Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Verdict

I was going to grit my teeth and buy the Sun, if only to see how they coped with this new phase in their turbulent life. In the end I didn't, so can only refer everyone to what seem like intelligent and fair-minded reviews from the New Statesman's Steven Baxter and the Guardian's Roy Greenslade.

I wasn't completely devoid of tabloid enlightenment however, as I did pick up a copy of the Star on Sunday, mainly to see how the Guido Fawkes bloggers fared in their new incarnation as dead tree press columnists. And the truth is - poorly. Their blog fizzes with uncovered tales of political derring-do, points fingers all over the place, racks up a variety of evidence to keep politicos and others on their toes - even today, the day of their great columnar awakening, they've given a pretty comprehensive kicking to Ken Livingstone over his tax avoidance measures. But on paper? Bland, utterly bland. Confined to a narrow column (nothing like the spreading words of Sally Bercow - Sally Bercow for goodness sake - which covers a whole page) they have produced little to distinguish them from the likes of the lamentable Ephraim Hardcastle. A nudge-nudge piece about two un-named Labour front benchers who are really close, a diary-esque piece about David Miliband watching football in a box next to some of Cameron's Etonian mates, some tired stuff about pugilistic Eric Joyce and a typically OTT but not very interesting comment from Tory MP Desmond Swayne (or 'Dessie' as they call him). All very uninspired, the sort of stuff that eventually made Nigel Dempster such a laughing stock. I just hope for their sakes that the real reason for accepting the Desmond coin was simply to prove that the internet is far more alive with political insider news than anything that appears in a Sunday paper. Otherwise, if they want to preserve their reputation they should get out of the paper media brothel as quickly as possible.

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