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Bloggers etc.

Eddie Mair | 17:46 UK time, Monday, 11 October 2010

Media Guardian reports on Andrew Marr's comments here.

What do you think?


  • 1. At 5:59pm on 11 Oct 2010, Arseneknows wrote:

    The problem with attacking anonymity is that 'respected' journalists use anonymous soureces all the time, indeed protect them and there would be less vitriol toward journalists if they did a better job of holding our 'ruling classes' to account.
    What the hell is a 'lobby briefing' for example?

    L S McKnight

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  • 2. At 6:10pm on 11 Oct 2010, newlach wrote:

    There are a lot of extremists around who SHOUT, SHOUT and SHOUT! I think "hot-heads" have their ridiculous comments removed quickly from BBC boards, and "cool-heads" like myself know which topics cannot be discussed on BBC boards.

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  • 3. At 6:13pm on 11 Oct 2010, Looternite wrote:

    1. Arseneknows

    I do not think that us posting our considered opinions on these threads are what Marr is going on about as we are moderated here.

    PS you have an unusual name.

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  • 4. At 6:14pm on 11 Oct 2010, lavendersugar wrote:

    Blogs can provide an opportunity for those of us with specialised grass roots experience but have little influence with the policy makers. I occasionally 'rant', indeed I had a good shout about school food last week and am indebted to the Spectator's food blog for providing a bloggers' platform. I flagged up a very good campaign by the Soil Association et al 'Save Our School Dinners' and also got some things off my chest about public school food:centralised canteens or not that was my question. Some comments are not helpful but others have valid points.
    Fi Bird (mother of six who lives in a biggish house but sorry Mr Marr I'm not lucky enough to have a basement).

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  • 5. At 6:26pm on 11 Oct 2010, coldtoes wrote:

    Clearly Andrew Marr was particularly irked by anonymous political bloggers - but he made extremely personal and childish remarks about bloggers generally. So he is throwing stones and running back in to his own greenhouse.

    I am a trained journalist. I am also a blogger. I am not male. I am not bald. I am not ugly. I do not make rude remarks about anyone. But I do post provocative blog articles about scientific, medical and political issues that have a bearing on the real lives of many people. Try and remember why you went in to the profession in the first place Marr....
    coldtoesonchronicillness blogger

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  • 6. At 7:04pm on 11 Oct 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    Its sounds like sour grapes to me, Marr obviously doesn't like the bloggers showing up the so called professionals.

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  • 7. At 7:09pm on 11 Oct 2010, elcej wrote:

    This is simply just amazing.
    How did he know about me?

    Socially inadequate? - me
    pimpled? - me
    single? - me
    slightly seedy? - That's me too.
    bald ? - getting there
    cauliflower-nosed? sort of. More like broccoli actually.
    young man? - well I did use to be
    sitting in mother's basement? - Well actually I'm in my bedroom. she doesn't let me go into the basement.

    It's uncanny

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  • 8. At 7:20pm on 11 Oct 2010, elcej wrote:

    On a more serious note, I can somewhat agree with some of Mr Marr's angry rant.

    I too find it very irritating at times. There are some people who are VERY TRIBAL around here. They base their opinion on a comment made by a politician PURELY on WHO said it rather than WHAT was said.

    There are some people that don't like Andrew Marr and will therefore criticise everything he says.

    There are some people that don't like the Conservatives and so will trash anything said by any Tory. Moreover, they will call other 'tribes' childish names such as the "condem coalition".

    These people are a major reason why the PM Team stopped the AM & PM Glass boxes.

    So I think he does have a point but to tar everyone with the same brush is out of order.

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  • 9. At 7:43pm on 11 Oct 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    I have to say, Eddie, that I've rarely laughed as much as at this item.


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  • 10. At 8:59pm on 11 Oct 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    Well as Eddie used to say "just type Daily Glass Box into any search engine and look for the pmglassbox" - actually, no. He never did say that did he?

    Never mind, I'll get my coat.

