In the absence of news, just make some up. Just a week after PM Tony Blair described the British press as a ‘feral beast” that “hunts in packs”, the press has shown that it refuses to learn anything. This weekend Tony Blair met with Pope Benedict in his last official State visit as Prime Minister.

However, no one really knows what was discussed besides the participants. Certainly any commentary on the tone of the discussion is mere speculation. The press, however, is undaunted for as the PM put it,”First, scandal or controversy beats ordinary reporting hands down. News is rarely news unless it generates heat as much as or more than light.”

So, in the absence of actual news, the British press decided to make some up. As the British tabloids would have it, the meeting between Blair and the Pope was as close as you can come to a death cage match in the Vatican. The evidence for this papal smackdown, the Vatican official statement in which was stated that there had been a “frank exchange” on “delicate subjects.”

That’s it. Now as much as I would like to think that the Pope grabbed Tony in a headlock and had him repeat “Abortion, bad, gay marriage bad, embryonic stem cell research bad”, somehow I doubt it. But in the absence of light, the press will take heat.