Thursday 26 February 2009

Sun pays damages for 'completely untrue' anti-Islam story

The Sun has paid out £30,000 to a Muslim bus driver whose life it has wrecked.

A story on 29 March 2008 ('Get off my bus, I need to pray') revealed:

A MUSLIM bus driver told stunned passengers to get off so he could PRAY. The white Islamic convert rolled out his prayer mat in the aisle and knelt on the floor facing Mecca...“Eventually everyone started complaining. One woman said, ‘What the hell are you doing? I’m going to be late for work’.”

After a few minutes the driver calmly got up, opened the doors and asked everyone back on board. But they saw a rucksack lying on the floor of the red single-decker and feared he might be a fanatic. So they all refused. The passenger added: “One chap said, ‘I’m not getting on there now’.

Yesterday the driver, who said his name was Hrun, told The Sun: “I asked everyone to get off because I needed to pray. I was running late and had not had time. I pray five times a day as a Muslim — but I don’t normally ask people to get off the bus to do it.”

Turns out, this was all total bullshit. The Sun apologised - in an unusually unequivocal way - 5 months later:
We now accept that these allegations were completely untrue. Mr Raulynaitis is not a fanatic and he did not ask passengers to leave his bus to allow him to pray. In fact, he was praying during his statutory rest break. We apologise to Mr Raulynaitis for the embarrassment and distress caused.

But after 5 months, it's not going to register at all. It's far too bloody long to correct such a story. In the meantime, Stormfront, Freerepublic and loads of other deeply unpleasant anti-Islam blogs published it and got lots of deeply unpleasant comments in response (Google the headline and see what comes up). A mobile phone vid was apparently watched by thousands of people on Youtube.

So on 26 Feb 09, The Sun coughed up £30,000 in damages. Which is good news, but hardly undoes the harm caused by the story in the first place. His lawyer said:

It transpires that an individual who noticed Mr Raulynaitis at prayer chose to film this act on a mobile phone and sent the video to the Sun, which then reproduced stills from it alongside the article, as well as the footage itself on the Sun's website.

Sadly, this is an all too common way of running a tabloid these days. Get some juicy pics and to hell with the accuracy. Surely a little bit of, you know, journalism, might have nipped this story in the bud before it got near the paper. But it fits the anti-Islam agenda that these papers want to propigate and sadly, a £30,000 pay-out isn't going to make them stop.

Wednesday 25 February 2009

Philip Davies gone mad

Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley, is one of those awful rent-a-quote people that the tabloids love to call on for some 'outrage' quote on any political correctness story going.

On 25 Feb 09 he appeared on Radio 5 Live to discuss Hazel Blears' latest about political correctness. His main point was that you can't call people Chairmen any more, which seemed to prove the point that these stories are exaggerated nonsense.

But he very clearly said that one of the problems with all this political correctness is that people can't make jokes these days for fear of offending someone.

Would this be the same Philip Davies who was quote everywhere during the 'Sachsgate' affair, saying things such as: ‘I know Jonathan Ross has been handsomely rewarded by the BBC for being rude, inappropriate and as vile as possible, but I would hope that even the BBC would accept he’s overstepped the mark this time. In any other walk of life, anyone who did this type of thing would face serious disciplinary proceedings. I hope the BBC will consider what consequences there may be if they don’t take him to task for this.’ The same Philip Davies who said Ross should have been sacked for making this, er, offensive prank call.

Of course, the best Philip Davies moment came during the saga of The Sun's 'Brave Heroes Hounded Out' story of 7 October 2006. You can find the story here (although this site is not recommended reading!) - The Sun withdrew the full story after complaints. The story began:

MUSLIM yobs who wrecked a house to stop four brave soldiers moving in after returning from Afghanistan sparked outrage last night. The house in a village near riot-torn Windsor had BRICKS thrown through windows and was DAUBED with messages of hate.

Davies was quoted as saying: 'This is outrageous. If there’s anybody who should fuck off it’s the Muslims who are doing this kind of thing. Police should pull out the stops to track down these vile thugs.'

