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Ronan Parke BGT Fix: Unnamed Sources Go Head To Head As Old Media Takes On The Internet

by | 3rd, June 2011

IS Britain’s Got Talent a fix – a mere vehicle to make Poringland, Norfolk, lad Ronan Parke a star? The show says “no”. One anonymous blogger says “yes”. Simon Cowell’s company issues a denial. The newspapers report the claims on their front pages.

The Daily Star yells

“BGT IN FIX CLAIM SHOCK”

Shock?

The tabloids then set about pouring oil on a small flame that began on the internet, that dread enemy of newsprint. The papers fear that if the internet can break popular conspiracy theories backed by no evidence then their futures as organs of record are on shakier ground.

The Sun says one million people have seen the blog by the anonymous source who claims Parke was spotted by Cowell ‘s “scouts” when he performed at a private show for Bryan Gunn, the former Norwich City manager, in 2009.

One million people! You can feel the news editor raging. “Why?!” he yells. “Why didn’t we get that first?! “

The paper sets to work. It will straddle both camps. It will feature the “slur” on its front page. It will destroy the claims made by an unnamed source on the web by citing its own unnamed source. This unnamed source will tell us:

“These are cruel lies about a child pursuing his dream.”

Take that, unnamed internet source! You are no match for an unnamed source talking to the dead tree press!

The Mirror quotes its own unnamed source:

A BGT source said: “It’s sickening. A 12-year-old boy hoping to fulfil his dreams is being viciously attacked by someone who won’t even reveal his name. Simon wants this liar found. There are lots of people in the industry who are very jealous of Simon’s success.”

It also says the blog post was seen by “140,000 people”. That’s less than the Sun’s million. The facts keep coming.

The Mail repeats the words of one of Simon Cowell’s staff:

A spokesperson for Syco said: ‘There is no truth in this story whatsoever. Ronan first came to Syco/Sony’s attention when he entered this year’s competition. Syco/Sony Music will not hesitate to take whatever legal action is appropriate to prevent further publication of these unfounded allegation.”

So. Here’s the Mail’s Jenny Stock ending her piece:

Is Ronan secretly Simon Cowell’s protégé in disguise? If he is, Cowell has certainly done an incredible job.

Only the Star – which repeats chunks of the blog post – bothers to quote the parents of the 12-year-old Parke:

“Ronan’s mum Maggie dismissed the claims, saying her son’s first contact with the show came when he applied online. She said: ‘It’s laughable and couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s no foundation in it.’”

And that is that. The conspiracy is dead. No need for lawyers. No need for cops – the Mirror and Sun lead with news that Scotland Yard has been called in to protect the integrity of the TV talent show and catch the anonymous blogger.

All you need do is ask the mum and dad. Still, if a baseless conspiracy made by an unnamed source on the web can be used to sell newspapers, prmote Ronan P.A.R.K.E and Britain’s got talent, then so be it…



Posted: 3rd, June 2011 | In: TV & Radio Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink