A Gresham’s Law for the Commentariat of our Clickbait Business Model Era …


Gresham’s Law of the Commentariat.

A bad opinion writer or broadcaster who is able to produce click bait to order and who is not fussed about nuance or the need for research, drives out the good comment writer or broadcaster, who puts real effort and thought into writing an article.

Oft the good writer or broadcaster goes to the bad in order to make a living.

(Sir) Simon Jenkins, an Oxford PPE graduate, who writes opinion(ated) pieces for The Guardian has routinely expressed the view that the less he knows about a topic the more objective he is about it than someone who has devoted their whole life to working on and studying the matter of one of his columns.

Experts are, in his august opinion, by definition biased.

Twice to my knowledge, Sir Simon has said that the money spent addressing Y2K, the Millenium Bug was wasted, because in his opinion as a disinterested observer, nothing happened.

Of course, Professor Martyn Thomas CBE is an expert and so, following Sir Simon’s logic, inherently biased.

I like to think of Sir Simon as a founder member of CAGE, the Clickbaiters/Columnists (delete as appropriate) Advisory Group on Emergencies.

Anthony Trollope’s take on the power of the (objective) Commentariat of his day is set out satirically in his novel, The Warden, first published in 1855.

The Jupiter is a referral to The London Times which was sometimes known in the middle of the 19th Century as The Thunderer. Jupiter being the Roman god of the sky and thunder.

Trollope went, in turn, to Harrow, Sunbury and Winchester, but not Oxbridge.


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