The Sun eventually withdrew the story completely, 3 months later: ('we have been asked to point out no threatening calls were logged at Combermere Barracks from Muslims and police have been unable to establish if any faith or religious group was responsible for the incident').

His response to the truth was pathetic.

Tuesday 24 February 2009

More migrant numbers to fight over

The new immigration figures from ONS give all the papers a chance to spin a story that fits their agenda. The lot released today (24 Feb 09) will be no different.

From The Guardian - The flow of Polish and other economic migrants from eastern Europe has fallen by more than 40% as the recession in Britain bites, according to the latest immigration figures published today. The Office for National Statistics said the number of work applications from the EU's former communist countries dropped to 29,000 in the last three months of 2008, down from 53,000 in the same period in 2007.

From the Mail - there are signs the weakening pound and a squeeze on jobs could be stemming the tide of workers from Eastern Europe.

Signs? Could be? A drop of 40% is rather more conclusive than that. If it was a 40% rise, do you think the Mail would say there were 'signs' that there 'could be' a rising tide of workers from Eastern Europe? No, of course not. It'd be splashed on the front page that we're being swamped by this 'tide' of foreigners who want our jobs and benefits.

Sugar sues Sun

So Alan Sugar is going to sue The Sun for its very dodgy front page story suggesting he was on a terrorist target list.

The back story can be read at Bloggerheads, where The Sun's source for the story seems to have posted the original comment the article was based on, in a forum.

Given all the times the Star relies on Muslim forums for 'shock' stories...well, it makes you wonder...

Recommended read - No sleep til Brooklands

Terrific post by Jonathan on last week's Daily Mail (some stories have been highlighted here, but he includes several that weren't). Read Balloons, arses and Facebook.

His point about the Mail website and its Heat-like fascination with celebrity (and celebrity skin in particular) is a good one - it's such a curious dichotomy with the newspaper and its self-proclaimed 'values' it's hard to imagine they are part of the same organisation. Unless they're hypocrites, of course.

This was particularly true of the article about Peaches Geldof being topless on a beach and the Mail writing in a neat little box about every one of her 20 tattoos, where they are and what they are. The idea of some sleazy middle-aged Mail journos leering over her pics in the name of research, well, makes you proud to be British, doesn't it? Ahem.

Beyond parody (cont.)

Last week, Facebook was giving everyone cancer. Now it is damaging the brains of children.

In Social websites harm children's brains: Chilling warning to parents from top neuroscientist (24 Feb 09), Susan Greenfield makes this stark warning. And what scientific study is this claim based on? Umm, well, there doesn't seem to be one. Instead, 'Lady Greenfield told the Lords a teacher of 30 years had told her she had noticed a sharp decline in the ability of her pupils to understand others.'

So a story from an old teacher becomes a front page story about the dangers of social networking. Weird to pick on Facebook and Twitter and not the internet in general, but then it's quite weird to pick this claim and treat it as a serious story.

(This nonsense has also appeared in The Guardian)

A quick thought (cont.)

Only a few hours, it seems.

This Littlejohn piece on Binyam Mohammed ('Happy Birthday, Mr Resident') has all the same old drivel that he has written about every other released Guantanamo inmate.

He's not even British (although Littlejohn's knowledge of the asylum system is, shall we say, incomplete)...blah, blah...makes you wonder why he was out there....blah, blah...Guardiantista's and their human rights...blah, blah....books deals...blah, blah.

I'll look up the column he wrote on Moazzam Begg and compare sometime...

Key quote at the end: "his unsubstantiated claims of torture to bash America and undermine our own security services." Because torturing people doesn't undermine America or British intelligence, but claims of torture do.

Recommended read: Peter Wilby

Excellent piece by Peter Wilby ('The press has lost the moral plot') in the MediaGuardian (24 Feb 09). It suggests far from all the pointless, knee-jerk hand-wringing about a 'broken society' we should focus on the role of the media in the shameful episode of Alfie Patten. He writes:

In truth, the story was about the media - not schools, the NHS or welfare. Several columnists nostalgically recalled the days when a teenage pregnancy was hushed up. They didn't mention how the media-created stardom of Alfie and Chantelle suggests premature parenthood has become a route to instant riches and fame. Once, when a girl got pregnant, every teenage boy in the neighbourhood would deny he ever laid a finger on her. Last week, they fell over themselves to claim fatherhood of Chantelle's baby - two candidates were named - presumably in the belief they might get a small slice of the rewards on offer.

