Martin Panter added the comment:

This is one that has often bugged me. When your repr() implementation is 
broken, it is quite confusing figuring out what is going wrong. Falling back to 
object.__repr__() is one option, however I would probably be happy with a 
simple “exception in repr()” message, and a proper newline.

Another way that I have come across this is:

$ python -c 'import sys; sys.stdout.detach()'
Exception ignored in: [no newline]

The workaround there is to set sys.stdout = None. In that case I think 
repr(sys.stdout) is trying to say “ValueError: underlying buffer has been 

nosy: +vadmium

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