The bien-pensanterie’s favourite brief, the Secret Barrister, probably isn’t used to being challenged on her/his home turf of Twitter. But last week one of Obiter’s journalistic neighbours dared to have a go.
It followed a characteristically caustic SB tweet attacking as ‘clickbait’ a Court News UK headline about a sentencing decision. As usual, it got four-figure ‘likes’ from the SB’s acolytes. But on this occasion technology reporter and Rolls Building regular Gareth Corfield (not responsible for the piece in question) fired back. ‘Deliberate, performative media illiteracy,’ charged Corfield, accusing SB of not bothering to read past the headline (admittedly the story was behind a paywall). He continued: ‘I’m all for a robust exchange of differing views. But this is not an exchange of views. This is, and I hate to get into sociology quackspeak, performative othering of reporters for doing their jobs. This must stop.’
Corfield claimed that ‘performative othering’ on court reporters has led to solicitors menacing him outside the courtroom, lawyers not sharing their skeletons and barristers refusing to give details of reporting restrictions.
SB rose to the challenge, saying there would be no apology for ‘calling out outlets which foment confusion for clicks’.
Obiter is a little scared of both parties, so we’ll call it a draw.