As the election campaign draws to a close, some spinners out there on the right are finding it more and more difficult to maintain their output of dubiously sourced rubbish, and nowhere is this more apparent than for the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, where newly anointed teaboy Alex Wickham, an allegedly “distinguished young journalist” (no, don’t laugh) is scratching around for stories.
Fart in lift Inquiry generates its own turbulence
There is the usual casual dishonesty: “Billy Liar”, as he is more appropriately known, has come up with the suitably creative “‘No Hiding Place For Hedge Funds’ Says Hedgie-Backed Eddie”. That’s most interesting. So is Mil The Younger “backed” by one or more hedge funds? Sadly, no he isn’t: two individuals who may have made money from such vehicles have donated to Labour of their own free will. And they aren’t donating now.
Having set the bar low, Wickham then proceeds to go beyond barrel-scraping and ends up doing a Fred Flintstone tribute (that means he’s reached Bedrock). The teaboy has also gone after David Axelrod, for the heinous crime of providing services to the Labour Party while being a US citizen (Jim Messina is also providing political services to a UK party, but as it’s the Tories, he gets a Fawkes free pass).
“Axelrod: British Press More Powerful Than Fox News” proclaims the headline, telling of an interview the strategist gave to Politico, and then reminding readers “‘The thing I’d say to you though about this, these people are less powerful than they used to be,’ Ed Miliband told Russell Brand during their enlightening discussion about his critics in the newspapers”. Given falling sales, that's rather a statement of the bleeding obvious.
You'd think the Fawkes mob would know something about this
Then Wickham tells of that interview “David Axelrod is asked whether he thinks Britain’s right-wing press is more powerful than Fox News, beamed into 87,058,000 American households. He replies ‘Yeah, I do’”. And, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here. One, for most potential US recipients of Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse), it is not “beamed” anywhere. Fox News is not called a cable news channel for nothing.
And two, it might be possible to get Fox News in more than 87 million households across the USA, but as David Axelrod knows, the number who actually tune in is a small fraction of that number. How small? Well, taking last Monday, the Fox numbers for the whole day are just 1.199 million, and for primetime - that’s the evening period - rose to 2.077 million. Only two shows broke the 2.2 million barrier.
They were the programmes hosted by Bill O’Reilly (2.585 million) and Megyn Kelly (2.210 million). Newspapers can reckon to have at least twice the readers as copies sold, so the Sun beats that out of sight on its own. Add the Mail, Times and Telegraph and the reader reach is likely to be close to ten million. Wickham disregards reality and just pretends that Axelrod doesn’t know his stuff. “Billy Liar” is full value for his nickname.
But remember, he’s a “distinguished young journalist”. Another fine mess, once again.
Plus it's a smaller market - 2 million out of c. 250 million is dwarfed by ~10 million out of c. 35 million. I'm plucking the adult population figures out of my arse, but it's definitely a higher proportion.
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