Monday 23 February 2009

A quick thought

Now that Binyam Mohammed is back in the UK, how long before Richard Littlejohn writes a column saying 'well, there's no smoke without fire is there, eh, eh, nudge wink'?

Friday 20 February 2009

Beyond parody

Daily Mail. 19 Feb 09. How using Facebook could raise your risk of cancer.

No further comment is required.

'Muslims ban our...' - part 2

Libraries put Bible on top shelf in a sop to Muslims, said the Mail on 18 Feb 09. Further evidence of the 'Muslim take-over of Britain'-type stories the tabloids love to fabricate.

The first sentence sounds promising: "Librarians are being told to move the Bible to the top shelf to avoid giving offence to followers of Islam."

But then all goes a bit...well, reasonable: "Muslims have complained of finding the Koran on lower shelves, saying it should be put above commonplace things. So officials have responded with guidance, backed by ministers, that all holy books should be treated equally and go on the top shelf together."

Right. Ummm. And the problem is...? Muslims regard the Koran as the most important book so should be on the top-shelf. The guidance has recommended all other religious books should also go on the top shelf so they all seem equally highly regarded and important. How is this offensive to anyone?

'Muslims ban our....' - part 1

Muslim schools ban our culture, screams the Daily Express (20 Feb 09) front page. Some Muslim schools 'make children despise the West': Ban on cricket and Harry Potter, echos the Mail.

'Shakespeare, Harry Potter, cricket, music, Ludo, Monopoly and chess are all forbidden', says the Express' sub-head.

Shocking indeed. But a not-very-careful reading of the report these articles are based on (from right-wing think tank Civitas) say that "only a small number [just for fun, tell us how many exactly?] of the more than 120 Muslim schools in Britain were involved" and that these Muslim schools have websites which link to other websites on which it has been said Harry Potter books should not be read and the like.

Which doesn't really amount to the schools banning 'our culture'. Whatever that means.

In fact, some of the wording of the article suggests these sites are linked to the school sites rather than the other way around, which is hardly something the school's can control.

(It could be added that ludo was basically an Indian invention, Monopoly designed by an American, and chess another Indian invention updated by the the Italians and Spanish, so not sure how British these lot are...)

The report, incidentally, was 'overseen' by an 'academic' in Islamic Studies, Dr Denis MacEoin. He is quoted at Jihadwatch as having said: 'I do not hold a brief for Islam. On the contrary, I have very negative feelings about it'.

He also wrote the Policy Exchange report that Newsnight revealed to be deeply flawed. Seems he has a little form on these insidious anti-Islam reports. But certain sections of the media lap this stuff up, and so on it goes...

Wednesday 18 February 2009

New payout - this time it's the Mirror

The Mirror's Irish edition has paid out 50,000EUR to a boy who it accused of taking cocaine to his school. Turns out, the High Court thought the story was totally made up and has ordered the payment.

If Alfie the new Shannon?

Since The Sun splashed Alfie Patten, the 13yo father with a 15yo girlfriend all over their front page on Friday 13 Feb, the story has never quite seemed right.

The extracts of the phone interview with Alfie played on the news made clear his voice hadn't broken and he simply didn't sound like a 13yo - he didn't, for example, know what financially meant. He clearly doesn't look 13, and in every story written so far, The Sun have added 'who looks no older than eight'. Why not 'doesn't look his age' or 'doesn't look like a teenager'? Why always 'no older than eight'?

Do they know something we don't?

Various follow-on stories have suggested that the 15yo mother may have slept with 6 boys, while another claimed The Sun reneged on a £25,000 payment to give the family £10,000. The PCC have said they will look into that, as payments to children are not allowed.

