Anorak

Tabloids | Anorak - Part 8

Tabloids Category

The news as told by the UK’s tabloid press – The Sun, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily Star and News of the World.

Manchester City balls: Ederson has Manchester United fans laughing in The Sun

When Manchester City spunked £34.9m on Ederson – a world-record fee for a goalkeeper – the Sun’s Martin Blackburn told readers that now Pep Guadiola’s team could play the passing game he oversaw as manager of an all-conquering Barcelona side. Ederson is known for his great range of passing and “enormous pinpoint delivery”. He is a “keeper who can launch it 75 yards on to a bottle top”.

Writes Blackburn:

Pep turned up at the Etihad and promptly dumped Joe Hart because he did not feel the England keeper was good enough outside the box.

Hart’s not all that good inside the box.

He persisted with Hart’s replacement, Chilean Claudio Bravo, despite a series of high-profile errors. No matter what happened, Guardiola refused to back down.

The 8th Rule of tabloid journalism dictates an on-off existence. Pep is either extraordinarily clever and prescient or a man more stubborn than an enormous turnip. So it is that when faced with the hapless Bravo, dumb Pep stuck with him through thin and thinner. Or did he? Because one newspaper told us otherwise:

BRAVO, CLAUDIO Claudio Bravo dropped by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola: Here is why he is officially the worst goalkeeper in the Premier League – January 30, 2017

Pep Guardiola has explained his decision to drop Claudio Bravo in the Manchester City goal and replace him with Willy Caballero – February 1, 2017

Manchester City prepared to axe flop goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and replace him with Benfica’s Ederson Moraes – February 2, 2017

That paper was – of course – the Sun.

And how great was Ederson just over a week ago?

Ederson has nightmare debut and is already being compared to flop Claudio Bravo – July 21, 2017

You can read about “dodgy” Ederson giving City fans “a sense of deja vu”, causing “United supporters to gloat on Twitter as the £35million signing ensured Pep Guardiola’s choice of goalkeeper will remain a contentious issue next season” in the consistent Sun.

Posted: 1st, August 2017 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, Sports, Tabloids | Comment (1)


Charlie Gard has died and journalists are ‘digging for dirt’

Charlie Gard, the 11-month-old boy whose life pitted reason against emotion, has died. Charlie’s mother, Connie Yates, tells the Mail, which seem to have bought the parents’ story from Alison Smith-Squire’s Featureworld: “Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie.”

 

daily mail charlie gard covers

 

Over at Featureworld, another story is brewing. Smith-Squire writes an “open letter”:

While myself and the Charlie Gard family contemplate the death of a little boy, Alexi Mostrous ‘Investigations Editor’ at the Sunday Times is ringing me to dig up dirt on all of us for a nasty little story …

Smith-Squire addresses Mostrous:

Dear Alexi Mostrous

Do you have children? Are you a father? If you do you then you should be ashamed. Because in my opinion if you have any heart whatsoever you, Alexi Mostrous, never would never have rung me as you did today as Charlie is about to die and asked me how much money are myself and the Charlie Gard family making out of their story.

Many parents have been and are nasty sods. To be a breeder doesn’t make you any more or less compassionate than a man who has not fathered children. Are we impressed by people who have had children? Mostrous has merely asked a question. The top of the Featureworld site does include a section “HOW MUCH MONEY”.

 

 

The Mail framed Charlie Gard’s story as a “fight” not only for the child’s life but against medical advice and the ethics that underpins it. Surely a story can be told more than one way”? Isn’t Mostrous trying to do just that? As the late AA Gill noted, “Journalism isn’t an individual sport like books and plays; it’s a team effort. The power of the press is cumulative. It has a conscious human momentum. You can – and probably do – pick up bits of it and sneer or sigh or fling them with great force at the dog. But together they make up the most precious thing we own.”

You can read Smith-Squire’s letter in full here. In it she writes:

Let me tell you how it is. Let me show you, Alexi Mostrous, how compassion for interviewees and a desire to help them rather than ‘getting the story and making money’ is what my sort of journalism is about.

Let me guide you away from the nasty little world in my view you clearly exist in – where everyone is in it for money and you, a salaried staffer at the Oh so squeaky clean Sunday Times and The Times are apparently not…

Without someone like me ensuring vulnerable members of the public are guided through the media hell, some media individuals circle like vultures to take, take, take.

