Tag Archives: The Star

Royally getting on my tits

Gah! So hands up high in the air and wave ’em like you just don’t care if you’ve managed to miss the whole broo ha ha about Kate being snapped topless in France!

Anyone who has must have been gratefully languishing in some sort of benevolent news coma. I envy you! I really do. Because the first thing that occurred to me when I heard about the pics was “I bet Nicholas Witchell’s seem them”. And that was it. Every time I see a newsreader grumbling on about the story or a byline, headline or newsticker flashing it conjures up an awful image of the BBC Royal Correspondent hunched over a computer grunting and groaning in breathless ecstasy as he downloads grainy image after grainy image of the new people’s princess (NPP) sans bra.

It’s an awful mental image, and one I can’t seem to shake. God I wish the coverage would stop, for my own sanity.

Even worse is the way it plasters Witchell all over the BBC like a reptilian fly poster, popping into shot as we see the Royals cavorting in the Solomon Islands to solemnly remind us that the world and his dog can now check out her highness’s rack by simply checking out google.He's a happy man

The story highlights everything that is wrong with the media. Not just the gross invasion of privacy that started it all off, but The sheer hypocrisy: the potted moralising, the holier than thou attitude. The entire British press and media have become obsessed with reporting the fact that they WON’T publish the pics.

Wow!

Except they WILL report the fact that they are NOT publishing the pics ENDLESSLY.

“Look at us! We’re not publishing these pictures. BUT here is where you can find them in the French, Irish & Italian press”

The degree of voyeurism is beyond discomfort. At the same time as NOT publishing the pics we’re being told WHERE they’re viewable and how many photos were taken. Every time a journalist reports the story look deep into their eyes. Past the glassy cue reading automaton on the surface. Past the vain preening diva underneath. Deep into their eyes. See that glimmer? The silent laughter underneath? That’s them saying “we’ve seen them. We’ve seen the royal boobies”

In fact many more people have probably seen them than would have if they’d just given the story the 2 minutes it was worth and moved on. I imagine google overheated on Kate Middleton Topless searches. My wife, who cares little for the Royals and even less for topless photos had a look, just to see what all the fuss was about.

So effectively the news, in publicly attempting to damn a story has privately succeeded in elevating it to a global phenomenon. Every editor in Europe must be privately ringing one another in undisguised glee, like some giggling illuminati convention of tit promoters.

Then there’s the hand-wringing. The moralising. The holier than thou headlines. “we would never do such a thing” – yeah right. Richard “Dirty” Desmond wants to cut ties to the Irish Star over the pics? The same dirty Des who made his name in porn and still parades topless females in his paper everyday. If it’s good enough for page 3 it’s good enough for Kate. Right?

“But NO!” cry the Sun and the Star. “This was an invasion of privacy. Page 3 is published with the models consent”

Don’t make me laugh! The press & media tabloid or otherwise have published endless kiss & tell stories and topless shots withou consent. Sarah Cox on a private beach on her honeymoon for fucks sakes! They’ve put an army of celebrities, minor & major through the same or worse on a daily basis.

“But they weren’t royalty” cries the furtive press back weakly.

Again. Bullshit. Sophie of Wessex got the full treatment with pictures of her being groped by Tarrant, of all people. And what about Pippa Middleton? Long lensed into the gutter because the gutter press decided she had a nice arse at the royal wedding. If the tabloid rags can squeak & squeal about how topless shots of Posh Spice by a pool are in the “public interest” then surely the ROYAL FAMILY are more so…. As much as I’d like to see the Windsors eking out their existence in an anonymous council flat in slough they do happen to be the most high-profile family in this fucking country.

Ho Ho ho – what a lad… this is ok.. isn’t it?

Not that I think topless shots of any sort could be construed as “in the public interest” – not unless the public interest is a society that wants to encourage fantasising, stalking and shameless voyeurism. But the decision to apply one tabloid rule for Kate and another rule for the rest of the world, including her own sister or others married into the Royle Family is of particular interest.

Perhaps it’s because she’s been touted as the new People’s Princess… and therefore has a Diana-shaped halo around her virginal bonce. Oh… but that would be the Diana that was relentlessly pursued into the side of an underpass by paps looking to sell their shots to an eagerly awaiting British tabloid press.

Actually the reason the press have come over holier than thou is more simple than that – it’s about self-preservation. Leveson, Mily Dowler phone tapping and, more recently, Hillsborough have brought the British Media into sharp focus. There’s been a public backlash so wide that the News of the World has had to shut its doors and editors everywhere have had to issue grovelling apologies and suffer the slings and arrows of Robert Jay. We’ve even seen another “End Page 3” campaign getting some popular support. The press are in the gutter themselves, and the only reason we haven’t seen Kate Middleton’s bits flashing out of the Sun and Star is because their editors are petrified that it will do them more damage than good.

All the pretty ladies

OK. So what would you do if you were a liberal democrat?

You’ve formed an unholy alliance with the bad guys. You’ve gone back on all the promises you made before the election. Half the people who voted for you to keep the Tories out are  vowing never to do so again. You’ve lost the one thing you stood to gain from dealing with the devil after the AV referendum shambles. You’re in the middle of an economic downturn which is forcing you to accept and implement some very unpopular slash and burn policies. Basically you’re being spattered all over by a political and economic shitstorm in which your Tory partners are using you as a shield to keep themselves spotless.

Stop smiling - you're all fucked next time

I know what I’d do.