There is something horrendous about parading this poor kid around the front pages of the tabloids - and both his parents and The Sun are responsible for that.

But but but...this may be terrible snobbery but does anyone else have a sneaking feeling that this is all money-making scheme by the family? Although it's a lot less serious, is anyone else thinking: 'Shannon Matthews'?

If these suspicions are correct I can't wait to see all the apologies from all those gullible columnists (Phillips, Moore, the usual awful ones) who have highlighted the case to have a go at the morals of our kids and the state of sex education.

Friday 13 February 2009

This is just getting silly...

More mock-outrage at the Mail, after a guest on Radio 5 called Geert Wilders a wanker. (BBC in new swearing row after Radio 5 guests call Dutch MP a 'w*****'). It was followed by American author Denis Lehane repeating the word saying it was 'great word'.

Another complete fuss about nothing at all, as the presenter apologised straight away both times. But it was said at 4pm! When children might be listening! Shock! Horror! Quite apart from the fact that just about every kid in the country will have heard or probably used the word wanker at school on a daily basis, this is just getting pathetic. And any of these kids who watches Buffy or The Simpsons will have heard the word used. The indignation of the comments on the Mail website is worth a laugh though.

(Notice the contrast with the Boris Johnson rant against Keith Vaz, a man who would probably cause a saint to swear, but Boris is Boris so he's ok to swear. The continual use of the word 'honest' about a confessed adulterer might seem a little odd though.)

'Foreigners on benefits' story of the day

'The family of Iraqi illegal migrants who simply sat in a lorry cab in Calais to be driven here for a new life on benefits', reads a headline in the 13 Feb 09 Daily Mail.

'How one word gets immigrants a meal ticket into Britain,' says the front page of the same day's Express.

But when certain parts of the story don't quite add up, you begin to doubt all of it.

For example, the Mail version claims the family have 'a new life on benefits' in the headline. It goes on to say they are 'entitled to claim £170 a week in benefits,' without saying they are actually claiming any (which, if they were, I am sure it would be written in the story far more prominently). But then a few sentences from the end of the story, it says: 'It is unclear exactly what benefits the family are entitled to claim.'

From 'they are entitled to £170 a week in benefits' to 'unclear what benefits the family are entitled to claim,' within a few column inches.

The Express states 'they are receiving around £170 a week in benefits.' Around? Do any of these reporters have the slightest idea?

Another curious part of the story is the quote carried in both papers that the father of the family said: 'It's a little bit less easy under Brown than with Blair'. That's quite an intricate sentence for a man who we are told knew almost no English, as if some reporter asked a very leading question...not that they ever would do such a thing, of course. But how does Faradh Maruj know this? We are told the family lived in Calais for 3 months before coming to the UK in November '08. So they never actually tried to get into Britain while Blair was Prime Minister, so how would they know?

Mail: Sorry we called you vain and shallow

The Daily Mail has apologised to four women it wrote about in a 5 November 2008 article headlined: "How women are so afraid of losing their careers or their figures they're choosing adoption over childbirth."

The Guardian reports: "All four women said they had different reasons for choosing adoption, ranging from infertility issues to a concern to help children from difficult backgrounds. The apology ran down three-quarters of a column in Femail, on page 48 of [12 Feb 2009] Daily Mail, and concluded: "We are happy to clarify these matters and apologise for any distress caused to those featured."

Always enjoyable to see a paper claim it is 'happy' to make a clarification. If they were so 'happy' about it, why did it take 4 months to appear?

Thursday 12 February 2009


The Sun website on 12 Feb 2009 led with a story of a twelve-year old boy who filmed a 'ghost' on his stairs - see Ghostbanisters.

Further down the page, another video, this time of a UFO flying over Brean. As if aliens were going to go to Brean of all places. (Aliens hover over campsite).

I would think anyone with a functioning brain could see the 'ghost' is the shadow of someone walking behind the camera.

But wonder why The Sun is running all this garbage - have they learnt nothing since the great white shark hoax?

