Guardian’s decision to give Jonnie Marbles some space was right


by Sunny
21st July, 2011 at 7:47 am    

Occasionally I get the odd hard-left idiot screaming at me for publishing an article on Liberal Conspiracy they don’t like. Everything from detailed, nuanced arguments on why Labour councils should pass cuts, to articles on silly student protests to the last one on Charlie Gilmour.

In each case, they’re not fussed about the argument itself, however nuanced it may be, but that it was actually published on Libcon. How dare you! WHERE IS THE SOLIDARITY YOU SCAB! I’ve given up trying to debate such idiocy.

But it seems this kind of thinking is not just limited to some hard-lefties.

Yesterday, a whole bunch of people were annoyed the Guardian gave space to Jonnie Marbles to explain why he tried to pie Rupert Murdoch in the face.

I thought the stunt was idiotic and counter-productive, but if he had offered that article to me I would have published it on Liberal Conspiracy without a doubt. The whole point of building a platform is to give space to a wide range of people. No, that does not automatically mean you chuck in Holocaust deniers and Neo-Nazis, as someone suggested to me. There is a slight difference between throwing a pie in someone’s face and hardcore racism.

Jonnie Marbles was already a big story before the Guardian gave him space: Google News recorded mentions in nearly 10,000 articles. Just because you don’t like a view doesn’t mean it should not be out there. And yes, that includes the BNP and Muslim extremists (after all, Newsnight, Today regularly give the BNP / Anjem Choudhary a space. What I object to there is giving them excessive space).

I bet someone will now try to dredge up some supposed instance of me contradicting myself. Even if I did that in the past – this is my stance now. People complaining about being subjected to alternative views they don’t like – especially when they haven’t paid for reading it – really need to get a grip.


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13 Comments below   |  

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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Guardian's decision to give Jonnie Marbles some space was right http://bit.ly/nmfHHu


  2. Tim Footman

    Blogged: : Guardian's decision to give Jonnie Marbles some space was right http://bit.ly/nmfHHu


  3. Campbell

    Blogged: : Guardian's decision to give Jonnie Marbles some space was right http://bit.ly/nmfHHu


  4. sunny hundal

    @ellwynnnnn I think the 'lack of solidarity' accusation is highly unfair, but fair enough http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/13323




  1. LibertarianLou — on 21st July, 2011 at 8:24 am  

    I have to say, it didn’t outrage me that they gave him space or anything, but, in my personal opinion, I thought they could have found better use for that space. I am surprised not just by the fact they chose to give this guy a spot but by the poor quality of the article itself – and the lad’s debating skills, where he sulked and refused to engage with the people criticising him because a few commentators (not me!) had sworn at him.

    I do wonder what he pitched them as an article – or did they approach him, assuming he would have an interesting argument? And did he not read the information that says commentators on CiF are quite vociferous and will argue back with you, etc?

    This is how he signed off:

    Well, it’s been lovely but there are only so many times I can be called a dictionary of swearwords on any given day. I’d hoped to give people some greater understanding of why I did what I did, but clearly I’ve failed. Have fun.

    That’s not a person keen to engage in debate or anything. That’s a person who can’t handle criticism. What he did was irritating and silly. What he wrote to explain himself made him seem seemed spoilt, immature, rude, and completely disengaged with complex facts, but worst of all, he seemed completely unable to understand why it actually is that so many people think he acted stupidly, and why serious adults who have put an awful lot of time and effort into researching, preparing etc, would feel ever so slightly disrespected by his contribution to the day’s events.

    So it’s not the principle of giving him a spot (probably they did it largely for the web click, comments, and SEO anyway) which irritates me, it’s more the fact that he was extremely lucky to have that spot, and he wrote nonsense.

    So lesson learned I guess for the Guardian: throwing a pie in someone’s face during a nationally televised select committee hearing doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to have something smart to say about the world. I for one am utterly shocked ;-)

  2. Rumbold — on 21st July, 2011 at 8:31 am  

    I wouldn’t have given him space because he has nothing to say (“You threw a pie at someone- please write about it.”)- but I agree with the general point of the piece, which is that editors don’t have to agree with every single thing they print. After all, if Sunny only published things he agreed with, he never would have published anything of mine.

  3. Ravi Naik — on 21st July, 2011 at 10:03 am  

    Jonnie Marbles was already a big story before the Guardian gave him space: Google News recorded mentions in nearly 10,000 articles. Just because you don’t like a view doesn’t mean it should not be out there…What I object to there is giving them excessive space).

    Yes, but again what does excessive space mean? Mass murderers and pedophiles also get 10,000 articles, that doesn’t mean a platform should be given to them. (I am making the point that the number of articles on a particular subject doesn’t mean that all involved should get a platform)

    And this is not about agreeing or disagreeing with a view, but rather how you present that view. There is no possible justification or rationalisation for doing what he did, and therefore this would disqualify him from any sort of platform.

  4. Optimist — on 21st July, 2011 at 10:58 am  

    Although I agree that it was an idiotic act on part of Jonnie Lost-Marbles which only helped to distract the attention away from the monster Murdochs and in fact the mumbling and fumbling senior seemed to come back with a renewed ‘vigour’ after the event, but I think that was the only excitement of the day.

    The ‘inquisitors’ failed to lay a single ‘punch’ – and did not even bother to follow up with their best line, ‘Why they are paying the legal costs of Glen Mulcaire ?’. They could have asked, ‘If he acted alone then, instead of paying his ‘legal costs’, why did they not sue him for bringing the company into disrepute?’

    They could have also asked whether he has been paid other monies, maybe into some off-shore accounts, say, in Cayman islands?

    By the way, I hear that shares in ‘Custard Pies’ have shot up!!

  5. damon — on 21st July, 2011 at 11:03 am  

    I don’t have a problem with Mr Marbles being given space in the paper, and I agree that what he did was idiotic and counter-productive.
    I think he and his friends targeting shops and banks with UKuncut is pretty idiotic and counter-productive too, but am still happy to see him on Newsnight talking about it.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/9383598.stm

    Gail Jarret @4 minutes. What a pillock.

  6. Sunny — on 21st July, 2011 at 12:35 pm  

    After all, if Sunny only published things he agreed with, he never would have published anything of mine.

    haha exactly! You heathen!

  7. Rumbold — on 21st July, 2011 at 12:52 pm  

    You museli eating, fair trade wearing, hippy!

  8. BenSix — on 22nd July, 2011 at 2:25 am  

    I am surprised not just by the fact they chose to give this guy a spot but by the poor quality of the article itself – and the lad’s debating skills, where he sulked and refused to engage with the people criticising him because a few commentators (not me!) had sworn at him.

    It sounds like an Onion headline:

    “People are being rude to me!” Complains pie-chucker.

  9. Kojak — on 3rd August, 2011 at 1:55 am  

    Whether you think it was right or not for him to write an article for the Guardian the following day is all fine and dandy.

    But look what good it has done him – it helped convince a judge he was a boastful little upstart who deserved a custodial sentence when that wasn’t the only option. The joke’s on him for the next few weeks.

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