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Monday 24 September 2012

Guido Fawked – Twitter Lawyer Howler

One endless source of material for bloggers is Twitter gaffes. We’ve all done it – put something in a Tweet that might have been better advised remaining unsaid, or relaying information that should have been sent by Direct Message – but when those who set great store by gaffe spotting drop the Twitter clanger, it is particularly enjoyable to call them out. Especially today’s subject.

The rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog has, inexplicably, been given a column by the Daily Star Sunday, most downmarket rag of the Dirty Des portfolio. Equally strangely, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines, who frequently asserts that what he calls the “Dead Tree Press” is finished, considers this a great achievement. Most of the paper’s readers probably don’t even notice.

But this consideration does not deter Staines, who proudly announced just after mid-day on Saturday that he had “just filed” the latest Fawkes column (and note that, like his tame gofer, the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole, he knows how to talk just like a proper journalist, even though neither of them are). But later in the day came a setback, which Staines also relayed on his open Twitter feed.

We got lawyered” he told Cole six hours later. But then The Great Guido had second thoughts and apparently deleted the entry from his timeline (below). And there it would have remained, had the flannelled fool not Retweeted it. This did not get picked up by the deletion attempt. The impression is given that something was removed from the Fawkes column by Des’ lawyers.

Moreover, it also looks as if Staines originally intended to send Cole a DM, not Tweet the news openly, rather like Lib Dem MP Chris Huhne, whose gaffe was pored over by the Fawkes blog at length, and with much sneering and jeering. So, Fawkes folks, what exactly “got lawyered”? What part of that “copy” that was dutifully “filed” got “spiked” or just re-worded to avoid any comeback?

And, one has to ask, if Dirty Des’ legal eagles are being told to go over the Fawkes column before it gets passed, will it survive the next – inevitable – round of Des’ cuts? Staines has already been less than unequivocal as to whether he and Cole were actually being paid for their efforts, so I’m not expecting a straight answer, but the less than dynamic duo could be judged not to be worth the candle.

Not that they’re bothered about the Dead Tree Press, you understand. Another fine mess, once again.

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