The Mail then and now: more hypocrisy

The Daily Mail editorial, 12 Feb 2009, on banning of judge-wig-haired Geert Wilders from the UK:

The Mail holds no brief for Geert Wilders, the Dutch right-winger whose rabid views on the Koran are, understandably, deeply insulting to Muslims. Yet what does Home Secretary Jacqui Smith think she is doing, barring him from the UK, where he was to visit the Lords as a guest of Ukip’s eccentric Lord Pearson?...Miss Smith, with her double standards and authoritarianism, has brought shame on Britain’s reputation for free speech.

Daily Mail columnist Simon Heffer, 10 July 2004:

Let us deal with the cleric: Yusuf Al-Qaradawi should never have been admitted to this country.

Daily Mail editorial, 8 July 2004:

The irony is sublime. On the very day the Home Secretary unveils plans to outlaw incitement to religious hatred - a proposal designed to protect Muslims - a fanatical Islamist zealot arrived in London. "You are truly, truly welcome" gushed mayor Ken Livingstone, as he greeted Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the venomous, hate-filled, murder-supporting Muslim cleric...He is banned from America and Egypt on suspicion of terrorist links. His presence here is offensive not only to Jews, women and gays, but to anyone who believes in our right to defend ourselves against extremism when the terrorist threat is very real. Yet Mr Livingstone treats him as a hero. Worse - despite the fact that the US enforces a ban - the Home Office says he can only be kept out if the security services warn that he poses a threat.

The latter is not quite saying al-Qaradawi shouldn't be allowed in, but it's damn close. How come it's a disgrace to let the Muslim guy in, but a threat to the UK's moral fabric to let the rabid anti-Islam guy in?

Wednesday 11 February 2009

A fan scorned

Under the headline 'Freddie booze cruise shame', The Sun is reporting (11 Feb 09) that Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison 'lapped up luxury' on a 'lavish free booze cruise' the night England were bowled out for 51. After all the 'Fredalo' drunkeness last time Flintoff was in the Caribbean, this could be a big story, firther evidence of indiscipline and failure in the England cricket team. Read past the headline and first few sentences however, and we see they 'did not drink over dinner on the boat. They had a couple of drinks before retiring.' And 'Hampshire County Cricket Club chairman Rod Bransgrove said Flintoff and Harmison declined all the free booze on offer while he was with them on the cruise.'

Total. Non. Story.

Tuesday 10 February 2009

More payouts from the Express

It's almost as if everything in the Richard Desmond newspapers is completely unreliable and false. After all those McCann, Murat and Tapas Seven pay-outs and other high profile apologies/pay-outs recently - Mills, Bunglwala, Kelly Marshall - here comes another.

It appears the Sunday Express wrote as fact a story based on a Desmond rant. Funny how things like that never work out. And that's goodbye to another 'substantial' sum and even less resources for those poor sods still working for his dreadful rags.

What Do We Do With Made Up Stories?

Another excellent piece at 5CC, highlighting the PC-gone-mad story about the words to What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor?

This was reported by all the usual suspects, but also reached The Guardian.

Not the first time recently The Guardian, which really should know better, has swallowed some of this political correctness gone mad nonsense ("Christmas is axed in Oxford").

If the Mail was burning, you wouldn't pi....

Thanks to Roy Greenslade for pointing out the most stunningly inappropriate use of a 'joke' (used advisedly) in a headline for a very long time.

Because fires and mass death are funny when they ain't in the UK...

Er, Bruce... the fire's the other way!

Sun apologises for its readers

The Sun has taken an unusual step of apologising for the reader comments on a story it printed. Of course, I'm sure the original story had nothing whatsoever to do with leading the readers on...

Amanda Hudson: An Apology

Revenge on who?

So Jo Brand was one of those in The One Show green room when Carol Thatcher made her idiotic golliwog 'joke'. We've still yet to hear this 'joke' in full, but of course we will. And I am sure we will hear far more about the police investigating the 'death threats' that Thatcher has reportedly received...

On QI on Fri 6 Feb 09, there was a question about the Thatcher Effect (something to do with how features look on a person when they're upside down). Jo Brand was on the panel and made a quite amusing joke suggesting Lady Thatcher sounded like a pubic hair remover.

