The unholy trinity of the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines, his tame gofer the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole, and their newly anointed teaboy Alex Wickham at the Guido Fawkes blog have set great store of late in laying into Private Eye magazine for supposedly running old stories, as the deeply subversive Guardian’s Media Monkey column noted earlier this year.
Yeah, I didn't publish earlier 'cos I was busy in the pub, shit no, office, with a whole load of beer, bollocks no, work, so it had to wait until I'd finished the Russian Standard. Oh sod it
But there has been none of that this week, as the Fawkes folks have run what they have claimed as an “exclusive” about the hated BBC and the Pollard review of investigations into the conduct of the late Jimmy Savile. The Great Guido trailed this claim, without revealing its nature, on Tuesday evening, asserting that every media outlet would have to pay attention when the full story was revealed.
It was in Private Eye. And they'd already published
There was one small yet highly inconvenient problem with Staines’ claim: the story, concerning a taped conversation involving former Sky News head Nick Pollard, was already in the latest issue of Private Eye (Issue 1355), which had gone to press and was already winging its way to subscribers. When the Fawkes blog revealed its target yesterday morning, the Eye had already hit the news stands.
Private Eye issue 1355, Page 10
Why this might be is not unrelated to Staines’ source being occasional Tory MP and Fred Scuttle lookalike Rob Wilson, who has once again been involving himself in matters that do not concern the electorate of the Reading East constituency. Wilson was known to be in possession of the tape some months ago, and had been pestering BBC Trust chairman Chris Patten about it – regularly and persistently.
Private Eye was already on sale, thanks
The shamelessly self-promoting Wilson, who is adept in leaking material, was unable to make an exception for the Pollard tape, and so it was inevitable that the Eye would get a sniff. By the time the Fawkes rabble spat out their “exclusive”, anyone who wanted to know what this was about could have read all about it – several hours previously, and no doubt many had.
No legal action was threatened ...
There was only one feature of the Fawkes blog post that was “exclusive”, and that – the tape of Pollard’s conversation, where he admits he may have made a mistake with the evidence he included in his report on the Savile business – is something that a printed publication like the Eye can’t include. Most probably the magazine could have published a transcript but decided not to bore its readers.
... and the people with explaining to do are the Fawkes folks
Even Staines’ suggestion that he had received legal threats was an empty one – Patten had not actually threatened Wilson, to whom his remarks were addressed, and had not lowered himself to talk to the Fawkes rabble. And the result of the revelation is not so much to put pressure on the Beeb, which was Staines’ objective, but instead to leave Pollard’s behaviour open to criticism.
Later than the dead tree press and hitting the wrong target. Another fine mess.