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  • 11. At 9:50pm on 11 Oct 2010, annasee wrote:

    Well having just got home from an evening course on "cyberbullying" (did I mention I've just become a school governor ;-)) we were told several times that the trouble with the internet & communication technology generally is that for every positive use, someone will come up with a negative. The ranting from the single-issue correspondents that you find on blogs such as this is the downside of the fact that we can all have a laugh together here on the Beach, or a rant to others in our best Victor Meldrew style.

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  • 12. At 10:25pm on 11 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    And you're asking us because? (:-)

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  • 13. At 10:41pm on 11 Oct 2010, annasee wrote:

    Haha number 12 - he's asking us because he wants to find out if it's true! (Like he doesn't already know... who coined the term "unqualified loon" I wonder? Eddie was ahead of Andrew Marr years ago:-))

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  • 14. At 10:58pm on 11 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 15. At 11:09pm on 11 Oct 2010, lucien desgai wrote:

    The ConDem coalition is leaning on Eddie because of you, Mac? Do you reckon it comes from the very top?


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  • 16. At 11:29pm on 11 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    14 and 15

    Sorry, 14 contained a noughty word, here replaced (So making ld relevant again (:-)):

    The best lie detector of lies by politicians is worrying about THIS (bbc blog posters)?

    A society run by a government no one voted for, with a 'crisis' designed to attack the uppity poor and China, an economy being wrecked by cuts, the cuts designed to attack the uppity poor, a society riddled with the dishonesty of inequality........

    .....and our top gun is shooting at bloggers who 'drone on' 'windbagging' and 'soap boxing' in dialogue with themselves, earnest to the point of poignancy, fastitious in their loyalty to their own prejudices, expressing themselves like blind men given sight see, like birds released sing?

    Goodness, he'd be more use going to Speakers Corner shouting shut up at the earnest but clearly deluded, and as relevant.

    Get on with it, Edgie Mare. Stop being so precious about trhe blog. And if the Condem coalition is leaning on you about me or others, say so. If Marr seriously thinks I wouldn't say what I say here to the 'great and the good' in the flesh, try me.

    Put down the megaphone, Edgie, and listen up. As bankers and hedge fund managers feather their nests whilst the disabled are crippled by tests (when weren't they?), as the politicians from their elite schools and colleges with their millionaire families concoct policies that are driving us all senseless, you decide to get huffy about a few over opinionated bloggers?

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  • 17. At 06:21am on 12 Oct 2010, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Leaving aside Marr's personal attacks and stereotypical rant, he's missing a very important point about blogs; no-one has to read them! The style of a lot of blogs is dictated by their readership; people who want to read rants will find ranty blogs; people who want reasoned debate will find blogs that contain reasoned debate.

    Perhaps he's upset that (non-BBC) blogs don't have to be impartial, though from his comments that doesn't seem to be a restriction he feels bound by any more.

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  • 18. At 07:37am on 12 Oct 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    16 - Exactly what Andrew Marr was talking about. Well done for providing so clear an illustration.

    I have to go now - my mum says I have to do my chores...

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  • 19. At 08:25am on 12 Oct 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Well he's partially right about me. He was wrong about the hair and the basement.

    Unadulterated bile? Rather like the former Prime Misinsters utterances about life long Labour Mrs Duffy?

    What's the difference between a 'citizen journalist' and a Spin Doctor?

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  • 20. At 09:59am on 12 Oct 2010, Galahad wrote:

    There are a large number of blogs which provide useful information and opportunities for discussion, and it wouldn't surprise me if many journalists use these as sources.

    At the BBC, there are other, programme-related blogs (often mentioned on air by presenters of programmes such as Question Time or PM) which appear to serve two functions:

    (a) Having a programme-related blog gives the impression that programme makers are 'in touch' and eager for viewers/listeners to have their say

    (b) Coralling all these vocal viewers/listeners into a blog reduces the number of e-mails/phone calls programme makers have to deal with, and produces a single, easy-to-dispose-of collection of opinions which the BBC can then ignore at its leasure.

    In the case of PM, the BBC has even provided a format (The Beach) which shouts: "Mummy and Daddy are making important programmes at the moment. We're too busy to listen to your ideas - why don't you go and play in the nice sand with the other children?"

