Morrissey listens to theNME's latest offer
Morrissey listens to theNME's latest offer


Morrissey listens to theNME's latest offer

Morrissey Refuses NME Apology Ahead of Court Case 
Indie legend Morrissey has refused an out of court apology from the NME ahead of High Court hearing of Morrissey against the NME and its former editor Conor McNicholas. According to his website, ‘the NME recently offered to apologize to Morrissey by offering space on, butnot within the printed magazine. This offer was rejected as disproportionate to the damage done to Morrissey by the NME magazine itself. ( ‘. In October last year, Morrissey won the right to take the case to the High Court. The court hearing will be on the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th July at the High Court in London, and though these dates clash with European concerts Morrissey has vowed to honour his touring commitments and fly between London and Europe for the trial. Just over a week after the court hearing, Morrissey plays the MEN Arena in Manchester. Morrissey has also welcomed the support of his famously devoted fans to position themselves outside of the High Court over the course of these dates. 
In 2007, the NME published a piece on Morrissey under the headline ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’; much of this piece was made up of an interview conducted by Tim Jonze for the NME. It is at this point that the situation becomes blurred. The article was presented in a manner to make Morrissey appear racist. Whilst Tim Jonze was credited with the interview, the words were uniquely attributed to the NME – something which is not commonplace in publishing. The editor, Conor McNicholas, was the only person at the time with the power attribute words solely to the publication and editorial of the NME. Tim Jonze explained soon afterwards that ‘for reasons I’ll probably never understand, NME have rewritten the Moz piece ( ‘, and Morrissey stated that the interview had been ‘butchered, re-designed, re-ordered, chopped, snipped and split in order to make me seem racist and unreasonable ( ‘. Whilst well known for his often controversial views, Morrissey has made it clear that these in no way extend to racism, stating not only that that he does ‘abhor racism and oppression or cruelty of any kind’ but that ‘racism is beyond common sense and I believe it has no place in our society ‘. The NME’s offer of a public apology to Morrissey may well set the tone for the impending court hearing and may suggest some level of admission of guilt from the NME. 
Some opinion is that between the interview with Jonze and the publication of the NME magazine, the NME became offended when Morrissey ‘politely declined ( the Godlike Genius Award for the upcoming NME Awards. There is also the issue of the involvement of campaigning organisation Love Music Hate Racism. Morrissey said: 
” During the interview Tim asked if I would support the “Love Music Hate Racism” campaign that the NME had just written about and my immediate response was a yes as I had shown my support previously by going to one of their first benefit gigs a few years ago and had met some of their organizers as well as having signed their statement. Following the interview I asked my manager to get in touch with the NME and to pledge my further support to the campaign as I wanted there to be no ambiguity on where I stood on the subject. This was done in a clear and direct email to Conor McNicholas on the 5th of November, which went ignored and last week we found out that it had never even been presented to anyone at the campaign as that would obviously not have suited what we now know to be the NME’s agenda. I am pleased to say that we have now had direct dialogue with “Love Music Hate Racism” and all of our UK tour advertising in 2008 will carry their logo and we will also be providing space in the venues for them to voice and spread their important message, which I endorse. ( “ 
Similarly Morrissey’s camp were subsequently told that following the printed interview, Conor McNicholas wrote to Love Music Hate Racism and warned them that if they supported Morrissey in this dispute ‘then they could forget about any further support from the NME ( ‘
The High Court case comes at an interesting time for both Morrissey, who is currently touring without a recording deal, and the press in general, undergoing fierce scrutiny at the Leveson Enquiry into press freedoms.


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