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Wednesday 1 October 2014

Guido Fawked – Shove Your Explanation

[Update at end of post]

More than two days after Zelo Street pitched his name as the “freelance journalistbehind the fictitiousSophie Wittams”, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines took to the Guido Fawkes blog to admit that his newly anointed teaboy Alex Wickham was indeed behind the sting that had entrapped Brooks Newmark. 
Fart in lift inquiry finds they all did it

The Staines apologia was as expected: a thinly veiled confection of spin, self-pity, and flagrant dishonesty, depicting the Fawkes rabble as fearless seekers after truth (no, don’t laugh) who want only to root out wrongdoing. It conforms to Olbermann’s Dictum: “The right exists in a perpetual state of victimhood”.

For the record and the avoidance of doubt, Alex Wickham ... is a fine young journalist” tells Staines. That does not justify what he did. Nor is Wickham fit to be called a journalist. And, as to the “fine” attribute, we need look no further than the “Sick Owen Jones Papped Mocking Teen Polar Bear Tragedy” post, which was so ridiculous it had to be pulled. That is not journalism. It is character assassination.

The dirge continues: “His so-called sting – which was actually evidence gathering – was not an unauthorised operation”. So frigging what? It was contrived enough that the Sun, which ran all those Fake Sheikh stings, and the Mail On Sunday, the paper that lured the unfortunate teenager Paris Brown before trashing her all over its front page, turned it down flat. It was too much even for them.
The excuse note in full

And then Brooks Newmark’s targeting is explained away: “Newmark had a certain reputation among younger Tory women for being, for want of a better word, a bit of a creep”. So why were at least six other then Tory MPs – Mark Reckless (now defected to UKIP), Nick de Bois, Charles Elphicke, Mark Pritchard, Robert Jenrick and Jesse Norman – targeted? It wasn’t just Newmark. It was speculative.

Try again: “This was no fishing operation, it was a narrowly targeted effort. The Sophie Wittams Twitter account followed almost 100 MPs as part of the cover story”. No thanks, I don’t want to look over there. It was so “narrowly targeted” that at least seven MPs were approached (did I mention that?). Weak, weak, weak.

And then Staines takes out his onion: “If IPSO finds against the Daily Mirror it won’t prove it has teeth, it will prove ... that ‘media standards’ are really a form of censorship”. Bullshit. Censorship means prior restraint. There was none of that here, and none is being proposed in response to the story. Lame in the extreme.

This blog will never bow to the censors” vows The Great Guido, which would be impressive if there were any. But what the apologia does not tell is that this is the time when a trio of unprincipled, petulant, dishonest, bullying, inadequate and vindictive lowlifes finally ceased to get away with it. They aren’t interested in righting wrongs, but massaging their own flabby egos. Another fine mess, once again.

[UPDATE 1530 hours: eagle eyed readers may have noticed that The Great Guido appears unsure which of the Mirror titles carried the details of Wickham's sting.

In the first paragraph, the story was "published in the Sunday Mirror", but by paragraph 5, we see "If IPSO finds against the Daily Mirror".

Perhaps Staines thinks that one title might be persuaded to take the hit for the other one? Good to see one of those "fine young" journalists showing readers their "evidence gathering" prowess. Another fine mess, indeed]


rob said...

"But what the apologia does not tell is that this is the time when a trio of unprincipled, petulant, dishonest, bullying, inadequate and vindictive lowlifes finally ceased to get away with it."

Oh, I don't know - they should fit in quite well in Tabloid Street as Leveson doesn't appear to have changed very much there. Daily Star or Express perhaps?

Anonymous said...

Surely if Newmark had a reputation as a creep, the way to "gather evidence" against him would be to simply follow him on Twitter in the guise of a young Tory female and wait for him to make his approach. That he had to be lured into sending dick pics via private messages suggests otherwise.

rob said...

@ Anon 13:43

Let us fervently hope and pray that the Boy Wickham or the rest of the Guido Gang of Four don't meet up with the "Vengeance is Mine Inc" organisation.

I could be lying of course.