So I got to see the photo studio first hand, met Media Guardian editor Jane Martinson, and was shown the editorial conference room, including the place where Alan Rusbridger sits while the day’s stories are discussed. I did express my surprise that it wasn’t soundproofed, unlike the one at the Daily Mail (JOKE, Northcliffe House minions, lighten up). It’s flattering to see the article garner some positive responses.
Dylan Sharpe, who is supposedly the Sun’s head of PR, has found the article so distressing that he has felt the need to rubbish it, calling it a “puff piece”. That’s down to the usual smear level, and it’s wrong: Frances Perraudin asked whatever questions she wanted, and I had no sight of the article before publication, enjoyed no power of censorship or amendment, and took no part in the exercise beyond being interviewed.
But Sharpe’s intervention is as nothing to the outburst from the Telegraph’s not-at-all celebrated blues artiste Whingeing Dan Hodges, who has let anyone listening know that he takes the article as a personal affront. “What are the Guardian playing at?” he bawled, before going totally OTT. “What is the reason? No followers [wrong]. No profile [it just got published]. Genuine troll [who’s a thin skinned hypocrite, then?]”.
And there you have the press establishment wannabes personified. Hodges writing a series of whining screeds about Mil The Younger is not trolling, not obsession, not something that anyone should question, not the petulant whining of a disaffected Blairite who didn’t get the Miliband brother he wanted. No sirree, that, good people, is journalism. And if you believe that, you’ll believe anything.
The Murdoch press gave Dylan Sharpe a generously remunerated job; that is their decision, and their right. Likewise the Telegraph favoured Hodges. That either of them carp and moan because someone of dissenting view is the subject of a profile which the Guardian has chosen to run tells you rather more about their values - or lack of them - than it does about Zelo Street.