Sunday 18 February 2018

"Whatever else it is it's a sad, sad story for him"

There was a striking statement from Andrew Marr this morning, during his run-through of the newspaper front pages:
And finally the Mail on Sunday, the interview there with Jo Cox's widower - a very sad story actually, given what that man has gone through. Whatever else it is it's a sad, sad story for him. 
That echoes what he said last week, when he again called it "a sad story".

This was followed by an even more striking gesture: His paper review chose not to discuss the Mail on Sunday story.

Brendan Cox has been interviewed twice by The Andrew Marr Show. I suspect that Andrew & Co. have developed protective feelings towards him and that they would say that they were just being "nice and friendly and human" by drawing a veil of sympathy over his fall from grace. 

Martine Croxall

Last night's The Papers on the BBC News Channel, presented by Martine Croxall, were also notable for their treatment of this story. They did discuss it. In the first paper review, Martine began by saying, "Oh right. Here we go. Mail on Sunday", looking and sounding as if she was talking about this story with a heavy heart. And in the second paper review, she said, "Let's start with the Mail on Sunday, and Brendan Cox" and then she sighed. Both times she immediately took issue with the Mail on Sunday:
Oh right. Here we go. Mail on Sunday. '"Yes, I was a sex pest" confesses Jo Cox's husband'. This is Brendan Cox, "sensationally admitting"...This is not quite what he admitted if we read the quotes...
Let's start with the Mail on Sunday, and Brendan Cox. (Sighs). We have to take issue though, straightaway, with the headline. "Yes, I was a sex pest, confesses Jo Cox's husband". He didn't say that in this article.
She also said that of Brendan Cox's the phrase "years later" to describe now as compared to then - when the alleged incidents took place - even though they are alleged to have occurred in 2015 (2-3 years ago), and read out in full the Jo Cox Foundation's tribute to Brendan before saying, "So he's taking a step back because he does not want this [the 'inappropriate behaviour'] to get in the way of all of that [the Jo Cox Foundation's good work]".

I don't doubt that she was trying to be 'nice and friendly and human' too towards someone she feels sympathetic towards.

Of course, as you'll know, plenty of others feel very little sympathy for Brendan Cox. You only have to read the comments under the Mail on Sunday article to know that.

And the criticisms of Andrew Marr and his editor are already coming in, some measured in tone -
Hi @RobBurl I’m curious to know why #marr felt the need to express sympathy for Brendan Cox considering he’s only got himself to blame. No one else.
Thought @RobBurl perhaps it cld be useful to suggest to editor of @newswatchbbc to interview the editor of #Marr about when why and how stories are selected to be covered or not on newspaper reviews (for legit editorial or legal reasons doubtless) but just help deflect critics. [Ed - For those who don't already know, Rob Burley is also the editor of BBC Newswatch!]
- others less so:
Defender of sexual abuse, and you’re the editor! Shame on you!  #partofthecoverup
Rob is yet to reply.

Update: Rob has replied:

"We don't dictate to the reviewers which stories they must do. They chose".

That's fair enough, and answers that charge:
MrMacphisto #JRM4PM: He’s admitted it and resigned since last weekend, which I think is newsworthy. Or am I missing something? Tony Young treatment was rather different I recall.
Rob Burley: It was in the news and we reported the front page. The reviewers didn't chose the story. That's it.
And one of the paper reviewers, the Sunday Express's Camilla Tominey, has backed Rob up:
As a reviewer I can confirm we didn't choose it - we felt it had been done last week and that there were other stories more relevant to the public. 
As to Mr. Marr's overt expressions of sympathy for Brendan Cox, it will be interesting to read Rob's take on that too.

Further Update: Actually, Andrew Marr himself has saved Rob the need and responded first:

It's admirable that Andrew has responded to viewers' concerns (just like his editor), though it must be said that the comments (in response to his response) could be going a lot better for him (e.g. '"Sorry if taken the wrong way"= it's your fault for not understanding. Unbelievable' and 'Still no condemnation of his behaviour!').

Further Further Update: On things go...


  1. “be useful to suggest to editor of @newswatchbbc to interview the editor of #Marr about when why and how stories are selected to be covered or not on newspaper reviews”

    Played, that person.

    Likely something to do with time, space and integrity. But may also take a while to be exempted from answering.

    Unless the question is posed by Lord Adonis.

  2. As always ideology determines who is allocated victim status and to what degree.

    Compare and contrast victims of Grenfell Tower - whose story has been told and re-told and told again and will be told and re-told for many years to come - with the hundreds of British victims of the 9-11 attacks who got and get very little if any mention. Despite 9-11 being the worst loss of life of UK citizens in a single terror attack, it is always described by the BBC as something that happened to Americans.

    Personally I am pleased that Cox has been blown off his preachy perch by this scandal. He was an insufferable virtue signaller, looking to extinguish free speech in the name of PC-approved "diversity". We can have sympathy for him as a family man robbed of his wife by a vile murderer but it is shameful the way the media, led by the BBC, have used that sympathy to advance political policies (no borders, PC multiculturalism) that will be the death of us.

  3. A poster at Biased BBC states the BBC website headline is/was ‘Murdered MP’s widower quits charities’. Isn't that pathetic? Anyone not knowing the story would assume the resignation was as a result of great sorrow and heartache following the murder of his wife.


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