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PRESIDENT Bush Welcome French President Sarkozy to Walker’s Point. Action:
Q Are you surprised the President of France vacations in America?
PRESIDENT BUSH: We’re pleased he’s here. Of course he makes the choice he makes. If people were asking me where I think they ought to vacation, it would be right here in America — where I’ll be vacationing, as you know. Monday, starting in Crawford.
Q Could you imagine you, or you, sir, as President, vacationing in a foreign country?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Of course I could.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes, there’s some spectacular spots around the world that would be –
FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH: We’ve done it.
PRESIDENT BUSH: — great places to relax. But as you know, Mark, I’m a fellow — I’m a Texan, I like my place down there. I like to go down there as much as I can. It’s where I can relax. It’s also — the job follows you wherever you go, you’re always President. And so here we are at my Mother and Dad’s house, enjoying a beautiful Maine day, fixing to sit down with the President of France. We’re going to have a heart-to-heart talk. We’ll be talking about a lot of key issues.
The good thing about President Sarkozy is you know where he stands, he’ll tell you exactly what he thinks. And I hope he’d say the same thing about me.
Q Do you think, if he invites you to go to France for a vacation –
PRESIDENT BUSH: Of course I’d go.
Q — would you go?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Absolutely. Absolutely. Particularly if he could find a place for me to ride my mountain bike. (Laughter.)
FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH: Plenty of mountains over there.
Q Mr. President, could you say something in French?
PRESIDENT BUSH: No, I can’t. I can barely speak English. (Laughter.)
Q Mr. President, what kind of lunch are you going to have?
PRESIDENT BUSH: We’re going to give him a hamburger or hot dog, his choice. (Laughter.)
MRS. BUSH: A traditional family lunch –
Q Mustard or catsup?
PRESIDENT BUSH: It’s up to him. We got it all laid out in there. He’s got some baked beans, if he’d like some baked beans we’ve got that, as well.
MRS. BUSH: Native Maine corn.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Corn on the cob, real fresh this time of year.
MRS. BUSH: — salad, fresh tomatoes.
PRESIDENT BUSH: If he feels like it, he can have him a piece of blueberry pie — fresh blueberries up here in Maine.
Q Do you think he’s bringing cheese?
PRESIDENT BUSH: I think he’s bringing goodwill. He’s bringing a good brain, good vision and goodwill. I’m looking forward to seeing him.
POOR Gordon Brown. Those identity cards would be great. The UK already has a CCTV camera on every dinner table and in every crate of Bacardi Breezers. But its hard to make the voters agree to be finger-printed, DNA registered and branded bwith barcode. At least the Chinese know what’s good for them:
SHENZHEN, China, Aug. 9 — At least 20,000 police surveillance cameras are being installed along streets here in southern China and will soon be guided by sophisticated computer software from an American-financed company to recognize automatically the faces of police suspects and detect unusual activity.
Starting this month in a port neighborhood and then spreading across Shenzhen, a city of 12.4 million people, residency cards fitted with powerful computer chips programmed by the same company will be issued to most citizens.
Data on the chip will include not just the citizen’s name and address but also work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status and landlord’s phone number. Even personal reproductive history will be included, for enforcement of China’s controversial “one child” policy. Plans are being studied to add credit histories, subway travel payments and small purchases charged to the card.
Can’t we be more like China?
Some civil rights activists contend that the cameras in China and Britain are a violation of the right of privacy contained in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Large-scale surveillance in China is more threatening than surveillance in Britain, they said when told of Shenzhen’s plans.
“I don’t think they are remotely comparable, and even in Britain it’s quite controversial,” said Dinah PoKempner, the general counsel of Human Rights Watch in New York. China has fewer limits on police power, fewer restrictions on how government agencies use the information they gather and fewer legal protections for those suspected of crime, she noted.
