Andrew Marr: a little bit of a hypocrite

I’m intrigued by Andrew Marr’s recent attack on blogging. For those who’ve missed his comments, here’s what he told an audience at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, as reported in the Telegraph:

“Most citizen journalism strikes me as nothing to do with journalism at all. A lot of bloggers seem to be socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed, young men sitting in their mother’s basements and ranting. They are very angry people. … Most of the blogging is too angry and too abusive. It is vituperative. Terrible things are said on line because they are anonymous. People say things on line that they wouldn’t dream of saying in person.”

It is not the rather tired cliche that bloggers are ugly geeks that surprises me — we’ve all gone for the cheap laugh at some point. No, it is Andrew Marr suddenly taking the moral high ground which I find a little, well, cheeky.

Cast your mind back just over a year, and you may remember a rumour which did the rounds of a handful of bloggers alleging that the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, was dependent on prescription painkillers and pills. The story was not touched by a single reputable news outlet because there was not a shred of reliable evidence to support it.

But that didn’t stop Andrew Marr choosing to ask Mr Brown about it live on air on his Sunday morning show.

Perhaps next time Andrew Marr chooses to attack ‘abusive’ blogging he might also like to say why he’s happy to use unsourced rumours on blogs as a source for questions to the Prime Minister in a desperate bid to generate some controversy?

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18 Comments

  • I really dislike Andrew Marr.

    He is a self important twit, and him saying this is just a confirmation.

    He thinks he is qualified to comment on all subjects, but I have yet to see him present anything without including non-sequiturs, unfounded assumptions and his own blend of pomposity.

  • Maybe he has something to hide perhaps he should take out a super injunction,

  • Anthony Aloysius St 11th Oct '10 - 7:58pm

    And in any case, the man is hardly an oil painting himself …

  • Do none of you read Private Eye or Guido Fawkes then you will see why he has a bee in his bonnett about bloggers.
    Saying that tho he has clearley struck a nerve with some of you maybe he has a point.

  • Funny that he should make such an observation. After years of reading newspaper columns, there came a time in my career in the 80s when I when met with many of these journalists whom I’d previously held in high esteem. And I remember thinking, “What a distasteful bunch of unkempt, sweaty, back-stabbers they really are!.” Many of them looked like members of the dirty-mac brigade, with eyes that showed all the sincerity of a Petticoat Lane street seller. I can still remember their odour – a combination of stale clothes, BO, and old ashtrays.

    Nothing I said to them was ever reported accurately – there was always a twist. My spoken sentences would lose the clause or caveat once they appeared in print, giving a completely different impression to anyone reading the newspaper account. Sometimes, two halves of two different sentences would be joined together to create one new “apparent” sentence for their readers. I soon appointed an agency to act as a barrier – and my flesh stopped creeping after that.

  • matthew fox 12th Oct '10 - 6:51am

    Is this the same Andrew Marr who confronted Gordon Brown with allegations about the abuse of pain killers.

    Marr decided to trawl the internet to broadcast these unfounded allegations.

  • terence kelley 12th Oct '10 - 7:32am

    geoffrey …. That may well be true. But the point still stands that he is more than happy to repeat the nonsense spouted like GF when it suits his purpose.

    Citizen journalism, blogging, whatever you call it does have a part to play – but I would hate it to reach the point where it sets the news agenda.

    Brown having to deny he’s a drug addict or Hague denying he’s gay – purely because of gossip is pretty sleazy.

  • Andrew Marr. What a hypocrite!
    What journalist worth their salt DOESN’T read some of the internet’s blogs? Bit like saying none of them reads Private Eye. Perhaps blogging was a source for his Gordon Brown/pills personal intrusion, but this public man at the heart of the British press and media, hypocritically takes out an injunction to prevent the public learning of his extra marital affair. Here’s a devious little fox who also likes to hunt with the hounds.

  • Kirsten de Keyser 26th Apr '11 - 2:35pm

    Hey, I know that socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed young man, in fact, I know several, and they”re all journalists (ok some are just SPADS wishing they were hacks).

    What’s more, most of them write for Private Eye whenever they want to say terrible things that can only be pungently aired under the cloak of anonymity.

    Of course, these days many of them even start up anonymous blogs where they espouse their vituperative musings – and we’re right back to that socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed young man. Or could be a ditto old woman. Or a ditto old man. Young woman anyone?

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