Nick Cohen finds us going ‘berserk’ once again…


8:50 am - March 18th 2013

by Flying Rodent    


      Share on Tumblr

Oh no, the liberal-left has gone berserk again!

We’re talking about Nick Cohen, of course, so it’s worth recalling that for him, “the liberal-left” is “going berserk” roughly 99% of their waking lives, and that when he says “berserk” he usually means something like saying rude things about Sarah Palin or thinking that having massive wars with everyone is a silly idea.

To go berserk then is basically to disagree with Nick about something. Now, we’re “berserk” because some percentage of us agree with proposals for press regulation, a stance which strikes Nick as a kind of parade of suburban Mussolinis crushing human freedom.

You’d be forgiven for missing the freedom aspect of course, since a skim-reading would leave you with the impression that the topic is “My God those liberals are bastards and I hate them all, the verminous wankers that they are”, as opposed to a Tom Paine-esque defence of liberty.

Sharp-eyed readers will spot that the bodycount from all of these berserkers is zero, while many of Nick’s own pet projects are now buried under a sky-scraping pile of skulls. We might question whether somebody who has a long record of hemming-and-hawing and reluctantly-concluding on the issue of torture might have a bit of a cheek to accuse anyone else of enabling oppression, but likely to no avail.

I’m agnostic on Leveson. I think it’s entirely right and just that the press should be held accountable for their behaviour, but I’m not convinced that these proposals are the right way to go about achieving that. These proposals may in fact be terrible idiocy, and Nick may well be correct to oppose them.

But let’s just observe how odd it is that most of the hacks I’ve seen really shitting their legs off with rage over press regulation are the type who are prone to making sweeping generalisations about the inherent villainy of entire demographics.

I mean, I’m not saying it’s impossible that Nick is particularly offended by encroachments on human freedom. It’s not the kind of thing that usually bugs him, since he’s been entirely on-board with just about every major bit of loony Star Chamber legislation aimed at “protecting the public from terrorism” of the last decade, and an enthusiastic booster of pretty much unlimited, omni-directional war whenever the option has presented itself.

Maybe Nick is trying to alert us to our voluntary adoption of our own disenfranchisement. I’d say it’s also at least possible that Nick is chewing the cushions because press regulation might make it more difficult to call people pro-genocide dictator-fellaters and so on without then getting publicly reamed by the regulator for disseminating bullshit.

And you can probably imagine why somebody like Nick would find that an alarming prospect.

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Flying Rodent is a regular contributor and blogs more often at: Between the Hammer and the Anvil. He is also on Twitter.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: Blog ,Media

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


It’s worse that he writes anonymously for Private Eye, though his pieces can be spotted by their stylistic ticks. (Bullshit, that is.)

“I’d say it’s also at least possible that Nick is chewing the cushions because press regulation might make it more difficult to call people pro-genocide dictator-fellaters and so on without then getting publicly reamed by the regulator for disseminating bullshit.”

Should he be forbidden by law to say such things then?

Just because it might hurt your ickle feelings??

“But let’s just observe how odd it is that most of the hacks I’ve seen really shitting their legs off with rage over press regulation are the type who are prone to making sweeping generalisations about the inherent villainy of entire demographics”.

One gets the feeling that making sweeping generalisation about entire demographics is something reprehensible in the eyes of lefties. They never make such generalisations. They wouldn’t dream of making generalisations about Daily Mail readers, or Daily Telegraph readers, or people who live in “the Shires”, or people who decide they don’t want to live in London etc. Never, ever.

Pretty impressed that Nick Cohen can still find parts of the UK left who are still liberals. Where the hell have they been hiding for the last twenty years?

5. Shatterface

I’d say it’s also at least possible that Nick is chewing the cushions because press regulation might make it more difficult to call people pro-genocide dictator-fellaters and so on without then getting publicly reamed by the regulator for disseminating bullshit.

If we’d has stronger press tegulation in the Blair years you can bet we’d have heard less from the anti-war protesters. Blair was a thug who used his own hired thugs against pensioners and he wouldn’t have thiught twice about crushing free speech in the media if he had had the power to do so.

Despite Cohen’s support for the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan (the latter of which you also supported) Cohen remained a critic of Blair’s abuse of his powers thoughout the Glorious Leader’s reign. Cohen has not suddenly discovered free speech, nor does he believe it only applies to people who share his beliefs.

