Monday 2 May 2016

Shorter Hadley Freeman: “Shut Up, You Hideous Bigoted Old People!”

I am an older and quite well-known person about to be interviewed for a national newspaper. Any tips?
An Older Person, Celebrityland
Oh, my dear Older Person. When I look at you, I see not a dignified soul striding off to attend to one’s media requirements but a helpless young babe in the wood, rucksack on your back, skipping straight into the mouth of the lion.
Wow! That’s not at all patronising, is it?
Here’s how it works now: a famous older person goes off to give a talk or an interview. They are either encouraged to give their views on transgender people or do so of their own accord. Their slightly outdated views are then gleefully published everywhere by newspapers so as to encourage people to tweet and Facebook their outrage, ideally with links to the article, thus generating more readers.
And who has encouraged this sort of mob mentality, Hadley? Could it possibly be you and your SJW chums, gleefully sneering and shouting down anyone who holds an opinion not in accordance with yours?
Anyway, what can you, famous older person, do about it? Fortunately for you, I have compiled a small map to guide you through this minefield. Just ask yourself the following questions and go to the appropriate answers. Good luck, gentle soul.
1. Do you want to talk about trans rights in an interview? (a) What are trans rights? (Go to 5) (b) Actually, I have some very interesting thoughts on this subject that I’d like to share. (Go to 2)
2. Do you think men are men and women are women and no fancy political correctness can change that? (a) Obviously. (Go to 5) (b) Actually, my gay nephew Owen was explaining to me just last week that it’s a little more complicated than that. (Go to 3)
3. Do you plan to make frequent references to genitalia in your argument? (a) Well, of course. (Go to 5) (b) In public company? Certainly not. (Go to 4)
4. Speaking truth to power and all that, but do you fancy spending the next month being yelled at by millions of people online and the rest of your life answering questions about this in interviews? (a) God, no. (Go to 5) (b) Why would people yell at me? (Go to 5)
5. Do not talk about trans rights in an interview.
So basically if you don’t share the ‘Guardian’ view of any subject, you should cease to talk about it entirely?


Tim Almond said...

To be fair (and Ms Freeman is one of the better Guardian writers), her point is about how the media are throwing this at interviewees just to get a quote and lots of traffic, and basically, best to stay off it.

Anonymous said...

I suppose that, at 57, I am an old person. My take on the whole thing is that people's sexuality and sexual tastes are nobody's business but their own plus anyone that they wish to share sexual experiences with. If all of us just enjoy our own sexuality and leave everyone else to enjoy theirs then there will be few problems. If you have unusual tastes, I don't care, just don't be constantly pushing your unusual tastes in everyone else's face, leave the vanilla people to enjoy their sexuality as well. Is that opinion outdated enough?


Longrider said...

Anon has it.

I'm also inclined to agree with The Stigler. Talking to the press is always a bad idea. Even if what you say is innocuous,it will get twisted out of all proportion and you will be hounded out of your job, your life made a misery and you will be expected to conduct a Soviet style confession and apology. Never mind that you didn't say what they say you said...

So, actually, saying nothing is very wise advice.

Fahrenheit211 said...

As a former photojournalist and court reporter, I'd say that people should be careful when speaking to journos especially if they are from a hostile newspaper such as the Guardian.

I'd strongly advise people that if they do speak to journalists that they record the conversation if they can on their smartphone or other device, just to make sure that nothing is being misquoted. Try not to leave or give the reporter any 'hostage to fortune' soundbites as they may come back and bite you later on.

There's not much you can do to stop the publication putting their spin on things, that's just part of life, but a contemporaneous note helps if there is a dispute about what was said and in what context.

Not every reporter is a gutter dwelling slimeball, (or maybe not even a gutter dwelling slimeball all the time) but in any profession you will have such people, I'd rather have a free press with the occasional gutter dwelling slimeball working in it than the sort of neutered Soviet style press favoured by the likes of Hacked Off.

Generally it's a good idea not to say anything to a journo but sometimes speaking toa journo is unavoidable or may be necessary for the job/cause that you are involved in.

And now for the advertisment break.....

If you want to hear as well as read Fahrenheit211 talking about the nation's current problems with Bearded Savagery, then you can by tuning into the online radio show Pegida UK Radio/Red Fox Radio on Wednesday evening at 7:00pm BST. You'll find this on the Blog Talk Radio platform.

drsolly said...

Dear older person,

When any media asks you for an interview, your first question should be about the fee. When they explain that there is no fee, only "exposure", you can politely decline to bolster their income using your valuable time.

Anonymous said...

The cultural revolution won't last forever.

RAB said...

Well for myself, I couldn't give a fuck what sex you are or want to be, who you have it with, or how many at a time, just stop boring the rest of us to death with your sexuality. Because if your sex is all you have in this life, you are missing the point of life. Sex, they say is 99% in the mind. Just make up your mind and get on with it.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

"just stop boring the rest of us to death with your sexuality"

"just don't be constantly pushing your unusual tastes in everyone else's face"

Yup, that's about it.

Anonymous said...

It isn't just the sexuality.
Old people can remember whet England used to be. And it wasn't a nation of immigrants. There was free speech and free association. Schools were for learning not indoctrination. The police were for law and order.
Many of use remember beating off the last aggressive would be immigrants with guns. Now they come with lawyers and politicians.

Red Admiral said...

From "Loot" I think: "I must warn you that anything you say will be taken down, twisted round, altered and used to get a conviction".

JuliaM said...

"...her point is about how the media are throwing this at interviewees just to get a quote and lots of traffic,..."

Because her paper never does this...?

" If you have unusual tastes, I don't care..."

Most people don't. All I care is that you not be a hypocrite about it.

"So, actually, saying nothing is very wise advice."

Something I bore in mind when I Tweeted about a road accident I witnessed (so others could avoid the area) and was promptly contacted by local and national newspapers for a quote.

"Not every reporter is a gutter dwelling slimeball..."

Indeed! It's the 99% that give the rest a bad name... ;)

"Because if your sex is all you have in this life, you are missing the point of life. "

Sex might not be the point of life. But procreation is.