The feral beast: Men-light shortlist for <i>Prospect</i>

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The Independent Online

The race to succeed David Goodhart as editor of Prospect looks set to end this week: I understand senior bods at the weighty monthly are down to a shortlist of three. These are: Susannah Herbert, former editor of News Review in The Sunday Times; Bronwen Maddox, currently chief foreign commentator at The Times; and Anne McElvoy, political columnist at the Evening Standard. A fourth, male, contender is thought still to have an outside chance, though something tells me they want a woman.

Mulholland defends staff on Iraq

Observer editor John Mulholland gamely spoke at the King's Place festival on Thursday after Emily Bell dropped out. Despite choosing a safe topic – the work of legendary Obs editor David Astor – he was faced with one rogue audience member who asked if Astor would have supported the invasion of Iraq, as the Obs did? Ever the pro, Mulholland diplomatically pointed out that staff had been divided on the matter, and that a recent leader had clarified the paper's position. Though he didn't say it, I can reveal that Mulholland did not support the invasion.

Rusbridger's utopia

Also speaking was Guardian commander-in-chief Alan Rusbridger, with a talk called "Among the Utopians". "It's the rudest word people can think of to describe people like me," he quipped, before setting out his cow-over-the-moon vision of digital journalism, cheerfully omitting to mention where the money will come from. The audience was entranced by Rusbridger, who reeled off jokes and quotes, such as this particularly apt gem from George Bernard Shaw – "a daily paper should have three editors, each one having one day on and two days off". But were his staff toiling away upstairs quite so amused? After all, it was 6pm, deadlines were looming and Rusbridger was clearly oblivious of the need to get a paper out.

Editor denies Drewe Guardian job

Say what you like about him, Rusbridger is always first to admit when he has made a mistake. So we wait to hear his views on the Tamara Drewe film starring Gemma Arterton. In the original book, which started in The Guardian, Drewe was a journalist for an unspecified newspaper. The film's director, Stephen Frears, suggested he make her a Guardian hack, but Rusbridger said no, given that Drewe does little work and sleeps with an interview subject. So in the film she works for The Independent. Early reviews suggest the film will be a hit – has Rusbridger thrown away a great chunk of free publicity?

Murdoch savaged by dead sheep

The prize for searing interview of the week goes to the Fox News presenter who asked Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox, about the phone-hacking scandal embroiling News International. "I'm not talking at all about that issue today, sorry" cut in Rupert before the question had even finished. "OK. No worries Mr chairman. That's fine with me." A standard grilling technique, fine-tuned by the Met.

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