We don’t just report off-beat news, breaking news and digest the best and worst of the news media analysis and commentary. We give an original take on what happened and why. We add lols, satire, news photos and original content.
They’ve tried rock music, free wine and loose change (you take it off the plate, right?), so mitres off to the Church for seducing the unwashed with free Grade-A drugs.
Matt Quinton says cocaine has been found at 11 of the country’s “top 25 cathedrals”. How they’re ranked, Quinton doesn’t say, but he’s doubtless taken in such criteria as toilets, warmth, eye candy, parking, and the vicar’s likelihood of ‘squiring’ a worshipper and undergoing a sex change.
On page five – “The Powder and the glory” – Matt tells us how he found the drugs. He toured the country, swabbing toilet seats and cisterns for traces of cocaine. He says the tests employed are 95% accurate, which means they are not accurate at all.
We await the Church Times’ scoop on what it found in the Sun’s toilets, but the smart money is on porn, flushed pay-as-you-go mobile phones and wafers.
To Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Paul Wayne Terry, 27, and Sonja Marie Moro, 30, are accused of robbery with a dangerous weapon (namely, a knife).
The victim said he heard a knock at his front door. He opened it. Terry and Morro, his ex-girlfriend, rushed him. They pulled a knife and demanded his wallet, which he handed over.
It was a bit of a blur. But he recalls that the man sported horns tattooed on his forehead, Nazi runes and a kissy mouth on his cheeks and the message “FUCK POLICE” on his head.
Round up the usual suspects.
Avid technophile, program developer, and educator, William Ralph “Bill” Fink, whose master functions were harnessed by Microsoft Corp. as a technical evangelist has sadly passed away at the age of 46.
Mr Fink, from Belleville, Illinois, encountered an unhandled exception in his core operating system, which prematurely triggered a critical STOP condition on Wednesday, December 16, 2015.
He is survived in legacy by his wife, Rhonda Michele, nee Gardiner, Fink, his children, Cassidy Gardiner and William John Fink, his parents, William and Nancy, nee Kaiser, Fink, and his brothers, Michael and Matthew (Kelly) Fink.
Diagnostics indicated multiple cascading hardware failures as the root problem. Though his hardware has been decommissioned, Bill’s application has been migrated to the Cloud and has been repurposed to run in a virtual machine on an infinite loop. < END OF LINE >
The Sun (page 2): “Janner’s trial will be held”
In Heaven? Hell? Limbo?
The accusations levelled at the now dead former Labour MP “are to be considered in court”. So. Not tried, then. Considered.
The ubiquitous Liz Dux, a lawyer who represents some of the people who allege Janner molested then, says her clients want a “judicial finding that absolutely establishes what happened.” Which it won’t do. Newsflash: the accused man is dead.
The Mirror (page 2): “Janner case ‘could go on'”
Only ‘could”. The Sun said it will. We hear from the Crown Prosecution Service, which says “It is right this matter is considered properly in court.”
Will all the retired police officers who allegedly knew of the allegations be there? Will they be on trial? Or are we only talking about the dead man?
Jermaine Baker, 28, was shot dead by police. The Daily Star says police will “lay down their weapons” if one of their number is charged over the shooting.
Baker is an “alleged gangster”. It is claimed he was killed whilst trying to “spring too crooks from a prison van” in Wood Green, north London.
What’s odd is that only one shot was fired. The police favour the double-tap technique; two shots fired in quick succession. One shot to kill can be unreliable.
Baker was shot in the chest.
Was he armed? Well, an imitation firearm was found nearby.
The officer who fired once has been arrested. The Independent Police Commissioner has been investigating.
The Star calls it a “police farce”. It doesn’t say what Baker’s nearest and dearest call it.
The Express takes up the story on its Page 5. The headline, “Cameron: Let police shoot to kill”, argues that policemen cannot operate if they fear they will “dragged through the courts for opening fire to save lives”.
Would Cameron’s view change if his loved ones lived in rougher parts of town and actually encountered police when they were not acting as the elite’s bodyguards?
Was Baker a clear and present dancer to human life?
On the Mail’s Page 4 we hear more that the PM “may give more legal protection” to police marksmen.
We hear from ‘The Eliminator’, a chap called Anthony Long, who says he “did not give any thought at all” before shooting dead three criminals. Long says shooting a suspect is “not an accident”. He says the current laws are “quite adequate”.
