Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Ghost, Guido and Newsnight

This post started off as a reply to this comment by ghost of michael collins about Guido's less than successful Newsnight interview.
to be honest, i thought he was pretty stupid to take that BBC offer - what was he thinking? that they'd allow him to rubbish their entire reporting methods without some sort of backlash ? says to me that Mr Fawkes has poor judgement, unlike your good Devil self, of course.

Compliment accepted and appreciated, but then I have appeared on 18DoughtyStreet a number of times: does that not count as a lapse of judgement? Is 18DS perhaps too tame a venue?

Yes, Guido was hammered rather; however, I think that this is partially down to the medium. Writing allows a far longer reaction time and thus it can be easier to defend oneself. There's another aspect too; although Guido has his beliefs, his blog doesn't necessarily reflect them.

Look at it this way; I write very long posts, during the course of which I almost always reaffirm some aspect of my political ideas: I write them through logically and with supporting evidence several times a month. Thus, I can easily reach for a particular piece of evidence or logically explain a politico-philosophical idea; this has been incredibly useful for asking questions, off the top of my head, in the recent political debates at Global Vision, the Adam Smith Institute, and Oliver Letwin and Polly Toynbee at the Bow Group.

Guido doesn't write in this way, and many bloggers do not do so (especially the "older" ones). Perhaps it is because they have gone through the arguments so many times already—it requires a certain obduracy to keep stating your beliefs in this way and the lack of political bloggers lasting much more than a year would seem to confirm this idea—but it does mean that they are not so practised when faced with a spontaneous argument.

Not that I'm saying that I would have done any better than Guido against the fairly fierce opposition that he had but then again I might have done in a similar situation, simply because I rehearse all of the arguments day after day.

But this blog is a different beast to Guido's: I merely state opinion and—to an extent—try to convince others of the veracity of my arguments. Guido aims to break stories and to peddle gossip.

What annoyed me about the Newsnight interview was that it allowed Paxman and White essentially to write off all blogs as mere unsubstantiated gossip sites and to repeat the old mantra that they are full of inaccuracies. Generally speaking, opinion pieces on the blogosphere, at least, are far better-sourced than that of the MSM because—and Guido did make this point—our reputations are at stake.

Actually, this point was made rather eloquently by Michael White's denial of his knowledge of Prescott's age, a stupid thing to say since it is so easily refuted.

This actually makes the argument for the blogosphere far more usefully than Guido was able to do live: the one person shown—absolutely and irrefutably—to have lied was the reporter claiming that the blogosphere is inaccurate.

Is that irony?


Guido Fawkes Esq. said...

Agreed. What was I thinking. The pre-recorded piece had gone pretty well so why not risk....

Benedict White said...

You said"Actually, this point was made rather eloquently by Michael White's denial of his knowledge of Prescott's age, a stupid thing to say since it is so easily refuted."

I was a little stronger:

But there you have it. Infortuantely the problem with the MSM is only some people will go looking and find out what tosh MW was talking.

Bag said...

Oh the benefits of writing, reading, considering and then rewriting before anyone else sees it.

I'm pretty quick at dealing with things on the spot, in my line of work, but in the field of politics there are always questions that can throw you and if you are not sure but are pushed. That's why blogs are so full of good ideas and comments yet most of us should not go near a public interview live or not if we had any sense.

Overconfidence leads to mistakes. Mistakes lead to..... You get the idea.

ghost of michael collins said...

i agree with bag. guido should never have even touched the MSM with a bargepole.

he's probably a nice guy in person, and i'd probably have a pint with him - but sweet jesus, you were royally stitched up by the MSM types. you are a THREAT to them - no wonder they did that.

keep a wide bearth and just blog away. forget this MSM "celeb" stuff. keep your ego in check Guido.

the carrot will be dangled towards myself eventually, but i will NOT bite that maggot infested carrot.

ghost of michael collins said...

guido/devil/everyone else - > best example of a celeb who is still relatively anonymous and not screwed by the MSM- Matt Drudge.

now THAT is an example to follow. dont get suckered into the MSM palour games. Drudge did it. you chaps can do so too.

they will dangle carrots like "newsnight appearances" and such like. it wont work - your medium is the internet. screw the old media and just move on.

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