I am a mother myself of three children. So I can glimpse at the hell that Connie Yates and Chris Gard have gone through and the dark days to come.

Yes I am also a journalist . Of course I have to make a living. Like you, Alexi Mostrous I write stories for a living, I report on stories for a living, I supply photos to the media for a living.

This is why interviewees never pay me a penny. It is why I can represent them for free and indeed in some cases also broker deals so that newspapers and magazines are paying them.

The story of Charlie Gard’s plight captured hearts and minds. But ultimately it had something to do with money – if the child’s parents had more of it they could have funded treatment privately.

Posted: 28th, July 2017 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment


Charlie Gard: an emotive trial by media

charlie gard

 

Charlie Gard’s face is splashed across the Daily Mail’s front page. His face hovers above the word “MANSLAUGHTER”. The accusation is not levelled at those who have ruled that the child should die but given some of the reaction to his story it might as well be.

A judge, a rank the Mail not long ago labelled “enemies of the people”, has “ruled” that Charlie Gard cannot die at home. His parents’ words – “We’ve been denied out final wish” – complete the picture. This is another chapter of the story of parents v State – and once gain the State is winning.

Charlie Gard has featured on the Mail’s front page many times. His loving parents sold their story and we got to know about the chronically ill baby boy and his parents’ fight to defy the experts and allow him to leave hospital and undergo experimental treatment.

 

daily mail charlie gard covers

charlie gard newspapers

 

The court case is now over. Charlie Gard will not be subjected to any further treatment. His parents conceded defeat in their legal battle. He is being allowed to die. Reason has triumphed over hope. One US website told is readers that Charlie Gard is the baby the “British courts sentenced to death”. But the ruling was never that callous. Nothing close to it. The therapy on offer was no cure. The High Court judge heard from eight doctors and two nurses. He told the court: “The entire highly experienced UK team, all those who provided second opinions and the consultant instructed by the parents in these proceedings share a common view that further treatment would be futile.”‘ Charlie Gard is living what might be termed a faux life, kept going by machinery but not living autonomously. Medical opinion is in total agreement: he will never get better.

The judge added: “If Charlie’s damaged brain function cannot be improved, as all seem to agree, then how can he be any better off than he is now, which is in a condition that his parents believe should not be sustained?… with complete conviction… that it is in Charlie’s best interests that I accede to these applications and rule that Great Ormond Street Hospital (SOSH) may lawfully withdraw all treatment, save for palliative care, to permit Charlie to die with dignity.”

But emotions run high. Reason fails to inspire. The Star notes how “some on social media channels for campaign group ‘Charlie’s Army’ believe the tot will breathe on his own.” Would you take belief over medial knowledge?

So now news that Charlie’s parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, have been denied time with their child.  They wanted to spend “a week or so” in a hospice with their son before the machines keeping him alive were switched off. But GOSH says that would require a round-the-clock intensive care team. And with none forthcoming by the courts’ deadline, a GOSH spokesman tells media: “Sadly, as the judge has now ruled, there is simply no way that Charlie, a patient with such severe and complex needs, can spend any significant time outside of an intensive care environment safely. The risk of an unplanned and chaotic end to Charlie’s life is an unthinkable outcome for all concerned and would rob his parents of precious last moments with him. As the judge has now ruled, we will arrange for Charlie to be transferred to a specialist children’s hospice, whose remarkable and compassionate staff will support his family at this impossible time.”

Intensive life support cannot be supplied away from a hospital intensive care unit. So Charlie Gard cannot die at home.

This, says the Mail, is “heart-wrenching”. Charlie’s mother tells the paper amid photos of a family picnic  by GOSH: “We just want some peace with our son, no hospital, no lawyers, no courts, no media just quality time with Charlie away from everything to say goodbye to him in the most loving way. Most people won’t ever have to go through what we have been through, we’ve had no control over our son’s life and no control over our son’s death.”

The parents now agree with his son’s doctors that he should die in a hospice. They want him to be kept alive for up to a week but medics say he should “slip away” within a few hours of arriving.

And so a baby kept alive for five months will be allowed to die. The medics who looked after Charlie Gard are not uncaring pen-pushers. GOSH and the courts are not places where children are sentenced to death and human life is cheap. Ethics matter.

