Ok so. My name’s tantrum and I’m a newsaholic. It’s been 15 days since I last newsed.
Basically I dun and been on another newsbreak. Well. Newsbreak isn’t the right word. The news didn’t break did it? It probably didn’t even wobble a bit. My break was more of a communications breakdown. It’s funny that we have satellites broadcasting images of distant planets all the way across space but that in parts of the uk you can’t even get one bar of phone signal. ONE FUCKING BAR!
But yeah, there’s been a lot of news to digest. So much that it could sit in your stomach like a brick until you feel all news bloated and distended and you are unable to even open your mouth without regurgitating some half digested chunk of newsflesh into someone elses face. “Gaddafi’s dead” you’d blurt “Euro in crisis” as though the two were linked rather than a general outpouring of the what’s been osmotically seeping into your skin and poisoning internal organs all day.
At least that’s what I’m like.
I sit there at work with twitter running and I just shout shit out to the whole office like a random newsbot. And the magic of social media and shit like that is that you actually get an uncensored and unedited flow of news and opinion constantly. Like a river of verbal diarrhoea with flotsam of news and views floating in it like abandoned supermarket trolleys and driftwood.
In fact using social media has become an invaluable news source compared to standard media providers (the BBC, sky news, the print press, online news feeds) highlights how much of an agenda the news actually has. It’s actually fucking appalling. Really really bad.
There I was the other day watching the Dale Farm evictions. An appalling thing to do in my view. In these times of crisis and economic uncertainty there are bigger issues than doggedly spending tens of millions to spitefully evict people from land they own and make them homeless. But that’s opinion. This is NEWS! I saw stuff about protests in Greece on teh internets so I checked it out.
Blimey. It was mental. Made Dale Farm look like a bad-tempered mouse. There looked to be many hundreds of thousands (even a million plus?) of people crowding the streets of Athens. The city skyline was misty with teargas and smoke from burning stuff. In some footage the air was thick with rocks and stones raining down on the riot police who were charging and beating and firing off more teargas. It was like.proper.mental.
This was surely news? Well actually it wasn’t. The media and the press had reported a two-day strike in Greece but there was scant breaking news of the scale of unrest. Even the next day, when the number of people on the street increased and lives started to be lost, the press were still massively underreporting what was going down I’m Greece.
Well things are pretty tense aren’t they. The police were busy tasering note taking observers at Dale Farm and they had a few hundred occupylsx protestors camped peacefully at St Paul’s. The last thing they wanted was for people to see the Greeks showing us a ‘proper’ protest in case it actually mobilised people to campaign for their rights in a more effective way.
I bet the media breathed a collective sigh if relief when Gaddafi turned up dead. Gave them something else to distract us all from the fact that we’re getting poorer while the rich get richer.
But that in itself proves another bit of newsery trickery. A fucking godawful turnaround in the stance of the press and politicians hidden behind a thin illusionists veil.
Y’See I remember. I’m not imagining this. I remember an image of duck faced Hague quacking his foreign secretary spiel for NATO intervention in Libya. ” to protect civilians against a government which has responded to legitimate demands for change with crushing military force”– Yeah – it was terrible wasn’t it. We went in there to stop Gaddafi bombing his own citizens. We we went in there to stop Gaddafi shelling civilian towns. We went in there to stop reprisals, kidnapping and random executions by Gaddafi militia. How fucking noble.
Of course when the news broke that we’d killed Gaddafi the press had a collective orgasm of joy. Flush in the victory over Sirte, a CIVILIAN town which the NATO backed Libyans had shelled for weeks. Flush in the victory over Gaddafi’s forces, which NATO had BOMBED indiscriminately into submission. Flush in the victory over Gaddafi’s life itself, dragged from hiding and randomly executed by NATO backed militia. But HEY. Who CARES. Lets publish pictures of his bloated corpse face all over the world – after all – he’s not princess fucking Diana is he? She was a sacred object. Gaddafi is a piece of meat. Lets stick him on display in a shop window while we all hug each other and laugh about how we fooled the world into thinking we were being noble when everything we did was exactly what we were condemning in the first place.
But forget Gaddafi. He’s small fry. Forget the collective press ignorance over events in Greece lest our peaceful little camp at St Paul’s erupt into a righteous display of collective rage. Forget the diametrically opposed news agendas tugging at the Euro-zone crisis like dogs fighting over a bone. The most shocking news agenda hit me in the face like an onion LAST NIGHT on the train home.
You might remember me waxing the keyboard with a spittle flecked shout about Fox reportage in the evening standard while back – Well they’ve been at it again. Read this. Read it twice and tell me what is going on. For a start there’s the headline screaming pain, fear and mutilation:
Fox gets into boy’s room yards from where twins were savaged
Really? Yards away? Fuck? Did lightning strike twice? Hold. It. What’s that in the byline? “A five-year-old boy woke screaming in terror when a fox got into his bedroom, only streets from where two babies were mauled in their cots last year.” – So it’s yards in the headline. Streets in the byline. At this rate it will be “continents” by the end of the piece.
Still. It’s bad ennit. Foxes breaking into homes to terrorise kids…. oh. Hold it. What’s this? “It is believed the fox got in after burglars broke into the family home and left a window open after making off with thousands of pounds of goods.” Oh. So Burglars robbed a house and a fox innocently wandered in. But I bet it ripped that kid to shreds didn’t it? “police used a noose to drag the animal into their garden, and let it go.” Oh. So no harm was done at all then?
So why is this a story? “Hackney council has said that culling urban foxes is not a solution” FFS – Is the Standard on a one-paper mission to wipe out all foxes or something. THIS IS NOT A STORY!
The standard desperately tries to rescue its agenda driven piece right at the end “Twins Lola and Isabella Koupparis were almost killed by a fox in June last year as they slept in their £800,000 family home.” – Blimey – 800 grand. NO-ONE SHOULD BE ATTACKED IF THEY CAN AFFORD A HOUSE THAT EXPENSIVE. Still. Almost killed is a big deal. Oh. Except “almost killed” is what I am every day when I cross the road. Can we have clarification here? “Isabella and Lola are still recovering from the attack and could be scarred for life.” – Ah. the classic “could be” the resort of any lazy journalist. Two twins were attacked by a fox. Which is bad. They’re still recovering. Which is bad. But the rest is artistic buffer for the standard to instil panic into readers and call for a fox cull. As though we should really give two tosses about that shizzle when St Paul’s had to close for a few days because of some tents.