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Private Eye

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 Post subject: Private Eye
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:45 pm 
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Location: The Plain, in Spain.
I see it has quite a few readers in this snakepit of lefties and commy trot fellow-travellers. It seems to be fairly even-handed about dishing it out to pretty much everybody but is there an underlying smugness and is it small c conservatism? For all the right-of-centre editors there is a Paul Foot tendency as well. It's quite snobby in its patrician ways and assumes a knowledgeable readership.

What do we make of it?

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As a young man Cameron looked out on the social carnage of pit closures and mass unemployment, looked at Margaret Thatcher's government and thought, these are my people. When all the debating is done, that is really all I need to know.


Last edited by JuanTwoThree on Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Private Eye
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:52 pm 
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Location: Sunny Surrey where the vines sit smugly in the sunshine.
Pretty much that. There's a big difference between a sceptic and a cynic, and Shitslop is the worst kind of cynic. PE did more than any other publication to promote the MMR scare, and he still refuses to apologise, although the disgraceful book they published supporting Wakefield has been withdrawn. It isn't funny, which Cook and Rushton provided. It isn't very insightful, either.

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To know yet to think that one does not know is best; Not to know yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty. Lao Tzu



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 Post subject: Re: Private Eye
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:52 pm 
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Despite it being edited by the most insufferable little prick since Colin Moynihan, I still read most issues as it has its moments.

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 Post subject: Re: Private Eye
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:04 pm 
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It's about the only publication out there prepared to actually tear everyone else off a strip when required. Plus, in his favour, Hislop is, I believe, someone who still believes in the BBC, and in the current climate in his sort of role there are painfully few of them.

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 Post subject: Re: Private Eye
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:11 pm 
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Location: 'An English seaport town, principally remarkable for mud, Jews and sailors' – Dickens
The big positives for me are:

— It is quite selective about which stories to pursue. A lot of the In the Back investigations start as sadface reader-complaint stories. But unlike the Mail, Private Eye starts investigating the complaints before it rushes to publication.

— It follows up its own stories. Quite often revelations are drip-fed over several issues, and because it's fortnightly, they come out very gradually, in newspaper terms. But because none of the broadsheets is doing the same kind of investigative work, there's no competition, and the Eye can take its time.

— It's the best bar none for Fleet Street gossip.

Basically, it's what the right-wing press would be like if it were doing its job properly, instead of sucking up to business and ranting about immigrants. Plus it has jokes in Latin.


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 Post subject: Re: Private Eye
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:37 pm 
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I was disappointed there wasn't a big pullout on phonehacking.

Hislop is excellent. Apart from MMR.


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 Post subject: Re: Private Eye
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:40 pm 
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Abernathy wrote:
Despite it being edited by the most insufferable little prick since Colin Moynihan, I still read most issues as it has its moments.


Pob edits private Eye? I'm shocked.
- is there no start to his talents.


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 Post subject: Re: Private Eye
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 12:11 am 
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It isn't perfect and Hislop has a lot of questions but not many answers, but without it we'd be worse off.

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 Post subject: Re: Private Eye
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:03 am 
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More of an Onion man myself. PE's problems, in my view, are:

1. Preaches to the converted. Same jokes each issue. Need to know the code (Ugandan discussions et al).

2. Comes across as really, really pleased with itself.

3. Perhaps more than anyone else save Quentin "Cunt" Letts, plays the "Oooh what a circus!" card. Treats everything and everyone like it's all high-spirited larks during the break before prep. One of the most annoying and actually damaging things the media in this country has ever done is reduce everything to an additional instalment of a trashy soap opera, laid on for the entertainment of the proles, with the players little more than cyphers and crucially not 'real' people. PE has been as complicit in this as anyone else. Moreso in fact.

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 Post subject: Re: Private Eye
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:08 am 
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Don't read it as often as I ought, but I like it. It's small-c conservative, but doesn't let it's political leaning override letting people have it when they deserve it. It's coverage of smaller issues that wouldn't make the nationals (the medical and farming columns, Rotten Boroughs and so on) is excellent and informative, and it's capable of being very funny. Generally the cartoons are a bit rubbish, though.

I rather like that you need to read a few issues before you start to get the running jokes, the codes and allusions. It's an essential part of British journalism and a national institution.


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 Post subject: Re: Private Eye
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:41 am 
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What Adam said. Plus I like that it assumes a certain level of intelligence and knowledge in its readers, something that few publications and virtually no newspapers do any more. Maybe that's snobby? I don't know.

The latest issue does have plenty of good stuff on the phone hacking as well (although overdoing it a bit on the smug with all the reproductions of cartoons and articles attacking Murdoch going back to the 60s)


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 Post subject: Re: Private Eye
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:45 am 
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I don't actually mind the level of smug and gloat this issue. They have been banging on about Murdoch's undue influence forever in the face of overwhelming establishment inertia. And now they have been shown to be right. They deserve the chance to go, "We were right. Fuck you Murdoch".


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 Post subject: Re: Private Eye
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:08 pm 
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Jeebus. Just picked up the Eye and quite frankly puttin' the boot in doesn't even get close.

Mind you, the chance to say "we fucking told you so" after 25 odd years is a licence of sorts.

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"The opportunity to serve our country. That is all we ask." John Smith, Leader of the Labour Party, 10 May 1994.


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 Post subject: Re: Private Eye
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:10 pm 
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I think we can forgive anyone who has been railing against the Murdochs a pat on the back at the minute, can't we? Bloody hell, we've been doing it...

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"They bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say...let 'em crash."
- "Counter Point", Airplane! (1980)

Things can only get better.


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 Post subject: Re: Private Eye
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:36 am 
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Far, far too smug for my liking - still looks like something that would be produced by a bunch of political to the point of tedious university students. Plus the whole MMR thing means I really can't touch it in fear of being infected with stupid.

Much like his 'smug remark, turn to audience to receive appreciation' routine on HIGNFY, Hislop hasn't done anything different or new with it in the best part of 20 years.


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