Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Who Rattled Andrew Marr’s Cage? I Think He’s Worried.

with 10 comments


It's Called Competition


Andrew Marr’s rant against bloggers rather surprised me.  His Sunday morning show is a fixture for me.  I think his intemperate and short tempered polemic betrays an old-fashioned journalist’s insecurity and fear of the new media

Someone in his privileged position has only to sneeze and he will be published in front of millions.  I admire his work but there are thousands, equally capable and with equally valid opinions who are now able to express themselves widely on the internet.  The real question is when will the “dead mens shoes”, “who you know not what you know” culture be overturned?   Let’s not be shy here, I know my writing is generally better than most that’s published in the national press, yet I only enjoy that audience occasionally.  Those, like Andrew Marr, who already have their foot in the door, shut it firmly in the face of their challengers and competitiors.  It’s a closed shop, much worse than any trade union restrictive practice.

I do agree with him completely about anonymity. It is a matter of pride to me that, wherever I can, I use my own name when writing, commenting, abusing, complimenting, agreeing or yes, occasionally, even ranting.  I also agree, in this one instance only, with that obnoxious little billionaire, Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, when he said “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity”.  I think he’s absolutely right on this and I hope more people will follow his and my example.

Overall though Mr Marr, I think your rant about bloggers says more about you than anything else – and you’re right to be worried.  I hope you stick around but there’s plenty of dead wood in journalism and broadcasting that needs chopping out.  Editors are the lazy ones, the real culprits.  It’s easy for them just to sign off the same old names time after time.  They have become far too powerful and need taking down a peg or two.  They should be scouting round the blogosphere for new talent instead of sitting on their backsides getting fat and lazy.

10 Responses

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  1. Lets face it Blogging is the only entertainment left.

    I think we are all fed up with Cr*p game shows and pointless Soaps. Come on TV things must be pretty desperate when you have to show the same episonde three times in ONE day.

    The Debt Collector

    October 16, 2010 at 2:18 pm

  2. It was a calculated attack designed to get Marr maximum press coverage (it worked).

    Like you, I take pride in the fact that I use my real-world identity online. What I say online is no different to what I say in person. I may disagree with people, but there’s no need to be rude.

    I also made a similar point on my blog (link below) that traditional media needs to work with bloggers & citizen journalists rather than against them. Without good journalism, bloggers would have much less to talk about; without bloggers, journalists would lose a valuable source of information and opinion.


    October 16, 2010 at 11:04 pm

  3. Marr is an arch-propagandist, with his tongue slotted down the back of Tony Blair’s trousers. Observe his fawning, obsequious toadyisms:

    “He [Blair] said that they would be able to take Baghdad without a bloodbath, and that in the end the Iraqis would be celebrating. And on both of those points he has been proved conclusively right. And it would be entirely ungracious, even for his critics, not to acknowledge that tonight he stands as a larger man and a stronger prime minister as a result.” (Marr, BBC 1, News At Ten, April 9, 2003)

    “I am constantly impressed, but also mildly alarmed, by his [Blair’s] utter lack of cynicism.” (Marr, ‘Hail to the chief. Sorry, Bill, but this time we’re talking about Tony’, The Observer, May 16, 1999)

    Thanks to David Cromwell and David Edwards of Medialens for the heads-up:


    October 16, 2010 at 11:18 pm

  4. An interviewer should be a facilitator, a vehicle for presenting the views of others to the public. All too often, they have become the central figure, the celebrity, whose own views are presented as just as important as those of the interviewee.

    Marr has fallen into this trap, and ceased to be a ‘mere’ journalist some time ago. He is now the star of the show, and (like Paxman) boy….does he know it.


    October 16, 2010 at 11:47 pm

  5. I missed A Marr’s rant about bloggers so don’t know what his gripe was.

    My comments therefore may completely off the mark but assuming he was echoing a complaint I have heard aired by other journalists about bloggers . . .

    In this age of camera phones and the internet, it is becoming more often the norm that when a ‘newsworthy’ incident occurs the first photos/vids of the event are captured by passersby, uploaded to the internet, and picked up/passed on by bloggers before ‘proper’ journalists have got off their arse.

    I can see that this would irritate professional journalists who have undertaken degree courses in journalism etc, who feel they are being upstaged/undervalued – but that is the way of the world now and the main stream media need to adapt/embrace the new situation they find themselves in.

    [the downside of this rapid spread of information is that ‘stories’ on the internet spread so fast – without a critical journalistic eye testing the veracity of the events reported – that inevitably there are some false stories picked up and rebroadcast by bloggers]

    I agree with your point about anonymity. The only time I would defend someone posting under a pseudonym is if not to do so would endanger them or their loved ones, e.g., if a blogger in a totalitarian state was criticising his or her government’s policies and practices.


    October 17, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    • It’s a damn good job that my name really is NobblySan then!


      October 17, 2010 at 8:49 pm

      • But I thought it was Wobbly Nobbly! All this time! Some people take the mic.

        Peter Reynolds

        October 17, 2010 at 9:21 pm

  6. Hazel Blears also attacked bloggers. Her argument seemed to be that we should be gagged, because we do damage. That’s not it. Labour spin was stopped in its tracks by bloggers telling the truth.


    October 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm

  7. Marr has made comment about the threats of new technology to the ‘idle reporting’ he sees going on around him (New Scientist somewhere). I can’t stand him for all the reasons above.
    I wonder who could watch the utter crap of our politics and current affairs. I do think the BBC should limit salaries to around £60K and stop the same people appearing over and again. They always get worse and less challenging.


    October 18, 2010 at 7:43 am


    Here you are Pete! A good political point, well made, I think.


    October 22, 2010 at 10:08 am

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