Cohen is a fake. Just another neo con, pro Zionist dressed up as a so called left of centre moderate. He should join his twin, the equally pompous David Aronovitch at Murdoch central. Where he can help David come up with the latest excuse for the Iraq war. We have already had 1 weapons of mass destruction. Ha ha 2 Spreading democracy ha ha 3 Fighting terrorism.ha ha 4 Breaking international law ha ha ha

As each of their excuses is laid bare as a lie by wickileaks they become more deranged, and more demanding of wickileaks demise. So much for their so called love of a free press. On every issue they are proved wrong again and again. But they don’t have the balls or integrity to admit it.

But when your only real loyalty is the State of Israel it’s not surprising your so called journalism is shit. Probably being paid my Israel too.

7. organic cheeseboard

Nick Cohen is not really interested in the Middle East at all, except when he occasionally uses interest in the ME as a stick to beat ‘the liberals’ with for some reason. He’s not actually that bothered about Israel in general.

The same is really true of Aaronovitch. This ‘only real loyalty is Israel’ kind of thing is at best unfounded and at worst racist (and in Cohen’s case, he’s not even Jewish). So stop it.

8. organic cheeseboard

And to copy over my post from rodent’s place and expand it a bit:

Nick Cohen is quite convincing, when not overdoing it, about what journalism can do, how great it is, etc. But his practice of it – and indeed the practice of most of the journalists he admires – is appalling. The post on Hitchens linked to above is telling. Therein we find Nick making excuses for Hitchens’s obvious plagiarism, along with using invented quotations (which don’t even work as analogies), claiming to not have been bothered to discover their provenance, and using a one-minute conversation with someone in marketing at Verso as if it were an hour-long talk with a managing director. Also hidden within that is a whine about not getting royalties – which is, itself, pretty much a brag about being rich.

In the worst thing he’s ever written, a piece on Lynne Featherstone for the Spectator Blog, he managed to comprehensively smear her with a Daily Mash headline (that wasn’t even an attack on her), for her crime of – er – suggesting that a woman who is not size zero might be a good body image for young women. His Private Eye pieces as ‘Ratbiter’ or the anonymous ones are debunked as factually inaccurate every single week in the letters pages.

In his piece on Leveson he manages to completely fail to explain what his issues are with the actual proposals both HackedOff and Labour/LibDem are making, while simultaneously conducting sleight of hand by pretending that no other country has a similar system to the one Leveson proposed. He also therein manages to once AGAIN unite the personal and professional by slandering people he opposes in the weakest possible way (‘priggish’?). He lost me at that point – if your cause is valid and in the most beautiful tradition of Milton et al, you shouldn’t have to start calling people names to make your points. But that’s all he’s good for now.

He also manages to misrepresent Leveson’s remit – the end paragraph, abysmally written in a series of questions, clearly wants to shame us into agreeing about how AWFUL Leveson really is, but the two examples don’t even work – ‘Jeremy Hunt escaped punishment’ – well, kind of, but he was removed from Media as soon as humanly possible because the evidence against him looked so bad, and he’d already failed the one thing he was installed to do by then anyway; Nick also notes, as some sort of clincher, that NI remain ‘in control of BSkyB’ – as if Leveson had the remit and power to stop that, and as if nobody would remember what Sky had, in fact, wanted to do with BSkyB, which Hunt encouraged, and which was only stopped from happening because of the revelations about tawdry NI journalistic practice. Also – with that – if Leveson SHOULD have removed NI from control of BkyB – which Nick implies he should, for the reason, I’m guessing, of stopping any one person having control over a publication/broadcaster (?) – then, for example, he should also have forced the Barclays to stop owning the Spectator. Now, where does most of Nick’s writing these days get published?

This weird division of ideals and actions is exactly why he’s pretty much the single worst person you could want to bang the drum for a free press and the abolition of libel laws. A hysterical, personal rant which ignores everything Leveson actually proposed in favour of tedious ‘liberal-bashing’ is the least useful thing possible in terms of trying to change anyone’s mind about Leveson. But then again – that wasn’t the point, just as What’s Left wasn’t actually designed to change minds either.

9. Keith Reeder

“Should he be forbidden by law to say such things then?”

