Seemingly the latest victim of Tinternet is Newton Emerson. Something he said on Facebook apparently. SDLP reported it to the BBC where he has a regular Freelance gig….and the Beeb sacked him.
There wasa time when Newton Emerson was a kinda enfant terrible…..an anti-journalist who ran a satirical webthingy called The Portadown News. How we laughed.
Nowadays Newt is a fully paid up liberal unionist/lets get alongerist. On the rare occasions I buy the Irish News, he is writing in it. I dunno what he said on Facebook but seemingly he took Andrew Mitchell-style verbage at a Dungannon Council resolution to support unrepentant IRA prisoner, Gerry McGeough. Seemingly SDLP vote on the issue did not follow Newton Emerson’s conscience.
That seems to be a problem for “letsgetalongerist” journalists recently. The SDLP is not following their script.
Basically Newton Emerson is far too old to be the enfant terrible and far too young to bea smart-arse liberated old geezer like…..me. But I daresay that with about two decades of journalism behind him, Emerson has rubbed several people up the wrong way. I suppose that can be said of most journos. I daresay there is…..History.
So the SDLP makes a complaint andNewton loses his freelance gig on The View, BBCs flagship current affairs programme……a flagship which appears to be sinking. But lets make this clear the SDLP did not sack Emerson. The BBC sacked him. And over what seems a trivial offence…now thats odd. And Id guess that just maybe there was more to it.
Last week, SDLP (and UUP) were not included in a Spotlight Panel Discussion. The narrative is DUP-SF-Alliance. Certainly SDLP might have cause for complaint. And maybe several causes for complaint. And the best reaction of BBC might be to do nothing……then sack a freelance. It gets SDLP off their backs for a while.
The reaction of local journalists is “Shame on BBC…poor Newt”. But rather like watching football managers complain that somebody has been sacked. “He did not deserve it”, the same managers will happily apply for the sacked managers job.
So let it be with Newton Emerson. There are too many journalists and too few pay cheques. Sympathy with Newt wont extend to Solidarity with Newt….is any journalist who “supports” him going to go so far as to turn down BBC gigs. No…..I dont think so either.
Newton himself seems to think the problem is social media…..what can and cant be said. That people are too censorious. I dont have sympathy. Sorry Newt….you made your name on Tinternet. Live by the sword…….and all that.
Yet popular people can get away with just about anything. Unpopular people (Ashley Cole for example) cant. Newton Emerson’s biggest mistake was thinking he is popular.