The Express has worked itself up in to an all-too-predictable huff (BBC in new Thatcher row), calling the joke 'crude' and 'offensive'. So crude and offensive it prints the joke out in full. Ho hum.

A total non-story, of course, but it represents another tabloid attack on BBC comedy. How long before they start complaining that BBC comedy is too safe and dull like My Family and Life of Riley?

Tyranny from Peter Hitchens

Peter Hitchens was on a red-faced rant against homosexuals in the Mail on Sunday (31 Jan '09)

We show tolerance to ‘gays’ and get tyranny in return

Another nasty piece of bash-the-minorities, boo to the 'thought police', PC gone mad b/s that seems to fill the Mail these days.

Time to look away

Deborah Orr wrote in the Independent on Friday 6 Feb 2009 along a similar theme as an earlier post here about the Jade Goody cancer saga:

Surely it is time to look away as Jade struggles with cancer

Not so sick after all?

Who doesn't remember the Daily Mail's campaign against the David Cronenberg film Crash?

As mentioned here, it ran (often front page) stories such as:

And in its 19 March 1997 editorial:

All the psycho-babble in the world cannot refute the simple fact. The film is sick. It should not be shown.

And the Mail's film critic Chris Tookey (5 stars for Jurassic Park 3, 1 for Zatoichi) called it 'revolting' (21 Nov 1996).

Quite surprising then to see the film reviewed in the Mail's TV guide on Saturday 7 February 2009 and given four stars...

Thursday 5 February 2009

From the archive...Ban evil made-up headlines

Back on 10 December 2008, the Daily Star produced another of its totally made up front pages, this one in the anti-Muslim category.

Mad Mullah rants: Ban Evil Xmas explained that:

HATE preacher Anjem Choudary has launched his sickest rant yet as he branded Christmas “evil”.

Hardly sounds the 'sickest' thing he might have said, but never mind. What else?

The Muslim fanatic shocked Christians and even those of his own faith by slamming the festival as “the pathway to hellfire”.

Oh, so he shocked 'those of his own faith'? That would suggest, contrary to the usual Star line, that not all Muslims hate Christmas and all things Christian. It then quotes what he said at length:

“In the world today many Muslims, especially those residing in western countries, are exposed to the evil celebration Christmas. Many take part in the festival celebrations by having Christmas turkey dinners. Decorating the house, purchasing Christmas trees or having Christmas turkey meals are completely prohibited by Allah. Many still practise this corrupt celebration as a remembrance of the birth of Jesus. How can a Muslim possibly approve or participate in such a practice that bases itself on the notion Allah has an offspring? The very concept of Christmas contradicts and conflicts with the foundation of Islam. Every Muslim has a responsibility to protect his family from the misguidance of Christmas, because its observance will lead to hellfire. Protect your Paradise from being taken away – protect yourself and your family from Christmas.”

None of which comes close to him saying he wants to 'ban' Xmas. Maybe he did say it, but then why not use the actual quote? Or possibly, just possibly, the Star have been up to their favourite tricks of putting an eye-catching headline on the front page which is not remotely backed up by the story.

Selling your cancer story

Big Brother racist and general ignoramus Jade Goody has, you may have heard, got cancer. While we can feel sympathy for anyone suffering from this disease, especially one so young and with two kids, there is something very unsavoury about what appears to be daily updates on her condition and treatment. It seems intrusive and unnecessary.

But then we see news her cancer has spread on the front page of The Sun and see quotes from Max Clifford popping up in these stories and you come to the uncomfortable conclusion that the papers are paying for her latest medical update. While you could argue she's earning money for the future of her kids, it seems a rather tacky and unpleasant way of doing it.

More hypocrisy on Carol Thatcher

The Carol Thatcher-golliwog rumbles on, with acres of pages in today's papers and their website blogs devoted to it, with much speculation about what was said and how.

Lord Tebbit has spoken out, suggesting the BBC were out for revenge: “It is probably a bit of a way for the BBC to get back at Carol’s mother.”