But something nags. Was it all about money? And if it was – and money must always be a factor when resources are not infinite – why can’t a rich country provide for its own?

This struggle was for Charlie Gard and the future for us all. It was for those not yet born. It was for love, reason and force of argument. Through that we hope to get to the truth.

Posted: 28th, July 2017 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment


Brexit supporting Daily Mail plans to stay in the EU by relocating to Ireland

The Daily Mail’s owners are considering relocating from Kensington, London, to Ireland (EU). The Times reports:

 

daily mail brexit

 

July 1, 2017:

Spencer-Churchill also let slip that the Daily Mail’s publishers are considering upping sticks after the Brexit vote. “I was talking to my friend Viscount Rothermere yesterday,” he said. “He’s thinking about moving his whole operation of Associated Newspapers [now DMG Media] to Ireland.” So much for crushing the saboteurs.

Previously in the Mail:

daily mail brexit

 

Take a bow (out), Daily Mail!

Spotter: @bellamackie

Posted: 23rd, July 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Tabloids | Comment


Jodie Whittaker: the naked Dr Who photos too racy for tea-time telly

jodie-whittaker-doctornaked

 

That the latest incarnation of Dr Who is a woman and not a child or a fridge freezer has not escaped the Sun and the Daily Mail. The papers reviewed Jodie Whittaker’s pre-postgrad career in time travel and noticed that she’s appeared starkers.

Both tabloids have shown their readers pictures of Whittaker naked or topless in previous acting work. To which you might wonder, ‘So what?’ She’s a grown woman who took the roles that required disrobing in the best possible taste under free will. But something called the Equal Representation for Actresses (ERA), is upset. “We are delighted by the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor,” says the camping group without humour, mistaking the BBC’s Verne-fed gurn-fest for an actual character. “However, we are surprised and disappointed by the Daily Mail and the Sun’s reductive and irresponsible decision to run a story featuring pictures of Jodie in various nude scenes.”

The show’s Daleks were naked, moreover the Cyberman and K-9, Dr Who’s robot dog. All nude. Why is it different for Whittaker? Is it because women are so weak that she needs special protection?

 

Jodie Whittaker naked

 

Doctor of Morals

Everything about the BBC’s cash-cow is contrived to milk viewers. What began as a bit of fun is now a marketing campaign so message-laden Dr Who should be recast as a Royal Mail van driver. The last Dr Who looked like your grandfather, or at least the head of English at an inner-city Academy. He was tooled-up with a magic screwdriver in place of plot. When that MacGuffin flagged, he scored a gay female sidekick, who for added twitter-appeal was also black. “It shouldn’t be a big deal in the 21st Century. It’s about time isn’t it?” Pearl Mackie, who played the sidekick told the BBC. “That representation is important, especially on a mainstream show.”

Good for her. But the suspicion is that her identity-first role was led less by desire for change than it was it to suppress desire of a more base sort in the Beeb’s post-Savile era. There was no chance of the Aunty who tuned a blind eye to depravity letting old man Peter Capaldi anywhere near someone young and female who could be perceived as some kind of love interest.

So now you get Dr Who who looks most like a primary school teacher, albeit one with a racier past. She’s safe around children, and on parents’ evening, there’s something for dad to contemplate.

Posted: 18th, July 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


The Sunday Sport’s absurd Brexit parody will jump start your sex drive

The Sunday Sport’s take on the Brexit negotiations is a cracker:

 

Brexit sunday sport

 

The filth keeps on coming:

 

brexit porn parody

 

Spotter: @rhodri

Posted: 16th, July 2017 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


Johanna Konta is as British as 3000 migrant children we must not let in

Yay! Johanna Konta is the British number one – the last Briton standing at Wimbledon. Can she win the tennis comp.? The Daily Mail hopes so:

Johanna Konta tennis daily mail

Johanna Konts was born to Hungarian parents in Sydney, Australia. She moved to the UK when she was 14. In 2012, this migrant / immigrant became a British citizen.

Come one, come all, then. But only if you’re white and play a sport the Daily Mail enjoys:

 

Johanna Konta tennis daily mail

 

3,000 future Golden Children can be wrong.