I’d find a little issue. Something that people barely usually notice. Then I’d harp on about it. That might distract them! The poor, unemployed, unhappy masses LOOK OVER THERE! All that discontent frittered away by some political sleight of hand. It’s the oldest trick in the book but it’s tried and tested. It works for the Tories all the time. Problem is that this is the Lib Dems we’re talking about. Don’t forget that since the glory days of his smooth talking pre-election debate Clegg has turned into some sort of inverse Midas. Everything he touches becomes a worthless  lump of dead flesh. So even when the Lib Dems try to distract us all with something fairly sensible it ends up stinking of desperation. An overwhelming scent of cheap aftershave stolen from your dad on a night out in the hope that it will make you seem more manly. Even though it’s probably something laughable like Hai Karate or Brut rather than Hugo Boss your popular mate splashes on.

Anyway. This weeks sleight of hand came courtesy of Evan Harris and the campaign to ban page three girls. Now to me this isn’t a bad idea. Page three girls are an awful anachronism. Well actually they aren’t even an anachronism. I mean. Think about this in the cold light of day. I’m not being prudish here. But it’s like a surreal joke isn’t it? A newspaper. Where you read the news. But with a girl with her tits out just in case you have an urge to look at a pair of tits? I mean. Why don’t they have a page in newspapers that just has calming images  on it. Then every time I’m getting frothy mouthed at their idiot editorials I  can turn to the “Mandala” page and just chill.the.fuck.out for five minutes.

One of these in every paper please. Can... feel... it ... calming... me ... now

I find page three disturbing for so many reasons. If I’m on the train and I pick up a Sun or a Star to read I only have to open the paper and there they are. A pair of breasts. Staring up at me. Me with a small child in the seat to my left, and old lady in the seat to my right and everyone staring at me like I’m a pervert. Not only that but the Sun even uses its page three models to perpetuate propaganda with “News in Briefs” where semi-naked pictures of dead eyed girls are accompanied by a little box of text peddling the rags latest editorial agenda like some attempt at subliminal conditioning “Mandy thinks immigrants should work for a living instead of sponging off the state” Fuck yeah. Where’s my immigrant gun.

The problem with the idea is that WE HAVE OTHER SHIT TO WORRY ABOUT.  People want to know how they’re gonna keep their jobs, pay their mortgage, afford their spiralling bills as real wages fall and inflation soars… you know all that stuff people worry about when they don’t get to expense their second homes and claim it back off the taxpayer. Most people couldn’t care less about page three.

Well that’s not true. Papers with page three models care about page three.  Cue Sun outrage full of clichéd terms like “Killjoys” and “Militants” and “Potty” – obviously accompanied by eye-pleasing pictures of young girls to keep the readers eyes on the page.

LOOK AT THE GIRL - now agree with us

The Sun even rolled out quotes from “women’s think tank” womanon in opposition to the plan. Actually. I read the “woman on” thing here – while it condemns the Lib Dems for being knee jerk, it does so because “The causes [of sexual objectification] are much more complex and more difficult to address, which is perhaps why they are so often glossed over in favour of headline-grabbing solutions which achieve nothing.”

That didn’t stop the Sun squeezing in a reference to a page three girl though:

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has already distanced himself from the plan — which has enraged fans of Page 3 favourites, including Hollie, 22, from Manchester.

Banning Page 3 - a license to publish pictures of girls

The “other” page three paper (I’m not including the Sport here, that’s not a paper) the Star took a similar stance – getting all pun heavy “CRACKPOT Lib Dems made a spectacular boob yesterday by calling for Page 3 girls to be banned.” before referring to its own page three girls as some sort of sacred cow:

The topless girls on Page 3 of the Daily Star are a national institution. It’s harmless, natural and the women enjoy themselves. They have successful careers because of Page 3.

Actually I’ll say this now. They aren’t a fucking national institution. They’re an embarrassment. It’s not harmless to have young girls showing their breasts specifically for older men to leer over. I’m also unsure about what is natural about having a special page in a paper just so you can look at a pair of tits. As for successful careers. If you mean falling into porn, glamour modelling or maybe getting a shot at celebrity big fucking brother then move over nobel prize winners – lets focus on those cleavage shots!

The problem here is that womenon made a very good point – but one that the Sun of interpreted as a resounding endorsement of making young ladies take their tops off.

Sexual objectification of women is everywhere. It’s not just on page 3 or in lads mags or the top shelf porn that even gets its own discrete plastic bags these days. Everyone’s at it. The Daily Mail website has a column on the right that is literally a reel of fleshy shots of young girls. The broadsheets love it too. If you get the Sunday times check out the cover of the “business section” every week. More often than not for no reason at all, they will put a picture of an attractive woman on it. Travel sections? They’re all blondes in bikinis. That’s not including the fashion sections of papers crammed with emaciated girls teasing out another eating disorder among their female readers.

Any excuse for a pretty lady and the press are all over it. This week with the Dale Farm eviction at the top of the news agenda papers were falling over themselves to get pics of pretty young traveller girls protesting about the eviction. In the aftermath of Anders Breivik’s  mass murder there were pictures of pretty girls mourning. Every single possible opportunity to use a picture of pretty young lady is exploited by all the press. The recent news that schools were virtually pimping out their teens on results day for the press to gawp over shows how many wrong turns we’ve taken as a society. If the holocaust were to happen in modern times I bet the press would still find a way to crowbar in a shot of a nice girl looking into the middle distance even as they described the horrors of the gas chambers.

So if the Lib Dems want to ban page three maybe they should look at spreading the net a bit wider. Because if it’s a choice between consensual topless pics of Holly, 22, from Essex or non-consensual bikini shots of Suri Cruise, 5, from Hollywood then I think I’d rather stick with page three.