Sunday 14 January 2018

"Perhaps they deserve each other"

The BBC's omnipresent Media Editor Amol Rajan (does he ever sleep?) has just written a piece for The New Statesman about Michael Wolff and his book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Amol describes Mr Wolff as a "scumbag" and says that his book is, in part, "fake news", though he did find it "riveting". The piece ends, ever so impartially, like this:


  1. One of the many annoying things about the overpaid, over-promoted failed editor Amol Rajan is that he is a rubbish writer.

    I just read the article referenced. He states "Wolff sat in a funk with a face like a slapped badger"...What is that supposed to mean? A funk? He was scared? Or he smelling badly? Or does he mean he sat in a sulk? Further, I have never heard the phrase "with a face like a slapped badger" and it conveys nothing (I imagine a slapped badger's face looks much like an unslapped one). He may be thinking about the insult applied to women by unkind men ("a face like a badger's arse") but if so, he's misremembered.

    His phrasing is so awkward and doesn't follow through on imagery. He states:

    "Some journalists thrive through a permanent stance of opposition and hatred towards their subject matter. "

    We know what he means here but you don't "thrive" through "stances" and how many journalists have only a single subject matter in any case? It would for instance be much better to have written "Some journalists thrive on a permanent diet of opposition and hatred towards their chosen subjects. "

    Later he talks about Trump "spewing insults towards" Wolff. Another odd formation. We normally talk about people spitting (out) insults...which suggests the voluntary nature of the act. Turning this into "spewing" with its association with an involuntary act makes no sense. He only did it because he thought it provided ironic balance for his description of Wolff as his "bilious biographer". But that balance is not very good since it makes you think Wolff is feeling nauseous (since the reference to spewing puts that in your mind) rather than being bad tempered.

    Something else occurs to be me though. Amol was employed by Evgeny Lebedev and the occasion at which he met Wolff was in held in honour of Lebedev. A very expensive one, I am sure.

    According to Wikipedia: "Lebedev was born in Moscow, he's the son of Alexander Lebedev and his then wife Natalia. He moved to London at the age of eight, when his father began working for the KGB. His father was in the First Chief Directorate of the KGB, where he worked until 1992. In London, he had the diplomatic cover of an economic attaché" Amol's boss began acquiring newspapers (starting with the Evening Standard in 2009) with his KGB ather, please note.

    Now, it is Wolff who is making great play of Trump's alleged Russian contacts and compromise by the Russian Government. But perhaps Amol has reason not to be too keen on that angle given his own Russian connection and maybe this is why, for a liberal-lefty, he gives Wolff - potential slayer of the Trump Dragon - such a rough ride?

  2. So Amol is writing out of the environment of the BBC
    and suddenly his article is different from normal BBC pieces which sneer continually at Trump.

    And MB's argument is that Amol is sympathetic towards Putin, so lays into the Trump basher.


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