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Web Monitor

16:33 UK time, Monday, 19 October 2009

A celebration of the riches of the web.

Today in Web Monitor: Stephen Fry says he's got a big mouth, a missed celebration and why you got that promotion. Share your favourite bits of the web by sending your links via the letterbox to the right of this.

Stephen FryIn his blog Stephen Fry has surprisingly shown sympathy towards Jan Moir.

The Daily Mail columnist wrote a much complained about article where she said Stephen Gately's death "strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships". But later said it "is mischievous in the extreme to suggest that my article has homophobic and bigoted undertones".

Fry said he knows the feeling of not knowing when to keep your mouth shut:

"The reason I feel sorry for her is not that she is a journalist, or that she writes for the Daily Mail, I am quite sure she can do without my pompous, patronising sympathy. I feel sorry for her because I know just what it is like to make a monumental ass of oneself and how hard it is to find the road back. I know all too well what it is like to be inebriated, as Disraeli put it, by the exuberance of my own verbosity."

Surprising words given the he was previously urging his followers on Twitter to complain about her article, saying:

"I gather a repulsive nobody writing in a paper noone with any decency would be seen dead with has written something loathesome and inhumane."

• Formula One Driver Jenson Button won the 2009 world drivers' championship in Brazil yesterday. But Grand Prix writer Joe Saward says the really illuminating performance was after the race at his lonesome celebration:

"Button appeared in a post-race press conference and was overjoyed to repeat over and over 'I am World Champion'. Sadly, a large number of the F1 press corps was on very tight deadline, because of the time difference between Brazil and Europe - and were not able to attend the conference."

• The Peter Principle - a theory that people in big organisations are promoted to their level of incompetence has been superseded in the eyes of Venkat of the Ribbon Farm blog. His proof? The comedy series The Office, from which he assembled The Gervais Principle:

"Sociopaths, in their own best interests, knowingly promote over-performing losers into middle-management, groom under-performing losers into sociopaths, and leave the average bare-minimum-effort losers to fend for themselves.
The Gervais principle differs from the Peter Principle, which it superficially resembles. The Peter Principle states that all people are promoted to the level of their incompetence. It is based on the assumption that future promotions are based on past performance. The Peter Principle is wrong for the simple reason that executives aren't that stupid, and because there isn't that much room in an upward-narrowing pyramid."

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