Not for long…
YOU need a bigger Army to fight the bigger war. But not everyone want to be a hero. So before you invade Iran you call up 50 Cent, Justin Timberlake and a couple of David Beckham’s new teammates:
WASHINGTON (AP) – Frequent tours for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have stressed the all-volunteer force and made it worth considering a return to a military draft, President Bush’s new war adviser said Friday.
“I think it makes sense to certainly consider it,” Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute said in an interview with National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.”
“And I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table. But ultimately, this is a policy matter between meeting the demands for the nation’s security by one means or another,” Lute added in his first interview since he was confirmed by the Senate in June.
GRIM news. But as a parent, would you now want the body to put and end to things?
Police in Portugal have acknowledged for the first time that missing Madeleine McCann may be dead.
Speaking to the BBC, one of the detectives leading the investigation said new evidence had given “intensity” to the possibility she was killed.
Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa said Kate and Gerry McCann were not being considered as suspects following recent rumours they were under suspicion.
Madeleine vanished 100 days ago in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz.
Mr Sousa said renewed searches by detectives with British sniffer dogs have revealed clues which could point to Madeleine’s death.
He was referring to traces of blood found inside the apartment room where Madeleine was sleeping, which are now being analysed by forensic scientists in Britain.
PRESIDENT George Bush has been treated for Lyme disease. “He developed the characteristic “bull’s-eye” rash that marks the beginning of the tick-borne infection,” notes the Times.
He has been to the doctor.
Doctors said that Mr Bush, 61, who smokes an occasional cigar and enjoys coffee and diet fizzy drinks, remains in the “superior” fitness category for a man of his age. They placed him in the leading 3 per cent of the population, thanks in part to his six-day-a-week exercise regime.
Mr Bush had a colonoscopy last month at the presidential retreat at Camp David. Five growths were removed from his colon but doctors determined that none was cancerous.
Mr Bush, who is 5ft 11½in (180cm), has lost 4lb since his annual medical examination last August. He now weighs 192lb (87kg). His body fat percentage fell from 16.8 to 16.6. The President has skin lesions consistent with sun damage and has been advised to wear sunscreen and a hat when in the sun.
Bush is fit. But would he win a fight with Gordon Brown? David Cameron once promised Gordon Brown nothing less than “a bare-knuckle fight over the NHS”. Would he be more of a match for Bush?
I think Sarkozy would beat them all, unless you spoiled his hair…
SEE the donkey? Must be hard being a donkey. But how do you know? You can’t know. It is a donkey. You are not (probably).
In Sympathy is a failure of imagination – It’s absurd to put yourself in someone else’s shoes – Jamie Whyte writes:
Philosophers call the projection of your own sensibilities on to things that do not share them the “sympathetic fallacy”. It is popular with pet owners, many of whom believe themselves to be the recipients of animal love. But the fallacy is not restricted to thinking about animals. It also pollutes our reasoning about other people, often causing mutually beneficial, voluntary transactions to be mistaken for exploitation or coercion.
And so to employment:
You cannot help people by preventing them from engaging in voluntary transactions. If a Bangladeshi wants to work in a clothes factory for 20p an hour, then chances are that this represents a good deal for him. Those who lobby to prevent the import of the clothes that he is “exploited” to make are not helping him. Giving him enough money to think it no longer worthwhile to work for 20p an hour would be an act of generosity. Running his employer out of business because cheap labour offends you is an act of selfishness.
It’s not always good to give generously…
DIZZY writes in “Purnell inteferes in football” how Government is trying to influence the natianal game. It can’t. Dizzy is right. This is the just the Government showing that they realise the football season is about the kick off. The Rugby World Cup gets underway soon, look out for Purnell talking about that with even less understanding:
I have to applaud the Independent this morning for its cover, I really do. They’ve decided to run with a story which appeared in the Evening Standard last night about how the Culture Secretary, James Purnell, is trying to pressure the Premier League and its clubs to spend more money on encouraging British players and to stop buying so many bloody foreigners. They’ve turned the story into a “crackdown on immigration” one which is rather amsuing.
