It’s not Jonnie Marbles who makes the news
By now a debate will be raging about the consequences of Jonnie Marble’s ‘action’ during the Media, Culture and Sport select committee hearings today.
If you missed it – maybe you were unconscious or something – Jonnie Marbles (allegedly a comedian) ‘pied’ Rupert Murdoch during the proceedings. When I say ‘pied’, he appears to have thrown a paper plate of shaving foam at the media mogul. This interrupted the questioning of Murdoch and his son, James.
Many are angrily denouncing Marbles, accusing of him of offering a distraction from the Murdochs’ apparent ‘wilful blindness’ about what was going on in their corporation.
But why should Marbles’s stunt distract from the substance of the day? Why should the news agenda be lead by a stunt by a little-known entertainer? Is the daily news agenda some sort of force of nature? Is it beyond human intervention?
News is a social construction, produced by organisations, peopled by editors and journalists.
Despite the apparent ignorance of the personnel at the centre of the phone hacking scandal – all seem to plead that they had no idea about what was going on during their watch – the news, and what appears in it, is the responsibility of individuals and institutions.
So, if you wake up tomorrow to newspapers and programmes that lead with Jonnie Marbles’s shenanigans and not with the evasiveness of the Murdochs, then that says more about the depressing stupidity and corruption of news organisations than the stupidity of Jonnie Marbles.