In July, Long was cleared of murdering Azelle Rodney, a gangster.
In the Mirror, we hear that the review over shoot-to-kill policing is “not linked to Jermaine Baker”.
The BBC has news from the other side.
Haringey Borough Commander Victor Olisa said police did not believe Mr Baker was a gang member, as had been suggested in some newspapers. Community spokesman Darren Henry said: “The police officers murdered Jermaine. He was asleep when he was shot. There are witnesses who are afraid to step forward because of the witness intimidation in the Mark Duggan case.”
The police shot dead a sleeping man? PS: Duggan was killed with a bullet to the chest. Duggan had no gun in his hand when he was shot dead. A gun was found nearby. One informed Met source said: “It was death by a thousand fuckups.”
Duggan was hit by two shots. Tap. Tap.
David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, told Radio 4’s Today programme: “Jermaine Baker’s life is no less than anybody else’s who die in these circumstances. And if we live in a civilised country, you lose your life as a result of a police action, it should garner the greatest of scrutiny. That is the basis of having policing by consent in our country.”
What about cameras? Londonist notes:
After the death of Mark Duggan, armed police were supposed to start wearing body cameras to record incidents. However, in October the IPCC pointed out that the camera’s positioning meant its view was blocked when an officer raised a weapon to the shoulder.
Even if this had been rectified, the Commissioner has said that there are two types of firearms officer deployment: overt and covert. Cameras are noticeable: wearing one would give away the identity of any plainclothes officer on the scene. The operation in Wood Green was apparently of a covert nature.
What we want to know is: why only one shot fired? Was this death an accident cause by a itchy trigger finger?
Lord Janner is dead. Greville Janner, as he was named, had a career in politics and law sullied by allegations he molested children. Never tried in life Janner is, nonetheless, the subject of much judgement in death.
Daily Mirror (Page 4): “‘6 Janner ‘sex abuse victims’ to continue to fight for justice”
Readers are reminded that Janner was charged with 22 offences against nine alleged victim dating to the 1960s.
We hear nothing from his lawyers nor anyone defending the dead peer. We do get to know the views of his accusers’ lawyers. Liz Dux – a now ubiquitous media presence – says “there is an option to take this to a civil court”. She then adds, “This is not about money but the facts and the truth.” At which point you interject and remind her that the accused man is dead. The defence rests – permanently.
Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child:
The Sun: “New Maddie hunt as Kate and Gerry launch last-ditch bid using final £750k in appeal fund”
The story is, as ever, a no-news story.
KATE and Gerry McCann are set to launch a final bid to find their missing daughter when funds for the police operation to find her dry up next year.
We’ve been her before.
Scotland Yard officers and detectives in the £12million ‘Operation Grange’ investigation have been searching for information on the whereabouts of missing Maddie McCann since 2011 but funding is only guaranteed until April 2016.
And then what?
However, parents Kate and Gerry have kept back £750k to launch a final private investigation if the operation fails to find conclusive information about their daughter, who went missing in Portugal shortly before her fourth birthday in May, 2007.
And the McCanns are set to dip into this fund in the New Year as part of a last-ditch attempt to trace Maddie or uncover the truth about their missing daughter.
And on and on it goes.
What is interesting is what the Sun allows in its comments section. The story has garnered three comments. We’ve screen-grabbed them all:
Is calling the parents “vermin” and suggesting they “did it” – whatever “it” is – allowable? Is this what the tabloids call ‘trolling’? We assume jibird65 is referring to the child’s parents and not the police
Wonder what Sun columnist Lorraine Kelly thinks of it? She wrote of “trolls” talking about the McCanns:
They have been accused of killing their own child, of hiding her body and covering up their “crime”. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so downright cruel.
I cannot begin to comprehend what would make someone even think such thoughts about a couple who have suffered such a devastating loss — never mind writing down the venomous comments and posting them on Twitter and Facebook.
Not to mention the Sun.
Labelling people who do this as “trolls” doesn’t describe the vileness of their actions. So I am heartened that the police are investigating the internet abuse directed at the McCanns.
Such are the facts.
Comments are closed.
It’s tempting to read of the death of Lord Janner, the political Lord mired in allegations of child abuse, and demand an independent inquiry into whether he is dead or not. In the last months of his life, the state of Janner’s health became a subject of popular debate.
