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.
I had lunch recently with a member and he spent the entire meal trying to convince me that my life was meaningless and immoral because I am not married.
Meaningless...yes. Why else would she waste our time by printing such vain and egotistical tripe ?
I would like to know what makes this woman tick, I suspect clockwork. She is such a cookie-cutter, one of those women who likes the easy working hours of journalism and basically writes about herself.
I wish she would take 4 lines and give us her autobiography, it is always interesting to see how people got their first break to fill empty space with empty words
Oh dear boys, you do condemn yourselves from your own mouths don't you?
Re Non Meno @ 8.01 Me Thinks you protesteth to much to have a sex life.
One feature about Mellisa is her prefix "boys" about everything whether boys' toys or boys' blogs she has some fixation with this prefix which is a bit repetitive, if not distinctly odd.....but she probably comes from very confined upbringing and has little experience of life outside London.....she is probably awaiting Boris Johnson to enter her life.....he who dispenses consolation to forlorn females
She's right though.
Mellisa's point about the sad misogynistic views of a section of the right wing blogosphere is a good one. Though I'll even defend the right be misogynistic in the name of freedom of speech, I detest sexually or gender abusive blogs that are the equivalent of verbal rape and the outpourings of sick minds.
However, Melissa's poorly researched article undermines it's own case in this respect because it tars all Tory bloggers with the same misogynistic brush and, in so doing, denigrates and insults ALL bloggers on ALL Conservative sites.
"Tory Blogs....This is a group of internet chatrooms where a certain kind of Conservative supporter, almost always male, hangs out"
Mellisa, falls into the trap of using the same discriminatory methods she claims to deplore. How dare she label us all as perverts!
Anon 8:36 is right to point out, that Melissa's use of the prefix "boys" reveals a discriminatory and stereotyped anti-male mindset which, as a journalist, she really should address.
As a female non-Tory, one of many such females who are regular contributors to Ian Dale's and a number of other Tory and non-Tory blogs, I take great exception to Mellisa's discriminatory article.
I believe Mellisa owes us an apology.
Melissa is clearly on safe ground with this latest piece, writing about a subject close to her heart - herself.
Expect a run of columns from her from now on covering such critical topics as:
- Why I prefer skimmed milk with breakfast
- My mysterious bowel movements
- Perfumes; my conundrum
- My love affair with a mirror.
Just so long as she stays away from political subjects, on which she has already displayed her woeful shortcomings, I see no reason why she shouldn't develop into a workaday but lacklustre 'Express' or 'Metro' space-filler.
To be fair, her article has a point, although she is wrong on one thing. If a defamatory comment is posted (that would be libel - she's right that nobody on t'internet can be sued for slander because slander is a non-permanent form!) then the ISP can be sued. Provided the ISP is caching or hosting the content, then they can be liable and forced to remove it (and damages awarded if they don't) - see Godfrey v Demon Internet.
We internet folks aren't quite as immune as people think.
Iain Dale sometimes goes OTT ('may he rot in hell...'). Some of the comments on here---and on Guido's---are humourless and boorish.
But both sites are loads more good than bad; if they weren't, they wouldn't get the number of readers that they do.
These websites are not suitable for the very delicate. The thin-skinned are advised to proceed with caution. Melissa obviously has strengths. And she is paid much more than we are for her written work. But she fails any reasonable test for robustness.
Sexism, abuse and threats of legal action. In all, genuine outrage that anybody should have questioned her words of wisdom. A more petty, vain and ill-considered response I cannot conceive.
Poor journalistic standards, self-obsession and erratic political judgment. It's a surprising performance for someone billed as Deputy Political Editor. A promotion beyond her competence, or for other reasons?
dk, Journalists are paid less than you expect. Most of them are in it for the glory and make their money from other inerests. i think you would be surprised what a lobby hack earns. Which is party why they should be less revered than they are.
In her case she is one of the most junir people in the lobby (formerly at the times and then PA0 but she is relatively young - early thirties.
I am convinced this whole spat is about making her name and undortunately iain, tim and guido are playing into her hands.
So let me get this straight.
You read the post at 7:54 and 8:36, straight up demeaning sexual misogyny, printed right in front of your eyes, and you then go on about how the blogosphere isn't misogynist and Melissa has no case?
Who is Melissa Kite?
Journalists are paid to be controversial. The more controversial they are, the more their careers prosper. Eventually they hope to reach the dizzy heights of someone like Polly Toynbee who writes complete tosh and earns squillions.
On a more serious note, let me bring you back down to the real world.....
I have worked as an estate agent in an upmarket part of Oxfordshire for the past 8 years but am now looking for a new job before I am made redundant.
