Today’s attempt at nowtrage from the Daily Mail is the revelation that the BBC are employing someone who may have taken cocaine. Nothing really worth looking at for too long as it’s the standard ‘let’s create a row by taking a non-story and calling Mediawatch for a quote’ space-filler.
However, it did get me wondering if other rent-a-quote organisations get jealous of of Mediawatch and John Beyer. While the Taxpayers’ Alliance has done well for itself over the last few years, it still tends to have to do some actual work to get itself featured in the papers, spending money on paying someone to go through the jobs pages of the Guardian with a sneer and a calculator then sending out their report to the papers in the hope that someone that’s not a Tory blogger will stick it on page 8 with a quote. Mediawatch, on the other hand, only need to make sure that Beyer’s got a working phone line – though I suspect his track record is such you could construct a passable version of a Beyer quote if his line was down – and are guaranteed coverage any time there’s a slow news day.
Wouldn’t you be envious if your hard-crafted report on how much councils have overspent on paperclips and coffee in the past five years was overlooked in favour of a quick call to Beyer to generate a row? Or would you see him as the shining example of your trade, the man you hope to emulate while dreaming of tapping into the trans-Atlantic wingnut welfare circuit?