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Friday 20 May 2016

Toby Young Guardian Rumour Fail

[Update at end of post]

The desire of the right-leaning punditerati to pander to their pals in the Fourth Estate knows no bounds, such is the scale of grovelling in pursuit of being thrown the biscuit of a well-remunerated column or two. And an obligatory part of that pandering and grovelling is to take every opportunity to put the boot in on the deeply subversive Guardian, as it has ventured beyond the pale by blowing the whistle on phone hacking.
More less than grown-up discussion from Tobes

So it should have surprised no-one to see the loathsome Toby Young, possessor of one of the metropolitan elite’s brownest tongues, doing his masters’ bidding today by floating a rumour about the Guardian which suggested the paper was in even more dire trouble than the last pointless and untrue rumour. Tobes has decided to tell the world that the paper is going to follow the Independent, and cease print editions.
Venturing on to Twitter to give the world his good news, Tobes told “Rumour circulating that Guardian is about to announce closure of print operation. Henceforth digital only. Fits with @arusbridger’s exit”. Yes, an editor leaving after 20 years means the paper closes down. Just like it didn’t when Peter Preston left in the mid-90s. And, as Captain Blackadder might have observed, there was only one problem with this idea - it was bollocks.

For starters, this hokum is one of those “rumours” that goes the rounds on a regular basis, partly because it’s something the right-wing press and their hangers-on dearly want to believe. Surely someone, somewhere will make it come true for them, demonstrating that leaning well to the right is the only true path to publishing self-enlightenment?

How long the story has been going the rounds can be seen by looking at the paper that used to be happy to give Tobes houseroom, if only for its blogs section - the Telegraph. Back in 2012, readers were toldGuardian 'seriously discussing' end to print edition … The publisher of the Guardian and Observer newspapers is close to axing the print editions of the newspapers, despite the hopes of its editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger to keep them running for several years”. So what happened to Katherine Rushton’s prediction?
It didn’t happen. It was pure speculation, thrown out in the wake of the phone hacking revelations as a combination of diversionary tactic and knocking copy. After that, from a supposedly quality paper, it might be thought that anyone hearing the same rumour coming around again would stop and think. But not Tobes.
After all, this is the pundit Graham Linehan memorably, and correctly, labelled “Westminster’s Village Idiot”, and who responded to Sky News’ Sophy Ridge telling “If rumours true that Sadiq Khan has won the Labour nomination for London Mayor … that is good news for Jeremy Corbyn in the big one [leadership election] tomorrow” by exclaiming “Great news for Zac Goldsmith too!” Goldsmith has just lost to Khan in a landslide after the most disastrous, nasty, borderline racist dog-whistling campaign the capital has seen.

And, to put the lid on it, Richard Furness has confirmed “it's categorically untrue, not sure where/how it started but is massively off the mark”. He should know. He works at the Guardian. Never mind Tobes, keep browning that tongue.

[UPDATE 1800 hours: the Guardian has now confirmed, and the Independent has reported, that Tobes' claim is "categorically untrue", pointing out that both the Guardian and its Sunday sister paper the Observer have been putting on circulation recently.

Still, it keeps the right-wing sniggering into their obscenely overpriced falling-over water, so that's all right, then]


A.Robot (Mrs) said...

What irks the jerks like young Mr Young is that the Guardian is so generally loved and respected by its readership (and others) that they would never allow it to cease printing, whatever was required to save it. Whereas if whatever it is Toby Young scribbles for were to shut down nobody would give a shit (if they even noticed that the little twat had ever written for it anyway).
Which is as it should be.

Anonymous said...

Been a bad month for Toby Jug.

Then again.....he's had a bad and bitter life.

I'm delighted to say.

Anonymous said...

He should stick to something he's good at, like running a school. Oh...

Anonymous said...

He probably is already helping transforming our care in the NHS