Who watches the watchmen, who edits the editors – some ironies.

Now I have listened to the Radio 4 Media show it’s clear that several important points that I made were edited out. Thankfully the stuff about #transdocfail made it through. What was cut?

At one point I suggested that, while some of the tweets aimed at Suzanne Moore were undoubtedly indefensibly unpleasant, freedom of speech applies to Twitter trolls as much as to Julie Burchill – though the difference is that, if people choose to, they can report abuse to the Lords of Twitter and offending tweets may be taken down. As was Julie’s piece, when people protested.

I responded to the ‘at least there is a discussion point’ on its second or third appearance with the remark – and I said I first made it forty years ago which indicates just how unoriginal Burchill’s piece was – that no-one would say that republication of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion made it easier to talk about anti-semitism.

When I suggested that someone at the Observer had thought, o Julie will stir things up, and commissioned that piece for that reason, and no other, the presenter said I couldn’t know that was the case, to which I replied ‘the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.’

I did explain part of why ‘Brazilian transexual’ was unfortunate and mentioned I had contacted Suzanne Moore to explain why to her – again, that was cut.

More if I remember more – but there are points where I sound nervous because they cut me in mid-word, something they did not do to the verbose Young.

Oh, and I was asked to comment on whether I thought people should be sacked. I said that an internal process was going on at the Observer and it would be contrary to natural justice to discuss that while it was going on.

Freedom of speech is a great idea – I don’t think I got it.


About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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8 Responses to Who watches the watchmen, who edits the editors – some ironies.

  1. were_gopher says:

    I listened to that and wondered why you got so little air time. They made you sound far too hesitant and not like the articulate woman I know from conventions at all.

  2. It did feel rather like they cherrypicked the moments that would best support the free-speech, pro-Burchill case they were making, and gutted whatever you said (you got less air time than any other commentator on the topic). The same came through in the Penny/Preston section; no real intent to actually air both sides of the discussion, just the intent to look to the casual observer as if they were.

    Of course, Young’s brilliant failure to remember what Mill actually says is just a cherry on top of an appallingly biased BBC cake…

  3. I haven’t heard the show, but I’ve been following this story. I admire you so much. Your piece in the Guardian was wonderful.

  4. stevegreen says:

    I’d already mentioned in an e-mail to Cheryl Morgan that I thought you were shortchanged on airtime, but put it down to the other guy simply talking over you and the moderator failing to intercede. This is far, far worse.

    • geekyisgood says:

      Yes, I have to say I am thoroughly shocked. Being edited is always risky, but I’d have thought for a programme like this there would be a reasonable duty to represent both sides as faithfully as possible. This is awful. I’m afraid I didn’t listen to the show when it aired but I’ll see if I can track it down on iPlayer now.

      • geekyisgood says:

        Now I’ve listened to it, they kept in Toby Young repeating himself several times within a paragraph but cut some specific points from you? Awful.

  5. cmcmck says:

    The ‘Brazilian transsexual’ snipe becomes all the more ghastly when one considers that Brazilian transsexual woman, Cecilia Marahouse, was murdered yesterday- shot six times. Maybe if she’d had a thicker skin and broader shoulders? :o(

    tells me that the Grauniad does not consider this newsworthy.

    Taking the piss out of trannies, yes- the murder of a transsexual woman, no…………….

    What a sick, sick print media we now have and I study 17th century print media which is, believe me, often about as sick as it comes just to prove that nothing is new- ‘Woman gives birth to three headed snake’ sick.

    You and I have been around a long time Roz and I don’t mind admitting that I’m deeply depressed by all this. :o(

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