Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Alice Miles: We Journalists Are to Blame

Got. It. In. One. Alice Miles writes in tomorrow's Times that journalists are to blame for going along with the smears.
On the one hand, as one victim of hostile Downing Street briefings puts it: “If somebody at No 10 is saying that Harriet Harman is having a mental breakdown, journalists are justified in running it.” On the other hand, as another victim of Mr McBride’s sees it: “It takes two to tango – you need McBride and you need the flopsy-bunny journalists who will just take the line.” I think they should be clearer about where the line is coming from, and why.

Do you see what I did just then? I placed in your head the creeping falsehood that perhaps Ms Harman might be having a mental breakdown; because if someone has suggested that No 10 might be saying it, then perhaps No 10 is saying it, and perhaps it is saying it because it might be true?

And you will remember, long after you forget everything else in this article, that someone once told you that Harriet Harman was mentally ill. And that is precisely how the poisoners operate.

Read her article HERE.


John said...

Err, but they didn't did they? I thought that was why they needed Red Rag, because the dead tree press wouldn't run with it?

BTW Iain, have you seen the video of you over at Bloggerheads?

Martin said...

Ian Watson on BBC 10PM news was a disgrace. He's still running the BBC line that the evil Tories are milking it.

milking what?

All that one eyed prat has to do is stand on the steps of Downing Street and say SORRY. How bloody hard is that? Half his own party are telling him to do it as well.

Who wants to bet this one eyed idiot won't appear on TV until Sunday when he will get a nice cosy BBC interview from his big mate Andy Marr?

trevorsden said...

Yes - this might just end up being the biggest disaster for brown - will journalist continue to lie down and be, well... basically pissed on by Brown at his press conferences.

Just how shabby do they think they are being treated?

Indeed will Brown hold another open press conference? Will he find another excuse to dodge PMQs? If he does not will the Speaker call Nadine Dorris?

Bill Quango MP said...

But Iain..she is mentally ill. Its just not polite to talk about it.

Jimmy said...

"All that one eyed prat has to do is stand on the steps of Downing Street and say SORRY."

At which point the tories will spin it as an admission of personal involvement. And if you think this isn't being milked, you may want to skim this blog for a start.

jailhouselawyer said...

John @10:08: That Tim Ireland video of Iain etc is brilliant. Tim is a genius.

tory boys never grow up said...

And what was Mr Dale doing about all the comments on the Blairs/Browns/Prescotts/Lord Levy etc.etc.?

Jonathan Cook said...

I'm watching Newsnight........... oh my god...... journalists seem to have begun to decide to stop 'taking it over a barrel' and are actually asking questions of Labour.

I'm in shock.

Adrian said...

This is getting more like the Jon Stewart/Cramer showdown in the USA where Stewart took on the financial media for failing to see the coming economic crisis and report on the abuses on Wall Street.

Can the press report honestly on this when they are guilty themselves? Steve Richards and Kevin Maguire have been exposed. Where is Nick Robinson as well? How can the BBC's top political journo be on holiday when this is going on? He would come back early for anyhting else this big. How chummy was he with McBride?

If all this happened in a large business, the CEO who appointed someone like McBride might not be fired or quit immediately but he would be told to start planning an early retirement and leave in the summer, which is what Brown should do. He can't go on for a year now into another election

Oldrightie said...

I see the vestiges of Labours' attack force are still on the loose. Just as pathetic as always. Spinning like an old fashioned and very tired jenny. Love it.

Peter said...

There is no logical reason why Brown has not said sorry.
Or is he hoping for a big news story to blow it all away.
Even my stubborn 10 year old nephew would not have held out this long.
Has the guy got a death wish, is he simply incapable of apologizing or maybe his mental state is a factor?

trevorsden said...

Mr Cook - correct and once again I have to say with the evidence of my own eyes and based on the photo of Brown and McBride in the background that Brown clearly seems to be wearing a corset.

No need to start a conspiracy, no need to agree with me - anyone can take a look and form their own opinion. With every day that goes by Brown looks more like a cross between Lurch the Butler and the mechanoid Kryten.

I revel in free speech and the great tradition of British satire and caricature.
What do you think Jimmy, or you Mr lawyer or Mr grow up?
My guess is you will think its the result of an embarrassing illness.

David Boothroyd said...

