Friday, January 26, 2007

The Tale of the Missing Exclusive

Last night on ITV News:


Police find delected emails on hidden Downing Street computer Network
Evidence of a cover up!
The Real Reson behind The Arrest!!!!

Or words to that effect.

Apparently, according to the "exclusive" report, during questioning a witness inadvertently let slip that downing street had a second, hidden IT system. Police were quick to investigate, and discovered a trail of emails, secretly deleted after their investigation began. These emails referred to giving donors to the Labour Party "Ks" and "Ps", thought to be Knighthoods and Peerages.

This was really the exclusive to end all exclusives. This was Watergate in Downing Street. This would rock our democracy to the core.

The trouble is, even before broadcast Downing Street had issued an unequivical statement saying there is no second network, there have been no emails of that type and the police had not approached Downing Street about this at all.

Oh, dear.

You see, when something has even the hint of truthfullness in it, you can be sure that Downing Street will come out with something like "we cannot comment at this time," or "We do not want to impede the investigation," or similar. Outright and clear denial, however, is not the normal reaction.

So, have ITV completely cocked up? Have they lead on a fabrication?

Today, on ITVs website, there is no mention of the story.
There is no mention of it on Channel 4s website.
The BBC has only the short denial article from yesterday.
It is absent on the Sun website, the Mirror, the daily mail and only mentioned in the Times in passing.

So where has the story gone? Is this some amazing conspiracy where Opus Dei has asked the Knights Templar (run by Cherry Blair) to threaten editors if they do not squash this government damning report? Of is it a case of a complete media fiasco followed by some rapid and very embarrassed deleting of stories?

The Latter, me thinks. Well done girls and boys!