Fraser Nelson

Who kicked who?

Who kicked who?
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The Peev v Carlson clash (watch it here) is fast mutating into a debate between the merits of UK and US journalism. And another issue - who gave who a kicking? Most US bloggers see this as a clear victory for Tucker who put the Brits in his place with his cutting put-down. It must be one of those optical illusion pictures that could be an old or young women, depending on your brain, because I fairly clearly saw Peev putting Carlson in his place. 

My favourite points from this debate: Iain Martin says the Americans consider journalism a profession but in the UK, it’s a more of a trade – “rumbustious, cheekier, a little more inquisitive and wary of the powerful”. A superb piece by Glen Greenwald at Salon.com says when Tucker tried to knock down Peev he “unintentionally revealed the role of the American press”. The Center for Citizen Media says Carlson revealed a “solid, if repetitive, analysis of U.S. journalists' often-pathetic deference to power.” 

I’d make another point. If the US press really was much better quality than the UK press, as Carlson piously suggested, why are our per capita newspaper sales about four times higher? Things are tough here for newspapers but The Sun, Mail and News of the World all sell more than USA Today’s 2.3m – and the UK market is a fifth of the size.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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