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Read this: The economics of outrage

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The economics of outrage…



BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 in recently we have tried on this show to understand why it is that we seem to be living and missed a new culture war polarization on social media conspiracy theories going mainstream the rise of counter-culture something is going badly wrong in the mass communication system of information age what you might call the median because of the economics of modern and Wigston is it because of deeper social trends from identity politics to free speech going out of fashion which the media merely reflects.

I've got with me today to Journey this more thought than most hello Louis from the Atlantic and Radio 4 of course and Piers Morgan from from the culture was the subtitle of Piers new book is why the world.

Not so obvious, I'm gonna start by asking you has the world gone.

That's or just that minority you bother to take much more instantaneous way, then we used to feel like you're living in a 24/7 madhouse.

This is just go out into my road and look at people in my street going about their everyday lives untroubled by vegan sausage rolls, so I think it's like that but I think I would always be too wary of saying that the world has gone mad.

I think both sides of the political divide do the things that we would called cancel culture out which is the intolerance or dissenting opinions that is so overwhelming that they want those people to be sacked or driven out of public Life

It's just that you tend to hear the phrase any associated with one that's happening from from the left, so that's the difference.

I think I think it definitely I mean look at for example hashtag rip JK Rowling you know and people expressing such a dissatisfaction with her views that they wish she would dead and that's a pretty extreme reaction to somebody writing something you disagree with other people will get the stats in a bit, but people don't bother to tweet and they think probably listen to me.

I think we talk about it quite a lot, but that was a major phenomenon by JK Rowling one of the most established authors in the world was the subject of the most horrendous abuse and trolling and what not just take us through the process of what happened there the lead the attempt to some people say to cancel JK Rowling of course others would say it was just to get her to behave herself through what happened.

It's always difficult to untangle that but I think my house is cancel culture is a cuddle as a function of capitalism as a function of journalism and outrage economy works that particularly Tracy at how this Carol kicked off.

There was a review of her new book trouble blood which is 900 pages long that was in Bargoed people got a copy, but only some people got a copy the Telegraph publish review in which they know one of the small plot lines is a male serial killer disguise themselves in woman's coat, and they say it maybe the moral of this book is that you should never trust a man in a dress then because there was already a kind of JK Rowling's comments about the transgender debate this was picked out as a headline what then happens.

Is that the activist website pink news runs.

I think 3 or 4 pieces before getting their hands on a copy of how credibly thoughtless and outrageous This is actually read the book to intervene and they will look this is a very much is not the point.

The 900 word book in order to claim a culture wash it's a very passing mention, but it doesn't really matter and everyone's upset by and lots of people are genuinely upset.

There are transgender people genuinely but they are under attack every single then I'll meet you and this is added to it and just saying that that might be true, but this particular incident isn't that is not particularly helpful to them and what's happened.

Is that media organise a lot of clicks someone's reputation has been trashed lots of people feel incredibly upset and I just dozing anyone when's from that not the left not the right and it appears your book is called wake up from what exactly just talking about the JK Rowling which is what it is where you have actually a very woke high-profile liberal who wants to express an opinion about the issue and the response from so-called liberals if you want I cancelled and in fact the hashtag rip JK Rowling stop the trend on Twitter worldwide people want.

Expressing an opinion and that I'm afraid is the way the Liberal discourse of John and I say that by sadly as a Liverpool myself somebody who believe him very vigorous and passionate debate about vegan sausage rolls to pupusas however, I don't want to stop anybody else having an opinion.

I don't want to cancel them for having an opinion if you like a vegan sausage roll.

God help you that's your right and I respect it, but I will argue with you and what we've lost as the ability to have any kind of democratic debate as I have any time to sort of common sense about almost anything and this way before the pandemic is stopped for a few months and I thought maybe that's the end of this works cancel culture nonsense and in the last few months is a ruptured like it's never done before and what people hope to achieve with it if in the end a small group of very noisy people on social media wanted dictate how everybody leaves are light, how they actually think.

Play find funny the TV shows that are allowed to watch movies for the deemed acceptable the Halloween costume that fits the bill that the hairstyle that you have the food you eat the drinks you drink.

We could wind-up incredibly boring very controlled world and ironically it ends up being a form of the very fascism which liberals have always professed to test fascism is a very very strong word make a couple of aspects of what you just said, what is this a liberal phenomenon? Whatever is Jim Marshall to suggest? This is something that understood as people on the centre-left because there's a lot of people listening to you would say actually it's Conservatives Conservatives supposed to be liberal that supposed to stand for Florence and the freedom of speech and freedom of expression and they're not behaving like that.

