Should Labour/The Guardian have taken a lesson from Guido?

Should Labour/The Guardian have taken a lesson from Guido?


Where does “Hackergate” go now?

One of the key lessons so well demonstrated in April by Paul Staines (AKA Guido), with his “Smeargate” emails is that if you want a story to continue to make the headlines then the news machine needs feeding little by little.

You don’t give them all the goodies all at once which I think might have happened to the Guardian’s “Hackergate revelations”. It’s doing its best this morning to keep the story going but there isn’t really that much else to say.

This has been amplified by last night’s decision by Scotland Yard that there should be no further investigation into what originally happened. That surely kills stone dead the main Guardian point that “two or three thousand” public figures were targeted by the hacking operation.

Another lesson from Guido, surely, is let the story get bigger of its own accord. In this case anything less than 2,000 now makes it look as though there was an initial exaggeration.

A further challenge facing the Labour spin machine – if they are indeed trying to drive the story – is that their main target, Tory PR boss, Andy Coulson, is not a house-hold name in the way that Alistair Campbell was and is. Few people outside the Westminster village have even heard of him.

For like in the Clive Anderson saying “You can be a famous poisoner or a successful poisoner, but not both” Coulson has never seen it as his job to have a public profile. This is surely helping his position today. Things started to go wrong for Campbell, it will be recalled, when HE became the story.

Unless there are new revelations or something comes out that sticks something we didn’t know already to Coulson then it’s hard to see it going much beyond next week. The Guardian seems to be trying to widen it to the whole way that the media operates which suggests that they have not got anything new on the ex-NOTW editor.

Mike Smithson

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