Yes, if it’s not true – because then it’s not *news*, and has no business in a “news” paper.

I once told Cohen on his twitter feed I thought he was funded by the CIA seeing as his columns seemed to match word for word their agenda. His followers were enraged at such a suggestion that good honest “leftie Nick” would stoop so low. They were mostly people who really believed Cohen was a leftie. They were fucking morons. I guess that is Nick’s target audience.

@3: Yes, because all lefties make those generalisations. Every single one.

Maybe I’m missing something, and your comment was a brilliantly subtle piece of satire, though I’m still not sure against whom. But it looks more as if you, in trying to call out FR for supposed hypocrisy, are yourself doing exactly what he was complaining about in the first place. Can you not see what’s wrong with that?

12. Planeshift

“If we’d has stronger press tegulation in the Blair years you can bet we’d have heard less from the anti-war protesters”

Which particular reccomendations of leveson would have stopped anti-war comment from appearing in the dead trees?

13. Planeshift

“I once told Cohen on his twitter feed I thought he was funded by the CIA ”

Why would they waste money on something they can get for free?

14. TorquilMacneil

“Yes, if it’s not true – because then it’s not *news*, and has no business in a “news” paper.”

It’s an opinion, Keith, and happily, no matter how much you and Rodent think that ‘incorrect’ opinions should be suppressed, a free press means that they won’t be. You will both just have to get used to hearing people saying things you don’t like (or ‘wrong’ things, as you would say).

15. TorquilMacneil

Amusingly, Cohen sums up Rodent’s position in the last paragraph (slightly amended here) of the article linked to:

“Did you not notice that Leveson hurt no one in power? That he didn’t finish the career of Jeremy Hunt, even though the beggars in the street suspected that he had broken ministerial guidelines? That he did not lay a glove on David Cameron and that his criticism of Rupert Murdoch was so polite it allowed News Corp to retain control of BSkyB? Can you not see an establishment stitching up a winding sheet for our freedoms in front of your very eyes? Or doesn’t it bother you as long as it upsets [Nick Cohen]?

“Despite Cohen’s support for the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan (the latter of which you also supported) Cohen remained a critic of Blair’s abuse of his powers thoughout the Glorious Leader’s reign. Cohen has not suddenly discovered free speech, nor does he believe it only applies to people who share his beliefs.”
Cohen hates all labour leaders but is quite partial to tory ones.
As for applying it people who don’t share his beliefs, he would quite happily see a neo conservative, liberal economic and socially conservative blanket coverage of the news. He wants to see the political editor of the NS to lose his job.
As for his belief in free speech , bunkum.
Cohenites like Shatter are the worst kind of right wing political hypocrites.
If Shatter can give me one difference between Cohen and Gove. Don’t say Cohen votes Labour, I just don’t believe that
Hence the love from the right.

Shatterface. “Blair was a thug who used his own hired thugs against pensioners and he wouldn’t have thought twice about crushing free speech in the media if he had had the power to do so.”

Blair was able to influence what the press said by courting media barons, by aligning his policies with the interests of those media barons and by the use of the dark arts of the spin-doctors. He got almost all of the press to repeat that it was an established fact that Iraq had WMD even though that is not what the evidence showed. Free speech was indeed in peril 10 years ago, because those of us who pointed out that this is not what the evidence showed were regularly vilified in the press. How would Blair be able to use an independent regulator to have such an influence on what the press said, and to stifle the voices of those who were contradicting him?

18. TorquilMacneil

Amusingly, Cohen anticipates and deftly deals with Rodent’s position in the final paragraph of the very article he links to:

“Did you not notice that Leveson hurt no one in power? That he didn’t finish the career of Jeremy Hunt, even though the beggars in the street suspected that he had broken ministerial guidelines? That he did not lay a glove on David Cameron and that his criticism of Rupert Murdoch was so polite it allowed News Corp to retain control of BSkyB? Can you not see an establishment stitching up a winding sheet for our freedoms in front of your very eyes? Or doesn’t it bother you as long as it upsets [Nick Cohen]*?”

*Insert your favourite hobgoblin here.