Personally speaking I don’t think this issue has anything to do with the Government, and the gooner in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport should butt out. Football is a business working in a market. This is of course being driven by the EU who think there should be a quota system in place about how many domestic players should be in a team. At the end of the day politicians have no business interfering into how the clubs across Europe, which are private businesses, operate.
LIFE over there in the United States. Scandal. Sensation. Sex tapes. It’s TMZ TV – celebrity porn for the masses. Tabloid Baby takes a look:
Insiders tell us the boys at TMZ have been taking our advice and cleaning up their act as they near the debut of a syndicated television series based on the corporate porn-pushing gossip site.
And the proof is in the pudding! In recent days the crass and often obscene headlines have been toned down considerably. In fact, in the last day or so, the only one that stands out as a groaner is yesterday’s
Is K-Fed Feeding It to Grandma?
And the only porn tape they’ve promoted recently is the gay version of Girls Gone Wild that promises wild “guys” who are “undressed, uncut” and “uninhibited.” (We realize, old habits die hard.)
But the real question and controversy inside TMZ is who will host what will obviously be a watered-down, breeder vanilla TV version of the slobber-stained shrine to Mathew McConaughey.
Insiders tell us that the role of elder, untelegenic TMZ frontman Harvey Levin in the host search is being likened to Dick Cheney’s position as head of the Bush vice presidential search committee in 2000. (For those of you who don’t keep up on current events, Cheney got the gig himself).
Now don’t get upset, TMZ boys. We know you’re already surrounded by expensive, bullshitting corporate TV consultants and suits who are already picking away at your show the way they did to A Current Affair and Geraldo, and they’ll keep it up until TMZ TV looks like Celebrity Justice. But consider this some free advice from real pros who’ve been there and done that: if Harvey Levin hosts the TMZ TV show, failure is guaranteed in the first 13 weeks. Remember Mike Walker and that stupid, short-lived National Enquirer TV series. Wrong people behind the scenes. Wrong face in front of the camera.
(Free suggestion: Adrianna Costa and Brian Dunkelman.)
Meanwhile, the TMZ TV tips keep coming in. We’ll unspool a few more in the coming days about other high-profile hirings—and what the new Sunset Strip location of the TMZ offices means to Hyde, the celebrity haunt that’s already haunted by Harvey’s celeb-taunting kiddie cameramen (a fixed surveillance camera?).
And expect to see extracts in the Sun every day…
IF they will mangle the language:
AN Australian woman was branded a criminal by airline officials after “swearing” on an American flight – with a classic, and utterly inoffensive, Aussie oath. “Fair dinkum,” New South Wales woman Sophie Reynolds muttered when told by a air hostess that there were no pretzels for her to snack on.
The next thing Ms Reynolds knew, the flight crew had demanded her passport to note down her details, telling her that swearing at attendants was a crime.
The 41-year-old, who lives in Queanbeyan, near Canberra, was stunned to find three uniformed officers waiting for her when she left the flight in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
“They said: ‘You swore at the hostess and there are federal rules against that’,” Reynolds told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“And I said: ‘I did not swear at the hostess, I just said ‘fair dinkum’.”
She spoke to police. They let her go. No charges. No apology.
DISCUSS race honestly? No, we’ ll stick to our prejudices, says Clive Davis in the Times:
Life moves to its own mysterious rhythms. The United States has seen a stunning transformation in the way African-Americans are portrayed in the media. Stepin Fetchit, the movie stereotype of the servile, simple black man, and “coloured” people in general, have been shown the door, Oprah Winfrey is a stupendously wealthy goddess of the small screen, and one of Homer Simpson’s drinking buddies is a black guy called Carl. Yet the level of violence in inner-city ghettos has shown a marked reluctance to pay any heed to these well-meaning changes.
