye prides itself on standing up against the powerful individuals and organizations of the world and exposing their foibles, and a tie up with Bill Gates, regarded in some circles as resembling the horned one himself, comes as bit of a shock to the Private Eye faithful. The magazine has struck a deal with Microsoft to appear on the software giant’s internet news web site, The Microsoft Network. Under the terms of the agreement Hislop has agreed to allow the Microsoft Network to publish extracts from the famous publication. Microsoft approached Hislop and suggested the arrangement, which sees publication of topical Private Eye jokes appearing on the net. Microsoft is paying Private Eye for the privilege, the sum of which neither party will reveal, but Hislop describes as not enough in my opinion. Microsoft was unable to comment on the matter or even explain in detail its theory behind the site. But Hislop says his publication will stand its ground and there is no question that it will suppress its urge to have a go at the software giant, proof of which appears in the current issue where Gates and the custard pie incident is reported with glee (CI No 3,341). According to Hislop he made the decision to go with Microsoft because this is a chance to take some of Bill Gates’ money. Surely a commendable decision. But Hislop, who has been viewed in the past as bit of a technophobe, believes Private Eye will benefit from the exposure it will gain from the internet. The material on the site at http://msn.com contains a very small selection of jokes from Private Eye, and does not deliver the satirical copy the publication is loved for. The material will be updated on every two weeks and initially the contract will run for 10 additions when Hislop will then decide whether to carry on with the arrangement. Asked what he thought of Microsoft as a company, Hislop replied as little as possible. Microsoft claims the Microsoft Network has some 150,000 subscribers in the UK and 2.4 million across the world.