Andrew Collins and Morrissey

Danny_

Forgot my login!
The old Morrissey vs the NME spat has reared it's head over at his website.

A couple of days ago The Guardian wrote an article about comedians trying to offend. One of their targets was Richard herring who takes on the persona of a racist in his act in order to make anti-racist points. (though not anywhere near as well as his old mate Stewart Lee)

Andrew sprang to his mates defence in his blog saying how terrible it was that The Guardian misrepresented him. Personally I don't think Richard came across in the article as a racist at all so it's all a storm in a teacup. But, a lot of people on Andrew's site have pointed out "hang on, that's what you did to Morrissey!". Of course, Andrew has trotted out the old line of "We never said he was a racist, we just asked some questions", but so far he doesn't seem to be convincing anyone. :D

My view is that Andrew Collins is just a bit thick and goes along with what his cleverer friends say and do, he doesn't seem to have any recognition of the slight hypocrisy of his position.
 

lainey

Active Member
there's more, part of his response.
In 2009, Morrissey, a well respected singer with a growing reputation and following, who'd been performing his music for 20 years, but had not been on television in a meaningful way since the 1990s, was interviewed by the NME for a broader feature about offensiveness in music. He was happy to be interviewed, as he was about to go on tour and release a new album that actually address the subject of racism and the Hitler moustache, while explicitly stating that he was anti-racist and anti-Hitler. The writer of the feature had not seen the previews of this tour, nor heard the album, and suggested that, in fact, the album supported racism, the very opposite of the truth. The paper used the cover of the album to illustrate the piece. The writer used various quotes from the interview to support his theory. The feature appeared not as an NME cover story, but as part of a larger collection of themed articles in a small supplement tucked inside the NME.

Now, I think we can move on. (I feel sensitive about the comparison as, clearly, I was involved in the original 1992 one, and have never been shy of talking about it, and putting it into context. But the implication was that I was in some way being hypocritical in being angry about Richard's treatment by the Guardian when, hey, I'd done exactly the same thing to Morrissey in 1992. Had I personally interviewed Morrissey and, in my piece, misrepresented a Morrissey album about race that I had not heard, then I would indeed be a hypocrite. I hope the literal comparison above helps to dispel that misconception.)

http://www.wherediditallgoright.com/BLOG/
 

lainey

Active Member
what a nob, another response....

I actually think Morrissey's crime was to bait people by cloaking his potentially inflammatory actions and words in mystery. By not responding to our questions in the offending issue of the NME, he wasted a golden opportunity.

He's probably no more right wing than any other Daily Mail reader. Not a "fascist", but then we never called him one. He is a very intelligent man, and he knew full well he had influence over thousands of young fans, and knew exactly what he was doing with the flag and the skinheads. Richard is not claiming "irony" - he is actually going out of his way to address the issues of racism in a written, rehearsed one-hour show. There is no mystique about it.

Wed Jul 29, 12:34:00 PM



For you, I have changed the line that you don't like in the blog entry. I hope it now meets your fact-checking approval - I am nothing if not thorough when it comes to editing, and that's the nature of one-click publishing.

I justify the NME coverage of the Morrissey gig on the grounds that it was newsworthy, and Dele Fadele, who wrote the central, personal piece in our coverage, felt very uncomfortable about the whole thing. He was a respected freelance writer of long-standing NME service, and his passionate response was, I hope you'll agree, nonetheless measured and calm. His approach and that of Brian Logan's are simply not comparable. A heated staff meeting took place before we made the decision to put the Moz story on the cover, and kick Kylie off. If we'd gone with Kylie and put the Moz story inside, would we have looked silly? I think so.

If Morrissey was so keen to deflect charges of racism in August 1992, we gave him every opportunity. Honestly, if he'd supplied us with a statement, or an interview (and there was plenty of time), it would have completely changed the coverage. Completely. His would have been the last word.

The NME had such a close relationship with Morrissey (one that led us to put him on the cover a year earlier on the occasion of some hand-written photo captions - and how we were mocked for that piece of arse-kissing), and after the Madstock incident - without knowing what our coverage would look or read like - he chose to retire into silence. That was his decision.

