I heard a fascinating interview with Lord Mandelson, the British Government's Business Secretary this morning, on Radio 4's Today programme.
In the interview Lord Mandelson claimed the Sun newspaper, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News International, is collaborating with the Conservative party to undermine the incumbent Labour Party administration. In return, he suggested, News International had promised some sort of kickback should the Conservatives win the election.
Lord Mandelson also claimed that coverage of anti-government stories in the Sun would be covered on TV by Sky News, also part of the Murdoch stable. Then, perhaps bizarrely, he claimed this would force the BBC to cover biased stories, which in turn would threaten its impartiality.
It was a remarkable allegation for a senior politician to make, and there's more coverage of this and subsequent comments Lord Mandelson made in an article from The Guardian Online. You can read more here.
As we get closer to a general election in the UK, the rate at which mud is slung is bound to increase. Today's salvo is interesting because it's a timely reminder that despite falling circulation figures and savage cuts, the power of the printed word still has clout and can't be discounted.