Earlier this week, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog were feted by the London Press Club, being awarded the “Blog of the year” prize. Thus the Fourth Estate acknowledge that The Great Guido is no longer a mere outsider, but part of the press establishment. Exactly what quality was being acknowledged was not told. We did not have to wait long to find out.
Nothing to do with me, I was on the ale, shit no, phone, ordering the vodka, sod it no, tickets. For the next piss-up. Oh bollocks
Someone managed not to notice that survey – the one that showed trust in the Fawkes blog’s content at a mere 4%, lower than any paper, and behind even statements posted on Twitter or Facebook – such was the need to acknowledge the selling out of the Fawkes folks to their new masters. Then the followers of The Great Guido overreached themselves.
I can't get anything wrong, cos I'm on telly!
The recent trawling of BBC staff Twitter feeds, for the purposes of digging out anything that might embarrass the Corporation, has been fertile ground for Staines and his gofers. Someone rather more mischievously-minded than them had noted this tendency. And so it came to pass that the Fawkes folks believed they had found the assistant politics editor of the Today programme behaving badly.
“The BBC’s warning to its staff to remain impartial came too late for Mimi Kempton-Stewart, the assistant politics editor of the Today programme. Here are some of her thoughts on yesterday’s election, including that ‘it’d be nice’ if ‘every UKIP voter were just to disappear forever or die’” they told. But here a problem entered: the Twitter account was a fictional one.
One scan through the timeline should have given the game away: the account was started during 2010, but saw little action until recently, and even then not much. Only with the UKIP Tweets was there much activity. But the Fawkes rabble went ahead and published anyway. Then, a few minutes later, the post was pulled. It wasn’t fast enough. A cached version is widely available.
Everyone makes mistakes. The problem the Fawkes rabble has is that they are not big enough to ‘fess up to them. Only an obscure Tweet from the Media Guido account – “We are having an internal review. Lessons will be learned. Our normal high standards of editorial integrity were not adhered to today” – hints at the howler. And, as Jim Royle might have put it, “high standards my arse”.
Now all those nice people at the London Press Club can see just what kind of “blog of the year” got their award this week. The Fawkes rabble were so keen to get the jump on everyone else, and so wanted to believe what they had found, that they did themselves up a treat. As such, they were full value for their 4% trust rating. The Fourth Estate is welcome to them.
The Great Guido opens mouth and inserts boot yet again. Another fine mess.