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I'm a journalist, ex-national papers, now working in what we call "new" media.
"Meritate tutti ciò, voi gli enculato di musulmani, sporchi terroristici" is what Materazzi said to provoke Zidane according to a poster on Harry's Place http://hurryupharry.bloghouse.net/ It translates as something like "You deserved all that you Muslim asshole, terrorist shit".

French sites suggest he merely called him a 'terroriste', which seems to fit with the video that shows him mouthing something fairly pithy.

Whichever, it is the Web that is leading the way spreading the story, as with the tales of John Prescott's infidelities (need we bother with the 'alleged' any more?). These are coming to light on websites such as http://5thnovember.blogspot.com/, home of Guido Fawkes (aka Paul Staines, an interesting figure to whom I shall return).

Guido is only minimally concerned by issues of defamation or of journalsitic propriety so, on this story at least, he has been faster and more entertaining than the press, and probably no more inaccurate.

There is clearly no reason why bloggers should not compete with the press for stories, at least those that involve tip-offs and 'scoops of interpretation'. Roy Greenslade recognises this in a different context and sees the consequences for newspapers.

Some of his commenters seem to believe papers will continue to have a role as sifters and evaluators of information that appears on the Web. I'm not so sure. Isn't this what search engines do algorythmically, for one thing? For another, Web users develop their own register of what is and isn't reliable, which is why I'm generally prepared to take seriously information and links that I find on Harry's Place (at least, from trustworthy posters there).