Fox (n): carnivore of genus vulpes; crafty person; scavenger; (vb) to confuse; -ed (adj): to be drunk.
Broadband from £5.99 a month with an included wireless router when you sign up to Plusnet - terms apply

Saturday 21 May 2011

Letters to Lillys.

THE right to be anonymous is almost the only item on the agenda this week - whether you are a footballer, a TV personality or, yes, a blogger.

After this post on Hugh Grant's attack on the "out-of-control" tabloid press the responses were divided right down the middle and, apart from a few examples, entirely along gender lines. Women who got in touch were in favour of the Fox while men who did the same thought the Fox was out of line.

A few correspondents were unhappy that an anonymous blogger had written on the topic of someone else demanding privacy. Richard wrote: "Surely all that divides the 'fame' of you and Hugh Grant is scale, wealth and a penis... If I subscribed to your logic it would be in the 'public interest' of your 15,000 followers to reveal your name, no?"

Jay added:
"One thing remains conspicuously absent: Fleetstreetfox's identity... She fights for the right to name and shame celebrities while hiding her own name. I also think that if tabloid journalists didn't take it upon themselves to publish every little detail of 'who stuck what where' under the guise of public interest (read: selling more papers) then nobody would be issuing injunctions. The whole thing stinks of someone trying to justify their own bad behaviour. So, Foxy, why do you hide? Perhaps you value privacy after all, unless it's somebody else's."
Ed: This is a fair point. Those who engage in a public life, whether politicians, film stars or journalists, have to accept a degree of scrutiny. Privacy for non-public figures is fair enough. But the people in the news at the moment want secrecy, to withhold the truth for personal benefit. I am not doing that - I am telling the truth about my trade, as much as I know of it. If I were named the chances are I would be sacked, and the journalistic insight I could offer The Reader via this blog would be reduced to almost zero. That seems to defeat the purpose.
Secondly I do not seek to hide any personal shame, in fact I have a book to be published which is full of it, but if I were named then others (perhaps mistakenly) would be identified among its characters, which does not seem fair to them.
Thirdly, I am not using vast personal wealth to change the laws of this country without it being voted for by anyone. Lastly of course this would all be far less fun if you knew I was fat, boring, old Jane Smith of the Daily Globe; I believe you prefer it this way.

This post diverged from the injunction issue to cover the events in the Middle East, which just as with tabloid newspapers was welcomed for being more worthy but got far fewer hits on the site.

Kev said: "As you rightly point out, and at the risk of duplicating your efforts, it's news that is being pushed further away sadly."

David added: "Libya's not about saving the goodies from the baddies any more than Iraq ever was - it's only ever about getting our hands on the cookie jar. Syria = no oil to get excited about = no intervention..simples."

In an effort to sex things up there was this post about some of the scandals we'd never know if it weren't for the tabloids.

Alistair said: "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. If you want to avoid publicity, don't do a public job!"

Jaysus added: "Most journalists today are ruthless exploitative opportunistic hypocrites, turkeys don't vote for Christmas."

Ruth wrote:
"When the people who lap this stuff up have moved on to judging someone else's shortcomings, this man and his family will be picking up the pieces for years to come. The recent partial lifting of Fred Goodwin's injunction is a slightly different matter as the personal issues may have compromised the professional, with a practical impact on some members of the public. That is a matter of judgement. Similarly the Prescott affair: on the one hand should anyone care if he's shagging a colleague? No. Using a publicly funded grace and favour apartment to conduct his liaisons on 'company' time? Well, maybe. As for bent politicians, expose them, as they are the true hypocrites."
Niamh replied: "America doesn't call it the First Amendment for nothing. A free press has to be free! Well said. As usual!" And Annette said: "Jeffrey Archer would probably be a grand old statesman of Cameron's cabinet now if it wasn't for the tabloids. Instead, he perjured himself in Court, perverted the course of justice and did bird in Belmarsh."

The post on how everything always seems to be a woman's fault got, as could be predicted, a lot of female high-fives. Polly said: "My ex-husband 'excused' my deflating his expensive bike tyres after he had an affair! My fault obviously... Great blog!" Darryll added: "Short, sweet, straight to the point, and so true."

Greg was less impressed: "Sorry, just can't take the misandristic whining any longer. Self-pity is so unattractive."

Junky, who I think is a man, said: "Re blog. Brilliant. Am off to don a man-burqa as we speak."

Howard wrote: "What I think of your blog - bloody great. You're my top of the blogs and pushed Guido into second place."

Which is nice.

Enjoy your rapture parties, folks - and when you're hungover tomorrow, remember it only feels like the world is ending.

Foxy out.