Caroline Flack: James O'Brien's moving monologue about the effects of tabloids and trollsFeb 18, 2020
I trust Flack, who is 40 years old, and in many ways, not too long ago, she had the world at her feet. I don't know anything and I know more than you about all of this, so I can't sit here and tell you that she went for That or she went for this. I have some pretty negative views, opinions, beliefs about the British tabloid media, but since I talk about it almost every day I don't think it needs any special mention today, the public narrative is one. of social media at least as much as tabloid media my take on tabloid media is not new, we and I used to be showbiz editors at a national newspaper, although I did at one point and with an editor that allowed me to I did not indulge in the kind of excesses and abuses that are common in the profession.
I'm going to be completely honest with you, that was luck, right? If only I had been in the chain of command at a different newspaper under a different editor with the same personality and the same ambitions. I don't think I would have ever said no. I'm not doing that on principle, not as a younger man because I want to say you know it's okay. I measured the insides of my legs again at tea time, which is a bit embarrassing, but I think it's very important, to be honest, this kind of self-righteousness that some media critics take is probably false.
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caroline flack james o brien s moving monologue about the effects of tabloids and trolls...
I'm lucky that I didn't have to do the things that I would now feel tainted by, but I don't think I would have had the financial security, all the moral confidence to say no, so the stories and again, I just faced it. briefly to the tactics of the
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carolineflax tragic death the stories that used to make me laugh but always with a slight sense of unease deep unease and they know you would make people almost brag about making an alleged death touch and try to steal a photograph of murdered child from grieving family mantelpiece now some of this might have been an exaggeration some of this might have been embellished but there will be a kernel of truth and that was a kernel of truth that was present 10 years ago 20 years ago 30 years ago I could probably trace it back to Rupert Murdoch buying the Sun and putting a man named Larry Lamb in charge.
That was really when things started to turn and Rupert Murdoch realized how much money could be made from commoditizing to be a gentle fetish to be a slightly less charitable death and tragedy and, given that the story that really turned Murdock's head involved his best friend's murdered wife, it's a particularly interesting period of British media history. , but again it's not necessarily what we should be concerned about today, what I'm interested in is if you as a consumer of media, both traditional and social, think that something profound has really changed and really I just want to know what you think, but that will be the number one question if so i mean and also this is such a weird conversation regarding instagram instagram is pretty nice don't you understand if you get bullied on instagram is there evil in interesting you get nasty nice nice again forgive me my Field of expertise is Confined exclusively to Twitter on Facebook I'm only in touch with people I already know Twitter is a very important part of what some people would laughably describe as a brand It's part of my job It's part of the platform that used to hang out there and you take the hard with the soft on that and of course you can go.
I found out this morning that my friend Amanda Abbington, the actress, isn't in it anymore, so I had to keep monitoring where she's been, but since her ex-husband or ex-partner is on the news talking I think quite responsibly if that's not is a inappropriate word to use in this context speaking quite responsibly about the fact that he hit his children I thought I'd better see what Amanda has to say about this and then I find out or remember that she is waltzing after having been a lot on it previously so you can't always do that and there's no point in pretending otherwise but it's a little bit to me at least it's a little bit different from anything that's gone before because it gives them kind of a megaphone to the people i think most of us would be baffled, genuinely worried and worried if you spend more than two minutes of your day trying to hurt people you have never met because they happen to be famous quotes final quotes or quotes in public view dating finals there's nothing new in that impulse there's nothing new in that it's probably close to a disease right? something about social media that has magnified long-standing phenomena in a way that makes me feel like a former Fleet Street showbiz journalist and, obviously, now a professional goofball with half a million followers on the internet. social networks. a little different, but my gosh, I have to jump from that to quite dangerous and irresponsible and directly contrary to the advice Samaritans give us when dealing with stories like this: it's a claim that a single problem could have caused an act like this. this.
This is not only highly unlikely but also highly irresponsible, so the issue that intrigues me the most is perhaps anonymity. I mean it shouldn't bother anyone if someone who doesn't have the confidence to put their own name on it scams them. in your own communication, so I mean you shouldn't, but I can show you that yes, if you got death threats through the mail this morning, you really wouldn't care if it was signed or not, would you? So there is always an end. I can read to illustrate the point I'm trying to make if you got a note through your mailbox saying oh I really hate you bad ugly man it would probably hurt more if it was signed doris on number 37 than if it was signed doris over three four six seven eight six six six six two or I don't know the rose of England or the Christian west or something I mean there's something quite comical about anonymity to the point where people actually care and might be concerned about a threat Existing or all I think in this case, the focus has been on the issue of mental fragility, knows vulnerability, and I heard a clip of Mark Wright, who I think is famous for being on The Only Way.
He's Essex earlier in the morning, he was playing on our own newsletters which actually touched me a bit. I mean, I think having a Fleet Street background means that when you talk shit on social media, you're almost proud of it. The idea of people thinking you're so important is almost flattering but if you're coming from a different background if you're coming from a non-journalistic background it must be really weird and hearing him say it actually hurts made me feel a little embarrassed because whoever you know the giggles and giggles you can have with people probably overlook the fact that other people could really get hurt by these things sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me is probably one of the biggest lies humanity has ever had he told himself and yet we all sang that in the 1970s in the 1980s you
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