Sunday, May 17, 2009

National Treasure de-moated

Stephen Fry appears to have annoyed a few journalists - the guardian contained a particularly stupid piece claiming that the news had made him a "national treasure" and how he was "not getting it" about public anger over MPs bogus expense claims.

there are two things almost all the "angry of fleet st" articles on this topic tellingly omit from Mr Fry's remarks

1. he started by saying (and listing) some more important things in the world we should worry about that MPs did wrogn (the SAME MPs) - so he wasn't letting them off the hook on this - just saying that if we want to take them to task, lets start on something more serious (this is not the same as saying that this isn't serious - just that life&death might be more so)
2. he pointed out that journalists (who are the people drumming up more news about this than, say, Sri Lanka, where there are matters of life and death) are prone to exactly the same sorts of claims - he also tried to defuse any accusations of getting off the hook by pointing out that he too fiddled claims (and he is, in the main these days, a journalist)

I think the "national treasure" backlash folks should be VERY VERY careful - we will want to see your expense claims in detail real soon AND ask why you don't actually do the journalism job of reporting things that actually matter most, first

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