Sunday, 21 November 2010

Diana Watch

At the beginning of this lovely week that has just gone to wherever it is that time disappears to, I was thinking of changing the name of my Sunday posts.
The “Diana Watch” thing stated out as a simple table on my Myspace page (remember them?) that logged the number of times that the “People’s Princess” mysteriously appeared on the front of British newspapers every week despite having died some 9 years before.
I only did this because I found it sort of odd that she (however nice she seemed to be) was still making the front pages. Although, to be fair, most of those front pages were on the Daily Express. And it sort of grew from there.
As I said I was thinking about changing the name because it was starting to look a bit silly. Then Prince William stepped in to the breach to save me from having to think about a new title, 3 cheers for the Prince, hip hip hooray, hip hip hooray, hip hip……why am I the only one doing this? Is it because about 2 minutes after the second inline to the throne announced his betrothal to Katherine (now referred to as Katherine when journalists ask her questions but Kate in print. It seems that she likes to be called Katherine and not Kate so could the massed ranks of the British media do that please, show some respect for the poor girl’s wishes, after all, you are going to ruin her life in all other ways) the coverage had become so all consuming that you were more then a little bored of it?
Now please do not get me wrong, I am happy that 2 young people want to get married, it’s nice (for them and their families), but the coverage has been so intense that it has almost made me wish for some sort of natural disaster or terrorist scare so that 24hr News can cover something else, even just for a second.
Anyway, it lead to a little flurry of Diana related front pages, it was the ring choice what done it.

The Star is not a paper that has bothered me before. I know that they like boobs and printing pictures of boobs and that they are owned by the same man that owns the Express, Richard Desmond, but apart from that, not much. Oh and they are really bad at fact checking and sometimes print stories from comedy news websites as real stories (see here for details, oh and the original story is still up on their website. Warning that link may contain boobs)
Most mornings I hit the Sky News website for one reason, they have a little section that has that mornings newspapers front pages on it, it’s very useful as you can Right-click and save them should you need them for some reason.
So there I was on Thursday morning when I was presented with this,


Now the basic parts of the story may be true, some boys threaten/bully another boy using the medium of Facebook. The reasons given for the bullying may also be true, although that doesn’t sound like the thought process of any 12 year old that I have ever met who has not been strongly influenced by a grown up or two. This story may be 100% accurate with no exaggeration, no bits made up, no facts given a prominence that they don't deserve but even if it is all true the headline is appalling,
Just read that again, Muslim Thugs Age Just 12 In Knife Attack On Brit Schoolboy. Now this happened at a school in Coventry and it seems that all the children involved in the incident were born in England and therefore English. The article gives us no reason to believe that they aren't.
So what it seems the Star is saying is if you are a Muslim you are not, and cannot be, British. I don't think I'm reading too much into it. Muslim thugs are a defined group and Brit School boy is a separate defined group.
This shocked me if I'm honest but they were kind enough to show me that it wasn't just a one off.


Just there in the top left hand corner, “Christmas “nicked” by Muslims”.


View the article on the papers breast filled website and it has the headline “CHRISTMAS IS HIJACKED BY MUSLIMS AND HINDUS”. These damn funny religions are just like the Grinch it seems. But is it true? Ummm, no.
To quote from the article “Councillors were so anxious not to offend other faiths that they decided to share the Christian display with lights to mark the other celebrations.” and that's it, that's the story. No mention of Muslims at all. Ok it's a bit of a weird decision by the council given as Eid ended on Friday (I think) and Diwali finished 2 weeks ago but that's not the point. There was no pressure from any religion or community group to do this, it was just a council decision and yet somehow this has become “Christmas nicked by Muslims”.
I believe that headline to be a lie. A deliberate attempt to stir up tension between communities. What the fuck is wrong with these people?
Is this sort of thing worth a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission? Probably not. The PCC rejected a compliant about a similarly misleading story in the Mail this week; you can read about it here on Tabloid Watch.
So you can lie as much as you like in British journalism as long as it’s about the little people.

Some awards then I think,

The Award for Being Total Douche Bags of the Week,

Do you want to execute Gays for being gay? Well good news, the UN doesn’t mind. To quote from “A UN General Assembly Committee just voted to stop including sexual orientation on a list that protects people against discrimination-based arbitrary executions.”
Welcome to the 21st Century, it's OK it execute Gay people again, next up, burning witches at the stake and the return of the inquisition, all now expectable to the UN.

The Award for Unnecessary Intrusion of the Week,

Did you think I was going to leave the Express alone?
Most of the papers ran the same little intrusive article after David and Samantha Cameron visited the school that their son Ivan attended whilst he was alive (the Mail's is particularly voyeuristic). Strangely enough, as I believe it was the first time they had been to the school since he died, they were a little upset so pictures of them crying accompanied the story.
So far, so intrusive, however the Express went a little further, front page and refusing Samantha the dignity of even using her proper name. Mr Cameron gets called David but she, I assume because she is a woman and therefore not worthy of dignity or respect, is referred to be some silly media nickname.


I cannot express (see what I did there) to you how much I hate every single person who works, in anyway, for that nasty, unpleasant “newspaper”.

Lots of complaining and moaning this week, sorry. Will try and be a little more cheerful next time.

Ok, maybe just one funny thing. This has been doing the rounds on Twitter this week and it might make you laugh. It contains some strong language and things that you may find offensive but all the rude and nasty bits were written by people who profess to be Christians. Here is Richard Dawkins reading out some of the hate mail he has received over the years,

I hope you all have a good week.

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