Let me know little Brigade and I called them because the word work.

Standing up and away for social and racial injustice.

That's how it was intended to be almost an umbrella to centre people and to stop them bleeding the live.ly want to leave.

How is that in anyway consistent with what liberalism is supposed to be I tell the history of liberalism in the books explain to people they supposed to be innocent equality, but essentially about freedom of speech and it was nothing about what's been going on in the last year with Valkyrie the in anyway lives up to the banner of freedom of speech understand the role of the media in I think it's fair to say hello Louis was more widely defended and often attended by people in the median and perhaps it is called a Curly mighty for murder to the Daily Mail would proudly proclaimed that he would defend to the death the right of the Guardian to publish opinions which he profoundly disagree with why is

There seems to be this retreat from an attachment to the principle of free speech by a small group of people the difficulties when institutions responding with panic and that to me is why we feel that free speech is under attack for example of example of someone she has been cancelled by both the right and the left so she was comments that when she said wait here the white race was the most oppressive Force in human history came out the right got very upset about that.

She got fired.

She was then appointed and advised LGBT labour which comments you said about hairy lesbians are very things will take me to be on my phone, but she was then fired but resign from that job because I forgot upset and what's that? This is going to the rolling machine where?

Uses what tradition used to think of a kind of opposition research like politicians with dump opposition research and that is now happened on each side of the ideological split you go you said this thing that right is my side.

I want you to be fired and then the other side find someone with me.

I think I said that but the thing is only that only works if if people pay to it and I think the problem has been particularly universities were seeing his speech has become consumer market places where they are worried that their students won't like when I press the saying and therefore I'm really worried about standing up for example newspapers in the same position if you're in declining market if an advertising do you have to be much more sensitive to work to your reader's are much more responsive so that they will always be people who are upset or what matters is how the rest of us respond to that have to talk about the role of Twitter which is often done the show and I've been quite outspoken about Twitter the fact is only about 20% That's in your

20% of people in the US or Britain are on Twitter of that 10% of those people post 80% of the tweets in other words about 2% of the population Tuesday disproportionate influence, would you accept having several decades in the media that now to a very large extent the news agenda is being driven by this very particular social network which is actually popular most of the time by very very small coterie the population so Hillary Clinton will be president it was so that we would vote to remain in the European Union and the reason they're wrong is unrepresentative of the mass wider world and you really a very tribal place reminiscent of what the world is like 2000 years ago when you would have tribes.

They very rarely went outside of their tribes that lived in the roundel.

Where they had the same views all the same clothes did the same things and then slowly branched out and other tribes.

They're only way of dealing with people who dress differently to different a different views, what's the killer and we've almost gone back to that now where when Donald Trump gets coronavirus liberals high-profile little between people who work in administration of the white house in 1 pesos or actually want him to die and prepared to put that in writing on Twitter and Boris Johnson had it coronavirus the same thing I wanted him to die when I got coronavirus a woman popped up on it immediately.

I'm so sorry when I slept tested negative.

I really hope she would die completely outrageous driven by the social media tribal atmosphere and Helen touched her thing there's on both sides.

It's very interest is very self righteous.

It's on the question of

You have a view to date.

It is very much of the now the university preferred way which is we will only have speakers that we either agree with all absolutely toe the line of the vocal changer online universities up to be the fulcrum of debate and be challenged about your view hearing you disagree with Barack Obama's awoke hero this point repeatedly to the word crowd listen.

This is not democracy what you're doing is self-defeating.

You're never gonna grow a human being in the way that the originated and wanted people to do without being confronted with you that you don't like on Sunday is fine detail and there are a couple of pension if that you tweeted I want it enough about the couple of techniques which have quite common on Twitter which actually lend themselves to is that what you're talking about one with the Bad Faith misinterpretation the other which are quite that was the nuts.

Tell us what you mean by those two no, I don't disagree with that, but it's very very sorry for that someone tweeted that was me if you took 200 people one of them is going to be a prat like that is just a fact of life.

That's how the world works, but the problem allows us to service every single one of those and I find it particularly horrifying when I look at a new story on a website and he's padded out with tweets offer that they have searched with a term to find the people with you mean to say you know a classical piece of mail online story about someone put on The X Factor and then we just do a search for everybody is gone.

