Monday, August 20, 2007

More fearless investigative reporting from Nick

The hook to Nick's Observer latest is a story about talking flowerbeds harassing smokers in NHS hospital grounds. It all comes from a post on the blog "Trick-Cyling for Beginners" by "Shiny Happy Person", a "a dissatisfied and stroppy junior psychiatrist". Cohen writes "Threats of dismissal mean I can't identify the junior psychiatrist or say where she works." But a look through the comments of the blog reveals that Cohen didn't actually know her identity or her place of employment at the time he wrote the piece and that any such threats are hypothetical ones. SHP herself writes: "That'll teach me to check my emails regularly. I had no idea the journalist had been trying to contact me until after I discovered the article! Doh."

The article itself is just a bit of lazy whingeing about the nanny state and authoritarian policemen. As such, there's nothing much to "watch". But one does wonder whether the Observer feels it is getting value for money from one of its star columnists. After all, a regular feature of excerpts from the blogs of disaffected public sector professionals would be cheaper, more interesting, less liable to be packed with irrelevant ideological swipes on behalf of "decency", and, almost certainly, better written.


Blogger cian said...

His point about hospitals going beyond the law was pretty barmy. Prior to the smoking bans, hospital's banned smoking inside them. Did he think that was going too far?

I enjoyed Andrew Anthony's whinge about how teenage hooligans was all the fault of 9/11, though. He used to be a thick liberalish kind of bloke who believed silly things, now he's a rightish kind of bloke who believes silly things. 9/11 really changed everything.

8/20/2007 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

I totally agree about the 'lazy whinging': as with Nick almost all the time (and too many other columnists), I didn't actually learn anything.

I couldn't resist writing to Johann Hari to point out Nick's less than 'honest account'. Apologies if anyone else did it first.

8/20/2007 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...


8/21/2007 07:05:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home