When a news nose can't sniff out nonsense
Just what counts as news? A former editor of The Spectator used to tell a story about a posh friend of his who was shocked, on his first day in a newsroom, to learn that he would be required to write about news and call people he did not know in order to ask them questions.
"Hello," he would say to whichever government department he was calling, appalled at the sheer vulgarity of it all, "do you have any news?"..