One eyebrow-raising aspect of Mark Di Stefano’s departure last week from his berth at the Financial Times was the number of left-leaning and/or new media names who responded to his Tweet announcing his departure with good wishes, and no apparent thought for the inconvenient fact that he had been caught, effectively, with his hand in the till. It was not missed by those at the Daily Mail. They had been presented with an open goal.
Here, he laid into Newsnight host Emily Maitlis, Owen Jones, Ash Sarkar of Novara Media, Paul Lewis, Pippa Crerar (yes, the same one who edited the Evening Standard when it promoted the Mayoral campaign of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson) and Ben McOwen Wilson of YouTube. At this point, Pendlebury was batting on a reasonably steady track. But then it all went wrong. And it went wrong because of his, and his paper’s, actions.
Having shown that he was picking and choosing his targets, any cursory analysis of Di Stefano’s Tweet replies shows several Old Media names, including freelances and even someone from the Express. Then Guy Adams, another Mail smear merchant, decided to use Pendlebury’s article to go after campaign group Hacked Off.
Why had Guy Adams not just posted a link to Pendlebury’s story? Instead, he used screen shots of the print edition. Ah well. That was the problem. The Daily Mail had such faith in the article that it was not put online. The Pressreader site has the text and photos, but they have had to get this from the Scottish edition of the paper.
A witless hack was presented with an open goal. Instead, he and his paper conspired to about turn and end up putting in their own net. New technology baffles tired old hacks.