Slugger Blogburst on Smeargate…

Kicking off with Guido (of course), at his best, when he goes back to that Newsnight programme in which he was savaged by the Guardian’s Michael White (for his McBride-like work on Labour and the Lib Dems, rather the subject of the film). But this time he focuses on his rather more compelling thoughts on the Lobby’s iterative prisoner’s dilemma. Amd there is his rip-roaring account in today’s Spectator

– However this is a pretty solid response from one of said lobby journos:

“Undoubtedly in this job one is always weighing confidences, indiscretions and gossip and judging the merits of employing them (and potentially burning bridges with a source) or staying silent. None of us likes to err on the side of “cosiness” – much better to use as much material as possible. Surely that’s in the nature of any decent reporter…?”

– Brian Micklethwaite notes that the pack mentality of the press is now turning on Brown

– Brian Appleyard compares two ‘smart operators’ Damian McBride and Karl Rove and finds them both a bit thick:

Out of excessive regard for IQ tests, people have adopted a simple-minded value-free view of intelligence. So McBride or Rove could spend their lives in low trickery and be called intelligent. In fact, to anybody of any worth at all, such preoccupations are plainly very stupid, evidence of an inability to grasp life in its higher aspects.

– Dizzy has Draper banged to rights on Truth Telling and Being Your Own Worst Enemy

– Danny has his Top Ten Smear Campaigns (funny enough, all of them Right on Left actions)…

– But Don adds a few of his own from Labour’s own regional scrap book

– Less is more reckons Mr Euginedes who (I think) thinks libel should play no part in the ‘discourse’ amongst bloggers…

– Mr E again, this time with a definative post on where Draper and Labour List went wrong (of which more later): it’s about netroots not Astroturfing, Dolly

– On Labour’s response Daljit Bhurji’s advice: “don’t buy a dog [Draper?] and then bark yourself.”

– And Clive has an apposite response from a commenter on Liberal Democracy:

This weekend has presented the very worst side of the blogosphere with its pathetic bitching, tittle-tattling, irrelevant bullshit. I imagine an awful lot of Joe Publics just felt that it confirmed what they already suspected; that firstly, Labour is directionless, naive and associated with some real dumb-asses, and secondly, bloggers are f***ing losers.

Harry’s Place has its own. All parties should have officially ‘disconnected’ Smearmasters:

“…as making up untruths about your rivals is an integral part of politics, each party should, from now on, be forced to appoint an independent ‘Smearmaster’ to write libels about MPs on the opposite benches. With no real link to the party, the Smearmaster would therefore be free to lie at will without damaging the reputation of his or her paymasters.”

– Kezia has some useful thoughts on why, perhaps, this story got bigger and has lingered longer than the sum of its parts deserve:

“…the reason the media is so obsessed with the Damian McBride affair is because they themselves are trying to define the role of new media in politics.

– And on Guido’s actual politics (and therefore motivation) Labour MP Tom Harris reckons he just hates politics… Something I myself once subscribed to a few years back

– Stuart Sharpe reckons though that the Tories should be aware that what goes around will come around:

“…if David Cameron becomes Prime Minister he’ll be met with a whole new problem – he’ll find that the blogs who used to be on his side will suddenly turn on him like a pack of ravaging dogs.”

– Sunny makes a similar point:

“Guido Fawkes isn’t about to shine a benign light on smears and false-flag operations within Westminster – he is part of the culture that encourages and pushes it. And the more disreputable politics gets, the more his libertarianism wins out. I suspect the Conservative Party will find this out to their cost once they get into power. But by that time it will be too late.”

– It is true that the blogs and rising blog star politicians may well cause the Tories problems. My colleague Dan Hannan is already featuring in this Labour attack video on Tory party policy re the NHS

– Paulie on Never Trust a Hippie:

“The proposed ‘Red Rag’ site was a plain-and-simple plan to develop a Labour equivalent of Guido’s site. Nothing more, nothing less. Though Guido is now universally being labeled as ‘anti-politics’, it wouldn’t do to forget that he’s a Tory blogger. He sees his blog as being an instrument of Conservative Party attack politics, and I’m not the only one that he has told that he regards himself as ‘part of Project Cameron.” [Emphasis added]

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty