Marr’s attack: a lot of bloggers are “socially inadequate”!

Posted: October 15, 2010 in Blog world, Media & Journalism

BBC journalist, Andrew Marr, thinks that “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!” he added angrily.

A gross generalisation indeed and one very few bloggers fit into. In fact, the kind of people Marr has in mind is unlikely to be engaged enough with the world to bother with a blog in the first place. But his attack on the blogging community is most interesting because he seems to commit the very same sins he identifies as typical of the average blogger – an angry, resentful rant that doesn’t allow facts to get in the way of a good controversy. But then again, maybe he wasn’t really that angry? Maybe he was just plugging his appearance at the Cheltenham Literary Festival?  It certainly got the media attention necessary for us to all to know that Andrew had made an appearance at a prestigious cultural event.

Whatever the case, it’s all the more remarkable coming from a BBC journalist who should really know better.  I will defend his right to speak out about issues that concern him. I will also defend his right to be a grumpy old man. But Marr should at least get his facts right, be more specific and particular in his critique and not be so defensive about his own profession of journalism. “The so-called citizen journalism”, he argues, “is the spewings and rantings of very drunk people late at night. It is fantastic at times but it is not going to replace journalism.”  Speak for yourself, Andrew.  In any case, very few bloggers would claim to be “citizen journalists”. It’s certainly not what I’m about here. This is just me exercising my right to say what I think about the issues I care about – a fine democratic tradition, I would have thought.

So cool your jets, Andrew! The barbarians are not at the gates just yet. Public service journalism is not about to be swamped out of existence by the pimply brigade. But the best way to defend it is to practice it rather than descend into crass generalisations and prejudice.




  1. Dr. Disco says:

    I have to disagree strongly. Very, very few of them are in the slightest bit young!

  2. Um no…they’re not are they? Thanks for that, Dr D!

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