19. Dislecksick

Wars are not popular on the left? Marxism MUST expand to find new markets, it’s and international thing and doing it in one country is national socialism, the worst ideology of all (because applying something which works poorly in one country magically transforms into a fantastic system of governance once it’s enforced on the entire world)

Every war that has ever been has done so through the state. Without those tax dollars at their disposal, they can’t start those wars. Perhaps Starbucks did the world a favour, after all, another £10 million in tax might have enabled another 100 dead babies and women in Afghanistan.

YOU made the argument for an all powerful state. The right made the argument that you should never deliver too much power to the state, as it would be mis-used. The state (surprise, surprise) did exactly what we said they would do. You should now sort it out and find the great and good who will run our country without taking part in foolish wars. But don’t forget, if Joe Bloggs on the street doesn’t pay his fair share to the sherriff of Nottingham, it’s suddenly not about bullets and bombs, but about nurses and teachers. Especially teachers and child health care. They’ve got your kids and will keep tugging on your heartstrings to get every last penny out of you.

20. Shatterface

Cohenites like Shatter are the worst kind of right wing political hypocrites.

I opposed both the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and if you can find any ‘rightwing’ comments I have posted anywhere go ahead.

It never ceases to amaze me that fuckwits think simply throwing labels around in the hope it sticks, like chimps flinging their own feces, think they’ve trumped an argument rather than simply publicised the fact they’ve soiled themselves.

And it didn’t take Sally long to link Cohen with his ‘twin’ Aaronovitch because, hey, Jews all look alike.

“Did you not notice that Leveson hurt no one in power? That he didn’t finish the career of Jeremy Hunt, even though the beggars in the street suspected that he had broken ministerial guidelines? That he did not lay a glove on David Cameron and that his criticism of Rupert Murdoch was so polite it allowed News Corp to retain control of BSkyB? Can you not see an establishment stitching up a winding sheet for our freedoms in front of your very eyes? Or doesn’t it bother you as long as it upsets [Nick Cohen]*?”
So the government didn’t do anything wrong. That was not the major point of the report. It was looking at press practices. Corrupting police officers and phone hacking should not be looked at then.
As for freedoms, give me a break. When 95% of the press supporting the government and their election fund. Even the East Germans would be proud of that stat.
Anyone who believes that the press is free is IGIOITTTTTT.
Saying that I don’t believe in press regulation, mainly because I tire of right wing creeps like Torquiel, cjcj, Cohen, shatter whinging like stuffed pigs.

Shatterface. “Blair was a thug who used his own hired thugs against pensioners and he wouldn’t have thought twice about crushing free speech in the media if he had had the power to do so.”

Blair was a cowardly puppet of Murdoch. Blair loved kicking the left because he got rave reviews in the brownshirt media. What Blair hated was standing up to right wing reactionary forces. Blair thought the Independent newspaper was “feral” because it pointed out his lies. Blair was, and is a deluded weirdo who ended up on the banks of a river participating in a bizarre baptism of Murdoch’s off spring. Blair Cohen and all the other liars and war profiteers should keep a low profile on the 10th anniversary of their giant clusterfuck. If they had any integrity they would apologise for their actions. But they have no integrity, so we will get silence.

So to sum up, because Nick Cohen is a neo-con, politicians get to decide what the press can say about politicians.

On the subject of press freedom, I wonder if Cohen would care to revisit this column
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/22/nick-cohen-oppression-of-journalists
in light of today’s court case…
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2013/mar/18/labour-mp-damages-sun-accessed-texts

“So to sum up, because Nick Cohen is a neo-con, politicians get to decide what the press can say about politicians.”
Can you please show me in any of the legislation where a politician tells them what they can do or not do that isn’t illegal.
“I opposed both the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and if you can find any ‘rightwing’ comments I have posted anywhere go ahead.”
I don’t know shatter I would say the tone of most you posts certainly bend towards the right of the political framework. Also post me to any thing that shows you are not right of centre.
The comment about the snow and muslims echoed with other anti muslim comments on the thread.

