One rumour going the rounds in the days leading up to this year’s Tory conference was that one of the papers had something on William ‘Ague, and that they were waiting until the conference was under way to whip the pin out of their recently acquired grenade and lob it wherever it would cause most damage.
And, as if to prove what I had suggested some weeks ago, things seem to be moving on that front. The only question now is who will be making the first move, the MSM or blogosphere. Contrary to what some may believe, both old and new media co-operate and coordinate their activities, rather than selfishly competing with one another.
Evidence of this was provided by Private Eye, in issue 1271 (Page 6, left hand column), where it reported the behind the scenes contact between Paul Staines, who blogs under the alias of Guido Fawkes, and the Daily Mail. The Eye also confirmed that Staines’ original story, far from being his own handiwork, had been fed to him by a hack unable to get it into his own rag.
Today it is Staines that has thus far made the running: he has noted that Master ‘Ague pulled out of a Maily Telegraph sponsored event this lunchtime, with “Oiky” Gove having to stand in. He then returned to the subject of Christopher Myers, subject of the original bout of nudge-nudgery, titling his post “Part 1” and stressing “more to follow”.
The latter post included examples of a trawl through chat room conversations, the level of detail which I doubt Staines would find time or enthusiasm for. So if he isn’t doing the intelligence gathering, who is? My first thought is that this, as with the original Myers story, is coming from the assembled hackery of a national newspaper.
Which brings one conclusion: that paper is either about to publish, which could beat Staines to the line, or its hacks believe that, as before, their editor will bottle it, so are feeding the story to someone who is more likely to run it. Either way, I do hope Staines makes sure of his facts in the event he decides to press the nuclear button.
Because if not, his barge won’t get him out of Birmingham fast enough.
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
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I just read today a review of the Blair memoirs by Peter Stothard in the 8 September 2010 TLS (a paper he edits having previously edited The Times). He ends one paragraph with the sentence: “In the week of A Journey’s publication, political reporters were soon withdrawn.……to cover the miscarriages of the Foreign Secretary’s wife, officially announced by him in the cause of quelling internet rumours of his homosexuality.” The absence of “alleged” struck my as particularly conspicuous.
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