Tag Archives: The Sun

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.

Sinking ships

Gah. Just saw that James Murdoch’s resigned from News International

Had a brief moment of “whoop” before the stilted reality of it hit me,

I mean… So what?

So fucking what?!

The king is dead eh! Long live the king.

Those of us hoping that scratching the Murdoch name from the taint of the NI stable would herald some new utopian era of reporting, where journalists stop going through bins and making up saucy kiss and tell fantasies are likely to be sorely disappointed.

With all the Leveson revelations gushing out of the enquiry like a burst sewage pipe you’d think that there would be a news revolution taking place! You’d think that James Murdoch wouldn’t just be quitting – but that he’s be committing ritual suicide along with all the unscrupulous hacks that he gave a voice to. You’d think his dad, Ruprecht, would be willing to appear on the telly draped in a costume made from the skin and hair of a sacrificial Rebekah Brooks offering to give his power and fortune to charity while he ekes out the rest of his days as a hermit in a cave with just lizards for company (step up Cameron and Clegg).

Yeah. We’re finding out what we knew already. That NoTW was like the tip of an iceberg –  but an iceberg made of frozen shitstorm drifting perilously close to the good ship newscorp. That power grabbing Fox-news-toting, king-making, phone-tapping vessel is already springing a few leaks – lets watch it go!

Problem is that Ruprecht and his son can see this. They’re like puppet lizard masters aren’t they. NoTW scandal? Easy… close the fucker down. Relaunch the Sun on Sunday! And guess what – you’ve just got streamlined your editorial staff – made huge cost-savings and are still tapping into exactly the same market. Man – nothing gets past these guys does it.

That’s what’s so dispiriting about the news of James being jettisoned. The stink that Leveson is releasing into the atmosphere is fetid… far too fetid for ickle James, who doesn’t want his name mixed up in that. Much easier to jetpack him out of there. Then what? Simples… sell the lot.

News Corp has bigger fish to fry and they know print media is dying a slow death. Why not just end the family link to it all and let the world laugh at Rebeckah and her police horse while you quietly get the fuck out and laugh all the way to the bank.

Meanwhile the knee jerker will still go out and buy their daily fix of tits and brainwashing – just like they all queued up to do for the Sun on Sunday – as if hacking a dead girls phone for a story had never happened in the first place!

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.

The King is dead, long live the Sun

Ok so.

I really wasn’t going to write about this whole hacking thing. I really wasn’t. I mean what justice could I do to a story about how a newspaper is accused of hacking and edits the voicemail of a murdered 13-year-old girl? A paper accused of hacking the families of other murdered children? A paper accused of hacking the phones of relatives of war casualties? The same paper which publicly screeches about protecting children from paedophiles while violating the privacy of those it’s pretending to speak for? The paper which talks constantly about war heroes while committing acts so cowardly that even a coward would be disgusted (I know. I’m just such a coward). God! I wouldn’t know where to begin?!??

So I wasn’t going to. Today I was torn between three lifechangingly important tantrums.

On the one hand I was feeling all righteous about lambasting the growing trend in the daily mail of telling an entire story in its headlines. I mean how lazy the fuck is that?!?! Do they employ sub editors any more? What happened to punchy but intelligent headlines that draw you into good copy? Jesus. Headlines. Wankers.

Why tell a story in a story when you can do it in a headline?

On the other hand I was feeling punchy as fuck about the sick way the papers go all gooey about prepubescent girls. Leering over pics of five and thirteen year old girls like some sort of fucked up paternal voyeur standing watch over a blossoming flower and pretending they aren’t just filthy old men hiding behind a veneer of greasy, slimy, sweaty morality. Whether it’s the standard drooling about how Kate Moss’s little sister is some thirteen year old english rose or whether it’s the mail splashing out for long lense pap shots of Suri or whoever they want their 50+ mail readership to have a 16th birthday countdown for!

How many shades of wrong is this shizzle?

Long headline and leering lead-in - Double newswrong

On another hand entirely I was going to have a big rant about my own personal experiences with PR companies lately. Like how the fuck do they exist? They’re like middle-men for copy that shouldn’t even be news. I had a theory that they might be failed writers like in that episode of Spaced set in Kentish Town Nandos but I can’t even give the fuckers that sort of backhanded compliment. One press release they wrote for me had a 22 word fucking headline. And a 56 word opening sentence?! Jesus do you know how shit you have to be to produce copy that bad? Like R.E.A.L.L.Y. shit. Shitter than a truck full of shit. PR companies: right up there with Estate Agents and Recruitment Consultants in the ambition without talent stakes.