Shatter as for invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. I feel you would have supported them if there would have been a tory administration in the noughties

“And it didn’t take Sally long to link Cohen with his ‘twin’ Aaronovitch because, hey, Jews all look alike.”
You have got to love Sally. The pub landlord of the site. A true wind up merchant. The righties love him because he confirms what they want to hear.
Tim J when he gets s home after a long day as a lawyer (and they aren’t parasites are they) and making comments on the site. He sees his Mrs the fragrant Jemina at the local pony club and relates how horrible those lefties are like our sally and regrets that we don’t have a British Pinochet. As for SMFS, in is cell at Opus Dei HQ praying that all non believers and lefties burn in the pit of hell especially the Sallys of the world.. As for the rest of you left but brigades, (which usually means in the field of economics you are not) it reassures you that it was right to vote for Dave in that last election. Lets not forget poor John77 in his care home , poor so and so, he has only recovered from his days of starvation in the 70’s under Wilson.
As for the rest of you left but brigades (which usually means in the field of economics you are not) . I’m talking to you shatter and the boys and girls at HP, it reassures you that it was right to vote for Dave in that last election.
Go on Sally you are the best sniffer dog of hypocrisy on the site.

Could I ask also to the righties to point me to any part of the legislation that will not allow the many right editors and journos making any political point they wish.

Sy you are Nick Cohen.
You’re getting schizo

30. Planeshift

““Did you not notice that Leveson hurt no one in power? That he didn’t finish the career of Jeremy Hunt, even though the beggars in the street suspected that he had broken ministerial guidelines? That he did not lay a glove on David Cameron and that his criticism of Rupert Murdoch was so polite it allowed News Corp to retain control of BSkyB? Can you not see an establishment stitching up a winding sheet for our freedoms in front of your very eyes? Or doesn’t it bother you as long as it upsets [Nick Cohen]*?””

To be blunt someone like cohen should have noticed that pretty much all public inquiries end this way. The executive summary of the report is rarely as dammning as the actual content. Cohen sees an establishment stitch up, what I see is an author of a report being pragmatic enough to take on one vested interest at a time. The prize here was some move towards a media that doesn’t ruin people’s lives, not replacing one minister with another.

The measles outbreak in Swansea, a decade after the local rag scaremongered over MMR is a timely reminder that the media kills people. Placing the dead trees under the same regulation as the broadcast media (actually even less regulation as ITV etc have to abide by) really really isn’t totalitarianism. All it is is give the victims a mechanism to hold newspapers to account without having to find half a million quid for libel suits.

31. TorquilMacneil

“The measles outbreak in Swansea, a decade after the local rag scaremongered over MMR is a timely reminder that the media kills people. ”

Don’t be absurd. Or are you really suggesting that the local rag should have had its coverage of MMR decided for it by some political body?

32. Shatterface

I don’t know shatter I would say the tone of most you posts certainly bend towards the right of the political framework. Also post me to any thing that shows you are not right of centre.

I don’t actually have to since (a) you are making the accusation and (b) I’ve already crumiticised Blair’s war from the Left on this very thread – in fact, in the comment you were responding to.

You can’t simply fling the word neocon around – especially against someone absolutely opposed to both Blair’s wars.

The comment about the snow and muslims echoed with other anti muslim comments on the thread.

That was a snark at the author’s patronising attitude to Muslims by decribing them as the last people you’d you’d expect Jews to turn to – as evidenced by the original title of the thread still visible in the URL:

http://liberalconspiracy.org/2013/03/15/bradford-jews-turn-to-unlikely-allies-to-help-save-their-synagogue-muslims/

‘Jews turn to unlikely allies’ later being doctored to ‘Bradford Jews ally with Muslims’.

See?

Shatter as for invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. I feel you would have supported them if there would have been a tory administration in the noughties

That’s just pitiful – maybe you can point me towards my support for any proposed invasion of Iran? No? Thought not.

33. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

Don’t be absurd. Or are you really suggesting that the local rag should have had its coverage of MMR decided for it by some political body?

Nothing absurd about it, it’s a core principle of economics.

Should they have been allowed to write lies about mmr?

Yes.

Should they be forced to make restitution for the externalities caused by their lies?

Yes.

Published lies are no different to any other form of pollution, they’re corrosive and can cause huge amounts of damage. There is no good reason a factory pumping out all manner of toxins should be treated any differently to the newspaper office next door.

34. Planeshift

“Or are you really suggesting that the local rag should have had its coverage of MMR decided for it by some political body?”

Straw man. Does ITV’s coverage of an issue get decided by ofcom?

