Thursday, 16 April 2009
Sting the Spinners: a Modest Proposal
Even for a sober and diligent biz-blog like C@W, it is hard to forswear comment on Guido’s triumph against the Goliath of the government spin machine and its compliant client-base in the MSM.
I have never harboured any romantic notions about traditional news media. A close relative once commanded the front page of a leading Sunday newspaper each week and I was brought up on stories of how the proprietor conducted his tawdry business. While myself editing a student newspaper, on the occasion of running Part 1 of a genuine scoop on overseas political interference in the running of the university, I and the writer were taken to one side by the proctors and informed that if Part 2 were to be written up, we would be sent down.
Friends who pursued the journalistic calling all the way to Fleet Street have often regaled me with stories of how the Lobby system really works. And once, when occupying an office in the same SW1 building as NuLab’s then Westminster base, strolling through the foyer I overheard Mandleson menacing a couple of junior reporters that they would never work again unless they did his bidding to the letter.
But now, for at least a few days, there is widespread wringing of journalistic hands. Yes, they cry, it takes two to tango, and McPoison's partner was ... us. We have been lazy, supine, craven, complicit in our relationship with the spin-machine. We should have researched our own stories; rejected the innuendos; laughed in the face of the threatening bullies.
I have a suggestion.
This is easy. We all know the Brown Brigade is quite incapable of weaning itself away from its modus operandi of 20 years. Let one of the great organs of the MSM (the Beeb, say) redeem itself by hatching a sting: a genuinely enlightening exposé of the workings of the NuLab skunk-works. When the next opportunity arises - and they happen all the time - let them surreptitiously record verbal briefings, tie them into leaks, and correlate them with news- management stratagems, to present posterity and the voting public with a fully-documented set-piece of how the bastards conduct their business.
I can just the see the Panorama Spin-Special now. Public interest ? There are prizes to be won for this, chaps - how about it ?
No, I thought not.
Posted by Nick Drew