No, But Seriously Though...
Yesterday's post on do-it-yourself media manipulation seems to have upset a few DC supporters. The problem was our suggestion that DD supporters attending the hustings might care to tell any hovering reporters that it was DD's outstanding performance that had swung them.
Little enough you might think, but it clearly hit a very raw nerve. "Disgusting lies"..."appalling deceit"..."odious calumny" are some of the politer responses (well OK, not "odious calumny", but I do like the sound of that one).
It seems rather odd. After all, following those media shenanigans up in Blackpool, I thought it was common ground that the media are there to be managed. It's no good just blundering around minding you own: they'll only relieve themselves on your head. No, you have to take them in hand. Give them something to gnaw on that isn't attached to your own body.
And frankly, we poor innocents in the DD camp have been in awe at the sophisticated media management skills of team DC. From that fantastic Newsnight/Luntz coup, to the skilful twisting of DD's words, to the wonderful parrying of the drugs issue back onto the Mail, someone not a million miles from DC has been playing a blinder.
So why all the fuss? What are we actually talking about here? I do admit my suggestions yesterday were cheap peasant fare compared to the pricey haute cuisine being served up elsewhere. But it's all of a piece. As GBS was wont to observe, once you've established what you are, haggling over the price is scarcely the issue.
What we mustn't do- any of us- is ever to fall into the trap of thinking the media are on our side. They will remain Pinocchio's drinking companions. Ever ready to betray those they have befriended.
PS Over at Non-Trivial Solutions Andrew has a post in a similar vein, commenting on Michael Gove's piece in today's Times: 'Superficially, it's an unfunny look at what Jeremy Paxman interviewing Jesus would have been like. Read between the lines, and it's a masterful exercise in the reduction of expectations for Cameron's upcoming performance on Thursday night when he faces the demon interviewer of Wood Lane...
Just a small part of the campaign, and reasonably trivial in the grand scheme of things, but it just shows how much thought and effort and sheer cynicism, frankly, that the Cameron campaign have put into getting him elected.'