No, I won\’t tell you who it\’s about

her writing is young, it is fresh, and it is exciting’

Oh sweet Jesus. It may be exciting for Michael to listen to this squawking fuckwit but most people here can identify a vile totalitarian hypocrite when they see one.

9 thoughts on “No, I won\’t tell you who it\’s about”

  1. Curiously, Michael Ezra rates her because “…she has an opinion. Whether it be on cupcakes, bras for pre-teens, the royal family, or numerous other subjects that she writes about, she expresses an opinion.”

    Doesn’t everyone? Admittedly, not usually quite so witless, but still…

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    I am going with the theory that he fancies her. Or is actually sleeping with her.

    But I have to say, the sex better be good. I mean like seriously filthy. Stuff you wouldn’t dare ask for in a cheap Thai brothel after sixteen pints even if you had a million quid to blow. Because it ain’t worth it mate, it really ain’t.

  3. As Julia says rating Ms Penny on the basis of “having an opinion” is bizarre.

    Having an opinion on everything regardless of whether you know anything about it doesn’t make you a fresh and exciting voice but a narcissistic bore.

  4. as Keef Richards once said, opinions are like arseholes, everyones got one and most of them stink

  5. Michael Ezra asks, “If she is so bad, why do TV and radio shows keep asking her to make an appearance?”

    Setting aside the fact that those appearances have generally involved a mix of flustered confabulation and squeaky dogmatism, Mr Ezra doesn’t seem to grasp the pertinence of his own question. Why is Laurie Penny the BBC’s new go-to girl? Why do they flatter and promote a hyperbolical fantasist whose writing is doctrinaire, question-begging, comically overwrought and factually unreliable?

  6. Surreptitious Evil

    But she does speak for quite a large part of the generation – the permanently entitled, fundamentally ignorant and the incessantly whining. Opinions on everything, an absence of facts, assertion trumps understanding.

    Smash anything old, however beautiful; glorify anything new, however tawdry.

    Otherwise she’s just a dreadful flashback to 1968 (and they thought their writing was immortal too.) So the sex probably is quite good!

  7. “her writing is young, it is fresh”

    So is my four-year-old’s, but I don’t think she should have a BBC contract.

  8. Andrew Zalotocky

    Nobody can have an informed opinion on everything because nobody has enough time to become an expert in every subject. So people who express opinions about everything are likely to be wrong most of the time, even if there are some topics that they understand well.

    But that is exactly the kind of people who are most likely to succeed in the old media. Newspapers work on very short deadlines and have very limited space. They need writers who can knock out something attention-grabbing on any subject, at any length, in a couple of hours. TV and radio work under similar constraints, except that they also need people who can talk confidently on air. They all want contributors who share their ideological positions.

    So if you’re glib, over-confident, and can rush to the studio or produce a comment piece at very short notice, you’ve got it made. That’s the main reason why Penny is “the BBC’s new go-to girl”. Being reliable and ideologically on-message is far more important than knowing what you’re talking about.

    That’s also the reason why the internet is such a threat to the old media. It’s not just that it increases competition or changes distribution models. It’s that subject-matter experts can now talk directly to the public. They can discuss complex issues at whatever length is necessary to explain them, without any editorial interference. This destroys the authority of the traditional opinion columnist because it exposes just how little they actually know. This in turn undermines the credibility of the media outlets that employ them. If their talking-heads are so clueless, why should we trust anything they tell us?

  9. sackcloth and ashes

    To add to Andrew Zalotocky’s points, I expect the following also apply. Firstly, if you’ve got a panel discussion you want to generate ‘controversy’ and ‘attention’, you want someone who is going to cause a row and get you noticed (and increase your ratings). Anjem Choudary clearly fits this bill, as does Ms Penny Dreadful.

    Secondly, there’s going to be a certain amount of groupthink involved in the Beeb, and a certain feeling that some talking heads are clearly worth inviting on to news programmes, ‘Question Time’ etc. Why else do you see Yasmin Aliblai-Brown and Mark Steel on TV so often? Why is a mediocre poet like Benjamin Zepaniah asked to provide his tuppence-worth so often? Why does George Galloway – ex-MP, failed politician, fellator of mass murderers – get given the time of day?

    Thirdly, there’s a very subtle trick that the Beeb play, which is to ensure that if you have a debate on a topic and you want to skew it beforehand, you find the most obnoxious and reactionary individual possible to speak for the ‘wrong’ point of view. Norman Tebbit is always a good option here.

    That said, I can’t imagine how anyone thought that – for example – Ms Penny’s performance on 5 Live last Sunday morning was anything but disastrous. She kept on interrupting and talking down other panel members, and if she’d been given the chance she would have made the whole thing a monologue. It was almost like Violet Elizabeth Bott’s tantrums in ‘Just William’, and at one point I wondered if she was going to threaten to ‘thcweam and thcweam until I’m sick’.

    When the final comments from your host are ‘Cut her out, fade her off … Thank God for that’, you know you’ve made the wrong impression.

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