Why we don't do rumours
I don't mean we will never mention a rumour at all - of course we will - if it is verified in some respect or comes from a known and reliable source. Stuff from out of the blue however is quite different.
I got an email too - on Friday (image, right). Looked like some flake was trying to stitch up Whaleoil. He had leaked some info on it in an opaque fashion during the week. He says this was to flush them out and string them along rather than because he was taking it seriously - which seems what happened. It has been confirmed the whole thing was a fabrication.
Slater says : My sources in the media are very angry at the way it appears that an attempt was made to manipulate them to prove a point.
No Minister has made an apology to Liarbore (via its left wing blogger).
The blogosphere has less editorial barriers to publication than the traditional media. You get an email, you drink another glass of wine, you blog. The short-comings of this system are rather obvious - and have been exposed in this episode. We are all guilty of feeding rumours from time to time - that is human nature - but to turn a new media, the blogosphere, into a rumour mill would be devastating. I don't think this has happened yet. Perhaps this hoax will make bloggers more reticent in future about relaying untested political-personal smears - which will be a positive move.