Posted: 13th, July 2017 | In: Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (2)


Jeremy Corbyn only wants a little peace (of pizza) and genocide denial

Jeremy Corbyn has been “enjoying pizza” with a man who supports “Syrian dictator” Bashar Assad. The Sun has spotted Corbyn eating, nay “scoffing” with “pro-Russian journalist Marcus Papadopoulos”. One Washington newspaper calls Papadopoulos a “Russian agent”.

 

Marcus Papadopoulos corbyn pizza

 

Most of us have no idea who Papadopoulos is lest what his opinions are. Helpfully, the Sun has searched Google and can tell us that last year Papadopoulos tweeted: “There was no siege of #Sarajevo, there was no genocide at #Srebrenica and there was no massacre at #Aleppo. Discard what Western media says”. This year he opined: “President Assad, the guardian of Christians in #Syria, celebrating Easter. I stand with him 100%…”

So much for the Sarajevo Roses. A Guardian leader article called Srebrenica a “place of horror that ranks alongside Auschwitz”. The one deed the dead can perform on behalf of the living is allowing us to bear witness to their suffering and the consequences of our freedom. Would you deny them that honour?

But no matter. Corbyn can explain. The Labour leader who was simply reaching out when he invited “friends” at jihad-endorsing, Jew-hating Hamas to take tea in Parliament (Hamas’s charter declares: “The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: ‘The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”) and has a proclivity for sharing platforms with anti-Semites is yet again an innocent.

The Sun quotes a “Labour spokesman” who says Mr Corbyn had been “joined briefly by Mr Papadopolous [sic], who asked to be photographed with Jeremy. Photographs of Jeremy with members of the public do not mean he endorses their views, as is the case on this occasion too.”

Do the two men know each other? The Times adds that Mr Papadopoulos “is editor of Politics First, a bi-monthly magazine with a circulation of just over 1,000. Mr Corbyn wrote for its last issue.”

So much for the right-wing Press’s view on the pizza date. What say the Mirror and Guardian on the matter? Nothing. Not a word. Is it a sign of information denial? Is news about feeling good and moralising journalists attaching themselves to pet causes, or is it about presenting the facts and trusting your readers?

Things are taking a nasty turn. It’s not politics that supports Corbyn; it’s a personality cult. And it’s dangerous.

Posted: 12th, July 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


Labour Hunt Tory MP Ann Marie Morris for making remarks she doesn’t agree with

Ann Marie Morris is proof the Tories are “still nasty”, says The National. Ann Marie Morris is proof that the Conservatives are “in chaos”, says the Mirror. Ann Marie Morris is front-page news. She’s the Conservative MP for Newton Abbot. What she said during a meeting at London’s East India club to a group of Tory Eurosceptics is to terrible the paper refers to it as “n*****”, the word censored lest we say it and also become pariahs.

What Ms Morris said was that “the real nigger in the woodpile” about Brexit is if after the two-year negotiation period is up Britain and the EU haven’t agreed on trade contracts. It’s a remarkably stupid and ugly comment. You’ve got to wonder at anyone who uses it outside a class on arcane phrases loaded in racism. But surely one idiotic phrase doesn’t sum up an entire political party and the millions who voted for it.

When Prince Philip told British students in China “If you stay here much longer you’ll all be slitty-eyed”, the Mirror called it a “memorable gaffe“, a bit of misspeaking we should cherish. It was one of his many “classic quotes”, other being about Aboriginal “spear chuckers”. Did we hear them and say that his words summed up every Windsor in the Family Firm, including The Queen, Harry and Diana?

 

ann marie morris tories

It’s not really about race. It’s about party politics, which is nasty and unsure. It means politicos have to be seen to be active. Theresa May, the actual Prime Minster, suspends Morris from their party. Labour MP Tulip Siddiq tweets: “I’m absolutely appalled by this. I assume PM will take appropriate action?” Andrew Gwynne, Labour’s campaign coordinator, says: “Theresa May once spoke about changing the Tories’ ‘nasty party’ tag. If she’s serious about that, she will admit it’s not enough for the Tories to ‘investigate’ and will apologise and act immediately. If that means withdrawing the whip, that’s what they should do.” Guardian invention Owen Jones wants action against other Tory MPs who were at the meeting and who failed to denounce Morris for her choice of phrase. For people against blood sports, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour seem to love the thrill of the hunt.

Neither circumspection nor reason is countenanced.

