Sunday 23 July 2017

From the Theatre of the Absurd...

Rob Burley

As the summer silly season is soon to be upon us, it's time for another selection of Twitter exchanges between Andrew Marr editor Rob Burley and his critics. 

I always enjoy these, and transcribing them as if they were dialogues from a play only brings out their comedic value even more (I hope).



Rob Burley: #marr line-up taking shape - our main guest, he's had a big year, the Labour leader @jeremycorbyn.
Michael Liddle: At what point in the show will Marr be sucking up to the tories?
Rob Burley: Strange reaction to news that we are interviewing Jeremy Corbyn this Sunday on #marr.
Michael Liddle: Marr always sucks up to the tories. He loves them. Show well past sell by date.
Rob Burley: Ironically, he speaks very highly of you Michael.


Rob Burley: Recap! Jeremy Corbyn, Liam Fox, Anna Soubry, Gisela Stuart, Seb Coe, Ethan Hawke, Toby Young, Audra McDonald. #marr #marrmusic Sunday BBC1.
Reidar Vasbund: Managed to get a fair few wankers on this week - well done!
Rob Burley: Another satisfied customer.


Rob Burley: We'll also review the papers and beyond with @anna_soubry @GiselaStuart and @toadmeister - last #marr of the Summer. Sunday 9am on BBC1.
Gary Barker: So two Tories and brexiteer, and that's what the BBC counts as balanced these days #marr
Rob Burley: We're interviewing Jeremy Corbyn in the main slot Gary but press on...
Gary Barker: Er.. So why not have him review the papers too? Press on yourself.
Rob Burley: You want Jeremy Corbyn to review the papers and do the main interview? Would you like him to play us out on the spoons too?
Gary Barker: Reminds of the days when you used to have Margaret Thatcher's press secretary reviewing the papers. Things never change.
Rob Burley: To be clear, your view is that anyone who a) disagrees with you or b) isn't Jeremy Corbyn shouldn't be on the show...
Gary Barker: Let's be clear about this - you manage the show, I don't, what you say goes, I just pay for the privilege of your bias.
Rob Burley: I'm curious - how has me booking Jeremy Corbyn as the main guest tomorrow demonstrated bias? In what direction?
(Sir) Craig Oliver: (interrupting) Actually it's 2 Brexiteers (3 if you count @jeremycorbyn) vs 1 Remainer.
Rob Burley: Oh don't you start.
Gary Barker: Last week paper reviewers: Jane Moore of the Sun, former Labour adviser Ayesha Hazarika and Iain Duncan Smith - again two from the right.
Rob Burley: That's your assessment of Jane Moore, think she's always pretty even-handed and often not party political at all.
phil63*‏: (interrupting) Come on Rob you have to admit paper review is mostly loaded to the right.
Rob Burley: I don't accept that at all or "admit" any such thing.
Gary Barker: Week before that Tory MP Heidi Allen, Tim Stanley from The Daily Telegraph, and Naomi Klein an author. Come off it.
Rob Burley: A) do you know about Naomi Klein's politics or just that she is an "author"? B) is Allen wholly loyal to party leadership?


Rob Burley: We'll also review the papers and beyond with @anna_soubry @GiselaStuart and @toadmeister - last #marr of the Summer. Sunday 9am on BBC1.
Simon Vessey: 2-1 in favour of the Tories to review an overwhelmingly RW press. Colour me shocked.
Rob Burley: Jeremy Corbyn is the main interview Simon, the full list is on, er, Twitter.
Barney Farmer: (interrupting) Three good reasons to stay in bed.
Rob Burley: Didn't need to know this Barn, but grateful for the update nevertheless...


Joe Guardiola‏: Party political broadcast on behalf of the Hard Right!
Rob Burley: Featuring Jeremy Corbyn!!
Julia Macfarlane (BBC): (interrupting) There's no pleasing some people...
Rob Burley: Truth.
Tim: (interrupting) I guess @RobBurl thinks 6 or 7 hard right guests balance out one Jeremy Corbyn.
Rob Burley: Well last week, for example, we had a partisan Lab, a partisan Tory and a person on neither side.


