Despite the welter of complaints to Ofcom following the election time antics of overrated presenters Kay Burley and Adam Boulton, Rupe’s troops at Sky News (“first for breaking wind”) are still – supposedly – working within the rules for UK broadcast media. This is in stark contrast to the regularly partisan behaviour of hosts at Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse).
But one might have wondered, following yesterday’s broadcasting from the Tory conference. Once again, Boulton – a staggeringly immodest man with much to be modest about – was in the chair. His panel of three pundits were unquestionably fair and balanced, but only if judged from a Tory viewpoint.
At right in the line-up was Paul Staines, who blogs under the alias of Guido Fawkes, and dislikes being labelled “right-wing”, but only if the BBC are doing the labelling. Staines, who confessed during a discussion on the champagne ban that he would “drink anything”, is becoming worryingly rotund – well, worrying for him.
In the centre of this supposedly wide ranging panel was Tim Montgomerie of ConHome, who was allowed to push his usual accusation that the broadcast media, and particularly the BBC, was agin him and his party. Making up the numbers was Iain Dale, a compliant and reliable conduit for Tory propaganda.
This convocation of the right leaning part of the blogosphere was allowed almost nine minutes of airtime in which to push its view of the world, with not a great deal of light being shed on prospects for the Tories. Typical of the level was when Dale reiterated his view that Young Dave was in total control of his party, while managing not to notice that Liam Fox is building a competing power base.
But the unintentional giveaway came from Staines, who admitted that “there may be one or two surprises” to come. He has, with the news of tonight’s C4 Dispatches programme on Phonehackgate, been shown for once to be remarkably prophetic.
Although he may not be up for taking the credit this time around.