I would suggest that when a local rag starts accusing ‘scientists’ (un-named to ensure they don’t get sued for libel) of covering up evidence because big pharma is paying them, then there should be at least a mechanism for a professional body to complain about the coverage, and said body should have the ability to require corrections to be published, and damages to be awarded if necessary.

A GP who told lies about vaccines that put the health of children at risk would have lost his job, and risked a prison term. A local rag that does it gets away scott free because of the inability of right wingers to distinguish between ofcom type organisations and a police state.

25. P. Diddy

” Can you please show me in any of the legislation where a politician tells them what they can do or not do that isn’t illegal. ”

So are the press regulators going to just emerge or be appointed by politicians? If they are appointed by politicians they will be doing the bidding of what politicians deem appropriate.

36. organic cheeseboard

[quote]The measles outbreak in Swansea, a decade after the local rag scaremongered over MMR is a timely reminder that the media kills people[/quote]

sort of on topic – Nick Cohen in the Evening Standard a long time ago:

[quote] those of us who guessed that a large section of the supposedly adult population of the country was in the grip of a raving panic, couldn’t help asking: what if Wakefield is right? On the remote chance that he was, we paid for courses of single jabs – at £140-a-go in my case. [/quote]

37. Shatterface

The measles outbreak in Swansea, a decade after the local rag scaremongered over MMR is a timely reminder that the media kills people.

A pity that people are ignoring Cohen’s point about Libel Reform being sidelined. Libel reform would have had a far greater chance of raising the level of debate in the press and saving lives than legislation to stop newspapers publishing stories about Hugh Grant getting noshed off by prostitutes.

“That was a snark at the author’s patronising attitude to Muslims by decribing them as the last people you’d you’d expect Jews to turn to – as evidenced by the original title of the thread still visible in the URL:”
Rubbish, in the current climate it is important to show that there has been co-operation between muslim and jewish communities. If the story was a conflict one you would be all over it.
“So are the press regulators going to just emerge or be appointed by politicians? If they are appointed by politicians they will be doing the bidding of what politicians deem appropriate.”
That is complete paranoia and it is an independent body. Name one way a politician is going to tell an editor not to write any political comment. It certainly seems more transparent than the old days of D notices and cosy chats between media barons, editors and politicians.
“A pity that people are ignoring Cohen’s point about Libel Reform being sidelined. Libel reform would have had a far greater chance of raising the level of debate in the press and saving lives than legislation to stop newspapers publishing stories about Hugh Grant getting noshed off by prostitutes”
Nonsense, when has a newspaper saved lives. It has one purpose to sell newspapers. More lies a better sell. The only ones who will be suffer without libel laws are the ones who cannot afford to put their view against the lies of scum bag journos.
Think of a scenario of a union leader opposing a media outlet and the outlet then slanders the man with lies. How would that man have redress.
No wonder right wing clowns like Cohen and Shatter support no libel laws because they lie about their opponents without any way the other individual can defend themselves

39. Charlieman

@37. Shatterface: “A pity that people are ignoring Cohen’s point about Libel Reform being sidelined.”

Agreed.

A few smart people have remarked on Leveson that it does not address monopoly or ownership in newspaper ownership, which is true. But it was not part of the brief, so we have to grumble about it separately.

Part of the Leveson debate was about the power factor of a libel or slander accusation. It is almost impossible for an ordinary person to raise a case of slander against a national newspaper, owing to the financial barriers; Chris Jefferies managed it in an exceptional case. Poor accusers are unlikely to succeed against rich defendants.

And it doesn’t work nicely the other way. Poor publishers can be destroyed by rich litigants, regardless of facts and justice.

If Leveson is to serve any purpose, it is to update the defamation laws, to provide redress or defence for the poor.

I was an agnostic about much of this but I’m bound to say Cohen’s argument makes more sense than most things I’ve read about this. The other thing that helped me make up my mind was this:

http://hackinginquiry.org/news/lord-ashcroft-and-the-buried-correction/

I’m starting to think we’ve been had.

In what way has libel reform been sidelined? It’s a separate bill now post Third Reading in the Lords.

http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2012-13/defamation.html

42. Charlieman

@41. ukliberty: “In what way has libel reform been sidelined?”

As the issue about which we should be concerned. The front story has been about what beneficent politicians will do for us.

The back story is about how libel reform liberates us all.

