Friday, 17 May 2013

Quotes of the Week: From nightmare interview with Ginger Baker to Fleet Street's Fergie frenzy

Michael Hann on the Guardian's Music Blog on interviewing drummer Ginger Baker (top) in front of a live audience: "I've had peculiar interviews before. I once sat on the floor in the dressing rooms at Spurs' training ground to talk to Sol Campbell, while John Scales stood just to my right, listening in. He was naked. His penis kept dangling in and out of my eyeline at disconcertingly close range. But I've never had any interview experience quite so unsettling as half an hour with Ginger Baker in front of a couple of hundred people. It's not something I want to repeat." 
  • Mark Ellen interviewed an irascible Ginger Baker for The Word in 2009, you can read an extract here.
Les Hinton on Twitter re-departure of Ian Katz from Guardian to edit Newsnight: "Do journos feel a little abandoned with the popular heir-apparent editor jumping ship just when things get rocky?" 

Police Federation chairman Steve Williams, as quoted by the Daily Mail: "There’s been a sea change on the back of Leveson. Cops are very reluctant to speak to the media and say how it really is."

Simon Jenkins in the Guardian: "Giving in to terrorism has given data intrusion, "back door" surveillance and press restriction all the best tunes. The Pentagon pleads 9/11 and Whitehall pleads 7/7. Lord Justice Leveson can only plead Hugh Grant, but he is enough. They all say they want a "responsible press". But the direction of travel is the same, towards the pollution of freedom. Acts of government that would once have caused outrage are now met with a shrug."

 Jeremy Clarkson in the Sunday Times [£]: "I’m constantly being hauled over the coals in the Daily Mail and the Daily Star and the Mirror for all sorts of things. Calling Gordon Brown a one-eyed Scottish idiot. Saying public sector workers should be executed. Sparking fury with fox enthusiasts. I’m portrayed as an evil, racist, homophobic misogynist who goes through life stabbing baby badgers for fun. And I’ve worked out that it makes no difference. Taxi drivers still pick me up. People still watch my television shows. My books aren’t remaindered for weeks; sometimes months. That’s because the endless criticism is just a background hum. The BBC should accept this. It should make decisions on what it thinks to be right, not on how that decision will be reviewed in the next day’s papers."

Grey Cardigan responds to a PR on TheSpinAlley: “Dear Kacey-Lee. Thank you for your interest in the well-being of myself and my family. Unfortunately I couldn’t get out in the sun to enjoy myself because I am twice-divorced and therefore don’t have enough money to even pay for a Mr Whippy. As for a barbecue, a Lidl sausage toasted over a blow-lamp is about my limit. My children won’t talk to me, my latest ex-wife is shagging an investment banker while still shafting me for every penny she can get, and I can’t go out in the sun because I have red hair and turn bright crimson if I even walk past a microwave oven. Anyway, it was rainy and foggy up here, somewhere north of Kensington, so there was no sun anyway. Oh, and my dog died, which somewhat took the gloss off the weekend…”

David Simon in The Observer: "You already have too much prior restraint of the British press. I couldn't operate under your press law, couldn't do good journalism consistently. Your ability to criticise people in public or reveal secrets that are in the public's interest are much more constrained than ours. And I find that to be unworkable in terms of democracy."

The Times [£]: "Local authorities are threatening to withdraw advertising from newspapers that publish stories they do not like, according to a survey that examined the impact of the Leveson inquiry on the local press. Nearly half of all local newspaper editors believe that the inquiry into press standards has negatively affected their titles’ relationship with readers. More than a quarter (27 per cent) had received a threat from a public body to suspend advertising as a result of journalistic activity, such as a story being published, a query being made or a reporter attending a meeting."

Brian Cathcart, the executive director of Hacked Off, in a letter to regional newspaper editors, as reported by HoldtheFrontPage: “You may be concerned that any changes to the press regulation system could make your job harder and put extra burdens on regional and local papers. That’s what the Newspaper Society has been warning. I am writing to say that what the Newspaper Society has been telling you is not correct. The Royal Charter approved by all parties in Parliament in March is good for working journalists, good for the regional and local press – and good for the public."

Private Eye on coverage of Alex Ferguson's retirement: "Perhaps the most spectacular example of Stockholm syndrome was displayed by the BBC. Having been sent to Coventry by Ferguson for a full seven years after daring to expose his son Jason's activities as a football agent - a ban which ended only in 2011 -  the corporation found the perfect pundit to  pay tribute to Sir Alex on Radio Five Live. Step-up long-standing Fergie friend and fellow Labour stalwart Alastair Campbell, the man whose rabid desire to 'fuck Gilligan' over the BBC's WMD story in 2003 brought the corporation  as close to extinction  as it has ever been."

on Twitter: "'I've never held a grudge against the media, not my style' - Sir Alex Ferguson, who refused to speak to BBC for 5yrs."

BBC Sport Interactive editor  Stuart Rowson ‏@StuartRowson on Twitter: "Led by the #MUFC and Fergie coverage, last week was the biggest ever outside of the Olympics for @bbcsport - 17.3m unique UK browsers."

SubScribe by Gameoldgirl on Press Gazette: "The Ferguson retirement killed almost as many trees as the Iron Lady's death. Every daily newspaper, bar the Express, lost touch with reality in a race to be the most obsequious...This is daft. The Knight of the Hairdryer is a football manager. He is retiring, he has not died - and even if he had, this would still be over the top." 

[£] = paywall

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