Nick Robinson's poltical blog
January 8, 2006 3:55 AM   Subscribe

Nick Robinson, the BBC's political editor, now has a weblog.
posted by nthdegx (33 comments total)

 
Wow.
posted by fixedgear at 3:58 AM on January 8, 2006


Rad.
posted by slater at 4:08 AM on January 8, 2006


Andre the Giant, late pro wrestler, now has a .... oh, forget it.
posted by horsemuth at 4:36 AM on January 8, 2006


Doesn't everybody these days?
posted by alumshubby at 4:42 AM on January 8, 2006


Is it too late to throw a party?
posted by NinjaPirate at 5:00 AM on January 8, 2006


Hasn't he had one for a while now?
posted by moonbird at 5:05 AM on January 8, 2006


Yeah, I think this is it
posted by Navek Rednam at 5:17 AM on January 8, 2006


Right right right. Point taken; but; *if* it isn't signficant that the BBC are finally taking their own presentation of weblogs seriously, and if it isn't significant that they are persuading their topflight staff to use weblogs; then I have to say it *is* signficant that one of the world's best journalists is presenting a more informal, insightful look at UK politics; if not to people used to a Punch & Judy no-substance coverage. It's significant when anyone that can a) really write and b) offer true insight embraces the web, because such weblogs are in very very short supply.
posted by nthdegx at 5:20 AM on January 8, 2006


The interesting part is that the blog has comments which means that the bbc will be engaging in a two way process with regards to political news.

Given how that tends to blow up rather badly in the world of American politics I wonder how it will work out in the UK.

It was interesting to read the reflection on Kennedy and the media and then to read the comments. I wonder how long the signal to noise ratio will hold or how much work it is for the moderator if there is one?
posted by srboisvert at 5:29 AM on January 8, 2006


This is a really good blog; thanks.
posted by Marquis at 5:39 AM on January 8, 2006


Wow, that Charles Kennedy thing is too bad. Hee hee!

Sorry, I know it's tragic and awful and the news should have come out sooner, but I can't help feeling a little glee. It's a political problem not housed in that den of a thousand political problems, aka the U.S., where unfortunately I live. I imagine the Brits chuckle to themselves every time Bush say something stupid -- as I would be, if I wasn't crying.
posted by JHarris at 5:46 AM on January 8, 2006


in other news, my left nut now has a blog...
posted by Eekacat at 6:51 AM on January 8, 2006


what's a weblog again?
posted by AspectRatio at 6:59 AM on January 8, 2006


My favourite weblog on 112th & Broadway closed last week.
posted by Mikey-San at 7:37 AM on January 8, 2006


Number of snarkers so far with less than 10 FPPs: 7

You all talk the talk.
posted by srboisvert at 8:07 AM on January 8, 2006


Oh yeah, the analysis-slapdown from srboisvert! Andre the Giant would be proud.

Funnily enough, I walked past Nick Robinson yesterday in Westminster, getting into and being driven off in a big old Merc. Round the corner from Liberal Party offices presumably.

He's not a patch on the beeb's previous political editor, Andrew Marr. And very much right of wing, FY'allI...
posted by klaatu at 8:13 AM on January 8, 2006


And the picture on his blog makes him look a bit like Doomlord.
posted by klaatu at 8:15 AM on January 8, 2006


You all talk the talk.
Well, qui tacet consentire videtur. This is a significant event in terms of massive media organizations embracing the casual web and the BBC has recently been at the forefront of the movement. Thanks nthdegx.
posted by Firas at 8:39 AM on January 8, 2006


If Nick Robinson was one of the "world's best journalists", then why didn't he run a story on Kennedy's alcoholism?

As far as I can see, he's just another Westminster hack.
posted by the cuban at 9:10 AM on January 8, 2006


As far as I can see

Which apparently isn't very far since the current post on the weblog is an explanation of why he didn't run the story. It is both longer, more considered, and more reflective than your seemingly instant hack analysis.
posted by srboisvert at 9:23 AM on January 8, 2006


And very much right of wing, FY'allI...

