Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Harry's Place Surprises Us

Michael Ezra on Laurie Penny.


When I've taken issue with him, I've actually found Michael Ezra to be very civil. He's very much at the opposite end of the spectrum from Jonathan Hoffman's behaviour on Harry's Place's regular's Modernity's blog comments.

I find Laurie Penny hard to warm to, myself. I tried to follow her tweets after when Michael Ezra calls 'what Gene has accurately referred to as a “brouhaha” between Penny and this blog [ie HP]'[1] and tackling the Staggers just reminds me that I only bought it when Martin Amis was literary editor and I skimmed the politics at best. Her blog is too assured of certain certainties for me. [Dying fall - Ed] But - and there's always a but - she reports from inside the (illegal?) police kettles of student protestors, and I'm surprised that a real newspaper hasn't actually contracted her to do so. I mean, this is journalism. Oh, I'm not surprised:

Professor Brubaker added: "The Daily Telegraph is showered with awards because it offered to buy a CD-ROM with MPs expenses on it.

"The Guardian is currently even more pleased with itself than usual because it's publishing classified information that not a single one of its journalists helped to gather.

Ah, fuck it. LP does journalism, and I now see this blog as part of a trend, or movement, or some such, of citizens (those without friends, sex, playstations, or other diversions, anyway) who think what passes for reporting, especially the well-remunerated high end of commentary to be simplistic, largely biased and prejudiced, ignorant, reactionary, and above all, shit-scared of getting its hands dirty with research of any kind.

I was vaguely farting around with the idea of a post called "Trust, but Verify" (one of Reagan's, but very useful) about Nick on Michael Moore. Nick read the Guardian on Wikileaks. Actually, fair enough: NC believed that what appeared in a national newspaper had been through the distillery of sub-editors. It hadn't. The Guardian published this retraction - except this contains no checking either. First it was "this we know/because Wikileaks tells us so" (I mean, you're journalists, right, why bother cross-checking stuff?) and now it's "this we know/because Michael Moore tells us so/He's quite fat, you know". It's actually possible that the leaked cable was true: 'Sicko' was banned and then (dictatorships being nothing if not capricious) unbanned and broadcast on national TV.

So as I went to the trouble of seeking them out, here are a couple of clips of Guardian hacks.

You really only want this from 26 seconds in, still he nails the mentality of hacks.

[1] I don't believe anything can be accurately described as a "brouhaha".


Anonymous Anonymous said...

LP was on "Any Questions" and got some of the loudest applause from the audience.


12/22/2010 04:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Penny did have this piece about the student protests, and features in this piece about unemployment, but her other stuff suggests she'll be Guardian Women's Page editor before she's 35 (about which I'm broadly neutral).


12/22/2010 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger flyingrodent said...

It's a trick. Get an axe.

Happy 25th December, one and all!

12/23/2010 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

Useful links to the Nick/Guardian business, ta. Demonstrating what's appeared to be the case for a while - that the meeja aren't cognisant enough of the range of ways in which such stuff can deviate from reality.

I know you're only describing the press's attitude - but the official status and the fact that the cables are revelations of secrets - does mean that 'Wikileaks released cables in which some US spy lurking around in the Swiss[??] Embassy said so' can easily be mistakenly for 'Wikileaks said so'.

I suppose this might have been an 'Our Man in Havana' event, or less plausibly a mistake, but I suspect that the false claim was actually accompanied by a silent nod and wink all the way down the line,so to speak, i.e. none of those through whose hands it passed ws actually supposed to believe it, just be able to report the report 'straight' - without lying - should they wish to make use of such a propaganda titbit.

Which is a sophistication I hadn't explicitly considered, and also overlaps with the fact which I think I've mentioned somewhere else, that this kind of stuff is known to be not that secret, so isn't going to be completely unguarded.

12/24/2010 02:56:00 PM  

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