The first place to go, if you haven't been there already, is this episode of Charlie Brooker's Newswipe - before it disappears off the iPlayer and into oblivion. Choice cuts include "working as a journalist right now must be like gargling with cold cow's piss" and watching a fight between Guido and McBride is like a fight between "two immense monsters made of shit".
The second thing I watched that made me think was this documentary posted over at Henry North London, by the investigator who led the inquiry into Madeleine McCann's disappearance. Now I've watched with delight as the Express, Mail and chums have been nailed to the wall for libelling Kate & Gerry over the past few months, but I can't help wondering whether at the heart of it all there might be some genuine questions to answer. It's worth watching, as well, to see the miserable way in which Robert Murat is smeared by the Mirror journalist who had nothing but some crap suppositions to back it up.
Five Chinese Crackers takes a forensic look at the evidence given by the screamsheets to the Culture, Media and Sport committee:
[The MMR 'urban legend'] is not the only bizarre denial trotted out by Dacre as he gets increasingly agitated and uncomfortable when it becomes clear that he isn't going to be given as easy a time as he expects.
In my posts here, I include tags for stories with headlines that are shown to be completely false by the story underneath. They're so common that I often forget to tag them now, since I sort of assume the headline will be contradicted at least in part in the text without even thinking.
Dacre is asked about this practice at around 42 mins 45 secs into the video. His reply is, 'I'd like to think this doesn't happen in the Mail - I'm not going to hold my hand on my heart and say it doesn't. It does happen in some areas of the media.'
Of course, Dacre then goes on to excuse this practice because papers need to attract readers, and as long as the body of the article is accurate, the headline doesn't have to be. Nice. Who else but a newspaper editor would think newspaper editors should be allowed to lie in massive letters in a headline as long as something approaching the truth is buried in the much smaller text underneath?
It's worth watching the video as well. It's almost as if Dacre really did expect to be treated like royalty and gets a bit grumpy at having to answer questions that aren't of the "Well, you're the best editor in the world of the best newspaper ever - how do you do it, oh wise one?" variety.
Sticking with the Mail, then, and this week Melanie "Batshit" Phillips managed an absolute classic of its type: claiming that intelligent design isn't the same as creationism, using the wonderful 'because I said so' technique. I mean, who can fault that? No Sleep Til Brooklands notes:
The claim that ID's "proponents are mainly scientists" holds little water; you'll notice that Phillips completely fails to mention them. So far, Intelligent Design hawkers have conspicuously failed to get any papers in proper peer-reviewed science journals. There are scientists among them, such as Michael Behe, but his theories have been discredited by all major scientific organisations and institutions. There's a difference between something 'coming out of science' and something which is believed by a few scientists. It's a conclusion without a plausible mechanism, without evidence.
Seriously, is there anyone out there - anyone at all, of any political persuasion - who thinks that Melanie is anything other than an embarrassment to journalism, either a shambolic idiot or a downright liar? Anyone...?
Sticking with the Mail for the moment, this is one of the best things I've read all week:
Concerns for the well being of Daily Mail editor Paul 'Mr Burns' Dacre were mounting today after the ferrite fisted news dictator suffered an exhausting three hour ejaculation that left him 'withered like a prune', according to one onlooker.
Describing the scene as Dacre began his epic jizzathon, the source added: 'It happened late last night, after the subs had been in to see him with new pieces on Maddy, swine flu and Baby P. There was an almighty rumbling sound like thunder and suddenly he was being propelled around his office by this giant stream of...well, you know
We're still on the Mail with a story about Barack Obama supposedly having been exposed to swine flu and someone who died 24 hours later, which, as it turns out, well you can guess can't you? Angry Mob:
To settle this lie once and for all I tried to find the origin of the '24 hour later' claim. The Daily Express ran the story on Tuesday, but they only mention that Felipe Solis 'died less than two weeks later from symptoms similar to swine flu'. Obviously the Daily Express follows the Mail's lead and announced the story as 'Obama in swine flu scare' even though they do not provide any evidence that Felipe Solis died or displayed any symptoms of swine flu - but this is no surprise considering the Express' reputation for lies.
As far as I can see the 24-hour claim is solely a fabrication of the tabloid newspapers, and seems to originate in the Daily Mail.
Heavens above. Who would have thought? Maybe that was the day the nice Mr Dacre was busily giving his evidence to the committee and being given such a rough ride - I mean, such complete bollocks and fabrication wouldn't have happened under his watch, now, would it? Would it...?
Mutantblog has a look at the world's worst ever headline. No, it's not in the Mail, oddly enough.
Stumbling and Mumbling looks at whether those poor hard-up folk like Michael Caine who claim they'll bugger off if they get taxed more (Fuck off then! Byeeee!) are patriotic or not.
Lenin reports on a May Day victory of sorts - sacked car workers are going to get some compensation from Ford - ah Ford, such lovely employers - after being booted out and told they'd get none.
Septicisle chronicles another week towards the end of Gordon Brown. And no-one's mourning.
And here's a rather good article, comparing Ronald Reagan's stance on torture to that of Rumsfeld and Rice. Guess who comes out as the milksop liberal?
Finally, Sarah looks at one TV presenter's ambition to 'get them out for the lads' and how it doesn't really do her many favours.
- Links for Sunday
- Links and that
- Sunday bollocks
- Dunblane apology from Sunday Express
- Links for Wednesday