Alas Poor Newt

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… 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… 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.

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14 Responses to Alas Poor Newt

  1. hoboroad says:

    I was wondering why he did not appear on this week’s show.

  2. This is all very coincidental! I was watching last week’s ‘the View’ and his little piece on it. I decided to ‘tweet’ him a very simple question:

    ‘Watched last week’s ‘the View’, Question; why aren’t you funny anymore?’

    Alas, I haven’t received a reply to that one yet but once I do I’ll let you all know what he says…

    Journos bemoaning the lot of their colleagues does nothing more than turn off the public to their ‘plight.’ Like you said, live by the sword, etc etc

    • I suppose he is an unconvential kinda journalist. By BBC standards. Quite possibly people were looking for an opportunity to show him the door.
      The most interesting part of the whole story might be the conversation between Newt and the man/woman who fired him.
      I see the Irish News are saying that they wont sack him for anything he says on a social networking site……which seems odd because that implies his job would always be safe …..but surely it would depend on what he tweeted.
      The thing is Facebook, Twitter etc is used as both an example of freedom AND an example of going too far.
      The key is POPULARITY.
      One popular person saying something is acceptable.
      An unpopular person saying the same thing gets sacked, fined, jailed.

  3. hoboroad says:

    He called the SDLP a bunch of c**** after they backed a motion calling for Gerry McGeough to be released from jail.

    • Thanks Hobo.
      This is the first time I have seen the words used.
      I think it does cross a line. ……for a journalist.
      A blogger could get away with this but anyone who considers themselves a journalist it looks like professional suicide.
      I have called the Alliance Party some pretty awful names (and I dont like THAT word) but I am a blogger…….and frankly a bit of a slabber.
      I have no serious pretension at being a journo.
      A journalist cant get away with that.
      A football journalist could not say that about Liverpool, Manchester United….not to mention Celtic or Rangers and hope to be employed asa guest panelist on Match of the Day.

      I frankly dont like Newton Emerson. He looks like a bit of a slabber who has done well for himself.
      An anti-journalist.
      Id certainly take the support of his peers with a pinch of salt. If they are offered his gig …they will take it.

      Frankly if any Match of the Day regular had said this about (say) Liverpool FC at the height of the Saurez affair, Liverpool would have complained and Id be surprised if MOTD would not take action.

  4. Mark. says:

    Newt obviously thought he was untouchable and could get away with saying almost anything . To call a political party ” a bunch of c???s “…. you just can’t get away with something like that . some of his peers are standing by their man …and that’s great to see , solidarity and all that but if Alex Kane or another Republican commentator called the uup /dup ” a shower of wan???s ” , would Newts peers be so quick with the freedom of speech angle .

    • The solidarity will be limited.
      But Newt comes across as very arrogant if he thought that there would be no consequence. Shades of Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand. But what surprises me is a total lack of remorse. He is hardly the victim that he wants to portray himself.
      It might actually work better if he showed a little humility.
      But Id be really curious to know if there was any other factor rather than one incident.
      Or if BBC felt they “owed” the SDLP and were anxious to show themselves “fair” and Newt was a sacrificial lamb.
      Id also be curious how Newt is viewed by his fellow journos.

      But a thought occurs. If a 43 year old journo took his wife to a restaurant and he overheard the waiter telling the chef that the couple were a pair of c**** would the 43 year old journo complain to management and what would be the fate of the waiter.
      Not sure a waiter can expect to hold down a job in those circumstances.

      • Mark. says:

        Exactly !! lets face it , if you call someone a cun? , you’re leaving that person in no doubt about you’re feelings towards them . If someone in work called me a cun? ( to my face ) …P45 time , they’d be gone ..

        Maybe Newt felt the SDLP are becoming a little too Republican for his liking . Or perhaps he just got out of bed on the wrong side that day . He has shown himself in the past to be an articulate witty guy with a good grasp of the english language who could get his point accross . Unfortunately for him , his choice of words last weekend has let himself down . He’s not a Chelsea footballer and so he really should man up and apologise .

      • Yes…….there might actually be two things here.
        For unionists including alleged “liberal unionists” like Newton Emerson, the SDLP are not supposed to act in the way that they did.
        Indeed last week Peter Robinson was complaining that Sinn Féin was paralysed by SDLP.
        In their own ways Newt and Robbo have told us that there is a SDLP revival of fortune. And they dont seem to like it very much.
        Of course I have been watching so-called liberal unionists for a very long time and they ultimately fail.
        Presumably in using this term about SDLP Newt would have an even worse one about Sinn Féin.
        According to the impeccable source Wikipedia, Emerson describes HIMSELF as a “liberal unionist” but even allowing for the fact that he made these comments in the context of a single decision in Dungannon, then he has surely forfeited that description.

  5. sammymcnally says:

    The previous week I notcied something he said as quite politically risque(cant recall what it was) but remember thinking he was pushing at the acceptability boundary – clearly he has left that boundary far behind.

    Personally quite liked Newt, refrshing to hear someone speaking irreverently of the great and the good. He should have beeen allowed to apologise and move on.(If he were a politican then he would have to go.)

    .. but what this issue illustrates is that most Unionists, and even those who describe themselves as ‘liberal’ Unionists, have yet come to terms with the fact that the ‘terrorists'(as they see it) are now inside the Ulster political tent.

  6. sammymcnally says:

    … I have ye taped me buckoo.

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