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Tuesday 3 March 2015

Guido Fawked - Blogger Of Convenience

[Update at end of post]

The tendency of certain newspapers to play both sides of the field - the Mail is probably the supreme exponent of the genre - has, it seems, percolated down the food chain to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog. Staines was telling last month that he had moved away from blogging, only to later find the label useful as a means of promoting Himself Personally Now.
Fart in lift Inquiry hits damp patch

When talking to the Guardian - note also that Staines plays both sides of the field here too, laying into the paper when it suits him, then all too ready to use it to garner publicity - he told thatI am very nervous about moving away from the blog concept but we are more of a news website now. We’ve dropped the term ‘blog’ from the masthead”. So, got that? The founder of the Fawkes blog says it’s no longer a blog.

But then a problem entered: Andrew “Brillo Pad” Neil, highly regarded by the Fawkes folks not least because he is the head man at the Spectator, where Staines’ tame gofer, the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole, has been inexplicably given a berth, has given an interview to the quarterly magazine Calibre where he has passed favourable comment on the blogosphere, especially when compared to the mainstream press.
As Roy Greenslade has noted, he “argues in his Calibre interview that although newspapers are ‘still an important part of the debate’, bloggers and the Twittersphere cannot be ignored”. And here’s the quote: “I read more bloggers now than mainstream columnists, because they’ve got more interesting things to say. Too many columnists today make you think, ‘Yeah, I think you’ve said that 10 times before and I’ve just noticed your column has not got a single fact in it’”. I wonder who he was referring to, er, Paul?

Staines’ quote is also highly selective: Neil also said during the interview that “I don’t even read the Sun and it’s my job to read everything that’s politically important. I think that’s a symbol of the declining power of the mainstream media”. The Greenslade piece quoting that interview is titled “The Sun no longer has any political clout, says Andrew Neil”.

Now, I’ll take this nice and slowly so that the Fawkes rabble can grasp the implications of their enthusiastic recycling of Neil’s words. What would be the name of the Murdoch title that gives The Great Guido a regular column? Ooh, that would be the Sunday edition of, er, The Sun. And there is Paul Staines’ Twitter account endorsing part of an interview in which someone says that same paper no longer has any political clout.

And, Fawkes folks, who gave the interview? Andrew Neil. You people over there in Guidoland do know that Creepy Uncle Rupe and Brillo did not part company on the best of terms, don’t you? Rupe might not take kindly to having Neil’s adverse comments on the influence of his best-selling UK title quoted back at him. But some folks would rather blow their own trumpets rather than keep diplomatically schtum.

The people looked from blog to news, and news to blog. Another fine mess.

[UPDATE 1935 hours: as if the Fawkes rabble could not make themselves look yet more ridiculous, their latest attempt to smear Mil The Younger has served only to give Miliband more publicity, and make the Fawkes folks look like the pretentious wannabes they all too often appear to be.

In trying to badger Labour MP Toby Perkins, who rightly said "Oh what a tragic shadow of its former self Guido has become", someone from Guidoland told him "This is important investigative journalism". Yeah, right. However many times they repeat it, it won't turn them into Woodward and Bernstein. Another fine mess]

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