Monday, September 24, 2007

Blog representative fudges it

Via Mike Power, I found a More4 video of Sunny Hundal discussing the Alisher Usmanov case. Mike says this...
The interviewer clearly had done little research and just presented the claims of the fat man and his henchmen as fact. Having said that the fairest thing I can say about Sunny's performance is that it was a missed opportunity.

Whilst I summon up my response to this, why don't you watch the video...

video

Mike calls Sunny's performance "a missed opportunity"; I feel that the word "abysmal" would describe it better. Sunny's performance is so poor, I feel that it even outranks Guido's Newsnight performance in sheer awfulness. Whilst Guido was being bullied, and constantly and deliberately wrong-footed by Michael White, all that Sunny had to do was to outline the problems that bloggers had around this area.

So, why was it so bad? Well, generally, Sunny seemed ill at ease with the whole situation and, bizarrely, with his grasp of the English language. He didn't seem to understand what the issues really were; a shocking omission given how many people have written about this situation in detail.

Now, on to the interview itself.
  1. Sunny firstly attacks the webhosts, Fasthosts, for taking down the sites "without any warning" and that "that made a lot of bloggers really angry". First, none of us with any knowledge have attacked Fasthosts; we cannot expect them to risk a massively expensive libel case for a fight that is not theirs. Most bloggers were not angry at Fasthosts: they were angry at Usmanov and his pet lawyers, Schillings.

    Second, we do not know whether Tim was given notice that they were going to pull his servers. As someone who runs dedicated servers myself, I find it very doubtful indeed that Tim was given no warning. But the point is that we just don't know what, precisely, went on.

    Verdict: wrong target and misinformation.

  2. When answering thinly-veiled accusations of bloggers being unaccountable smear-mongers, Sunny utterly misses a couple of quite crucial points. The first point is that the original allegations actually appeared in Craig Murray's book, Murder In Samarkand; Usmanov and Schillings did not take any action against that book.

    The second, and most crucial point that Sunny omitted, was that bloggers are not unregulated. We are subject to the same libel laws as any print media publication, and a few more.

    Verdict: he missed the point. Again.

  3. Again, and this time at the interviewer's invitation, Sunny lays into the webhosts, saying that their behaviour is "despicable" and that he hopes that it sends out a message that "they can't just take these websites down without any notice". To which I refer you to point 1 above.

    Verdict: wrong target and misinformation. Yet again

I know that it is probably beyond the wit of the media to find a blogger who knows what the fuck he is talking about, but this performance makes us all look like ill-informed Asperger's sufferers, no doubt reinforcing the idea, in the mind of the interviewer and audience, that all bloggers are four-eyed geeks with no ability to verbalise their ideas. In short, Sunny was piss-poor: believe me, I wish he had not been.

So, what should he have concentrated on? Well, the obvious thing is the issue that those of us with half a brain have actually been railing against: the British libel laws. So draconian are these laws that we are becoming the favoured destination for "libel tourists"; I outlined the reasons why that is so a few days ago (with thanks to Unity).

The second worthwhile thing to point out would have been that our libel laws essentially exist because we do not have a Constitution which, like the American one, guarantees free speech.

These are two very basic ideas which could have been outlined clearly and concisely and actually would have cut to the heart of the matter. Any half-way articulate blogger could have, for instance, asked other bloggers for an outline of these issues, and then gone on to the programme and made a real stir.

Unfortunately, the blogosphere was, for some unknown reason, represented by Sunny Hundal. And he fucked it up.

9 comments:

transfattyacid said...

Yep it was a very week performance

Guthrum said...

Did Usmanov pay him ? This was appalling

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. The man has absolutely no idea.

Ordovicius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ordovicius said...

I'm trying to string a sentence here together, can anyone help me? The words are:

"fuckwit", "brainless", "your", "out", "you", "take", "slaphead", "useless", "arse", "of" and another "your".

Thanks

-Sanddef

Neil Harding said...

Not Sunny's finest moment admittedly, but come on lads, he was on national TV - it can be pretty daunting. He was obviously very nervous. Yes, he messed up but maybe some of us wouldn't have been sure footed under such pressure.

Katy Newton said...

I agree with Neil; it takes an awful lot of practice before anyone becomes polished on TV.

Whilst he might have made more points than he did, I don't think it was unreasonable to focus attention on the webhosts. The fact is that they are more than happy to leave defamatory material up all over the web if the victim can't afford to threaten them with a libel action: viz. Rachel North's notorious cyberstalker, whose defamatory blogs smearing all sorts of people are still all over the internet despite numerous requests to Blogger to remove them. But let a disgruntled Russian businessman fire off a letter and they're taking down all sorts of stuff left right and centre without actually stopping to check that what they're taking down is defamatory and not just fair comment. The webhosts don't come out of this covered in glory by any means.

Sunny said...

First, none of us with any knowledge have attacked Fasthosts; we cannot expect them to risk a massively expensive libel case for a fight that is not theirs. Most bloggers were not angry at Fasthosts: they were angry at Usmanov and his pet lawyers, Schillings.

Oh dear... making a twat of yourself again DK.

http://b-heads.blogspot.com/2007/09/requesting-response-from-fasthosts.html

Even more amusingly, a blogger with Tourette's Syndrome has the audacity to claim:
no doubt reinforcing the idea, in the mind of the interviewer and audience, that all bloggers are four-eyed geeks with no ability to verbalise their ideas.

Or are they all like you? Little boys in pyjamas wanking off everytime they find the opportunity to lay into a pet hate and launching another expletive filled tirade...
I think not.

Devil's Kitchen said...

"Oh dear... making a twat of yourself again DK.

http://b-heads.blogspot.com/2007/09/requesting-response-from-fasthosts.html"


That was posted on the 25th, Sunny; a day after I wrote this post and a few days after you made such a fool of yourself.

This also doesn't change my contention that you utterly missed the major points here: a contention that you fail to address in your comment.

"Or are they all like you? Little boys in pyjamas wanking off everytime they find the opportunity to lay into a pet hate and launching another expletive filled tirade..."

Oh, Sunny, you do make me laugh: you really can't see the problem with what you've just said, can you?

As I have pointed out before, I swear here because that is what I enjoy doing; it is cathartic. In general, I don't swear at your place or, indeed, anyone else's.

Look, mate; I understand that you are embarrassed about your pathetic performance on national television: if it had been me, I would be deeply ashamed too. Don't worry about it, wee man; just pull your socks up and get it right the next time, eh?

Oh, and whilst I have provided an, admittedly, mildly sweary but detailed critique of where you went wrong, the best that you can come up insults about my age (I was born the same year as you) and my "wanking off" in pyjamas.

Oh, yes, I can see how much better you are than me now, you intellectual colossus, you...

Look, twatface, one of the reasons that I enjoy laying into you is because you are so very easy to beat in any kind of rational argument: I am a lazy man and pulling you apart is like shooting very big fish in a very small barrel.

Oh, and I also do it because I really dislike hypocrites. Would you like an illustration of your hypocrisy? Oh, hang on...

"It is the nearest you’ll get to car-crash TV, as Brownie on HP also points out. Guido, or Paul Staines, makes some good points but gets completely slaughtered in the discussion. It’s fun watching again and again."

Sunny, you might be happy to know that I have watched your own little bit of "car-crash TV" many times because it's fun watching you get "completely slaughtered" again and again...

Anyway, you run along and have a nice day now, y'hear...

DK