Matthew Norman: Beware of the Bangalore Express

It is the deepest instinct of those marooned in the darkest of dark days to search for the light at the end of the tunnel, and with help from The New York Times's Maureen Dowd, I believe I may just have found it.

Matthew Norman: Is this the end of the Fox-Palin affair?

This one, to borrow from the President-elect on the infinitely vexing question of when precisely human life begins, is above my pay grade. So I call on our revered professors of journalism to settle the matter as only they, in all their sonorous wisdom, can. It concerns our friends at Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News and a conundrum they faced.

Matthew Norman: Pugh, Pugh, Lyons, McGrew...

Diary

Matthew Norman: Crisis vanishes if you look in the Mirror

Not for the first time, it is both a pleasure and duty to congratulate the Daily Mirror on its news judgement. It is the first time, however, that the regular feature Daily Mirror Exclusive of the Week is promoted to the lead item, in tribute to last Wednesday’s splash.

Matthew Norman's Media Diary: Edmonds' last stand – or Nolly's folly?

It is the way of humanity to seek consolation in turbulent times, and of the silver linings visible within these blackest of economic rain clouds the most impressively hallmarked is the increased media presence of Irwin Stelzer. That bristly moustache is almost a fixture on comment pages of The Times and The Daily Telegraph and all over telly – and so it should be when you consider his track record as an economic and political analyst. The triumph of the neo-con movement, of which Irwin is a sprat in America but a whale this side of the pond, speaks for itself. As for his stout opposition to regulating financial markets this is triumphantly vindicated. So no wonder that media outlets adore a seer of seers whose gravitas devolves entirely from his track record, and not one iota from any closeness to his friend, former next-door neighbour and overlord beyond the seas Rupert Murdoch. Now there are those cynics and sneerers who regard Irwin as a slightly less comical version of Woodrow Wyatt – a parasitic useful idiot who runs such trivial errands for his master as passing on the order to Tony Blair to promise referendum on the euro, sends coded messages about Rupert's expectations through columns, and generally acts as the oil that keeps the relationship between News Corporation and our Government adequately greased. I find this portrayal of Irwin as consigliere to Rupert's don, Suslov to his Stalin or Terry McCann to his Arthur Daley most insulting. Whether stoutly defending Enron or lionising Sarah Palin, despite her ignorance of the Bush Doctrine that lies at the heat of his own neo-con philosophy, this is a titanic figure in his own right, and we look to those branches of the media that treasure his work to use him even more. We have much to learn.

Matthew Norman: Planet Marr's sketchy Big Bang slot

If there's one thing about the British media that perplexes me above all others, it's the lack of exposure enjoyed by Andrew Marr. Doubtless this is down to his own fiercely self-effacing nature, because often it feels as if he's slapped a D-Notice on himself, but it's simply nonsense when he has so much to offer. In the last few days alone, apart from his Sunday morning show on BBC1 (David Frost with a dead cool convertible Skoda) and Start The Week, Andy went to Switzerland for the Big Bang experiment, and it is testament to the man's range and breadth of interest that even the anticipated end of the planet couldn't monopolise that powerhouse mind.

Our thanks to the Today programme website for drawing attention to the little thumbnail sketches of the scientists Andy managed to churn out. For those whose appetite for his artistic output wasn't sated by this, he also features in an exhibition entitled What Are You Like? at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, in which he has drawn a few of his favourite things to offer an insight into his soul.

Matthew Norman's Media Diary: Simon Heffer's guide to sexism

A cross the entire range of the media orchestra, is there any more mellifluous a sound than the string-em-up section squealing about the vindictive brutality of the liberal left? I don't believe there is, judging by the symphony of synthetic outrage playing either side of the Atlantic about Sarah Palin. "There are few sights more bloodcurdling than the liberal pack in full cry," writes the Telegraph's Janet Daley – still wearing that dead animal as a hat in the byline photo. "The viciousness of the attacks ..." and so forth. Nimbly manoeuvring to fill the gap left vacant by Andrea Dworkin's demise, Janet sees the wicked hand of sexism in a fairly muted examination of someone who may soon be an aortal aneurism from leading the free world on one giant moose hunt in Iran.

Matthew Norman's Media Diary: Why the hounding of Glitter must stop

And so it goes on, this unutterably obscene danse macabre, as The Sun chases Gary Glitter across the country in what seems ever less mistakably a premeditated attempt to bring about his death by his own hand or that of a reader. "You Can Run But You Can't Hide" was one splash headline last week, which was an oddity given Rebekah Wade's obsession with the subject. You'd have thought she might be aware of something called the Sex Offenders Register, which makes hiding very difficult even for paedophiles whose photos aren't in The Sun every day, but apparently not.

Matthew Norman's Media Diary

So, Arthur Daley is back. Dolly good show!

Matthew Norman: Media Diary

Those who live in Gaunt houses...
Latest Video
Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Life and Style
Brave step: A live collection from Alexander McQueen whose internet show crashed because of high demand
fashionAs the collections start, Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Voices
Richard Attenborough, who died on 25 August, attends a film premiere
voicesThe atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
Life and Style
Bill recreates the Sicilian way of life with a sardine, cauliflower and fennel salad
food + drink
i Newspaper
 
TheIPaper
The Independent around the web
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel you sales role is li...

Head of Marketing (Online & Offline, Media, Digital, Strategy)

£85000 - £100000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing - Slough, Berkshi...

Administration Assistant / Office Assistant

£18 - 20k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An Administration Assistant / Office Assistan...

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution