Why do some major media stories come and go in moments while others just won’t go away?
The row over what Government Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell said or didn’t say to the police at the gates of Downing Street continues to rumble on, generating plenty of negative column inches that David Cameron and team could do without.
In fact it has been distracting many political journalists so much that it has created a source of amusement and displacing some coverage of the Lib Dem Conference this week.
Media commentators across all the major titles, news channels, online and via social media platforms are debating what was exactly said and whether this should result in his resignation. An apology was issued from Mr Mitchell for his rant though he denies using the actual ‘P’ word.
And that is the reason why it is still a live issue. Because virtually everyone likes a mystery and this still has a mysterious element which could have major implications. What exactly did Mr Mitchell say and why do the policeman and Mr Mitchell not agree in their accounts of the incident?
While we wait for an explanation, the media are trying to solve the mystery and meanwhile are keeping the story alive by delving into the class angle. The Daily Express has even reviewed Mr Mitchell’s entire ancestry in the style of BBC1’s programme ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’
Downing Street is continually trying to end the row and although an apology has been issued, so far has been unsuccessful with the media.
Mr Mitchell is now being advised to stay away from the upcoming Conservative party conference for fear that the story will continue to dominate the headlines and overshadow the annual gathering and add more fuel to the fire.
Until there is a definitive answer to the mystery of what Mr Mitchell said and so clarify whose account of the event is more accurate, then the media will happily help this story to run and run.