I don’t have a picture for this, I just want you to see how a fifty-six word sentence looks, it’s really long, I mean, I’m exhausted writing it and keep having to stop myself pressing full stop because I’m trying to show you how long this is when you try and read it in one breath

So where was I?

Sorry… No. Really. Completely lost myself there.

Erm.

Oh yeah. OK so. I was torn between those three little ditties when James Murdoch came out and said that this Sunday would see the last edition of the News of the World and suddenly everything changed.

Less of this vacuous shit

It was like shots ringing out in Dallas. Cue bullet time. Yeah everyone will remember where they were when they found out. The shitstorm about hacking, the advertising pullout, the twitter campaigns, the petitions and the non-News Corp press drooling over the freshly killed corpse of a tabloid. Lovely. Everything’s changed!

Except what exactly has changed? I mean nothing really. Really? A bit of liberal backslapping over lost jobs? This shit’s still the same as it ever was. Before I could even break out the sherry and party poppers and don my crumpled paper hat I had that sinking feeling you get when something has happened that’s good but is quickly gonna turn very bad.

You see it dawned on me. All those advertisers. The one’s I’d messaged in the collective rush of blood to the head that twitter had experienced this week. Well they’re just gonna switch to other news international media aren’t they?! And the News of the World? Well it was just gonna be replaced by another version of itself.

News Corp and news international are like a fucking hydra man! You cut off one head and another grows in its place. Worse still. WE didn’t cut anything off. As much as twitter hacked away about hacking the NoTW could have carried on. But the brand was tainted. News International surgically removed it to limit any damage or fallout. Coming back phoenix style with a fresh new brand, advertising revenues and readership secure! Cue the Beatles gently serenading us “here comes the Sun, and it’s alright” – It would have been much better if NoTW had limped on, bleeding out, haemorraging News Corp credibility til the infection spread upwards into Murdochs brane.

More of this vacuous shit

What just occurred is a massive cloud emanating from the silver lining of the whole hacking scandal which was in itself a cloud. Like the Arab spring. All those people protesting and fighting for a regime change. They topple that-there-fucking-despotic-regime and when the dust settles and the press move onto royal weddings and tsunamis they’re left with the same shizzle under a different name. And worse still. A lot of people who aren’t sub-human scum are losing their jobs. The grunts who worked to earn a crust at NoTW are all wondering how something they have nothing to do with has cost them their jobs. Ok so sympathy may be thin on the ground here but come on. Very few of us do a job we truly love for a cause we really believe in (otherwise there wouldn’t be whiny blogs like this).

But there is hope. This particular cloud has a silver lining. It’s like a cumulonimbus of clouds all circling up and down and throwing out bits of silver and cloud and silver again. Alright, alright. Enough cloud analogies.

You see in jettisoning an entire paper to save herself, with the backing of her paymasters, Rebecca Brooks is still keeping the whole tainted affair very close to the Murdoch stable.

As long as she remains there will always be the hacking stain on News International’s sullied reputation. Better still there are 500 odd people with a lot of insider knowledge who have reason to hate her. So don’t be too hasty in trying to get rid of her. Because she’s the one thing that can still make things go tits up for news international. And the longer she stays the more damage her name could do to the Murdoch brand!

Dictatorthon

Ok so.
I was watching teh internets the other day. By watching I mean it like people might watch noel’s house party or beiberphiles might stare at #beiber on twitter while it endlessly threw up beibertweets like binary but with Lols! This means I was basically staring blankly at my computer screen clicking on random shit when BOOM! I actually learnt something new. Teh internets did what it was supposed to for once and imparted shared wisdom.
 
“What did you learn” I hear you cry (‘you’ being one of the many voices occupying my troubled brane). “I learnt of Godwin’s law” I shout back into the void (at this point strangers on the street stop and regard me with confusion). “that’s shit you dullard” the outside voice echoes back at my inner ear “everyone knows Godwin’s law”. Well fuck you imaginary pedant. I learned Godwin’s law. Better yet I learned Reductio ad Hitlerum.

For those of you like me who are basically idiots with little or no room in their lives to doggedly acquaint themselves with internet philosophising Godwin’s law is defined as: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1 (100%).”Reductio ad Hitlerum has been around a bit longer and describes how people will use even the most tenuous similarities to Hitler to attack someone’s argument.

Do these ideas sound familiar? Ever been in an argument and someone’s been like ‘Hitler liked dogs! OMG! U have a dog! LOL. U’re just like Hitler PMsL?’ or ‘You want civil liberties for all? Man you’re like some sort of extremist civil liberty Nazi?’. They should be familiar. It’s a tried and trusted form of journalistic argument and can be seen smeared like a dirty protest regularly across the pages of our papers.

