29 March 2007
Guido wanders into lion’s den.  Gets eaten.

Guido was on Newsnight last night.  Seems he had been offered his own slot along with panel discussion and he took it.  Big mistake.

I’ll come to Guido’s pre-record later.  It was the panel discussion, with Jeremy Paxman in the chair and Michael White of the Guardian as guest, that did the damage.  Guido’s attempts to conceal his identity have always been amusing.  I think I managed to work out who he was in about five minutes.  But to persist with it on the show when everyone knows who he is was ludicrous. 

You have to imagine the scene.  Guido is in shadow with the exception of his trademark flash of Dickie Davies-like grey hair.

“Why do you conceal your identity?”, asked Paxo.

“So that people can’t recognise me.” Or something like that.  Yeah, that flash of grey is so common that I have to dredge out a TV personality from the 70s to illustrate who I am talking about.

Two minutes later White had spilled the beans anyway.  Guido is Paul Staines.  Golly, who would have thought it?

All along the Paxo/White tag team managed to make Guido look petty and inconsistent.

Now the pre-record was sort of OK but its central argument - that journalists are far too cozy with ministers - while true enough, was insipid.  Here was his opportunity to go on national television and give the world the hardcore libertarian line - that politicians are a bunch of good-for-nothing parasites and the sooner that they find alternative employment sweeping streets the better - and he didn’t even attempt it.

But the real problem was always with the panel discussion.  The golden rule with panel discussions - a rule that until yesterday Guido understood and does once again today - is don’t do them.  They give the producers much too much power and allow them to claim balance while giving the debate a slant rarely seen since the final moments of the Titanic.

Ah, Guido agrees.  Sort of.

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  1. I give the world the hardcore libertarian line - that politicians are a bunch of good-for-nothing parasites - on the blog day in, day out.

    I was trying to show how the media are in bed with politicians.

    As for the in studio thing, what was I thinking.

    Posted by Guido Fawkes on 19 April 2007 at 02:06pm

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