Anne MArie Morris

 

But the good news for Morris is that, like Naz Shah the Labour MP who suggested all Jews should be deported from Israel, you can embark on a “journey” and learn how to become socially acceptable among your enlightened Commons peers once more.

And Corbyn, with his interesting friends, should be sensitive to Morris’s re-education, after all when Naz Shah shouted “RAUS!” at the Jews, Corbyn told us, “We’re not saying she’s anti-Semitic. We’re saying she’s made remarks she doesn’t agree with.” More guff than gaffe.

Posted: 11th, July 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester United sign Stormzy and Lukaku plays Dublin’s Longitude festival

stormzy lukaku

 

Manchester United didn’t sign Romelu Lukaku from Everton. As Ireland’s Evening Herald newspaper reports, those fools at Old Trafford signed Stormzy in error.

Says the paper’s editor Herald Alan Steenson of its scoop:

Hands up, we got it badly wrong. Earlier, we made an error with a picture of Romelu Lukaku that wasn’t him. It was Stormzy.To be honest, we are totally embarrassed and want to say sorry to all involved and our readers for the error. We will keep our eye on the ball in future.

Lukaku is playing the Longitude festival in Dublin on Friday.

Posted: 10th, July 2017 | In: Celebrities, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer Ball: Alexis Sanchez staying at Arsenal unless Manchester City pay £80m

Transfer Balls: Alexis Sanchez news watch. Is the Arsenal striker leaving? Compare and contrast the Daily Star and other tabloid scoops:

Daily Star, July 4:

Alexis Sanchez will stay at Arsenal

Daily Star, July 9:

Arsenal waiting for Paris St-Germain and Bayern Munich to swoop for Alexis Sanchez –

ARSENAL star Alexis Sanchez will reportedly be allowed to join Paris St-Germain or Bayern Munich – but not Manchester City.

Daily Star, July 9:

Alexis Sanchez happy to swap Arsenal for Chelsea this summer.

Starsport exclusively revealed this weekend that the Gunners are not willing to sell the former Barcelona star to a title rival.

Daily Mirror, July 10:

Arsenal willing to sell Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City – but they want £80million for him

What news in the Mirror of Arsenal’s price?

Facts to support this tory: none.

Sanchez’s desire to play for Manchester City: “City are bolstered by the belief that the player is keen to link up again with Pep Guardiola.”

And on the strength of that belief, and citing the Mirror as its source, the Sun thunders:

“LEX IN THE CITY Arsenal willing to offload wantaway star Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City for £80million”

In other news: the Mirror says Sanchez wants £400,000 a week to stay at Arsenal. Presumably, the Citizens are going to pay that for a man who’ll be 29 in December, right?

Posted: 9th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Manchester City, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Arsenal ‘bid’ £125 for Kylian Mbappe, Lacazette arrives and Gooners click

Transfer Balls: Is Kylian Mbappe heading from Monaco to Arsenal, Real Madrid or Liverpool? The Indy says the player’s “dropped a huge hint” he’s leaving the French club. So big is this “hint” that it now “looks certain he will now move”.

The Indy says Mbappe is surely leaving Monaco “after removing any reference to the club in his Twitter bio.” Jack Austin has the facts. But when we looked at Mbappe’s Twitter page we see two photos of the player wearing his Monaco kit? Not exactly shunning them, is he?

 

Kylian Mbappé Verified account @ KMbappe

 

After that total balls, the Mirror says Mbappe is leaving Monaco. He’s going to play for…Arsenal. Maybe. The Gunners are “preparing a stunning £125million Kylian Mbappe bid”. Facts to support this story of an astronomical bid for an 18-year-old player there are none. Nil. Ziltch. Zippo.

But in the world of clickbait football reporting,  when one newspaper makes a claim the others pile in and agree. So the Sun reads the Mirror’s scoop and declares: “ARSENAL will launch a mega £125million world record bid for Monaco hitman Kylian Mbappe this week.” It’s source? Yep, the Daily Mirror.

Amidst this human caterpillar of news reporting, the Mirror mentions another Arsenal target:

The Gunners are battling Real Madrid for the 18-year-old’s signature. But a deal for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette seems far from done as the striker wants to join up with close friend Antoine Griezmann at Atletico Madrid.

So says Steve Stammers in a story timestamped at “22:30, 2 JUL 2017”

But in another Daily Mirror story by Darren Lewis dated “19:50, 2 JUL 2017”, we learn that Lacazette to Arsenal is a dead cert:

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas says Alexandre Lacazette’s move to Arsenal is set to be completed in “one or two days”.