    I'd argue that the main problem with these blogs is not that they've been taken over by ranting obsessives (sorry, Mac) but that the BBC appear to have developed them as a subtle (Glass Boxes) or not so subtle (The Beach) method of paying lip-service to the public's wish for involvement without the burden of actually having to engage with it.

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  • 21. At 10:24am on 12 Oct 2010, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Actually, Galahad (20), the Beach came about because of the commenters to the Blog, rather than something from Auntie Beeb herself. Way back when the blog started, a few souls decided to start posting to the original opening post from Eddie a few months after the fact. As it was a cold, dark October, and people were posting on an August thread when it was still summer, people started the idea of the Beach as a place to get away from the grotty weather in RL and have some fun.

    I think the problem for the Beeb is that like any blog, it can end up being a place where the commenters soon reach a plateau where reasoned discussion and comment can soon devolve into flame wars, slanging matches, and places for a few individuals to ride their hobby horses and pet peeves ad nauseum. Unfortunately the Glass Boxes had gone that way, so their usefulness to the PM team was obviously lessened greatly. Maybe the idea of having Eddie, Sequin (or Paddy today) sticking up a thread when they think they have an interesting, funny, thought-provoking idea could be the way to go.

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  • 22. At 2:03pm on 12 Oct 2010, Mindclearly wrote:

    Bloggers, there are the type which Andrew Marr has described, but they are not the majority or speak for the masses. I think Andrew Marr is living in a utopia on this issue as bloggers have the ability to comment without the politics of the BBC or the BBC editors having the final say or the sponsers poltics dictating what can or can't be said ie printed media or commercial TV operations.

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  • 23. At 2:07pm on 12 Oct 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    The technology that was supposed to create a platform to those who felt they had no voice, as well as for those that have access to influence and power - has turned into a Frankenstein monster for some.

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  • 24. At 3:20pm on 12 Oct 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Does anyone here honestly think their opinions matter to our political masters? Really? Then they're more deluded than I'd thought.

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  • 25. At 4:08pm on 12 Oct 2010, elcej wrote:

    25. BS

    Shock, horror?

    Do mean that David Cameron doesn't read the PM blogs?
    I can't believe after all my effort I've been wasting my time here.

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  • 26. At 4:28pm on 12 Oct 2010, Mindclearly wrote:

    24 - Sis

    Despite your cynical ways you are correct. The thing is with this debate is, why was Andrew Marr commenting? And secondly do you not feel that in a society celebrates celebraty over good ethos where the author of Harry Potter or Bono can carry more weight than a good political mind that Bloggin has its place, even if the polical master do not listen.

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  • 27. At 5:00pm on 12 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 28. At 5:08pm on 12 Oct 2010, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Oh dear, mac, did someone take your teddy bear away again?

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  • 29. At 5:12pm on 12 Oct 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Marr making fun of how bloggers look, pots and kettles? He does drive a nice little Figaro, however.

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  • 30. At 5:12pm on 12 Oct 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    27 - Rude? Moi?

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  • 31. At 5:13pm on 12 Oct 2010, davmcn wrote:

    BS 24, No, they pay no attention.

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  • 32. At 5:14pm on 12 Oct 2010, davmcn wrote:

    TE 27, Get another life.

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  • 33. At 6:05pm on 12 Oct 2010, jiffle wrote:

    A couple of thoughts on the blogosphere:

    1) The debate does not seem to distinguish between blogs and the comments on the blogs. Those writing blogs (at least the ones I read!) are much more coherent and less abusive than the comments on the blogs.

    2) There are those that think it is a replacement for proper journalism. I hope not. There are levels of fact-checking that journalists (usually) perform that don't seem to apply to many in the blogosphere. I fear the day when we have a media of talking heads, all talking uninformed drivel.

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  • 34. At 6:56pm on 12 Oct 2010, Fearless Fred wrote:

    David (32) It won't be long before the mods notice that he's currently got five still active IDs, including a couple on pre-moderation, and he "re-invents" himself yet again....

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  • 35. At 7:24pm on 12 Oct 2010, elcej wrote:

    32. davmcn
    I hope you're not encouraging him to get another blog ID!!

