Friday, May 04, 2007

Guardian election self-censorship.

It was initially a bit of a surprise to notice that The Guardian seems to have written up its copy under the guidelines laid down by spin doctors for Labour MPs appearing on television: playing up the results (not such a disaster as "some" predicted), noting the Tories' lack of inroads into the north etc. After all, it was The Guardian that revealed the important spin doctor's memo in an exclusive last night. But it gets curiouser and curiouser: the Guardian's story about that memo used to be at this page. It so happens that the story has disappeared completely, and has now been replaced by a story about how it wasn't so bad for Labour, not as catastrophic as "some" predicted, and anyway the Tories didn't make inroads into the north. You can see that the bar at the top of the page still has the old title of the story.

And you can see that the story was there eleven hours ago, including the text: "The document tells ministers what to say when asked about Tony Blair and Gordon Brown's relationship, and how to rebut Conservative claims that a general ..."

Yet, curiously, it's all gone. However. All is not lost, and The Guardian can cease being so coquettishly coy, because either our friend at News Sniffer, who tracks all changes to all stories on The Guardian, Independent and BBC websites, will have it, or it will shortly appear as a Google cache.

Update: a kindly soul has found the original on Lexis Nexis, while a commenter has located an altered version of the story taken away from the front page and given a different URL.