Mr Eton Oldboys MP‏: Any chance of delivering a non Tory Bias program on #marr I personally am getting sick to the back teeth with Tory propaganda from you.
Rob Burley: Yeah, the main interview with well known Tory Jeremy Corbyn was blatant bias.
Mr Eton Oldboys MP‏: Rob, I was truthful and factual with my tweet to you, I would have expected the same from you in your right of reply. I really didn't expect sarcasum as a reply, Jeremy Corbyn is not a Tory as we both know, surprised you never asked him about the IRA. Rob I must admit I expected better from you... please dont even try to defend your weekly Tory propaganda show, start earning your money.
Rob Burley: Is this your real name?
Mr Eton Oldboys MP‏: Rob, would you care to reply to me in a non sarcastic manner, to a question related to the Tory Bias of the Marr Show.
Rob Burley: Yep, we're not biased. Our main interview was with Jeremy Corbyn. We have pro-Lab panellists all the time.
Mr Eton Oldboys MP‏: Thank you for engaging with Mr Oldboys I only tweet truth and facts which has attracted a very large audience by twitter standards 52K. Rob, I actually enjoy your show, and It helps with my Political Debates on twitter, could we have more questions on the £1.8tn Tory Debt?


Martin Hoscik: Only just seen today's show on catch-up, top and revealing interviews with Corbyn & Fox. Good end to the series!
Diane Claire: Except that Gisela Stuart & Toby Young prevented from responding to Anna Soubry's Brexit nonsense. Spoilt unusual 2 to 1 in favour of Leave.
Rob Burley‏: Sorry Diane - this was unfortunate. We ran out of time. I wish we hadn't and can see why you are annoyed. Apologies.


David Mills: When are you going to balance Seb Coe with Steve Ovett?
Rob Burley: Now there's a sofa chat.


Andy Shaw: How much time do these odd balls spend tweeting @RobBurl?? Most don't make sense. I'm by a pool on hols so have time to ask??? Bore off.
Rob Burley: Have a beer for me Andy!

Update: A bonus gem....

Anarchist_1968: What sort of respectable news program brings on Murdoch journalists like Hawke, who disseminates lies on a daily basis?
Rob Burley: Ethan Hawke isn't a "Murdoch journalist." He's a movie star
Rowena Kay: Is he thinking of Sun journalist Steve Hawkes?
Rob Burley: I don't know who he was thinking of Rowena.
    [Craig - Anarchist_1968's tweet was so ridiculously stupid I'll admit that I thought it was an obvious fake. Checking out his Twitter feed it turns out it wasn't. He really did tweet that in all earnestness. Seriously, who needs satirists any more?]


  1. I thought I could hear Burley screaming in Marr's ears today when the paper sofa panel said that Corbyn was going to do de-selections of 'moderate' MPs even though T. Blair himself once stepped in to keep Islington moderates from de-selecting Corbyn. As soon as Anna Soubry said there would soon be a civil war within the Labour party, with nods of agreement from the rest, Marr loudly announced the next topic, adding, "he said sternly."

    This has to be proof that these complaints are getting to them. The instant any criticism of Corbyn surfaces, Marr shut it down. It's the producer's job to keep him on track, and I would be Burley was in his ear right at that moment.

    Is Marr getting death threats, I wonder?

  2. What a pathetic segment with Corbyn. The first two questions were fake. Everybody knows Corbyn accepts that Brexit means being out of the Single Market, and everybody knows he would like to have tariff-free access to the EU. Who doesn't want that? Then, everybody also knows that Labour officially accepts that there will be some limit on the freedom of movement. Even Diane Abbott has said that over and over. It's dishonest to act as if we're unclear on Corybn's position here.

    Marr went for a gotcha, though, about border controls. Actually, we saw this before. Corbyn dodged as before. The thing is, Marr's approach was deliberately designed not to get a straight answer from Corbyn, but to make him appear evasive. Marr knew exactly how vague to be with his questions, exactly how to nudge Corbyn into being evasive. Marr could have simply asked a straightforward question, like "Passport control at the borders, yes or no? Answer the question....answer the question...."

    But he didn't, because that would have been damaging to Corybn and Labour, while allowing Corbyn to be evasive is damaging - if only slightly - to Corbyn, but not Labour. Or maybe by not pushing him to hard, Marr was trying to avoid the weekly deluge of complaints. Then Corbyn got to have his cake and eat it too on Brexit and the EU.

    Will there be death threats over such anti-Corbyn bias?

    PS: Tony Benn wasn't exactly wrong about the EU.

  3. Aside from all that, great collection of Complaints From Both Sides, Craig.


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