43. organic cheeseboard

“A pity that people are ignoring Cohen’s point about Libel Reform being sidelined.”

Well – that’s partly Cohen’s fault, for being so unclear in his utterly hysterical column – but it’s also the case that Cohen’s position on libel is pretty dodgy – he wants there to be no libel laws at all. given that he has a track record of misrepresentation, lying and slander, one can see why he’d be banging this particular drum.

44. mike cobley

Vocabulary and terminology is a fascinating thing, especially in politics where attempts to blur lines, twist meaning and hijack connotation are rife. And here we have Nick Cohen gurgling on about the liberal-left going berserk…

Liberal-left is a rightwing sneer-term employed by Republicans in the USA, which Cohen must surely know, being a super-journo hardwired into the buzzing datasoup of our times. And yet – in the British context ‘liberal’ as a word has become toxic since the self-declared-and-trumpeted liberal Nick Clegg doused the Liberal Democrats in an avalanche of Libwash since he was elected party leader, but especially since he leaped chin-first into coalition with the Tories. Liberal now means something rather less benevolent than it did under Charlie Kennedy, or David Steel.

Many of the journos who are shrieking over Leveson are also broadcasters. Most of the rags they write for also have Irish editions.

Why does nobody ask them two simple questions: is the Irish press not free? Are the British broadcast media not free? Both of these operate under heavier regulation than the British print media are FINALLY having to face after seven “last” chances in as many decades. None of these people ever called broadcast regulation or Irish print regulation “censorship”. Why is it suddenly censorship now?

Just a few questions.
1. Can someone point to me in the legislation where Cohen’s right wing spite will banned or Dacre’s attack on immigrants will be limited. The legislation looks quite toothless.
2. Freedom of the press, what a nonsense. Newspapers are commercial products. They don’t want to save or change the world. They investigate issues for the simple reason to sell newspapers, not for the good for the rest of us or to smear a competitor or political opponent. they pick and choose.
3. Why should journalists be above the law. Why should they corrupt police officers, handle stolen goods and hack into phones of parents of dead teenagers. They are doing it for personal greed not the greater good .
4. Also many other areas of life are regulated, why should journos be different ?

As Organic Cheeseboard (and others) have pointed ou, the hysteria in Cohen’s articles mean that it is unclear what he is getting at. You don’t make friends by accusing somebody of bad faith for not accepting your argument the minute you’ve made your argument. You don’t win allies by accusing people of appeasement, for example, because they don’t accept a war of aggression.

The people who were going beserk 10 years ago were those who went on about the threat from Iraq. The people that Cohen is criticising kept their cool.

“I’m agnostic on Leveson. I think it’s entirely right and just that the press should be held accountable for their behaviour, but I’m not convinced that these proposals are the right way to go about achieving that. These proposals may in fact be terrible idiocy, and Nick may well be correct to oppose them.”

Okay, so you don’t know what you think about Leveson and you think Cohen may be right on this matter.

But you really, really wanted to get over how you dislike Nick Cohen. That’s what your ‘argument’ here boils down to.

Great.

What a pointless and juvenile article.

49. organic cheeseboard

But it’s really hard to see what Cohen’s ideas on this actually are, because of the tone, namecalling, and the hysteria. We know he doesn’t like it, but we don’t know why, really, aside from the fact that he hates lefties – but that’s the reason he gives for most of his opinions anyway.

The article is a total mess – he is incredibly unclear on why he opposes the legislation, and since the bill was drafted he’s shifted his position again, in any case.

Cohen is throwing his toys out of the pram again on twitter this morning and demonstrating what a fake he is. I

In America there are many fake liberals like Cohen. They are the great centrists who try to pretend they are above party politics. Trying to give the impression they have a loathing of partisanship. They spew this toxic bullshit that if only everyone signed up to their bi partisanship everything would be fine. David Broader is a good example of this pretend liberal & fake. Scratch the surface and you find they are conservative ideologues pretending to be neutral. Cohen should resign from the Observer and sign up for Murdoch or the Tory graph. That would be the honest thing to do, but Cohen hasn’t got an ounce of honesty or integrity in him.

“But it’s really hard to see what Cohen’s ideas on this actually are, because of the tone, namecalling, and the hysteria.”

Then stop.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs




Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.