UPDATE: Tim Montgomerie has said much of what I would want to say HERE. He writes...
Despite all of Ms Kite's mudthrowing there is only one dominant issue here:
Journalists can no longer write speculative pieces for Sunday or other
newspapers and expect no scrutiny. Before the blogosphere people that
might have been injured by the pen of Ms Kite and her colleagues could, perhaps,
hope that the offending newspaper might publish a letter of correction in a
subsequent edition. Now the scrutiny of lazy journalism is fast and
sometimes too furious. I say "sometimes too furious" because Ms Kite is
right to complain about the nastiness of some of the comments that appear on
some blogs. I would say, however, that the comment threads of her own
Telegraph and of other major newspapers can also be nasty and I would defend
ConservativeHome by noting that our comments policy means hateful and personal comments are usually deleted and result in a IP ban for their originator. Ms Kite's tactic of quoting blog comments from one permissive blog and trying to smear all Tory blogs is consistent with her behaviour from day one of this little exercise. She is a journalist who is hating being held accountable. There is a real need for the
still-young-blogosphere to grow up (and tomorrow ConservativeHome will be
announcing an initiative to help this site to be a trusted publisher) but there
is also a need for Ms Kite to grow up. Time will prove that Melissa Kite's
6th May piece was "shoddy". Journalists who have long held politicians to
account can now expect much more scrutiny themselves. Ms Kite's noisy
response to the Tory blogs won't change that. And, Ms Kite, as for your claim
that "Tory blogging is close to death" - ConservativeHome is set for our
busiest ever month.
This blog will also have a record month for visitors - unlike the Sunday Telegraph, perhaps. Having played my first 9 holes of the year (and recorded my second best ever score) I shall leave Ms Kite in peace. I've got better things to do with my Sunday. I'll let her words speak for themselves.