“Most notoriously, he indulged the patently absurd lies told by Carl “Nick” Beech about VIP paedophile-rings, a conspiracy theory that hurt actual people.
Unless your life was horribly affected by Beech’s fantasies, this is mostly good knockabout fun.”
No. Sorry, but that is indefensible.
You can’t be so glib as to suggest that was, in any context, ‘mostly good knockabout fun’.
Beech’s lies ruined people’s lives.
O’Brien led a calculated witch-hunt by promoting those lies over many months. I struggle to credit that either O’Brien or (the then) Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson, could have been taken in by such obvious fantasy, but they seemed to be so keen to believe that prominent people were involved in the rape and murder of children that they put aside all their critical faculties in order to convince themselves.
When Beech’s lies were exposed, did we hear any apology from O’Brien? No. He weaselled and deflected – never once mentioning the many people whose lives were ruined by the utterly far-fetched fantasy accusations that he had so enthusiastically promulgated.
For that alone – if nothing else – J O’B should have lost his JOB.
Absolutely, Paddy, Keir Starmer’s promotion of the doctrine of ‘believe every allegation’ has traumatised hundreds of mainly men, with allegations likely to be permanently kept on file when even after investigation it’s clear they were fabricated.
Believe every allegation, unless it concerns white girls and Pakistani pea d’auphile grooming gangs.
Agree entirely, except that O’Brien has no critical faculties, just his own virtue signalling woke agenda. To accomplish this he carefully curates his callers, to make sure they are either articulate sycophants to sing his praises, or inarticulate people who he easily trips up, and humiliates.
…not “prominent PEOPLE…”…but prominent CONSERVATIVE people…or those thought likely to be, like Lord Bramall…on the basis of fantasies originally concocted by a bunch of left-wing TU activists in South London, back in the seventies…the fact that O’Brien is first and foremost a Labour Party agitprop asset should not be overlooked…
There has been a concerted effort to associate being conservative or right wing with anything ‘bad’. People like JOB insinuate it must be corrupt Tories who cover up child abusers, as if that is what it means to be right wing… when we all know a lot of that goes on on the left, from Cyril Smith and PIE to the systematic cover ups of Muslim grooming gangs – overwhelmingly in Labour constituencies…. If JOB genuinely reported on that and showed the outrage it should always have had in the MSM but somehow never does except in The Sun and The Daily Mail (dismissed as racist of course even though it is the TRUTH), I would maybe give him some credit – but he won’t.
O’Brien long since drove away most of those who might not share his views on such subjects as Trump, Johnson, and Brexit, and his show resembles a familiar social media echo chamber.
Exactly. He sits in his echo chamber and most of us would rather hear all sides of discussion.
Radio call-in shows generally only attract the weird and the extreme. The vast silent majority would not bother to “ring in”.
They are, in my view, best described by the term “bottom trawlers” which for those of you ignorant of the term, is a term used in fishing for those who drag their hooks and nets along the bottom of the sea collecting the detritus
Spot on in your broad sentiments. But one important error …. it was not Carl Beech’s lies that ruined people’s lives. The ruination, of which there was much, came about directly and solely from the policy decisions and egregious actions of the state prosecuting agency and senior police officers who ditched discretion and enthusiastically investigated the claims. We are surrounded by idiots who spout drivel everyday, but Beech’s manifest nonsense only gained legs when senior officers said his claims were ‘credible and true’. What was society to think? Only now do we know the claims were not true but, most importantly, not at all credible. All lower and middle ranking detectives knew the claims were not credible ie without a shred of independent support. This debacle was the finest example of the inadequacy, ineptitude and weakness of CPS and police leadership.
O’Brien is successful, I think, because, with the advent of mass university “education”, there are millions of idiots out there who, sunk in the absolute narcissism which is the main product of our atomized western nations, came into the world with the foundational assumption that they were carrying knowledge that no one before them ever had. Hold a mirror up for narcissists and you’ll never be out of work.
Well put. And in the comments sections, especially in Unherd, we’re similarly narcissistic – but it provides an outlet for our frustrations.
Yes the virtue signalling is a disease in that population. They spout platitudes from right-on leftie literature about equality and struggle and ‘rich old white men’, there are lots of lovely buzzwords like ‘problematic’ and ‘patriarchy’, without ever really questioning it at all – until reality hits you in the face of course. I know this because I used to be one of them…..
For years I really enjoyed his Thursday Mystery Hour but the constant belittlement of, and his hatred for, Leavers just did it for me. My morning routine is Ferrari (LBC) and then just before 10am switch to Mike Graham (TalkRadio)… I just can’t stand hearing JOB’s voice anymore.
He’s the one with the problem, not me.
The weird thing is, Leavers could so easily have been seen as brave heroes had the narrative been different. Fighting the globalist powers, the bureaucrats, not doing as they were told, this is the stuff of legend. People like JOB claim to speak up for the common man, the oppressed, the poor, but understands them so little it makes him seem even more like a metropolitan elitist snob than he already is.
