A reader alerts me to Nick Robinson's latest post on his blog, which appears to have a bit of a go at me. I think. He's written a piece which appears to dimiss the latest brou-ha-ha about Prescott as a bit of a storm in a tea-cup. He then writes this...
Incidentally, this is another example of some blogs trying to make the political weather. First, they demand to know why the mainstream media - and, in particular, the BBC - are not covering an alleged "scandal". Then they report unsubstantiated allegations which have been denied by those involved, which some newspapers then report as second hand news.
Let's be clear. This isn't because they are better journalists, free from censorship. They often have a political agenda. This is a political phenomenon copied from the United States where the Swift Boat Veterans were used to damage John Kerry. Here's proof, from my old friend Iain Dale - a former Tory candidate and chief of staff in David Davis's leadership campaign who chivvied the mainstream media for not covering the story of Cherie Blair signing the Hutton report to raise funds at an auction. This entry on his blog is titled It's Up to the Blogs to Make it Hit the Fan.
It's interesting he quotes the last link, which is my post which encouraged the mainstream media to take up the issue of Cherie signing the Hutton Report. Well I think that could be described as mission accomplished! At least four political editors tell me that if it hadn't been for me writing that no one would have taken it further. The story dominated the political headlines for the next three days. It is as natural as light following day for blogs to write in more hardline terms than political journalists do. And there's no reason why the likes of Tim, Guido and myself shouldn't hype something when we feel the media are deliberately avoiding an issue for whatever reason. If it occasionally stirs people into action, so much the better.