Let me tell you, the housing market in this country is completely screwed. Sales have dried up almost completely and we are now at the stage where we are begging our clients to slash their price to stand any hope of a sale before the whole market crashes. (not just Oxfordshire but all over)
Unfortunately many can't cut their price because they are mortgaged to the hilt with no equity left because they have been using their property(ies) as cash machines for the past five years to finance 4x4's, Caribbean holidays twice a year and other crucial lifestyle accessories.
Why am I telling you this?
Because when the housing market crashes it won't just be us estate agents out of a job, the whole economy will go down the drain because it's been kept afloat by Mortgage Equity Withdrawal to pay for consumer spending.
Kite's at it again this morning, writing about divisions in the shadow cabinet. She's described as the deputy political editor of The Sunday Telegraph.
How does a second-rater get a job like that? Whose girlfriend/neice is she anyway?
Bebopper: don't know, but she is so trivial that she doesn't even have a personal vanity page on Wikipedia.
I typed her name in that website and was quite interested to see John Prescott's page come up as the 15th "hit".
Regrettably no scandal - just an article of hers quoted on his page - but it has left me with a very unpleasant mental image.
Melissa Kite is clearly trying to provoke. I wonder why ?
By the way I'm fed up with the anti-male bias that is tolerated in the media and party when any other form of type casting and discrimination would receive a stinging rebuke.
Ginger Blears on the Marr show this morning had a slip of the tongue and said "The FOI was to protected MPs", before quickly back tracking and saying "Protecting MPs constituents private emails."
Serves her right for talking too quickly.
I just thought the article was humourous above anything else. I have to say that comment sections do usually descend into attack forums against someone or other... the debate is rarely furthered.
Misogyny, n.,: Criticising female journalists.
I don't think that men are all they are cracked out to be either...
Clearly a little uptight on the personality front. Working with her must be like walking on egg shells.
Let THe Good Times Roll @ 11.55 is rock on. All you Bloggers and Wiz Kids in London and all of you Loaned up too your neck are in for a hell of a shock. Do not worry about Kite and the blogosphere, the biggest bubble ever is about to blow causing arse over tits.So if you are mortgaged up, get out now for she is about too blow.
theo (1047): Melissa Kite is almost certainly the online blogging nom-de-plume of Private Eye's very own girl about town, Polly Filler. If not, Polly should contact Sue, Grabbit and Runne immediately as she is clearly a victim of identity theft.
Sweet Melissa by the Allman Brothers Band...
Polygamy is just the legal term for having affairs.(Big Love)(Television program review)
COPYRIGHT 2006 The Spectator Ltd. (UK)
Melissa Kite is glued to the screen by the US smash-hit series 'Big Love' - about to be shown here - and is gripped by the controversy it has triggered over multiple marriage
Fifteen minutes into the first episode of Big Love, an American television series about polygamy, I suddenly and unexpectedly had a change of heart. I don't mean that I went from being anti to being pro, or even vice versa, but rather that I ceased thinking of patriarchal polygamy as a deeply sexist construct where the man gets the better end of the deal.
My volte-face came as the blonde, scheming wife Nicki, played by sultry Chloe Sevigny, demanded more housekeeping money, saying, 'Barb's reupholstered all her chairs.' A while later the wives gather round the kitchen table and draw up a list of repairs that need doing to their three neat houses arranged around a common backyard. This is not male utopia. This is a man's idea of hell on earth, surely? Having three wives doesn't just mean you have to service them in the bedroom - more of which later; you have to service them in the emotional,...
This is great - a journo who reads blogs about herself. This was my contribution.
PS- She appears to have stopped arguing that Tory blogging is close to death.
PPS - If I call her a goer, will I get an MSM namecheck?
Theres an article on welsh blogging in todays wales on sunday here
Mmmm. When I pointed out on my blog that Iain was unduly keen to attack this woman (among others) he claimed she was in fact his friend. But does she regard him as her friend? Did she ever?
Just as this woman, you lot say, does not like being held to account, so you lot do not like being held to account. I do hope that whatever initiative Tim brings in to "grow up" over at CH (which is hardly the worst, or the second worst) becomes a general protocol on all Tory Boy blogs.
When I asked Iain yesterday for a proper source and link for some random stats he refused, huffed and puffed, and led a barrage of personal insults allowing others to say things he might have thought but could not possibly have commented and stayed "clean" ish.
It's got to stop. Two cheers at least for Melissa.
I doubt anyone would ever complain about chris paul's sad lonely excuse for a blog.
No-one ever goes there.
Has anyone noticed that Melissa Kite is an anagram of "Mistake Lies"?
She is obviously a spoof.
Chris Paul, one thing you are right on. I had indeed considered Melissa Kite to be a friend. After receiving an abusive email from her (which I shall keep private) I can assure you that is no longer the case. I stand corrected.
Ultimately, just as the newspaper editor is responsible for what is published, so the blog owner is responsible for what is published on his or her blog.
Comments on a blog will always reflect back to the blogowner, so it is their responsibility to maintain certain standards.