Well, he was ill. And now we can really bury him.
The news media is not full of the man’s life achievements. It wants to dwell on what do not know – was he guilty of 22 counts of historical sex offences against boys, as was alleged?
The Telegraph reports on the man’s demise with a most unusual headline:
Lord Greville Janner dies, aged 87: news ‘devastating’ for alleged victims of peer accused of child sex abuse
Surely it was more devastating for Lord Janner and his kin than for his accusers who had waited decades for justice, as we are told. The paper then adds:
Lord Janner died following a long illness, his family say
See. Even the old sod’s death isn’t a fact. One website comes up with the nutzoid headline:
Lord Janner’s death conveniently puts an end to public hearing of evidence of very serious sexual abuse
How convenient to die. The swine!
In a case of justice delayer – and justice denied – every news source quotes the words of a lawyer for hire:
Liz Dux, who represents six alleged victims, said: “This is devastating news for my clients. They have waited so long to see this case come before the courts, to be denied justice at the final hurdle is deeply frustrating.”
Dux has become a ubiquitous voice in the trawl for paedos. Hers is not the voice of justice – it’s the voice of her side or an argument published without question. That it is given so much prominence illustrates how claim has mutated into fact established not by negotiating barriers to guilt and justice but through ceremony .
We also hear from the equally ubiquitous Labour MP Simon Danczuk, who opines:
“Obviously it is very sad for Lord Janner’s family that he has passed away, though it is also extremely sad for his alleged victims.”
Very sad v extremely sad. There is more than hint of vanity amongst the paedo hunting clan.
And on it goes, the public display of righteousness. The Mirror calls Janner a “shamed peer”. If an unproven allegation causes you to live and die in shame, what of the Mirror, which hacked phones? Is it the shamed Mirror? The Mail calls him the “disgraced former Labour peer”.
What we do know is that Lord Janner will not be appearing in court. The Sun says:
A Crown Prosecution Service source last night said a trial of the facts due in April, with no finding of guilt or conviction, will now be abandoned.
Good. That was always utter balls, a sinister, self-serving show trial.
Two students at a Tennessee high school have ben jailed for wearing saggy trousers. Found guilty of indecent exposure, the pair were caged for a total of 48 hours.
One student, Antonio Ammons, is upset that he was jailed and ordered to pay $250 in fines and court fees.
All sad and upsetting. Students should be dressed in shorts and smart blazer at all times, unless ‘shirts sleeve order’ is called, in which instance pressed shirts should be tucked into the top of plain white Y-fronts. Anything less is anarchy.
Stoner Sloth is brought to you by the NSW Health, Australia. And Snickers.
When police investigated, they found out that he also had married wife No. 2 before his divorce from wife No. 1 was finalised. Blake pleaded no contest on Tuesday to a charge of bigamy, stemming from the overlap between the end of his first marriage and the start of his second, which began in September 2012. Henrico County Circuit Judge L.A. Harris Jr. sentenced Blake to 1½ years of incarceration. The judge gave Blake a total sentence of five years, with 3½ years suspended…
. Before being sentenced, Blake spoke briefly. “I want to apologise to all y’all in the courtroom,” he said. He said he didn’t realise he was committing a felony when he committed to marriage. “I didn’t know I was breaking the law at all,” he said. “You can put me on a lie detector.”
Time, perhaps, for lie detectors in Church. Place your fingers on the pad and repeat after me, “I promise to love and obey…”
What role did Eva Carneiro, the former Chelsea club doctor who left her post in controversial circumstances, play in Jose Mourinho’s downfall. In a word: none. The Spiky One was was sacked because Chelsea were losing matches and flirting with relegation.
But the tabloids turn Dr Eva v Jose into a front-page debate.
Question asked. Question answered.
San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies allegedly found a few items on Kristina Green, 19, and Gary Withers, 38 – most of which had been dropped off by the Amazon delivery truck driver they were following in Encinitas, Southern California.
Police arrested the two men. They found:
Amazon packages the driven they were tailing had dropped off on his rounds.
One loaded firearm
13 pieces of stolen mail
Methamphetamine and heroin
A notebook in which thy had compiled a to-do list. One do “Kiss mom n tell her she’s loved.” Another said: “Shoplift.”
The pair are facing charges of mail theft, possession of meth, possession of heroin, felon in possession of a handgun and possession of stolen property.
The only thing not stolen, allegedly, was that kiss.
Good news in the Daily Star where “MUM BUYS CHRISTMAS FOR £4- and that includes all the trimmings”.
This is especially good news for one other Daily Star mum, whose Christmas was eaten by giant rats:
Rats cause £4 worth if damage. Read all about it!
Major Tim Peake is in spaaaaaace. He’s Britain’s first official astronaut to fly to the International Space Station. The British Interplanetary Society says Major Tim is the seventh person born in the UK to have blasted into the great beyond. The first British astronaut was Helen Sharman.
It’s the kind of news that cannot fail to bring joy and a sense of wonder. The world looks up. And it is glorious.
Unless you read the Daily Star, which bills Major Tim as “FIRST GINGER BRIT IN SPACE”. Surely there have been other ginger Britons before Tim Peake was born? We think of Cilla Black, King Henry VIII and James Hewitt.
Inside, spread over pages 6 and 7, Star readers get more on Major Tim. News is that Tim is the first British astronaut – he isn’t – and was not the first ginger to be strapped to rocket and expelled from the Earth’s atmosphere. Tintin beat him to it. Tintin is a cartoon character. And a Belgian.
Some irony that as the country looks to the stars, the Daily Star should get it so badly wrong.
The Daily Star has news on rats. This week they are eating Christmas:
News is that “monster rats” ate the Christmas presents “dad Duane Williams” had left beneath the Christmas tree at his family’s temporary council house. Of course, Xmas is not over because Santa will come with lost more gifts. Right, kids? RIGHT!
Former Chelsea player David Luiz is worried about going bald. He’s been researching how it can be prevented. Short of dying young with his ringlets still inserted in his scalp, he could do as as other have done and walk about Los Angeles with a hat on for some months, enjoying the city where the likes of fellow beanie hat wearers Brad Pitt and David Beckham hang out. It is an established fact that anyone wearing a beanie hat in the LA sunshine is prevented from every going bald. See also: being in The Rolling Stones.
But David Luiz had found a new method. Speaking in an interview with Journal du Dimanche, PSG’s Brazilian centre-half announced:
I know I look crazy but I am not! It is just hair… Yes, my father is bald. But I found a way to save my hair.
I met with a doctor in Brazil, who has developed a special treatment. It takes some cells from here (your hip) and then relocates then.
I will do it. In ten years it will be the solution for people who have lost their hair. You should try it!
Nice of David to offer everyone cells form his hop, but best to wait until his playing days are open lest he become lopsided and take to running around in circles like the current Chelsea defence.
Did you read the story on the Paris kindergarten teacher stabbed in the neck by a jihadi who told her this “was for Daesh”?
The Independent reported the news as fact, even identifying the weapon:
Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith had lots of facts:
A hooded man shouting allegiance to Isis has stabbed a nursery school teacher in the throat in his Paris classroom. The attack, which happened a month and a day after the jihadist massacres in France, took place before children arrived at a state nursery school in Aubervilliers, just north of the Paris city boundary.
But CNN reports that the man “made up the attack.” The teacher is in the hospital with wounds but it’s not clear how they were actually caused.
The Independent’s report is complete and utter balls.
At Hull Magistrates’ Court, Michael Willby says he keeps his garden looking like a Haiti slum to deter thieves. He explains:
“If I lived in a nicer area, then I would be able to have a nicer garden.
“But the fact is this whole area is being turned into a place I don’t recognise. It used to be full of families, but now there are seven or eight hostels, just on this one street. I keep my garden this way to stop people from climbing on to my roof and trying to break into the house, and the fact is that it works. As long as there are still the same problems on this street, I’m not going to change anything.”
He is fined £540 in fines and costs.
Old Mr Anorak, our patron, nods, explaining that when working at the United Nations in the 1970s he’d smear himself in dog poo to deter all but the city’s most persistent muggers. It might also be how he met Robert Mapplethorpe. But that’s another tory.
Today’s woman being pulled to pieces by Sarah Vine is Kate Middleton, aka the Duchess of Cambridge, who had the temerity to go shopping with non-bouncy hair, “eyes puffy and lined”, and looking “shattered”.
So bitchy and cruel is the Daily Mail’s front-page article that the only sensible deduction is that agent Vine is in the pay of the Royal Family, her job to make the newspapers look invasive and ugly, thus enabling heavily-styled man-with-the-common-touch Prince William to pontificate on press freedom without anyone thinking him a bit of a knob.
Vine’s schtick is to rip her target to pieces before reassembling them, in much the same way a torturer or abusive partner might do. She hopes her attack is the “wake-up call she [Kate] needs to finally do what everyone is probably begging her to do: slow down, stop being such a perfectionist and have a well-deserved rest. It is Christmas, after all.”
It is what Jesus would have wanted.
What do we think of ‘John’, the man who can be heard declaring “You ain’t no Muslim, bruv” as suspected knifeman Muhayadin Mire, 29, allegedly attempted to murder a man at London’s Leytonstone Tube station?
As Mire waits for his Old Bailey trial, the man praised by David Cameron for shouting “You ain’t no Muslim, bruv” is revealed to be a 39-year-old security guard. And he’s no Muslim, either.
He speaks to the Sunday Times:
“Isis should be wiped out, because they’re not Muslims, because Muslims don’t do that. It’s as simple as that. For people to be like that, they’ve obviously got stone hearts, they don’t care about society. They don’t care about anyone. They’re evil, pure evil.”
More vital than John’s views on Islam and ISIS are his actions. This is how the paper describes what John did when he saw the attacks and the blood:
The security guard from north London explained how he walked into Leytonstone Tube station last Saturday and was confronted by a man shouting and brandishing a knife. He pulled out his phone and began videoing the knifewielder, who attacked two men…
One man was left in a pool of blood and required five hours of surgery in hospital.
As police Tasered the suspect and wrestled him to the floor, John leant over the ticket barriers and shouted: “You ain’t no Muslim, bruv. You ain’t no Muslim.”
Someone else might have vaulted the barrier and used their training as a security expert to protect people and maybe help others beat down the assailant. We could be generous and say that John preferred to keep order by making sure the entrance and exit remained secured, thus preventing any fare dodgers or jihadis from causing more problems. Or we could be critical and say that when you see a man allegedly trying to decapitate another man and think you’re presence would be best served watching it through your mobile, you have issues.
John is surprised that he is now regarded as a hero.
He’s not the only one.
“I just said how I felt, to be honest — that just came naturally,” he said.
John’s at heart a documentary film maker.
“This was the first time I’ve seen any major violence like that. It just happened so quick. I tend to say how I feel. I didn’t see the knife at the time, but afterwards I realised. I saw a little flash of something and that’s when I shouted.
“I’ve got a kid, he’s 20. He just said, ‘Dad, you’ve done the right thing’. I said what I had to say, and for someone to agree that is close to me made me feel good,” he said.
Because hecklers are heroes, too.
Madeleine McCann is back. The missing child – the media’s benchmark for all missing children – looks out from the cover of the Daily Express, as she has done so many time before.
What do we miss most about ‘Our Maddy’ at Christmas”?
As the Daily Express readership compile a list of things they miss about ‘Our Maddy’, we interject: it’s not about your ‘Our Maddy’, the media construct; it’s about the parents’ ‘Our Maddy’. It is the “Parents’ Heartache”.
On Page 5, we get more. We get a list of things Kate and Gerry McCann miss about their daughter.
You might have read this front-page scoop on November 11, when it featured in pretty much every tabloid.
Why now has the Express seen fit not only to repeat the story but to make it front-page news?
We can only suppose that what with there being no other news in the world right now, the editor pressed f9 on the keyboard and pumped out a routine ‘Our Maddy’ no-news feature.
To Mitcham, where police are seeking a man who drove into the Co-op supermarket on a hoverboard – and drove out with a case of Lucozade, which he forgot to pay for.
Anyone feel a Luozade marketing campaign coming on: Lucozade gives you wings? Or has that been done?
The good new is that the jet next to the one on fire is now covered in protective foam. The less good news is that the Air China jet sat smouldering on the runway at Fuzhou Changle airport continues to burn.
The right-hand engine of a Boeing 737, Air China Flight CA1822 to Beijing caught fire at around 8am. Crew on the plane behind, Fuzhou Airlines FU6577, spotted the flames and notified the Air China captain. The Air China aircraft closed down the engine and then called fightfighters.
Eight fire trucks arrived. They surrounded the Fuzhou Airlines aircraft and sprayed foam all over it. They then noticed the burning Air China aircraft.
You have nothing to worry about.