In today’s on-line WSJ, a piece by Mark Penn caught my attention:
The United Kingdom has just had a major scandal in which an official at 10 Downing Street had planned to leak to a friendly blogger all sorts of lurid stories about the Conservatives, complete with descriptions of secret sex tapes.
But all of it was to be made up, and the friendly blogger who was going to post it all thought it was an “absolutely brilliant” idea.
Someone blew the whistle, but had the plot gone through, this blogstorm could have played a major role in the upcoming election.
Damian McBride sent the first of two emails that would cost him his job at 6.30pm on 13 January. "A few ideas I have been working on for RedRag," he wrote to Labour blogger Derek Draper. "For ease, I've written all the below as I'd write them for the site."
The email suggested a series of unfounded and puerile smears against senior Tories. Draper responded 20 minutes later: "Absolutely totally brilliant Damian. I'll think about timing and sort out the technology this week so we can go as soon as possible." …
McBride suggested spreading gossip, entirely unfounded, that [Conservative party leader David] Cameron may have suffered from a sexually transmitted disease. He wrote that Cameron should be challenged to publish his "full financial and medical records". He also suggested "inserting [a] picture of Dr Christian Jessen", who appears on the Channel 4 programme Embarrassing Bodies. There was no suggestion the two men knew each other.
For some reason this brings to mind the Gospel of John’s faintly-disparaging comments about Peter and Thomas, to say nothing of those about “the Jews.”