Wed Jul 29, 12:42:00 PM


idiot journalist who thinks he can control people, so Morrissey was too busy for an interview so they tried to ruin his career.:straightface:
 

Danny_

Forgot my login!
I just think it's very funny that virtually the same thing happens to his mate, though not nearly to the same degree, and he's outraged by it.

It just confirms the impression I get from these journalists, they love dishing it out but can't take it.
 

Jukebox Jury

Retired
An aside.....
I've read Collins' three books and found them very enjoyable.
(Where Did It All Go Right?
Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
That's Me In The Corner)

Jukebox Jury
 

Worm

Taste the diffidence
Let me get this straight.

Dele Fedele has an opinion.

He writes up his opinion.

Collins and the others at the NME read it and decide it's worth publishing.

And Morrissey is expected to offer a rebuttal to an op-ed piece?

Sorry, Andrew. Opinion treated by editors as if it were a factual news story is still an opinion and doesn't necessarily deserve an answer. It's true that Morrissey could have ended it all quickly and wittily with a statement or interview, and maybe even earned a few more fans. Then again, it's also true he certainly didn't need to respond to a "passionate freelancer" given too many column inches by overeager NME editors.

His explanation of the decision to boot Kylie off the cover makes it worse. He says it would've made them look silly to keep Kylie. On the contrary. The Kylie cover gave them an easy solution! Keeping Kylie on the cover and presenting Dele's piece as an op-ed story would have sent the message that the question of Morrissey's behavior was just that: the topic of an op-ed piece rather than a story based in fact. Even amateur editors know how to place stories. Jesus.

Of course, Morrissey sells NMEs. Kylie doesn't. There you go. Money is what this was about from the beginning for everyone. Well, maybe aside from Dele-- though I'm sure he didn't throw the NME's check away, either. :rolleyes:

The NME chose to side with f***ing Cornershop. History laid a cold verdict on the wisdom of that choice, eh?
 
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Jukebox Jury

Retired
Let me get this straight.

Dele Fedele has an opinion.

He writes up his opinion.

Collins and the others at the NME read it and decide it's worth publishing.

And Morrissey is expected to offer a rebuttal to an op-ed piece?

Sorry, Andrew. Opinion treated by editors as if it were a factual news story is still an opinion and doesn't necessarily deserve an answer. It's true that Morrissey could have ended it all quickly and wittily with a statement or interview, and maybe even earned a few more fans. Then again, it's also true he certainly didn't need to respond to a "passionate freelancer" given too many column inches by overeager NME editors.

His explanation of the decision to boot Kylie off the cover makes it worse. He says it would've made them look silly to keep Kylie. On the contrary. The Kylie cover gave them an easy solution! Keeping Kylie on the cover and presenting Dele's piece as an op-ed story would have sent the message that the question of Morrissey's behavior was just that: the topic of an op-ed piece rather than a story based in fact. Even amateur editors know how to place stories. Jesus.

Of course, Morrissey sells NMEs. Kylie doesn't. There you go. Money is what this was about from the beginning for everyone. Well, maybe aside from Dele-- though I'm sure he didn't throw the NME's check away, either. :rolleyes:

The NME chose to side with f***ing Cornershop. History laid a cold verdict on the wisdom of that choice, eh?

Well Cornershop have had a number one single:thumb:

Jukebox Jury
 

Nats1977

New Member
An aside.....
I've read Collins' three books and found them very enjoyable.
(Where Did It All Go Right?
Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
That's Me In The Corner)

Jukebox Jury
Absolutely agree, he is an entertaining writer and he comes across as a very nice man....
I don't blame him defending the NME's decision either - no-one likes to admit they were wrong!
It's pretty mental that it ended up having such a big effect on Morrissey's career and the NME's reputation but no-one could have forseen that surely?
 

lainey

Active Member
Absolutely agree, he is an entertaining writer and he comes across as a very nice man....
I don't blame him defending the NME's decision either - no-one likes to admit they were wrong!
It's pretty mental that it ended up having such a big effect on Morrissey's career and the NME's reputation but no-one could have forseen that surely?

A power/ego trip, I just hate people like that.

I suprised no one has dealt aggressively with them. They bore me to tears yet the anger still rages.
 

Worm

Taste the diffidence
Wow, I followed Danny's link. It's worse than I thought.

