As Liam Fox passed through the out door, the Fourth Estate began the attempt to claim the story for itself, or rather the part of it that managed not to do the hard work and break the story. The credit for unearthing Fox’ particular can of worms, as with Phonehackgate, goes to the Guardian, this time with Rupert Neate leading the way. Acknowledgement has hardly been universal.
Over at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun, the G-word is not uttered, though political editor Tom Newton-Dunn pontificates at length on the affair, claiming the Fox resignation proved Big Al’s “eleven day rule” (Campbell has his own take on his blog, which is worth a read). Trevor Kavanagh then claims prescience and urges Young Dave to fire Fat Ken, because, well, because.
The Maily Telegraph, which at least did some investigating of its own, is trying to continue to promote its own angle on the story, pitching the name of Tim Bell, former PR supremo to Margaret Thatcher and occasional performer of inadvisable acts while standing by open windows. Bell, it seems, may have observed a conflict of interest. Just the one? No word of the Guardian here, either.
Also not mentioning the G-word, but otherwise insufferably ecstatic, is the Labour supporting Mirror, which has linked the Fox resignation with Oliver Letwin’s morning document binning stroll through St James’s Park, and then followed this blog in invoking the memory of Laurel and Hardy. But they, like the Sun, have enjoyed the ride while managing to get someone else to shovel the coal into the engine.
And at the Express, there was also no mention of the paper that led the way, although at least some fractionally original copy was cobbled together by Macer Hall, who is nominally the paper’s political editor. Even so, much of the piece is quotes which look suspiciously like they have been lifted from elsewhere – others’ websites can be such a bonus for Dirty Des’ bottom line.
Even the Mail, with its top flight resources, did not feature until rather later in the day. Today they have claimed to “reveal” details on the affair, but they too are ungrateful enough not to name check the Guardian, while engaging in the pretence that they were on the case all along. The legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, of course, could have gone after this case but did not.
After all, there were other far more important things to chase, like demonising Amanda Knox and inventing stories about the BBC. Priorities, priorities, eh?