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With Boris Johnson starting his new job, the newspapers have a dilemma.
On the one hand, here is an opportunity for a four-year-long News Carnival. (What's a News Carnival? Explanation here.)
From here until 2012, the possibility of unalloyed newspaper joy over the comedian Boris Johnson doing crazy things, saying weird stuff in Latin and Greek and Beano-ese, tripping up, being delightfully self-depracating. What's not to celebrate in that?
On the other hand, here is an opportunity to take a man at his word, acknowledge that he is a serious operator with big ideas and energy and a lively programme of policies, and by doing so, show that the media can despite expectations play a responsible part in engaging the electorate with its democratic duties.
Hmmm.... decisions, decisions... What's it to be??
Plumping for the serious, we have the Telegraph, the Express, and the Sun, which plays it absolutely straight: "New London Mayor Boris Johnson yesterday threw his weight behind the capital's first-ever children's supremo."
Going for the comic, we have the Independent which has a picture of Boris on the phone at his desk and the caption: "Hello, is that the IT department? I can't get this thing to work, can you give a chap some advice?" And the Mirror, which has a speech bubble saying: "Cripes! I haven't done any prep. Still, I'm excused shorts and I get free tuck! Spiffo!"
So the early indication seems to be that party lines seem to be holding firm. The Right is treating him as a statesman, the Left as a buffoon. Will the lines hold? If only there was a daily internet-based newspaper digest which could be trusted to keep tabs on this vital issue on behalf of its loyal readership.