I first had the misfortune to listen to his deranged rantings, when I inadvertently left the radio on after the (very gentlemanly) Nick Ferrari programme during the Brexit debate. He was so sneering and so rude to anybody who dared to oppose his view, that now, just the sound of his voice makes me rush for the Off button.
O’Brien is a particularly egregious example of the host who doesn’t argue in good faith. It’s unlistenable unless you are an ideologue on the same ‘side’ as him. Always spinning the worst possible interpretation of a guest’s opinion. A proper debating arena demands that you can understand and describe to a sufficient extent the argument made by the other side. You should be able to make their argument well and then explain why it’s wrong. Our entire discourse is predicated on ‘winning’, which usually means using some rhetorical advice to flummox an opponent or win the cheers of the audience. It’s no wonder our political culture is so pathetic.
Spot on, Chris. I think it is incredible that O ‘Brien hasn’t come unstuck before now , but I live in hope…
He nearly did with Frank Lampard. Also once, hilariously, he was being his usual patronising obnoxious oafish self. Then towards the end of the call, the caller told him that he (caller) was black. Jobby did a comical handbrake turn and started being polite.
Only people who agree with him are allowed to be heard. Perhaps they’ve stopped calling in now. He has a fan club of Remoaner leftards, “doffing their cap” as he would put it.
Mike Graham on TalkRADIO is so much better.
Indeed – I suspect Graham would routinely “skewer” the lightweight O’Brien.
If you like talk radio, then Ferrari followed immediately by Mike Graham is the way to go.
Mike Graham is certainly no lightweight.
Seriously, though, you can tell he’s got some cajones with his talks with Peter Hitchens – the two disagreed on the lockdown at first, but Graham allowed Peter on because he felt it was right to allow a different perspective on the programme. Of course Hitchens eventually changed Graham’s mind. You know, open, honest debate. Remember that?
Agreed. I like TalkRadio because, though there is a clear editorial line, they give air time to different points of view. Reference Julia Hartley Brewer
Julia first but that’s not a phone in
Mike even accepts the mockery for his concrete comment. I also get a blast and frequent laughs from the cathartic scattergun swearing on The Thought Police podcast with Mike Graham and Kevin O’Sullivan
Couldn’t agree more!
If home-working is killing off breakfast radio, is it too much to hope for that it also kills off the far more vacuous and pathetic breakfast TV?
Let GB News be first. I ask you, Eamonn Holmes and Anne Diamond. It’s the BBC ’90s all over again.
O’Brien has a touch of ‘angry gamer’ about him. He collects facts that confirm his world view.
Years ago I switched off LBC at 10am and rejoined at lunchtime. O’Brien was like the clever bullying 6th former but with a seriously nasty streak. The sort who didnt play sport and so avoided the life lessons of give and take, and any experience of the triumph and disaster impostors. His sole object was a juvenile need to be right, the route to this self satisfaction involved studied and precise rudeness (abuse) so effective that, as the author says, the show became an echo chamber.The latest manifestation of O’Brien’s desperate need to have this diet of agreement, is a full interview with John Bercow. It is bathetically hilarious, catch it if only to hear Bercow explaining democracy.
“O’Brien was like the clever bullying 6th former but with a seriously nasty streak. The sort who didnt play sport and so avoided the life lessons of give and take”
Well, at my school (a well-known Edinburgh ‘Scots Grammar’ one) the four 6th form bullies were all rugger players, so your generalization doesn’t seem to hold up. And it wasn’t any notions of fair play that stopped their persecution of one smaller pupil, it was being belted (with the ‘tawse’) by the then Headmaster rather heavily – a move supported by almost everyone I talked to at the school).
Of course they’re all smug, wealthy, middle-class professionals these days, but I for one will remember, and if necessary, if I ever meet any of them (unlikely), remind.
James loves sneering at people who don’t live in the same woke, hyper-intelligent universe he imagines himself to inhabit. He sneers at such length and with such frequency and intensity that his features have set into a permanent sneer that is frightening to behold.
Then he does meta-patronising, whereby he says “It isn’t your fault you voted Leave, it’s the fault of the people who conned you”. He has no idea how offensive and arrogant this is.
The more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger shtick is unintentionally hilarious. “Please tell me I’m wrong”, he pleads. Well he is wrong, always and about everything. It isn’t his fault, it’s the fault of the people who conned him.
“He has no idea”
There, that’s better.
I keep trying the O Brien show because my friends like it, I don’t and want to check I’ve got it right. O Brien proves me right pretty well every time I try it.
Why did LBC get rid of Maajid Nawaz and keep James O’Brien? Why privilege shallow sneering and ranting over intelligent analysis?
Maajid was one of the most thoughtful presenters on LBC. I disagreed with a lot of his opinions, but they are always well-argued and he treats his callers respectfully. James O’Brien is a cretinous oaf and hypocritical leftbot.
I’m surprised TalkRadio haven’t snapped him up. Been following Maajid for years and I respect him a lot for his willingness to question things, including himself (his journey out of Islamism a case in point – reminds me more than a bit of Malcolm X who had that same quality).
