Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Dog eats dog

Yes, it's a dog eat dog world.

Shock, horror, and great disgust cry the tabloids, broadsheets and broadcast media: they who have all too often been fed at the hands of the vile spinner, Damian McBride.

But what was the actual sequence of events that led to Guido's headline-topping slur story hitting the paper presses?

According to The Telegraph, it was it that first broke the story. But since no-one of importance seems to read the former Torygraph any more, anyone might be forgiven for thinking it was the Sunday Times and News of the World that jointly claimed the scoop.

Apparently, Guido had already been seeking a buyer amongst several 'Fleet Street' organs. Although this revelation from the Telegraph's Christopher Hope might seem embarrassing to Guido, I'm personally entirely sanguine and real-politik about earning money from the keyboard, when one can (as Dr Johnson might have said).

Far more disconcerting, but no less surprising, is the subsequent action of The Telegraph towards Guido's story. Having rejected a deal with Guido, it went ahead and printed the story on Saturday anyway, after first presenting the details to Number 10. A distressed Guido (for we presume it is actually he) left a message at My Telegraph that the organ "revealed sources, broke a confidence, breached a signed non-disclosure agreement and behaved like patsys for McBride".

Scurrilous behaviour is it not? And all to be the first to reveal McBride's plan to publish ... scurrilous stories.

And while on the subject of The Telegraph's priorities: what on earth was Janet Daley thinking of with her item yesterday titled, 'No need to demand an apology: Gordon Brown is damaged beyond repair'. According to Janet: 'Apart from the obvious virtue of giving the story another day or two of media life, what exactly would be the point of this? Mr Brown is now damaged beyond repair.'

Janet, you need to get out more or find a circle of friends nicer than McBride's patsies. Of course the individuals smeared by this affair need a bloody apology!

Believe it or not, life is not all about political strategies. There are human beings with families at the end of Number 10's sordid tales. At least Gordon Brown, being the master of PR spin, has delivered something that is the nearest to an apology they'll actually get.

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