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  • 36. At 11:32pm on 12 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:

    Here's some of the flavor for those missing it:

    Also recognise that some views are so left field they ARE worth reporting as social facts. F'rinstance, the view that many so-called 'benefit scroungers' are justified in what they do. They may rightly think it's time toffs and upper class layabouts did the awful jobs they have foisted onn them. Curiously enough, David Starkey may agree!! Another who may agree for diferent reasons is James Mirless who seemed to be being canvased for a government role earlier. He thinks (his Optimal Tax stuff) there are really quite large numbers whom it would be better if they never did a stroke. (Their disutility in work far exceeds any benefit they could get from what they earn. Believe it. He's a Cambridge prof).
    So try covering it: 'Benefit scroubngers justified?'

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  • 37. At 01:20am on 13 Oct 2010, U14638904 wrote:


    Looks like we all have to. Check out my 283 (certified as acceptably short by EJ (he makes judgements like that when he can't answer the points made)) and 285 (also short, and vital to this point), when available, on the current FB.

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  • 38. At 09:17am on 13 Oct 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    This isn't a blog, for all those still confused, this is a forum or message board. Marr wasn't talking about this, but about bloggers who write blogs, or online journals. He's jealous of his journo territory and thinks the rest of the population haven't a right to a voice, it should be people like him, who he thinks are professionals, who have the sole right to comment on news and current affairs. Personally I find Marr a posturing joke, with far too high an opinion of himself and in danger of turning into a celebrity thinker. His views are of his class and reflect his experience of the world; not very extensive. Of course he hates bloggers, all the hacks do since opinion has been democratised rather than 'us' being lectured at by 'them', the legitimate opinionators.

    His petulent outburst has done him no good. Fewer and fewer people want his like to tell them what to think.

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  • 39. At 09:42am on 13 Oct 2010, Sindy wrote:

    I don't know why I found it so funny when 15 tonnes of Marr's latest book fell off the back of a lorry and blocked the A4. A bad case of writer's block, I guess.

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  • 40. At 00:14am on 14 Oct 2010, Nick Vinehill wrote:

    The more bloggers the better!

    What the likes of mainstream journalists like Andrew Marr and a lot of his colleagues on the BBC detest is that amateur less moderated journalism (which constructive blogging really is) exposes how narrow minded and established prone journalists like Marr are!

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  • 41. At 5:25pm on 14 Oct 2010, bright-eyedwendym wrote:

    Actually I think it's quite funny that Andrew Marr had a go at bloggers There are a number of things that would never have seen the light of day if bloggers hadn't drawn attention to them-particularly in the last administration. I could give you examples but would probably be moderated, as would a number of those who did highlight things going on which the mainstream media chose not to report.BBC commentators are perhaps used to being 'the experts' who tell us not just the news but often their slant on it (maybe unconsciously). They must be upset that the masses have access to other views.

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  • 42. At 8:06pm on 14 Oct 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    bright-eyedwendym - I think it's quite funny that Andrew Marr had a go at bloggers.

    Me too, I believe he is still irked that he got caught out with the "Pills Question" that was an untrue post on a blog and he had not checked his sources.

    Children in school, these days, are taught how to check and verify web sources for their essays and coursework. Andrew Marr forgot the most simple rules of journalism and has had a chip on his shoulder since.

    He has gone down, in my estimation, to the level of blogger himself by believing his opinion is more valid than others.

    I, of course, get round this problem by commenting on news before it's happened thus guaranteeing maximum fallibility. This I back up with a sincere knowledge that others will, in general, be wiser and more informed than me.

    It makes for an easier dinner party and offers the opportunity to learn from others, something Mr Marr may no longer consider important in his exalted position.

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  • 43. At 5:22pm on 15 Oct 2010, Riverdweller wrote:

    Re this bonecrunchingly boring stuff about Liverpool Football Club - could you please be aware that half the population - and 99% of the country's women - would rather have root canal dentistry than hear any more about it!

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  • 44. At 3:06pm on 18 Oct 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    42. Marr couldn't learn anything from others since he already knows more than everyone. Having made a living out of opining, he now thinks his opinions more worthy than others; his arrogance is certainly limitless.

    Blogging is the democratisation of opinion, no longer the sole preserve of the elevated.

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