Tatler appears to have fallen foul of the long deadlines of monthly magazines after publishing an ill-timed feature article profiling Alexander Nix, the now suspended CEO behind scandal-hit Cambridge Analytica.
The establishment monthly, targeted towards the British upper class, asks “Who has the real power?” alongside a photograph of Nix with the standfirst: “Meet the elusive, super-rich Old Etonians on a mission to influence your mind, your politics and, perhaps, even the world.”
The article describes Cambridge Analytica as “just one of many companies doing deep analysis of data to find out what we’re thinking” and more than once remarks upon Nix’s apparent resemblance to Clark Kent with his “square jaw and spectacles.”
However, it contains no mention of the data sharing scandal now engulfing the firm, which was first exposed by the Observer and Guardian newspapers, and in a series of Channel 4 News reports.
It also omits that data from 87 million Facebook users may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica, and that billions has been wiped off the social network’s share price since the scandal broke.
Nor does it mention that “affable” Old Etonian Nix has been suspended from Cambridge Analytica pending a full independent investigation.
It also missed out how senior executives of the firm, including Nix, were caught on camera claiming they could bribe politicians, entrap them with sex workers, or use ex-spies to dig dirt on political opponents and then post any damaging material online.
The article was shared by members of the media, with former long-serving Guardian editor Alan Rushbridger writing on Instagram: “Monthly magazine deadlines can be very cruel. The May edition of Tatler not quite on the money...”
Freelance journalist Maie Le Conte commented: “May’s edition of Tatler really showing why monthly mags might want to rethink their long print deadlines in an era of fast-moving news, there.”
However, the piece, which first appeared online on March 29, more than 10 days after the Cambridge Analytica story broke, has since received a substantial digital re-write, and now appears with an editor’s note at the bottom to reflect this.
“Nix’s career and reputation are now in peril”, the digital piece now states, acknowledging his comments made to Channel 4 and his subsequent suspension from Cambridge Analytica.
Cut are the references to Nix’s keen eye for art, and losing his “affable” title in the piece to his business partner Nigel Oakes, Nix is demoted to “a brasher, louder salesman.”
The piece concludes: “This ultimately, is what has led to his predicament.”
Tatler’s publisher, Condé Nast, has been contacted for comment.