She's wearing a slight highlighted.

Don't know what they're actually search in the pictures of the sweets and then what is an awful.

Lot of not picking one of the things.

I think it's vital for journalism.

There is a sense of proportionality.

That's the hardest job of the journalist now, but the most important.

Which is why I partially agree with peers, but there is a problem by left wing and liberalism.

I will put it in the context of for example viktor Orban in Hungary or the recent rollback of abortion rights LGBT rights big big currents of right-winger liberalism enforced by the state which is slightly more worrying to me then students as a kind of entity talking about the economics of scrolling through all the videos that good Morning Britain new ITV shows clipped up for Twitter and most of them seem to involve you ranting vigorously at the at the camera about something someone and ITV and you can the operators ever that you see that is good for business and in the show is tag the UK's most talked-about breakfast TV show and I know that you are always ask the same question in these interviews are your views on whether or not you're a hypocrite and you're quite self-aware about this stuff the same thing aren't you just guilty of the very crimes that you perpetrating the very crimes that you see to prosecute another's you post the motion.

Opinions all the times you chriqui pick fights in the book that I am absolutely part of the problem when it comes to the culture Wars in the country that question because it's so incensed by this enable liberalism that I fight back with all my power to have the right to defend my right to hate Deacon sausage rolls or whatever trivia.

Maybe it gets more serious is where it applies to things like coronavirus, so where you see the tribes taking their positions pro lockdown anti-lockdown and a tenant said they start to cherry-pick any station from any colour white job on the internet to support their interests of you and that then get speed out to the rest of the tribe and before you know it.

You'll reach appointed totally changes as well as with coronavirus.

Need to come together.

You know I would love to see a coalition government right now, but they all signed up to the right course of action because at the moment.

It's just two Tribes getting ever further away.

In the end, that's not going to defeat this problem or help anybody in this country and my opinion about the tribalism is it doesn't work.

It's the campaigns and I thought most of the mighty micro against guns in America for example against Iraq war here or Arsene Wenger to leave as Arsenal manager Kevin Pietersen to be back in pregnancy singular commonality I failed in all of them and I think that the louder I shouted and the more animated and passionate I became the less.

I won the argument with people who were impact of the imagination and I think there's a really good lesson through the pandemic so far from the Lights of captain Tom Moore Marcus rashford has Samarkand the Syrian filmmaker who became of coronavirus Ward cleaner is actually a return and I put myself in a need to have this lesson to a bit of civility in the discourse and to listen to The Other Side which I've been trying to.

Working progress, I'm involving.

What are you practice what you preach and you're not your own folding arguments.

I would defend for example of the early part of this year, but I really went after government ministers for their woeful incompetent in handling the pandemic that my passion was completely Justified my Angela was completely just there is a point to be made into people that you disagree with stupid and frankly 1003 mum dad having a form of more measured debate were at the end of the two Tribes to work out a point of consensus things used to be and I asked her.

Why is it so much attention because everyone in the media is addicted to Twitter and so they see things amplified in their Twitter feed about that.

Wrong impression about the way the wider populace is feeling about about the the economic and financial incentives of those producing journalism, isn't it? Helen and the fact is if you look at what's happening across the media the 80s getting harder to find general interest news and a momentum financially and commercially is very much driven with a few companies or is with a few companies that seems to Mostly Californian play driven by the need to grab our attention and it's all the things appears.

I said well most the words that most recent is the way things used to be how do we get back to a journalism which is slightly more boring that but it's about the concept of loss leaders and if you run a restaurant fine dining restaurant, then you don't get a big profit margin on your food what you got a huge profit margin on is your booze newspapers run.

You know they sell the product and they had someone you know horoscopes in the racing tips whenever it might be and that was a loss leader and then what you also had was that was that?

Which was the general interest journalism what people have done there is gone.

Why can't we just do the why can't we just do the profitable bits and you know the fact is that the way the internet funded encourage that so I was the difference between subscriber base media and social media driven stuff.

What advertising staff is that the difference between Taurus restaurant in Leicester Square and family restaurant if you run a steak house in the middle of authority.

You're only getting customers once the States don't have to be any good people mine at food poisoning frankly if you running neighbourhood restaurant you do that because you're going to remind people coming back Time After Time After Time and that's why it's this the last 10 to 20 years of journalism has been so catastrophic but I do think some of that is ebbing away.

You know the times has got a huge number of subscriptions model of journalism actually.