So it’s easy to see why some will react cynically to the new Department for Communities report. Written by the independent Reach project, the report calls for renewed efforts to create more positive influences for black teenagers who are at risk of being drawn into our ever-burgeoning network of street gangs. It wants to shift the focus “from rap stars, sports personalities and celebrities to successful businessmen, lawyers and doctors”. “Role models” is one of those limp phrases that reek of dreary, well-intentioned social services seminars. Besides, all the role models in the world won’t make any difference if our city streets are patrolled by police officers who are too busy filling in forms in order to catch offenders. Nor will they be much use if the average child in Peckham has no hope of ever finding a decent job or going to school without being stabbed.
Role models is bollocks. I went on Sky News and was told by the presenter that Kate Moss, just seen inhaling white powders, was a role model.
The sad truth is that however hard you try you will not look as good as Moss does when off your face or sober. And you will not pull the girls, get fancy cars and millions in the bank if you carry a gun and can name all members of the Wu Tang Clan.
You will just look like a wannabe…
DOOM. Gloom. Tim Worstall sees a portent of so much badness:
I do like predictons like this:
“Here is the climate forecast for the next decade; although global warming will be held in check for a few years, it will come roaring back to send the mercury rising before 2014.”
So any observed slow down, or even reversal, is now further evidence of climate change. See! See! it’s already in our model! Those glaciers you see coming down the Yorkshire Moors are evidence of gorbal worming!
THE Devil’s Kitchen loosk at Guido and says he is wrong on matters of human rights:
It is rare that I disagree with Guido; I don’t necessarily find a great deal of interest in his Westminster gossip, but his professed arch-libertarianism does agree with me. However, I have found an article that I entirely disagree with.
“British governments should protest violations of human rights wherever they occur.”
Whilst I do not dispute the fact that we, the British, are the finest race on Earth and more than capable of showing everyone else how they could treat their citizens (or, rather, this was the case until a decade ago), it is not the government’s place to “protest violations of human rights wherever they occur.”
There are a couple of strands to the argument, but they come back to libertarian thought. Under this philosophy, the initiation of force against a party—whether by government or private agents—is strictly prohibited. So we could not actually force any foreign government to enforce human rights.
And this makes any protestations about the treatment of any government’s citizens empty and hollow; it diminishes our country’s clout by threatening what we cannot—or, rather, should not—enforce. We look stupid or ineffectual: both options diminish our ability to do anything effective.
The only way in which we can interfere in another sovereign state’s policy is if we are invited to defend those who are being atacked. The philosophy being that we may not initiate force, but those who are being atacked may ask others for help in defending their property.
It sounds weird that a libertarian should defend isolation in a country, but my reading of it allows for nothing else. If we protest about innocence of prisoners, we have to be able to back it up and, especially now, we cannot do so with military action. We could try to enforce good behaviour with trade blockades except that we do not control our own trade policy, so we cannot.
Our only option is either to shut the fuck up, or to sit and protest and hope that the offending countries do not realise how utterly ineffective we are.
One creature, more closely compared to humanity than any other, is dying in vast and inexplicable numbers, and largely unmourned in Britain. It has been cultivated by Man for thousands of years, providing food and inspiration: we use it as metaphor for hard work as well as indolence, politics, love and the ideal society. No other animal, except human beings, uses a representational language, in the form of a complex dance, to convey information. And now that it is facing a threat to its very survival, we hardly care.
Harldy care? More words have been written on bees than Mr Macintyre imagines.
The economic contribution that bees make to agriculture and horticulture in this country has been estimated at £1 billion, yet the looming threat to the bee population has been all but ignored….
Our neglect of the bee is bizarre given the cultural affinity we claim with the insect. The hive has always been a paradigm for the hard-working Utopia. When Napoleon was crowned Emperor, Notre Dame was festooned in golden bees. At the end of the otherwise dire film The Swarm, in which killer bees threaten the world, Michael Caine observes: “I never dreamt it would turn out to be the bees. They have always been our friend.”
