Sunday Times columnist Rod Liddle puts political blogger Guido Fawkes, aka Paul Staines (top) , on the bonfire today - describing him as "blogsville incarnate".
In the Observer, however, media commentator Peter Preston claims: "Guido Fawkes belongs to a proud British pamphleteering (and now blogging) tradition."
Liddle asks: "Just who is Guido Fawkes, aka Paul Staines — the semi-literate, extreme-right-wing, public-school-educated, foreign-born former bankrupt and convicted criminal blogger whose ineptly written innuendoes may yet put an end to the career of one of Britain’s better politicians, William Hague?
"Well, Mr Staines is Bloggsville incarnate — the very essence of that vast network of talentless and embittered individuals tapping away at their keyboards in the intellectual vacuum of cyberspace, only occasionally leaving their computer screens to heat up a Tesco microwave-ready mini filled garlic and coriander nan bread with Indian dip selection (mango chutney, pickle, cucumber raita ©) before returning to spew out some more unsubstantiated bile.
"This is anti-journalism, and nobody takes any notice of it — except, of course, the mainstream media and the government."
In contrast, Preston writes: "Westminster will always be Gossip HQ UK. Too many MPs, aides and journalists with time on their hands spend it just yakking away. One or two successful blogs – like the conservative Paul Staines, aka Guido Fawkes – provide extra outlets, to be sure. But Fawkes and co didn't invent political sex scandals. Start in ancient Rome and trundle forward a century at a time...But let's not set up a phoney fall Guy here.Guido Fawkes belongs to a proud British pamphleteering (and now blogging) tradition that goes back as far as Thomas Nashe. He is Pope's "child of dirt that stinks and stings". He's a scribbler with a terminal and a net. And he is not to blame for any of this."
- The Sunday Times is behind a paywall.
- Guido Fawkes Pic: Jon Slattery