I find it odd and inconsistent to praise Alice Miles' article and maintain a link to Paul Staines' website. Is it not Paul Staines who has been attempting to put in the public consciousness the ludicrous suggestion that the Prime Minister is mentally disordered? (And many other false claims)

Incidentally I wanted to check on Damian McBride's age because I could not remember him in Labour politics at Cambridge when I was there, but it turned out to be true - he was at Peterhouse from 1993 to 1996. Which makes his birth year probably somewhere around 1974/75 depending on whether he took a year out.

John Page said...

Alice Miles still doesn't get it. It's not about reporters putting a stop to anything ... they should have reported it.

It's their job.

Jimmy said...

"My guess is you will think its the result of an embarrassing illness."


Jimmy said...

"I find it odd and inconsistent to praise Alice Miles' article and maintain a link to Paul Staines' website. "

David I'm afraid you missed the memo. Stains is an anti-smear crusader now. No really.

Chris Paul said...

John 10:08 is right. Not much of this stuff gets run ... even in the form "people are saying XYZ" because although that bit is true, the XYZ may not be. I parodied a bit of this a day or two ago on my blog. Private Eye might go there I suppose. But even the Diary people at most of the papers won't. It can be hard work placing even fairly uncontroversial stories if there's any element of speculation or hearsay involved. And that's about as gossipy as the MSM get. Which I suppose is why it is just a few bloggers that will run such stuff, why Draper was interested in having such a blog to counter Guido who certainly does this, and certainly allows his comments to go there, and why stories can be going round and round for months at Westminster without ever getting published anywhere at all. McBride was I think mostly collating existing "noise" of that nature. Twisting the knife a bit. But essentially existing playground gossip from Westminster of what some people call "unsubstantiated" and others call "untrue". A mixture I'd guess.

Tom said...

I'm starting to think that being scooped on the year's biggest political scandal by a pithy little blogger during a quiet Easter weekend has given the old MSM so-called journalists a nasty (and long overdue) wake-up call.

HarveyProcter said...

"Ian Watson on BBC 10PM news was a disgrace. He's still running the BBC line that the evil Tories are milking it."

that's what happens when one side over eggs their pudding a tad...

thecopydude said...

This is the 'Stephen Pound' defence. It was all the nasty bloggers fault for creating an 'arms race' of innuendo.

Nothing to do with Labour ramping media spin to zillions of rpm. since 1997. Oooh Noooooh.

The Labour obsession with the media is evident in the public time and money that has been wasted on this episode. Not to mention Tom Watson's extravagant writ throwing laywers.

Note to Tom.

The 'most read' story on BBC Scotland currently concerns Toots, a cat allegedly shot. Check it out.


The most viewed story by miles in the Telegraph, over the entire smeared Easter Weekend was about the woman who jumped in the Polar Bear's enclosure at Berlin Zoo.


Sorry, no one wants to read Labour spin, or even about it anymore.

So, Tom, you would get more attention getting mauled in a Zoo or shooting a cat. But just stop playing these games as a Public Servant at the taxpayer's expense.

Martin said...

jimmy: Nonsense. Brown could have killed it off had he said sorry straight away. And for your information Brown IS involved, he appointed McBride.

If you buy a dog, you're responsible for where and when it takes a shit.

Brown has a problem. He can never say sorry. His wife must love that!

Jimmy said...

Martin. The tories are milking it because they have nothing of substance to say about anything else. The "make him say sorry" mantra which they now trot out on every single topic is trite and superficial as are those who devised the tactic. This is talking points as a substitute for debate. Appointing McBride probably was an error. It has now been corrected. If the right wants to move on to a wider debate about the standard of public discourse then well and good, but they're going to have to admit who started the race to the bottom.

Lola said...

"You might think that. I couldn't possibly comment"

Unsworth said...

@ David Boothroyd

"I find it odd and inconsistent to praise Alice Miles' article and maintain a link to Paul Staines' website."

Yes, you probably do. So? Still trying to tell other people how to run their lives?

Unsworth said...

@ Jimmy

"...but they're going to have to admit who started the race to the bottom."

And just who was that, do you suppose?

You really haven't got it, have you? It's not a question of who starts a war - it's who wins it that counts. Get real.

Gareth said...

David Boothroyd,

Was it Staines who suggested Brown is 'psychologically flawed'?

TeRLocK said...

I'm a bit confused as to the pull out quote used, the rest of the article was a (long overdue) confessional regarding MSM journos behaviour regarding New Labour and Brown. This surely deserves more exposure? The more articles like this the better, time for them all to get their pound of flesh