It has not been ignored.There’s a Bee Unit in the UK and in America there’s the National Bee Keeping Federation.
Might it be that he has ignored the problem until now..?
IN Legislation cannot stop people being born idiots, Dizzy looks at shopping on the web and online crime:
I was rather disappointed to see a bit of opportunism this morning in the Times. The article is about a report by the House of Lords about how tremndously dangerous the Internet is for fraud etc and how “something must be done!” by the Government. James Brokenshire, a Conservative home affairs spokesman, is quoted as saying
“This report underlines the Governments complete failure to appreciate or address the extent of crime committed online. There is little coordination, leadership or urgency sending out a message that this country is a soft touch on e-crime.”
This is I think nonsense, lots is being done to tackle crime online, the problem is that people are stupid and the Government, whichever party controls it, can do little to rectify that. Some of the recommendation of the report are also quite quaint.
For example, it criticises the Government for taking the stance that security is a matter for the individual. There is nothing wrong with that stance though, it’s true. Does the Goevrnment legislate to ensure that we keep our personal belongings on our person? No. Do we have laws requiring us all to have keys or wallets on a chain connected to us. Of course we don’t. Who is repsonsible for the security of our homes? The locks in our doors? Whether we leave the window open or closed? It’s not the Government, it is individuals proeprty owners. Individuals acting online are no different and equally responsible for their security.
When you get that email from the “bank” telling you to click a link and login to confirm your details, if you do it then you’re an idiot and deserve to be fleeced. If someone knocked at your door and said “I’m from the bank, can you give me your cash card and confirm your PIN number please?” what would you say? Exactly. You’d slam the door in their face whilst probably telling them to go away in the anglo-saxon vernacular.
The Lords report also says it wants to “establish a kitemark for secure internet services”. This already exists. It’s called a Secure-Socket Layer certificate and the use of a functioning brain that can read a URL. That little padlock you see when you buy something online means you have created a 128bit encrypted tunnel with the remote server from your browser. It’s not beyond the realm of possible that someone could penetrate the tunnel, but the length of time it would require to do so compared to the length of time the tunnel is up makes it unlikely.
Double-click the padlock next time it appears as well. You’ll get to read the certificate details. You will see the name of the signing authority, and deatils about the company that purcahsed the certificate, as well as how long the certfiicate is valid for. If you ever get a certifcate warning error when you’re browsing a site then you’re taking a risk about whether it is valid. The tunnel will still be encrypted, but you have no knowledge about the validity of the server you’re connecting too.
Of course, even if there was some new kitemark it won’t serve to mean very much if your machine has already been compromised. This is true for an SSL connection too. If your machine is compromised then the tunnel becomes meaningless anyway. The same is true if the remote server is compromised, and it’s worth remembering that a good hacker is likely to own a system for a while before it becomes clear to the sysadmin that it is compromised. Being rooted is an occupational and general hazard online, just like being burgled is in the real world.
The Lords report also mentions the compromising of credit card details. Technically speaking, if a business plans to have a payment gateway and store credit card details then VISA and Mastercard will want massive audits done and extremely aggressive security protocols on the data. Numbers will be encrypted for a start and if you fail an audit the authorising houses for credit card transactions will simply remove a companies right to accept those payments anymore. A large number of banks are already implementing extra security protocols as well. Natwest Bank has introduced a secondary layer of password security for card purchases with partnered sites like Amazon.
Yes, the Internet is the Wild West, but security of your information online is a matter for individuals and/or businesses. Legislating in the UK won’t make a blind bit of difference to when you purchase from elsewhere. Banks as well cannot be held responsible for fraud committed against their customers when it is the customers own stupidity that has caused the fraud to occur. Stupid people will always get conned and ripped off, and the Government can’t legislate to stop people being born idiots.
A trio of European councillors who sailed across the English Channel on a homemade raft to deliver a message of goodwill were arrested upon arrival in Britain.
