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Tuesday 3 January 2012

Guardian Bashing – 2: Staines On The Carpet

With Heresy Corner effectively absolving his beloved Rupe from any wrongdoing over the case of Charlotte Church, it was only a matter of time before the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines, who styles himself Guido Fawkes, took up the baton and, er, waddled with it. Staines, who likes to portray his targets in the worst possible light, whined that “the allegation was designed to deliberately characterise the Sun in the worst possible light”.

Staines calls out the Guardian on the basis of Laurie Penny’s Comment is Free (CiF) piece, and Nelson Jones’ post, the latter, as I’ve pointed out, being suitably qualified and hedged. But that hedging has disappeared in the retelling, which is most convenient for The Great Guido.

This is, after all, someone whose blog regularly features items that are either pure rumour (pace all the stuff on William ‘Ague) or just invention. The latter category included one item on Margaret Thatcher which actually resulted in a withdrawal and apology (that must have hurt), an assertion about the BBC’s Question Time on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and a whopper about Kensington and Chelsea.

Google? Now that's a good idea!

This latter asserted that the Rt Hon Gideon George Oliver Osborne, heir to the Seventeenth Baronet, had designs on the constituency as his current berth of Tatton would be vanishing with forthcoming boundary changes. Staines and his tame gofer Henry Cole, the Laurel and Hardy of the blogosphere, had apparently not heard of the advanced research technique known as “five minutes’ Googling” which would have told them that much of Tatton would fall within a new Northwich constituency, and Osborne had committed himself to remaining in the north west.

So it’s no surprise that the Heresy Corner post would be so readily given the status of fact by Staines. After all, The Great Guido had just been apparently ignored by Guardian man Dan Sabbagh in his attempt to get the paper’s website to give him some free publicity. Staines’ Tweet to Sabbagh tells “Let me know on syndication. Can tone down the GMG bashing etc.” [my emphasis].

Those less charitably disposed to Staines might look at this and conclude that it looks not so much like a comradely suggestion of mutual benefit, but rather an amateurish attempt at blackmail. And Staines should be careful with his kick at Laurie Penny (“former burlesque dancer”): we’ve all of us got a past. Especially him.

Another fine mess, once again.

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