Diary: Tyler and the smell of success

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The Independent Online

Tyler Brûlé, 42 – connoisseur of Japanese airport design, exponent of Gatsby facial cleansing wipes and editor-in-chief of Monocle – offers an ode to print media in New York magazine.

When each edition of their briefcase-weight £5 publication arrives, Monocle staff don't read the thing, he reveals. They smell it. "Some issues have eight or nine different paper stocks, each with its own distinctive smell," the article explains, "so they sometimes smell each section on its own." Says the Monocle boss, whose FT column once eulogised a Muji mesh toiletry kit, "It's stunning to me what counts as news today... It just provides more of an opportunity for us to engage with people who want to know if now is the time to buy a large tract of land in Madagascar in order to grow vegetables for the Koreans."

* Did the Wikileaking editors of The Guardian and The New York Times enjoy Julian Assange's Murdoch-endorsing editorial from yesterday's edition of The Australian, I wonder? Assange opened his op-ed (published hours before his arrest) by approvingly quoting an idealistic young Rupert, exemplar of radical transparency, who in 1958 wrote that "in the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win". Today, Murdoch's truth-telling stable of titles includes, yes, The Australian. And, of course, Fox News, whose host Bill O'Reilly recently told viewers that he'd "like to see a [bomber] drone hit Assange".

* Having yesterday failed to find any celebrity anecdotes in Gordon Brown's book, today I tried instead to extract the ex-PM's insights regarding his fellow New Labour giants. Only, there are none. Blair warrants a single fleeting entry on page 23: "Tony Blair and I [built] New Labour on the foundation of market competition..." and so on. Of Campbell, not a whisper. Even Brown's one-time Grand Vizier, Lord Mandelson, merits precisely zero mentions. They don't even feature in the acknowledgements – which are nine pages long. Brown does thank Alistair Darling – to whom, he claims, his "debt [is] unpayable and readily acknowledged". Well, at least his attitude to debts has improved.

* Documents released by the Electoral Commission disclose that, during the election campaign, the Lib Dems spent more than £8,000 recruiting extra audience members for "town hall" meetings with Nick Clegg. These days, the Deputy PM has no such trouble attracting crowds to his events. Whether he wants them any more is a different matter.

* Labour's shadow DCMS man, Ivan Lewis, isn't a hit with the FA, I hear. In fact, they think he's a bit of a Culture Secretary. The Man City supporter scored an own goal by calling for a "root and branch" inquiry into the national game mere minutes after the World Cup bid failed. Asked to assess Jeremy Rhyming-Slang's performance so far, an FA stalwart told me: "One of the best things about that Hunt is that he's not Ivan Lewis."