For certain values of "very much". His personal politics lean to the right but he is hardly an ideologue and his reporting is even handed (as you would hope from the BBC's political editor.) You only had to watch ITV's election coverage to see this. He was the obvious choice to succeed Marr at the BBC and I'm glad he did.
posted by ninebelow at 9:48 AM on January 8, 2006


Number of snarkers so far with less than 10 FPPs: 7
You all talk the talk.


And, comparing our profiles, I've been on MeFi more than a year longer than you have, srboisvert. Now what?
posted by slater at 10:01 AM on January 8, 2006


Kennedy's problem has been well known in his constituency for a long time. Nationally, Private Eye has alluded to it several times, yet Nick Robinson chooses to take the denial of Kennedy's aides at face value.

Hardly the mark of one of the world's best journalists.

From Robinson's blog -

I took the view that until and unless he failed to perform his public duties properly... this would remain just Westminster chatter.


Kennedy failed to attend several key meetings last year, missed the budget debate of 2004 and made a famously confused TV appearance during the 2005 election campaign where he forgot his party's tax policy.

If that isnt failing to perform his duties, then what is?
posted by the cuban at 10:02 AM on January 8, 2006


Robinson admits he knew, but chose not to tell - in effect we have a journalist willing to collude in lies. Very confidence inspiring.
posted by A189Nut at 10:09 AM on January 8, 2006


Well, what he actually said was that due to the lack of proof or verification from another source they wouldn't run the story. Remeber the Hutton report? The BBC have been on egg shells ever since and yet will continue to find themselves damned if they do and damned if they don't.
posted by chill at 11:05 AM on January 8, 2006


Which is not the same as saying that he did not know.
posted by A189Nut at 11:35 AM on January 8, 2006


lack of proof or verification from another source

"I knew that Mr Kennedy sometimes drank more than he should. I could see that for myself and I heard it from those who worked closely with him."
posted by Navek Rednam at 11:51 AM on January 8, 2006


A189Nut, am I reading an entirely different blog entry to you? How is this collusion in lies?
posted by ninebelow at 12:01 PM on January 8, 2006


"I knew that Mr Kennedy sometimes drank more than he should. I could see that for myself and I heard it from those who worked closely with him."
How is the common knowledge that he drinks a lot proof that he has had treatment for alcoholism?
posted by chill at 2:29 PM on January 8, 2006


"There is a big, big difference between knowing that Charles Kennedy drank a lot and knowing that he had a drink problem and was undergoing treatment - I knew the first but certainly did not know the second."
posted by cillit bang at 6:39 PM on January 8, 2006


His personal politics lean to the right

He was chairman of the Young Conservatives at Oxford. That suggests some pretty significant right-leaning.

Robinson isn't a bad journalist because he failed to expose Kennedy's drinking - the euphemistic "concerns over his health" was widely used by many journalists, as is the case with many open secrets that aren't reported for a wide variety of reasons (quite often defensibly so).

No, Robinson's a bad journalist because his analysis sucks and his reports are staggeringly free of informative content. But yes, it's good that he has a blog and that the BBC aren't just resting on their web laurels. In fact, his writing on the blog is about ten times better than anything I've ever seen him deliver on TV.

Also, he has stupid glasses.
posted by flashboy at 7:18 PM on January 8, 2006


Agreed with flashboy. At least that he is certainly not a bad journalist because he hasn't "exposed" Kennedy's problems (that have been very well known). I can't see why outing the personal problem of a human being (and a problem that very well might get worse with public media attention) should be the hallmark of a good journalist.

If somebody like Robinson in the US would choose not to expose real evidence that GWB is drinking and doing drugs again I think that would be bad journalism. But Charles Kennedy? He's not a world leader in charge of massive firepower and influence, he's just a troubled soul in charge of UK's third party. Let the party deal with it and the guy get better.
posted by keijo at 1:47 AM on January 9, 2006


Well, if it wasn't for ITV News planning to do an expose on him on that night's news, Kennedy might never have admitted to having a problem.

"Mr Kennedy is believed to have called a press conference to admit his drink problem "within an hour" of being confronted with detailed allegations by reporters." - BBC

And the reporters would never had confirmation if the party members calling for his dimissal hadn't let the cat out of the bag.
posted by Navek Rednam at 5:24 AM on January 9, 2006


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