Saturday, 20 May 2006

A verifiable toljaso to ovine hacks

Compare this astute bit of analysis made three days after the event:

Last Updated: Friday, 19 May 2006, 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK
Why is Blair backing nuclear?
Analysis by Nick Assinder, Political Correspondent, BBC News website

...many in Westminster believe...he is engaged in a classic Alastair Campbell-style attempt to deflect attention...his remarks about the likely need for new nuclear power stations - which were, in fact, only a re-statement of his long-held position - came on the same day the cash-for-peerages affair took another twist and a new immigration row erupted. It has also been pointed out that early briefings from Downing Street on what was going to be in his speech made no mention of energy policy and that Mr Blair appears to have rushed forward debate on the policy several weeks before originally intended.

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to this comment in response to BBC Political Editor's blog of 16 May, when Blair's announcement was first made:


18. At 01:36 AM on 17 May 2006, Tim Wilkinson wrote:

No comment on the timing of this to knock the continiuing police investigation into high-level corruption out of the headlines? I would have expected some analysis on evening news programs of the latest developments - do I smell govt. lawyers? D-notices? Or is deference, inertia and a self-fulfilling belief in Blair's wriggling ability fuelling disbelief amongst the media?

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Newsnight and all other TV news, the guardian, the times, all went with the obvious non-story instead of reporting the moment at which it started to look as though a serving Prime Minister might actually face criminal charges for corruption. Once the moment has passed and they have had time to think things over, they report Blair's 'brilliance' at manipulating the press with apparently no embarrassment at all.


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