Guardian Savaged By Blog Comments

Guardian Savaged By Blog Comments

We’ve been passed over a link (thanks Mike) to a travel piece published today on the Guardian Web site.

The article — the first blog post of a 19 year old student, Max Gogarty, in his gap year, who ‘just happened’ to be the son of the travel editor freelance travel writer, Paul Gogarty — itself isn’t the main source of interest, but the masses of comments that followed it that are.

Clearly commenters are keen to share the love on this, Valentines day.

We’ve never seen a more vitriolic and frankly funny collection of comments – Nick Denton and his closed circle of Gawker commenters are going to be choking on their frappuccinos when they read these and realise how lame their supposedly sharp comments are by comparison.

Within about five hours the article publishing, the “oh, we’re so open and _love_ users comments” Guardian took the decision to close the comments, citing

As we are increasingly having to take down vicious personal abuse directed against the writer, in open contravention of the community standards, this discussion will shortly close. But thanks for the suggestions that we did receive, and for your criticisms, which have been noted.

saxonwhittle summed up a lot of the comments with

Oh God, please spare us from poor little middle-class children trying to tout themselves on Daddy’s/Mummy’s newspaper, so they can follow in their parent’s footsteps.

LynW has a great point

Last week the Graun (Gaurdian) was scandalised about an MP putting his kids on his payroll and giving them a massive foot-up in his profession (politics). This week, it allows one of its journalists to give his son a column to subsidise a trip to India and give him a massive leg-up in his profession (journalism). And it’s rubbish. Although you’d expect that. CiF writers are always banging on about how nepotism keeps out poor, hard working and talented people. Until it comes to their own kids, of course.

Other gems are comments such as Cassle‘s

In the same way that children who are caught smoking are made to smoke a whole packet to teach them a lesson, the Guardian should be made to go through with this, in the hope that it learns its own lesson. I suggest that the Guardian be required to publish:

1) a daily blog by Max, for the rest of his natural life

2) daily blogs by all his children thereafter

3) annual compilations (in hardback) of the best of Max’s entries, together with the best of the comments, in time for the Christmas market

This should continue until Alan Rusbridger personally admits that his editorial team are lazy talentless nepotists, and promises never to allow this to happen again.

Msay has an amusing, barbed poke too

I once went to my Dad’s place of work, and he let me do some of it for a few weeks. Unfortunately, my Dad was a Doctor, and a few people died, but aaaaanyway. Good luck Max, you’re quite cute, and I’d do you.
Have fun in Thailand, as when you return you’ll be the laughing stock of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Her Realms and Dominions Overseas.

There’s tons more great comment on there, but we’ll leave the final comment quote to thankyoumaskedman

You know something? Seeing the sheer level of vitriol directed at Max has given me something of a warm glow inside. When we all club together, it seems, we can hurl at him the kind of abuse he’ll never have encountered (yet thoroughly deserved) throughout his cosseted, mollycoddled public school existence.

Of course, there are some who’ll accuse us of having chips on our shoulders. Wow – what insight. You mean we’re all a little bit angry because some despicable chancer has obtained instantly the kind of opportunity and privilege that most of us have to work hard for, through no other factor than being a Barleyesque daddy’s boy? Well, blow me down. Any other revelations?

Summary
When the crowd moves against you, there’s no amount of knowledge of the press that’s going to save you from being savaged.

11 Responses to “Guardian Savaged By Blog Comments”

  1. on 14 Feb 2008 at 10:16 pm thankyoumaskedman UNITED KINGDOM

    You included my comment as a highlight? That warm glow just got brighter …

  2. on 15 Feb 2008 at 10:16 am Simon Perry UNITED KINGDOM

    thankyoumaskedman – High-quality comments deserve recognition.

    Love your site BTW.

  3. on 15 Feb 2008 at 1:11 pm ourman UNITED KINGDOM

    So what happens next?

    1. Whole thing pulled and travel editor gets a kicking from the boss
    2. They brazen it out and enjoy the high traffic generated from the ridicule
    3. They claim it was all a joke/viral marketing
    4. It is all a joke/viral marketing

    I wonder if we can find out what this little creep is getting paid.

  4. [...] Digital Lifestyles rightly said, “we’ve never seen a more vitriolic and frankly funny collection of comments”. Max’s Skins-writing, skinny-jean wearing gap year style was met with 475 lively responses [...]

  5. on 15 Feb 2008 at 10:16 pm The Virtual Ranger

    Scary, but somehow satisfying. Perhaps the scariest thing is that Daddyo saw fit to wheel junior out and leave him there, exposed in the middle of the internet.

    Anyone who has wasted much time on the social websites could have anticipated the risk of this kind of event: merciless; searing; exponential; incandescent with self-righteousness… oh no, it’s not new. And tomorrow it will be gone for most of us… but young Max will probably bear the scars for what might now be a very-slightly wiser life.

  6. [...] February, 2008 With apologies to Max Gogarty, medialand’s most short lived and most despised blogger – poor [...]

  7. on 16 Feb 2008 at 12:09 am stevarino - Free The Signal UNITED STATES

    [...] Gaurdian learns you can’t control the message on the internets. [...]

  8. on 18 Feb 2008 at 7:32 pm Daisy UNITED KINGDOM

    He wasn’t the son of the Guardian’s travel editor. Whatever you say about the rest of the story, at least get that basic fact right. He’s the son of a freelance travel writer who occasionally contributes to The Guardian.

  9. on 19 Feb 2008 at 9:42 am Simon Perry UNITED KINGDOM

    @Daisy – Yes, thanks for clearing that up. Piece adjusted.

  10. on 19 Feb 2008 at 10:48 am Neil UNITED KINGDOM

    Max actually seems to be the son of this man: http://www.paulgogartycommunications.co.uk

    Paul Gogarty is a public relations advisor in the travel industry. Check out these great quotes from his site:

    “Our personal contact with the leading newspapers, magazines and broadcast media virtually guarantees outstanding results.
    [...]
    Knowing the right people, however, isn’t enough to achieve success in travel PR. It is our unique understanding of the requirements of the media that enables PGC to develop and successfully pitch the most creative ideas.”

    and this one,

    “Knowing the right people is obviously key to getting your message across and building trust in your brand. The PGC contact book is priceless and to achieve unparalleled levels of success we use it to access the most important journalists and travel editors, providing them with story ideas we know will work.”

    [...]

    “And with our unbeatable contacts, we’re uniquely positioned to find the most productive outlets for our creative story lines. PGC also offers our clients experienced staff and realistic fees.”

    So, “knowing the right people”, a “priceless” contact book and “access” to “the most important journalists and travel editors”.

    The Guardian: another flat earth newspaper?

    Neil

  11. [...] Thinks They Can Do. Witness Max Gogarty, who started, citing the Sierra Leone proverb above, pretty bloody close to the top of the mountain and got savaged for it, justly or [...]