Look, I'm off for a bit. Just a couple of weeks, mind, so don't worry too much. I'll be somewhere lovely and warm with no discussion at all about radio presenters, so it's going to be great. In the meantime I'll leave you with some links I've enjoyed recently:
On the Ross/Brand debacle, have a look at Septicisle, Justin over at Chicken Yoghurt, bloggingthemail over at Alone in the Dark and Aaron Heath at Liberal Conspiracy. I think the themes which broadly emerge are these:
1. The Daily Mail are a stinking bunch of hypocritical bastards.
2. Ross and Brand did royally fuck up, that's a given.
3. A lot of people don't like the BBC.
4. Surely there are more important things in the world (death, genocide, war and misery, for example) than a couple of twats on a radio programme?
5. By hooking herself up to the Clifford machine, Sachs's granddaughter hasn't really done her family a world of favours.
I would add that I think the BBC has actually been rather cute over its handling of the shit-storm. It's sorted the matter out quickly; it's the got headline resignations it needed to salve the baying mob; it's not let Ross off the hook, but has kept hold of someone whom it regards as its flagship talent (though as I commented over at Septicisle, I think it would have been more punitive if he'd been forced to work for minimum wage rather giving a multi-millionaire an unpaid holiday); and all through, it's made it clear that (a) it listens to its audience (b) it's accountable and (c) it takes action when it needs to. The rabid critics, like the Mail of course, will grumble that it represents some awful decline in civilisation, but it doesn't in the slightest; the Beeb has shown itself to be completely accountable. In contrast with such irresponsible bastards as Associated Newspapers, it's a beacon of standards. People have seen this ably demonstrated through this daft furore, no matter what you might think of the protagonists.
Speaking of shit journalists who write for Associated, it's almost painful to see Andrew Gilligan nailed to the carpet by the Tory Troll after yesterday's sock-puppeting revelation. Who am I kidding? Of course it's not painful; it's a fucking treat! You'd think journalists would actually know how the internet works, given that it's quite an important thing nowadays, and not just for The Yoot; then again, maybe not.
One of the stories the real journalists are missing somewhat is the inquest into the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes. In the blame-free environment of the coroner's court, a lot of new stuff is coming out. He wasn't properly identified; there wasn't a warning; the assassin had to reload his weapon to destroy the brain stem of the victim. Lenin has the analysis which leads to a rather uncomfortable conclusion, particularly for those newspapers who slavishly parroted every single word coming from their official sources down at the nick in the wake of the slaying:
Every signal that is emerging is that the killing was pre-meditated. The officers who pulled the trigger may have believed it likely that Menezes was a bomber. They may even have thought that he was right at that moment preparing to kill, although frankly this idea makes excessive demands on one's credulity. However that may be, what is clear is that they didn't try to establish anything, despite having no good grounds for believing what they claim to have believed. Rather than making, as has been repeatedly claimed, a split-second decision, they followed a clearly signposted procedure.
So no wonder we're not hearing much from our beloved newspapers. Far from investigating this killing at the time, they unearthed none of these details emerging now. Their sources were only official sources, and they failed. The lies, lies and lies again about de Menezes were repeated slavishly in order to smear the victim and imply he was "no great loss". And our media fell for it.
Our newspapers and broadcasters failed us at this time of heightened tensions, and they failed us utterly. Their reliance on coppers as sources that trump any other sources meant they couldn't challenge a totally false version of events, giving the public the wrong impression for weeks afterwards. And now, years later, we finally find out the truth, no thanks to journalists. There are courageous people coming out with the truth in court, people who have decided to break ranks and say what really happened. Let's not pretend there wasn't any pressure on them to stay shtum, keep their heads down and stick to a set version of events. It is these people's consciences that have saved the day in the name of finding out as close as we'll ever get to the true version of events.
And I think that's about it for now. I'll see you in a fortnight or so. Keep em peeled.
- Links for 13/2/09
- Links 6/3/9
- Friday Links List, September 26
- Friday links 24/10: Journalism
- Links 27/3/9: Put that bloody light out