I thought the internet was going to be free.

Subscriber Sunday probably paid for journalism has made a real combat these are mass market products are prettier than you at times might do well, but it's really an east Coast liberal pretty elite sort of jumping on the New York Times has multiplied ascriptions five times with Mark Thompson former BBC chief at the house, but it's done it by being University on a daily basis bashing Donald Trump they know that we know that's incredibly boring.

It's hard, but anybody can Bailey conservative hounded out of the New York Times and so I don't think it's a great example of the Imposter fair minded journalism perhaps.

You're actually is actually possible.

No, I think it's really important on the social media.

I mean I love it.

I think it's an incredibly powerful tool.

I get to see stuff in real time.

I would never be able to see a real time normally form.

Two people I find all sides of the political divide about all sorts of issues, but I think the real problem is they are not publishers in their own eyes.

They don't conduct themselves like proper shiznit.

They would have too much vitamin A do people on Twitter and broadly get away with it most of the time is ridiculous and fake news as Churchill said alive and get the world before people get the bootstraps on that's happening with fake news in the outrage of the prison and frankly something which I like the word understand this into this and almost understand that for a time when Walter cronkite and Robin day on the airwaves and you could trust what they said, how do you go back to a time when you can actually trust the information in the public domain that's the live.

I really only respect people on Twitter who I think I'll fair minded about stuff if people that.

Applies to interviews applies to anybody in the media in particular, if I sent that tribal in their output.

I don't take it seriously because everything that they put out there is geared towards we emphasizing the there a personal opinion that's that's no good to put little discos.

I do agree with him Davies you at the BBC the new boss fair that CBBC should be very very careful.

What they put on social media because you are paid for by the taxpayer and you should be completely impartial and there's a powerful David Dimbleby Good Morning Britain this week Express opinions which she finds very liberating but the truth is he done that when he was chairing question time he would have been a Hopeless host of question time is the Ofcom broadcasting code Pierce's the only thing stopping the culture was that we're talking about playing out all over British TV yes, I think that we're going to get more into the kind of table.

In America going forward nature of the beast of having so many available cable channels Andrew Neil is not to me somebody that you were describing a partisan brought that is one of the most fair-minded broadcasters in the country, so I'm not going to be stupid.

I don't think I have left or right because that's not the way he broadcast so I have no problem insidious rather than your time.

So you can shoot a harpoon.

That's be honest and all through the BBC newsroom and you wouldn't hear conservative you very lucky unlucky, you did because I work for the BBC went to work for the conservative senior levels.

BBC gravitate to the BBC that I get promoted to be positioned at the BBC normally broadcasters that BBC do I know personally that you would remotely categorises anything but liberal left that has been a problem for the BBC and I think Tim Davie is right to say look are Premium is in being the broadcast network of record and I think that impartiality that always stood for it's usually important particularly in this area so much fake news and partisanship on social media has been offered a job on TV news.

Everybody loves me jobs all the time and I'll come over.

Turn it into Fox News as as a country in and have the plants in America has been used to be regulated by Ofcom but it does fundamentally change next year doesn't the nature of TV news in this country.

Yeah, I think what LBC is buying it with the idea that you have balance across the schedule rather than impartiality on behalf of each individual broadcast it isn't really big change and I imagine that this new venture slightly continue that I have my problems with that you're not one of my big problems here as I think there is a far too much crossover between activists and journalists and I think that's going to be a really big issue with LBC had no idea he took himself as a journalist political activist doing investigations you have allegra Stratton Crossing my TV to be the government's most James at the Guardian who's a labour activist an economist Danny Finkelstein at the time.

I'm really think that having an American journalism, which can sometimes feel like everyone putting on a monocle and a waistcoat.

The good bit of banter is the idea that being a journalist is a particular role within democracy and you're an outsider and I think this is Piers been on his platform.

You're not supposed to be cosy with the government.

You're not supposed to be taking someone's Idris goes to be having a go and everyone your on behalf of the people asking the questions that need to be asked and I think that has been a big problem for the last couple of years.

What do you get your boyfriend to the most civilised we do about all this.

I mean you're treating vigorously all the time usually passionate stuff.

It's not going to get better anytime soon as it makes very clear the reason we have to wake up we have to go back if you're a little I didn't bring the same allegations against arrived, but that's what do anyway.

It's themselves have to look at themselves and say is what we doing actually anywhere near what liberalism.

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