Friday 9 December 2011

Quotes of the Week: From why Jeremy Clarkson isn't all bad to 'trouser-droppers' in press backlash

A profile of Jeremy Clarkson in the Observer: "There seems to be an incurable devilment within him, an adolescent urge to let loose his 6ft 5in persona on the pieties and hypocrisies of lesser mortals. The effect is not always unappealing, as for example when he punched Piers Morgan at the 2004 British Press Awards, but it's seldom edifying."

Trevor Kavanagh in the Sun: “Alastair Campbell, who once played the media like a fiddle, has the nerve to accuse the Press of being 'putrid'. He is fortunate lobby journalists never reveal their sources. Otherwise a queue of hacks could reveal how Alastair routinely dripped poison into their ears about everyone – then swore them to secrecy. Luckily, some of us kept a diary.”

MP Zac Goldsmith appearing before the joint Commons and Lords Committee on privacy and injunctions, on the tabloid press: "If the only way a business can stay afloat is by engaging in immoral or unethical behaviour, then that business should either change its model or go out of business. No one said that Auschwitz should have been kept open because it created jobs."

Lobbyist talking about the "dark arts" to undercover reporters from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism: "Even if they type [into Google] 'Uzbeck child labour', some of the first results are sites talking about what you guys are doing to improve that'."

Steve Dyson on HoldtheFrontPage about Northcliffe's closure of the East Kent Gazette: "If anyone does have such faith in papers like the Gazette, it will be collectives, charitable trusts or local business consortia – not companies driven by the stock market to make short-term cullings that appear to contradict the straplines of their own products."

Belfast Telegraph editor Mike Gilson on the closure of his home-town paper, the Medway News: "A local newspaper, full of surprises and quirkiness, topped off with a couple of hacks determined not to let the council leader get away with it, and an odd campaign against the by-pass thrown in, can still be a marvellous life-force in our towns and cities."

Andy Comfort, presenter of BBC Radio Humberside's Breakfast Show, at a Parliamentary meeting about the planned cuts to BBC local radio: “Who else provides a service for Grimsby Town fans away at Salisbury? Commercial radio doesn’t. Who else puts the local decision makers on the spot, local MPs, council leaders, councillors, local NHS managers and headteachers? Nobody. Who else keeps in touch with some of the most vulnerable people in our society? We were the station people turned to in the floods of June 2007, which hit Hull, East Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire very hard; we were the station which provided non-stop information when bad weather closed hundreds of schools and brought transport to a standstill; we were first on the scene of the Great Heck train crash in February 2001, feeding information to the rest of the BBC.”

Steve Coogan interviewed in The Word about what we should be looking out for in 2012: "A few prison sentences, I hope. Not for me."

Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail on the joint Commons and Lords Committee on privacy and injunctions: "Four rich swordsmen yesterday visited Parliament to complain about the naked nerve of the media. All were cross that their sexual/marital misadventures had been paddled in and peddled by the jaunty British Press. Such was their displeasure that they demanded a privacy law...Our stern quartet of trouser-droppers was: Steve Coogan, comedian; Hugh Grant, film actor; Max Mosley, sometime motor-racing johnny; Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park in the Conservative interest."

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