Andrew Collins said:
This is a complex, hour-long show, which I know goes in many different directions, but is ultimately about the reclamation of a certain type of moustache for non-racist ends from its current, abiding Nazi associations.

"Reclamation"? Sort of like "reclaiming" the Union Jack from racist skinheads, for example?

Andrew Collins said:
If Richard argues that racists "have a point" it is within the contexts of an ongoing comedic discussion about racism.

It's true that Morrissey was not having an "ongoing musical discussion about racism", per se, but he was most certainly having an ongoing musical discussion about what it means to be English in the post-war United Kingdom.

Andrew Collins said:
The way Brian Logan has written it, if you hadn't seen the show, or heard the podcasts, which most people reading the paper wouldn't have, you might assume that ... hmmmm ... Richard Herring thinks racists have a point.

The same way that the NME cover might make readers unfamiliar with Morrissey-- or even people on the street passing by newsstands-- assume that...hmmmmm...Morrissey was a racist?

Andrew Collins said:
Here, for balance, is a thing that Richard Herring did say in the interview, and which reflects what he thinks: "In the 1970s, black and Asian people were getting shit put through their letterboxes ... But the world has moved on. Now we accept the [anti-racist, anti-sexist] tenets of alternative comedy as true, and don't need to patronise audiences any more."

So it's complicated. So it's a message which is doubly difficult for being presented as a form of entertainment. So it requires thought. So it requires going beneath the surface to get at what the performer is trying to say. And this differs from Morrissey how?

Andrew Collins said:
Now, if you are familiar with Richard's work, you will know that the issues mentioned will be discussed in both comedic and challenging ways in his show. If you are not familiar with it, you might once again assume his show is racist.

Gosh! So artists who require a more sophisticated critical response must not, therefore, be treated by journalists as if they were children scrawling crude messages on chalkboards?

Andrew Collins said:
Richard Herring hates racists. And he hates the BNP. But who wants to hear a comedian say that for an hour? That's not challenging anything.

Who wants to hear Morrissey challenging racists in the same old anti-racist way? Oh, I'm sorry-- the brilliant editors of the NME, apparently. They'd prefer the intellectual rigor of "Love Music, Hate Racism", which is probably about two words too long for their taste.

I don't think I've ever read a defense as grossly self-defeating as Collins'. There isn't a single excuse he made for Herring he couldn't have made for Morrissey in 1992. He just blew the whistle on himself and he's apparently not satisfied. Ghastly.
 
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Spring-Heeled_Jim

New Member
Who wants to hear Morrissey challenging racists in the same old anti-racist way? Oh, I'm sorry-- the brilliant editors of the NME, apparently. They'd prefer the intellectual rigor of "Love Music, Hate Racism", which is probably about two words too long for their taste.

Even that's too much for them, given they withdrew their sponsorship of the event only for Morrissey (fancy that!) to provide the organisers with the money.
 

Danny_

Forgot my login!
Good analysis Worm.

The most annoying and hypocritical part of Collins position is his constant assertion that he and his mates didn't call Morrissey a racist, they just asked some questions and presented some evidence.

It's just such a cowardly, mealy mouthed position. Absolutely no courage in his convictions. Which makes me think he never really believed in what he was doing at the time, and was just doing as he was told.
 

Andrew_Collins

New Member
Before you crow, I have taken down my recent blog post about Morrissey, as the debate playing out in the comments section was becoming unmanageable (you have reproduced much of it here anyway). Let's start again. I have decided to do the honorable thing and enter the dialogue here. (I have followed this thread with interest.) I will never convince the likes of Danny or Worm that I am not "thick" or worse, and I realise I have made things difficult over the years for myself by being the only member of NME staff circa 1992 to speak publicly about the Morrissey issue, but I have a presence on the internet and that is my choice. I could keep quiet too, but I hate it when disinformation and hyperbole is thrown around about the August 1992 issue.

I have attempted a dialogue before, on my website, but it always dissolves into me saying one thing repeatedly, and you (not all of you, some of you) saying another thing repeatedly. That's what happened yesterday. More fool me for expecting anything more.

I hope we can have a useful discussion here.

(Sorry about my misspelt log-in - I joined in a hurry. It's 0547.)
 
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