Which would appear to be a curious point of view, given that Carol has been a roving reporter on The One Show for a quite a while - employing here would seem an odd way to exact 'revenge'. No mention in any of the papers as to how much she has been paid for all her BBC work, another double standard compared to the Ross affair.

The Mail has got on its moral high horse again, with a rambling, hypocritical editorial and a list of all the 'scandalous' jokes that you might fail to be scandalised by.

It says:

"In this digital, multi-channel age, shouldn't we be thinking seriously of preserving the best of the BBC - Radio 4, the World Service and the two main TV stations - and selling the rest to the highest bidders?

Would the 'two main TV stations' happen to be the ones on which The One Show, Top Gear, Mock The Week, Film 2009 and Tonight With Jonathan Ross are broadcast? You know, all those programmes which have produced 'filth'?

"Every under-75 TV owner in the land is obliged to pay for their filth, on pain of imprisonment."

And there is one other two word phrase in the editorial which they feel so strongly about that they have put it in italics (here in bold):

"On the word of an informant, she is summarily dismissed for a remark she made in private, whose context and tone we cannot judge."

Apart from apparently suggesting racism can be acceptable in the right 'context and tone', the use of the words 'in private' may make Max Mosley chuckle. After all, what he was doing in his orgy was 'in private' but that didn't stop the Mail claiming it was a disgrace and the whole world needed to know about it (see here and here and in lots of other places). But when Carol Thatcher makes her stupid remark 'in private' (albeit in a room of journalists) there's some PC-gone-mad BBC employee to stab her in the back and THAT is now the disgrace.

Wednesday 4 February 2009

Who are the thought police?

We all know that the Daily Mail is out to get the BBC in any possible way it can, never missing an opportunity to find fault. The Ross-Brand affair, the Mock the Week 'haunted pussy' never ends. These were all disgusting lapses in standards, 'grossly offensive' according to today's (4 Feb) editorial.

Completely different for the daughter of their favourite Prime Minister to be sacked for calling a black tennis player a 'golliwog'. She's not a 'bigot'. Obviously, it's all the fault of the person at the BBC who told on her...

But at a time when the Mail and others seem to be scrutinising every single joke, looking for perceived offence, isn't their headline of 'BBC Thought Police' a tad hypocritical?

Tuesday 3 February 2009

London Lite photoshops

The Lite has apologised for mocking up a pic of David Walliams with a Page 3 girl and claiming they were a couple.

"We have been asked to clarify that the picture with our article 'Walliams swaps his page 3 playmate' (17 October) was made up of separate photographs of David Walliams and Peta Todd," they wrote on Monday 2 February. "We are happy to do that and apologise for not making it clear previously. We are also sorry for giving the wrong impression that they were in a relationship"

Well quite. They photoshop a pic, then write a false story based on that fake pic. And now they're sorry for 'giving the wrong impression.' How reassuring.

Tabloid crusade

Whether you believe the story or not, the tabloids have got very excited about Middlesex County Cricket Club changing their one-day name from Crusaders to Panthers. The Club says it has changed the name because it has new sponsors and wants to re-launch after 10 years - one or two complaints in ten years wouldn't appear to be a good enough reason to engage in such costly re-branding.

But the tabloids have sniffed a 'PC gone mad' story so...

Daily Mail: Cricket team told it can't call itself 'the Crusaders' case it offends Muslims and Jews
The Sun: Last crusade
Daily Express: Cricket crusaders change name after Muslim anger

But note how these stories differ slightly. The Mail and Sun say there were complaints from Muslims and Jews. The Express just calls it 'Muslim anger', two words it so enjoys putting together, and doesn't mention any complaints from Jewish people at all.

Richard Desmond, owner of the Express, is Jewish.

Sun is boost for Sky

Although listed as 'news', this blatant advert appeared in The Sun website's 'news' section on 2 February 2009.

In it, The Sun (owned by Rupert Murdoch) reports that the best thing to cheer us up in winter is to watch Sky HD (owned by Rupert Murdoch). That's the view of Donna Dawson, a psychologist who regularly contributes to discussions on, er, Sky.