Over at the bear pit that is Telegraph blogs, the loathsome Toby Young (that’s the Hon Toby Daniel Moorsom Young, folks) has just demonstrated that he is primus inter pares among all those clever people who talk loudly in restaurants, by laying into not just any old rotten lefty, but Alastair Campbell himself, thus showing his adoring readers (Damian and James Delingbonkers) who’s top dog.
Sommelier? Nah, he's still a Bellend
“Alastair Campbell is wrong about 'Right-wing' newspapers. It's Lefty rags that are sinking” announces Tobes, telling that Big Al “will argue that the declining sales of ‘Right-wing’ newspapers isn't due to the Internet, but to their ‘negativity, overblown hype and lack of balance’. ‘The papers think their decline is about technology,’ he will say. ‘I think it is as much about their values and their journalism.’”
Yeah, rotten New Labour spin person, take that! He goes on (no change there, then) “If this theory was correct you'd expect the sales of Right-of-centre newspapers – the Daily Mail and the Sun, for instance – to have declined faster than those of Left-of-centre papers like the Guardian and Independent. In fact, the opposite is true”. There then follows a number of circulation figures.
And, as the man said, there’s more: “Another problem with Campbell's theory is that if he was right you'd expect to see the sites of Left-of-centre newspapers generate more web traffic than those of Right-of-centre newspapers. After all, the ‘values and journalism’ of those papers informs their digital operations as much as it does their newspapers. Again, the opposite is true”.
Here, sadly, is where Captain Bellend starts to come unstuck. His sole example is to cite Mail Online as a comparator for the Guardian website, conveniently forgetting that all other right-leaning papers’ sites trail in the latter’s wake. Moreover, as Big Al has tried to point out to him, what his lectures today and tomorrow in Cambridge home in on is the whole of the Fourth Estate, not just the right-leaning part.
We know this because of the Twitter warning conveyed in a response to Tobes’ editor at Telegraph blogs, Damian Thompson, clueless pundit of no fixed hair appointment. “As ever attention seeking @toadmeister jumps before reading let alone thinking. In passage re sales I make no L/R distinction” Campbell warned earlier today. But Tobes had already opened mouth and inserted boot.
He could have checked out Campbell’s blog post on the lectures – it’s been live since just after 1200 hours yesterday – or waited to see a transcript. Instead, Tobes made an assumption – almost immediately proved wrong – and thereby confirmed his status as Telegraph blogs’ most deserving owner of the title he wears with such lack of good grace, Captain Bellend.
Tobes need not have bothered, but may need the money. No change there, then.