I'm sure that you don't support any of the attacks taht have been labelled against her, but to the passing viewer, they can only go by the culture taht has developed on any given blog.
Is this what she was commenting on ?
High Flier: What a good and appropriate link!
Iain Dale: I'm not sure anyone would blame Melissa for being a bit pissed with you. Your fisking of her article seemed pretty unfriendly and OTT in tone though you agreed with a lot of the content of her predictions and only the timing seemed a major area of disagreement.
It also unleashed a torrent of offensive comments here and on other blogs. Understand her POV and she may take you back and vice versa.
Chris, I have re-read that fisk several times and there is nothing unfriendly to her at all. It citiques what she wrote. Are you - and she - really saying that we should all take as gospel truth anything a deputy political editor writes? Yes, I did agree with parts of it - and said so - but I also gave reasons why much of it was rubbish. Her reaction was totally OTT, as, I admit, were some of the comments on other sites (more than this one).
She has shown herself up to be someone I didn't think she was. She'd no doubt say the same about me. You're free to judge who is right.
It strikes me that Stanley Baldwin hit the nail on the head when he said journalists wanted "power without responsibility, the prerogative of harlots throughout the centuries". They do not like being criticised or held to account.
Silly mellisa also spoke of being "frisked" By Iain Dale , when in reality she should have said "Fisked"
I suppose it could have been worse.
Read it again, The Hitch. Melissa most certainly did not refer to a "frisking" by Iain, she was quoting a comment.
Had a male journalist written the piece, I don't think there would have been comments about his appearance, sex life or professional credibility.
She was quoting garypowell on "frisking".
Has any one seen Guido
Iain, I don't really care who's right or wrong about the detail of the shadow cabinet reshuffle. Perhaps your sources are better than Melissa's on this occasion. Perhaps not.
As I recall in the fisking the main point of contention was not whether Liam was doomed but when this reshuffle would actually happen. Melissa said soon. You thought a couple of months time. That might be considered 'soon' by some people.
But it is indisputable that the tone of the piece was highly dismissive, that such a beating has not been handed out to a male journo, that it was an opinion piece not "news", and that it unleashed a torrent of abuse - clearly somethingly more polite here than elsewhere - which would not have occured should a man have written the exact same copy as Melissa.
I also don't think it's worth falling out over. And I also think that it is high time the comments on Tory Boy blogs were reigned in.
If you had a chance to rewrite your post would you perhaps have:
(a) written less
(b) not taken the argumentative fisk route
(c) recognised that it's sources for courses and that some are mischievious
(d) been more concilatory when it started to spin out of control - sheesh, it was just a comment piece
(e) reigned in the comments which are harsh, sexist, crude, childish and IMO have got worse over the five months when I've been reading here
I don`t think there is anything so terribly obnoxious for her to complaint about anyway when did being rude become a crime its healthy and entertaining . Most of it is for comic effect, a joke Melissa obviously does not get because she is a dull sanctimonious creepy apple shiner. She has realised what a twit she made of herself and hastily tried to re cast her original pompous ex cathedra “Do-you-know-who- I- am” as self aware . It patently was not.
I think there is something a little more interesting here . One of the reasons that women are not as good in the blogaspghere is that they tend to be conformist and thrive in elite bureaucracies like the classist mainstream media . I notice that the girly Liberals are always trying to close down what you can or cannot say either by actual rules of by adopting sniffy high grounds of one sort or another. This is because they know they are not up to the open veldt where ‘men are men and women like it that way’. She would like everything to be reduced the state the Spectator is in which case we might all just as well top ourselves.
The blogasphere is the frontier and while men are “Lighting out for the territory” Aunt Pollys everywhere want to cover it in white fences.
( I `d have said Iain was a bit more Aunt Polly than Huckleberry but as we see its all relative)
Yes , whose niece is she ? I do not believe such a self delighted not had to apply
Anybody care to put us out of our misery?
She is clearly somebody's niece as keeps being hinted.
If so whose? And did she not have to apply for the job.
I am v curious.
So am I and can find nothing. Boris will know ( she is probably his love child )
Comely Melissa Kite, fox hunting , 34, deputy political editor of The Sunday Telegraph, who lives Balham, a south London suburb. Hmmmm fox hunting eh ? Wannabe actress toff ...I `m guessing someones girlfriend.
the answers are out there
The picture I found of her was from a fringe meeting at Tory conference, the one of Iain from a newspaper reviewing stint.
Do all these questions and hints about being a "niece" or a girlfriend come up when Tory Boy Bloggers don't like or actively dispute the basis of what some young man has written?
Who else was jostling for the job? Did any other Telegraph staff or columnists feel they could have done a better job? Or fancy applying should a vacancy arise in the not too distant?
PS Is the link in Iain's first line down?
Link is working now ...
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