On the front page of the Express website is this story:
Man accused of Shannon's kidnap tries to kill himself
Illustrated with this picture
which isn't a picture of that man at all but Shannon's stepdad Craig Meehan.
Whoopsy! You can see why they're looking for 'an experienced legal adviser to join the in-house legal team'. It's a little bit cack-handed, to say the least, to illustrate a story about the man who is charged with abducting Shannon Matthews with a picture of her stepdad, falsely juxtaposing him with not only child abduction but also attempted suicide. That's pretty damn pisspoor, even for the Express.
Still, unlike they did with the McCanns, I'm doubting that Carter-Ruck will be popping round to Craig Meehan's house for a bit of legal advice - but never say never. No actually. Never. I'm saying never now. They never will. Never. Never. Never.
Clicking on the story itself tells you that the photo is actually Craig Meehan and that he is 'under arrest on child porn charges' - so if they knew that, why illustrate a story about one man with a picture of another? It's truly bizarre. Meehan is mentioned, way down the story, in this particularly challenging sentence:
Donovan, uncle of Shannon’s supermarket fishmonger stepfather Craig Meehan, 22, was found in the same bed base on the other side of a partition.
It's hard to know where to begin with that sentence for sheer bonkersness of construction. Why shoe-horn in the fact he's a supermarket fishmonger as well as Shannon Matthews's stepfather in the same clumsy stream of words? Why try and keep one fact to each sentence, when you can confusingly cram in about 312 into every one?
Anyway, there follows more senseless intrusion into this particularly sad state of family affairs. Have a look at it if you fancy reminding yourself of why the Express isn't a newspaper any more.
Incidentally, I mentioned yesterday that I'd asked for this choice little sage savoury
THROW OUT BLACK PEOPLE
GET RID OF PAEDOPHILES
GET RID OF HOMO`S
GET THE SLIME OUT OF OFFICE
CLEAN BRITAIN UP AND LET US YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE A BETTER BRITAIN TO LIVE IN
to be removed from the Express website. This has duly been done, with the following message popping up in its place:
****THIS MESSAGE HAS BEEN DELETED.****
***The Daily Express moderators reserve the right to remove any comments that may break the terms and conditions of the forum at our sole discretion***
As far as I'm concerned, if you need Joe Public to tell you that 'throw out black people' and 'get rid of homos' should be removed from a comments board, and you can't work out what's wrong with it for yourself, then you shouldn't be in your job. You certainly have no right to call yourself a journalist. I find it contemptible that the Express moderators sit watching this vile shit go up and do nothing about it unless it's complained about. (Yes yes, I find it equally contemptible that the Mail's proactive moderators won't let through comments that are disparaging about right-wing views, but that's a different matter.) I won't be your bloody policeman just to increase the clicks on your website; you should be policing yourselves and using a grain of common sense, which clearly is a commodity rather thin on the ground there, given that you decided to work for the bloody Express in the first place. But I sincerely hope that this hand-washing attitude comes and bites them on the bum one day; they really do deserve it.
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Hello. I'm a Bristol-based writer and soon-to-be-redundant journalist. You can read more about me and the Enemies site here, or follow me on Twitter. Email me if you like - antonvowl at live dot co dot uk
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