Ok so the art has evolved, and it’s not always Hitler who gets thrown into the mix but the principle of making completely inappropriate links to demonise a person or argument is the bread and butter of opinion-based journalism.

Ho ho ho - one kills people and one organises football games

Take yesterday’s Sun for example. Did you see the picture of Sepp Blatter being compared to Gadaffi? Ha ha! Cries the general public. How topical. Here we have the unopposed head of FIFA, how similar he is to Gadaffi! Ho ho ho!
Except there are actually zero similarities are there? I mean really? Gadaffi is head of a North African state fighting a civil war against his own people. He’s shelling towns, imprisoning or killing people and being bombed to the stone age by the British and French military. Sepp Blatter meanwhile is the head of FIFA. A body that governs world football. He’s just been voted back in unopposed. No-one’s dying, no refugee camps, no bombs. Just football and money! The only similarity you could draw is that the both have pudgy faces and appear to be quite disliked at the moment. That’s pathetic! Chris Moyles has a pudgy face and seems to be quite disliked – no-ones compared him to either Gadaffi or Blatter.

Getting a ticket for illegal parking... Nazism in action

Of course, for some journalists there’s no point in shifting the comparisons to modern-day baddies. For some people only Hitler and the Nazis will do when making facile arguments railing against whatever annoys them. A couple of weeks ago the mail ran a piece about “parking Nazis”. The piece discussed h0w these “Nazis” issued a fine to someone who had overrun their parking time. No death camps. No pogroms. No holocaust. They gave the bloke a ticket cos he’s parked illegally. And he got his money back. The link to Nazis here is presumably that parking wardens wear uniforms?

Nazis here, Nazis there. Nazis all around

But the Mail is no stranger to this is it… I mean everyone knows of Littlejohn. He’s a popular hate figure for any press commentator. His column is badly written, ill-informed and full of hate and rage. He is also capable of taking Godwin’s law into the stratosphere. Where other journalists may resort to it as a last resort or throw it in as an aside, Richard Littlejohn makes a crude artistry of it. He daubs Nazi references across his column like Jackson Pollock mauled his canvasses with thick acrylic paint. Someone raises workplace welfare concerns – they’re an “elf’n’safety nazi”. Someone tries to deal with perceived discrimination they’re an “equality nazi” If you do a google search of the daily mail site for “littlejohn” and “nazi” you come up with over 7,000 hits.

That's a lot of Nazis!

There may be some double counting going on here. And I’m sure some of the references will come in the “comments” bit – but it’s still mental! The waters on Littlejohn are further muddied by his own constant references to Nazis in the “correct” context. He’s obsessed. He recently wrote a column about how people going to a WWII re-enactment weren’t allowed ot wear Nazi uniforms. He’s always making mention of Britain fighting the actual Nazis in WWII. It’s like a fetish or obession for him. He throws the term about with wild abandon, like some sort of “Nazi-word-using” Nazi.

This obsession is upsetting for so many reasons. I fail to see how you can genuinely use the term Nazi to describe bureaucratic procedures unless those bureaucratic procedures are somehow enforcing genocide. If “elf’n’safety” Nazis were packing people into ghettos or “Equality Nazis” made people wear special armbands then maybe the arguments would be something other than trite and lazy – but they aren’t, so they are, so there!

Nazis in Australia - Designing PLAYGROUNDS

This is a dangerous and global contagion.  The Australian Herald Sun has just run a piece on “Safety Nazis” and the South African Mail and Guardian also ran a piece comparing Blatter to Gadaffi. 

The joke spreads to the South African press - ho ho ho

In America Bryan Fischer of the “American Family Association” has been calling gay people “nazis” (because of course gay people weren’t at all victims of the holocaust). It will probably end with childrens TV presenters calling each other Nazis on yoof shows – y’know. Just for the craic like! How long before Iggle Piggle from “in the night garden” calls Maccu Paccu a Nazi for going to sleep before him.

Along with Godwin’s Law and Reductio ad Hitlerum I’d like to add a new one. “Niemöllerising”. This is a favourite in the insane realms of Have your say and comment is free and all the other places where idiots think that, in filling a white box, they’re able to influence the world around them. It refers to making reference to Martin Niemöller‘s classic poem “First they came…”  but for completely inappropriate comparisons.  eg “First they came for the smokers….” as though stopping people from smoking indoors was somehow tantamount to sending them to a fucking death camp. How long before we see Niemöllerising becoming a regular feature in Littlejohn rants?