If it hadn’t been for James O’ Boring I would never have discovered Talk Radio so for that I thank him.
“he allows a far greater diversity among those who get put on air” … I could put up with almost any presenter, however one-sided, possibly even O’Brien, if they weren’t so controlling over who gets to call in and talk. That’s what’s destroyed it.
Good summary – I was actually listening to Nick Ferrari when this article appeared.
O’Brien lacks the intellect/cojones to discuss a topic with an intelligent caller that holds an opposing view to him.
Absolutely pathetic individual with no obvious intellect.
Fortunately there are still strong hosts who do not screen out dissenters – and seem to enjoy the challenges that O’Brien can’t cope with.
JOB has the mentality of a lower sixth debating society prize winner. A juvenile approach to thinking but sometimes amusing and entertaining, sometimes repulsively offensive. He is not a serious political commentator – rather an entertainer. An intriguing flaw is that very often he has his facts completely wrong – laziness?
I see the psychopathology of James O’Brien as the archetypal guilt of the public school class. Paranoia turns self-hatred into hatred of all he sees as privileged.
I listen to presenters across the political spectrum but James O’Brien, I just can’t stand him. The sound of his smug self righteous voice winds me up even when I think he has a good point, which is occasionally true. I wonder, if he is so incontrovertibly right about everything why doesn’t he put his money where his mouth is and run for office, all his adoring fans (the real and righteous ‘majority’ according to JOB), Remainers, leftists and those who love to virtue signal their social justice credentials would all vote for him surely and he could rule the country and turn it into a utopia?
Sometimes first impressions count for more than a broadcaster would like. And after watching O’Brien on YT being surprisingly obnoxious to a guest, when he should have remained respectful, if not gracious – he turned me off tuning in to him, his show and LBC. I’ve better ways to spend my time than listening to an opinionated, intolerant, unpleasant host. Pity as I was into talk radio at the time and was looking into alternatives.
I would say categorically JOB is the epitome of everything wrong with the Country. I wouldn’t call the fire service if he was on …..!
Nothing winds me up more than his elitist smugness. Second obnoxious score only to Vanessa Redgrave’s early morning R2 show.
That man is the most insufferable person on the planet. I can’t understand how anyone can listen to him.
A flat track bully as they would say in cricketing terms.
Oh ! Yes ! Thanks for mentioning Eddie Maire. BBC impartiality! In his excitement he said ” When we win the election !! ” It couldn’t possibly have been Labour ?? Was it?
Watch out for long memories!!
I remember that being said on the BBC, but not which BBC berk had said it. Thanks for reminding me.
O’Brien is very biased ..we can dress it up with chin scratching waffle about the media today and the feedback loop between MSM and Social media..and the need for journalists to expand beyond the brand and all that..but at the end of the day he is just a nasty person.
As always physiognomy remains your best guide.
He has a beard.. enough for the “off” switch as far as I am concerned… its not the beard per se… its wanting to have one.. Nu Britn moans about clas prejudice, snobbery, judgmentalism… if you look and dress up as a pond life oik… then don’t be suprised when you are classified as one… opps sorry, I mean “wonne”….
I know what you mean when you point out the interesting idea that radio shows are going the same way as online ‘echo-chambers’; I only had to listen to one show by O’Brien to realise how thoroughly “opinionated, partisan and given to repetition” he was, so that if I chance upon him again, I switch off as quickly as I can.
I realise that commercial radios may simply do whatever increases the size of audience, but personally, I consider a radio interviewer who doesn’t clearly reveal that he approves or disapproves of his guest to be professional, and more likely to enlighten the listener.
The steady politicisation of BBC hosts is why I’m almost at the point of giving up on BBC radio altogether, finding a better alternative in a few podcasts in which there is a serious and in-depth discussion, and which can include people of different political beliefs.
I have lately become suspicious of phone-ins, as I think activists have woken up to their potential, like a form of ‘entryism’, and have just now started wondering about all those emails MPs are said to be receiving.
I agree with Kenneth Williams, can’t bear talk, never listen, but maybe I’m just a snob!
The question to ask is why LBC chose to be a propaganda vehicle for Covid vaccines and vaccine mandates. Callers are allowed to claim that the vaccine stops infection or stops transmission and the presenter will allow the claim to pass unchallenged. Ask why the vaccine manufacturers need legal indemnity or try to explain that the young and healthy appear to face greater risks from the vaccine than from Covid and your call will be terminated by medical experts such as Ferrari.
yeah noticed that with Ian Collins
JOB gives us challenge, curiosity and a useful check on a right wing biased press. It’s ok to disagree and of course he touches a nerve on matters like racism and the deceit of the Leave Campaign.
Long may he reign. The UK and those receptive to a view that isn’t drive by The Telegraph and Mail welcome his critical thinking. Listen and learn. As the Greeks said ‘an open mind is the essence of intellect’.
James o Brian is simply passionate about speaking out against corruption and problems with society and does an extremely good job at speaking the truth about our current government. He was right about Brexit and anyone who disagrees is in denial.