The two Germans and one Frenchman braved choppy seas to make the nine-hour journey from Boulogne to Folkestone yesterday.
But the trio, who carried a goodwill message in a bottle from the mayor of the German town of Zweibrucken, had failed to obtain permission from the relevant authorities to cross the busy shipping lane.
The raft was reported to the Coastguard by a passing vessel and the dignitaries were met at Folkestone harbour at 4pm by the Coastguard before being arrested by police on suspicion of endangering life.
Dive! Dive! Dive!
THE West designs it and hypes it. The Chinese mass produce it with no branding. Buy it. Just don’t lick the paint and wash your hands and ears after touching the thing:
The little gadget was bootleg gold, a secret treasure I’d spent months tracking down. The miniOne looked just like Apple’s iPhone, down to the slick no-button interface. But it was more. It ran popular mobile software that the iPhone wouldn’t. It worked with nearly every worldwide cellphone carrier, not just AT&T, and not only in the U.S. It promised to cost half as much as the iPhone and be available to 10 times as many consumers. The miniOne’s first news teases—a forum posting, a few spy shots, a product announcement that vanished after a day—generated a frenzy of interest online. Was it real? When would it go on sale? And most intriguing, could it really be even better than the iPhone?
AT least he looks like he can kick a football.
Love It!, the Sun’s sister magazine, has reshot Posh ‘n’ Becks’ fashion shoot for W magazine, with Jade and Jack. See where being a bigot gets you. Enjoy:
Spotter: Holy Moly
HOW did anyone know he was a priest? Nudity is natural. Just a dog collar smacks of something kinky:
FREDERICK, Colo.—A Catholic priest faces an indecent exposure charge after police said he went jogging in the nude about an hour before sunrise.
The Rev. Robert Whipkey told officers he had been running naked at a high school track and didn’t think anyone would be around at that time of day, a police report said.
He told officers he sweats profusely if he wears clothing while jogging. “I know what I did was wrong,” he said in the report.
Whipkey did not return phone messages. His attorney, Doug Tisdale, told the Longmont Times-Call that Whipkey had no comment.
Whipkey, 53, was arrested June 22 in this small town about 20 miles north of Denver. An officer said he saw a naked man walking down the street at 4:35 a.m. The U.S. Naval Observatory Web site said sunrise that day in Frederick was 5:31 a.m.
The officer said when he shined his flashlight at the man, he covered himself with a piece of clothing he was carrying.
ONE man, one vote. But the celebrity endorsement brings kudos. Says Leonardo DiCaprio:
“I’m waiting for the right questions to be asked, and for these candidates to give really clear responses to what they’re going to do in a tangible way – not a lot of rhetoric,” he said. “I want to hear hardcore facts.”
George Clooney knows:
In the upcoming U.S. presidential elections, Damon is supporting the Democrat contender Barack Obama. “[George] Clooney called him and said, ‘Senator, I’d like to support you in any way I can, including staying home – because you never know how the Right in our country is going to characterize or characterize [one's] participation.’”
Millionaire film stars talking to millionaire politicians about the good of the people. Anyone else feel slightly queasy?
ARE corporations abrrier to free speech?
NEW YORK (Billboard) – Pearl Jam fans and Internet watchdogs were up in arms Thursday after it was revealed that AT&T Inc. censored portions of the rock band’s live concert cybercast on Sunday.
While performing “Daughter” during the annual Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, the band segued into a portion of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall,” during which frontman Eddie Vedder sang, “George Bush, leave this world alone” and “George Bush, find yourself another home.” Those lyrics were missing from the broadcast.
In this instance, yes. But do we like it when pop goes political? And the Devil does have all the best tunes…
AHHMMM LEAVING on a jet plane – Gate 23…last call:
Spotter: Steven Pollard
The Government’s tactic is the oldest one: bleating that if an exception is made for the interpreters then other Iraqis who have worked for the British will demand entry to the UK. The floodgates would be opened, it says. The numbers have already risen from 15,000 on Tuesday to 20,000 yesterday. Home Office figures about the numbers of potential refugees are as reliable as President Bush’s claims that Saddam had nuclear weapons. Either way, we invaded Iraq in the name of freedom and democracy, words that for the interpreters now prove to be empty.
So, Prime Minister, unlike the heroic Swede [Raoul Wallenberg- Tim] you need no physical courage to save the lives of those under sentence of death. There is no reason to wait until autumn to decide the interpreters’ fate. Raoul Wallenberg would have done the right thing. Will you?
ONE day he can save Princess Tiaamii form the Celebrity Sons And Daughter’s Big Brother house:
A couple in New Zealand is planning to call their newborn son Superman after officials rejected their original choice of 4Real.
Pat and Sheena Wheaton have been frustrated by rules in New Zealand banning names that begin with a number.
Mum and Dad decided to call their son 4Real after seeing an ultrasound image of him. It was then they realised that their baby was “for real”.
They are considering legal action to force officials to reverse the ruling.
TURNS out that Pete Doherty and Kate Moss used to write songs together. The Sun – “The Sound Of Mossic” – says the tunes are the beginnings of a musical.
Well, if Jihad can be set to music, why not sitting in bed and taking drugs..?
Musicals to draw inspiration from:
Hedwig And The Angry Inch
Muppets Take Manhattan
TV is edited. Dizzy explores the shock:
Has anyone else noticed the bizarreness of this Channel 4 Islamist documentary thing? On the one hand we have some bloggers calling for all 56 hours of footage to be released publicly in order to satisfy their curiousity, presumably because they don’t trust the CPS who have viewed the tapes, but, what is more bizarre is the whole accusation underlying the “scandal”.
Apparently, there is a belief amongst many that the documentary committed the crime of “incitement to religious and racial hatred” because it sort to portray Muslims as mentalist loonies. However, when the CPS looked at the all the raw footgae they came to the conclusion that there was no way charges could be brought. The issue then moved to something that was said in the CPS statement about distortion and this is where it gets interesting. The CPS lawyer statement said,
The CPS has demonstrated that it will not hesitate to prosecute those responsible for criminal incitement, but in this case we have been dealing with a heavily edited television programme, apparently taking out of context aspects of speeches, which in their totality could never provide a realistic prospect of any convictions.
So, effectively they’re saying the selective editing was wrong, but at the same time it could not be seen as incitement. That must mean that the raw footage itself contained enough dodgy stuff to justify the angle the documentary took. And, frankly, why not? There are preachers out there who are not moderate and are infecting people’s mind with Islamist political ideology. The chattering classes may wish to bury their heads in the sand about it, or as many on the Left do, get into bed with it because the common enemy is America, but that’s a pretty stupid angle to take.
Of course what is truly bizarre is this belief that documentaries are somehow pure and selective editing to drive home a starting premise are never made. It is utter naivity. Any documentary, on whatever side of the political divide you may be on, does it . Michael Moore does it, the Taking Liberties movie did it, and TV documentaries have been doing it for years. A filmmaker starts with a premise and seeks to create a film that puts the premise across to the viewer.
What did make me laugh more as I read about all this in the papers this morning was the Independent’s coverage. The headline on the page was Prosecutors accuse Channel 4 of distorting footage of preachers, over on the opposite page was another headline, Cheap flights cause rise in skin cancer. They could equally have said “Rising salaries cause rise in skin cancer” or “Desire to lay in the sun cause rise in skin cancer”. The irony of talking about distortion on one page and then having a distorting headline that fits in with the climate change orthodoxy is, I must say, is beautiful.
It’s almost as amusing as the irony that the Indepednent’s readership that buys it because it thinks it is a good newspaper are also the very same people who sneer at the Daily Mail. Yet the papers are almost one in the same when it comes to the absurd distortion of news to fit an editorial line.