Lacazette is set to sign a five-year deal with the Gunners, who are expected to pay £44million for the French international’s services.

With tight reporting like that, surely we can look forward to more Mirror news on that huge Mbappe bid and work out how many fist-sized pinched of salt we should take it with …

Posted: 2nd, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann found in a listicle, the child as big as the pyramids and free holiday posters

Madeleine McCann: very few words on the missing child haver featured in the national press of late. Big stories – murderous terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, and the horror that engulfed lives at London’s Grenfell Tower – have kept journalists and editors busy. No need to press f9 on the keyboard and fill the pages with no news of Madeleine McCann.

But let’s see what has featured in the past few weeks.

The Sun: “‘KEEP THE SEARCH ALIVE’ – Holidaymakers urged to print off and pack Maddie McCann posters when they go abroad in new bid to track down missing youngster”

Passports. Money. Tickets. Poster of missing child…The Sun tells us:

The posters have been printed in 17 different languages including Romanian, Filipino and Arabic

And English, right? Not just foreigners being reminded about the missing child. But anyone holidaying in Bucharest, St John’s Wood or Iraq can tell the locals to watch out.

None of the posters contain information on any reward.

 

posters maddy mccann madeleine

posters maddy mccann madeleine

posters maddy mccann madeleine

 

Posters have featured a reward:

 

 

Of course, maybe the posters will help. You never know.

The Sun then hears from people it calls “website fans”, people who read the Find Maddie Campaign website. Fans is an odd word. Can you be a fan of finding missing child?

Sharon Wood vows: “Every trip I make posters go up in Lanzarote and I keep my Find Madeleine tag on my case.” Sarah Green adds: “I’m in Crete and my eyes are peeled all the time for her.”

Madeleine McCann went missing in Portugal ten years ago.

The Star wonders if she left Portugal. “Is THIS where Maddie was hidden? Hundreds of wells were NEVER searched,” says the paper. “A WELL just 15 minutes from the apartment where Maddie disappeared is one of hundreds in the area reportedly never checked by investigators,” the paper reports.

The report runs the full gamut of Madeleine McCann reporting. We begin with the former detective’s opinion:

Ex-detective Roy Ramm said the well, which it’s claimed was used to hide swag by local crooks, was an obvious place to look for clues

Then we get the anonymous source:

The Brit, who asked not to be named, said: “This was brought up by an ex-cop who said that local criminals used it all the time. I don’t know whether that well has been investigated or not but if you pick wells on disused farms in the area of Luz there are lots of them.”

They don’t know about one well, and they don’t know about the other wells, either.

“It could be that one, it could be another one, it could be none of them. For it to matter, somebody needs to have information that Madeleine was in that well.”

And after speculation about place we get speculation about people:

Our source also said that – if a well was used to hide Maddie – her tormentor must have been someone with local knowledge who knew where to go.

 

Madeleine Mccann daily mirror

 

After the “ifs”, “coulds” and “maybes”, the Mirror shoves Madeleine McCann into a listicle . “Agony of 7 most famous unsolved cases in the UK – including Madeleine McCann, Jill Dando and Suzy Lamplugh,” comes the headline. Yeah, “famous”.

“The shooting of TV presenter Jill Dando alongside the disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh and Maddie McCann are among the infamous unsolved cases that may remain a mystery forever,” the paper continues.

Readers can play along. The “seven” cases to solve are: Jill Dando (shot dead); Jack the Ripper (presumed dead); a dead child’s torso in the River Thames; Ben Needham;  Madeleine McCann; and Suzi Lamplugh. Yes, that’s six. The seventh famous mystery will have to wait.

If you want more lazy journalism, South Africa’s East Coast Radio has a question: “What would you ask the universe to explain? If you could have one answer to any mystery of the universe, what would it be?”

“We live in a mysterious world and in mysterious times,” we’re told. “Do you ever stop to think about world events that just don’t have answers and wish you knew what had happened?”

The writer has a few wonders to get you started:

Things like the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that just literally disappeared off the face of the earth?

Bits of the plane were found on earth.

Princess Diana’s death, maybe? There’s been speculation and controversy around that story for two decades.

Had she worn a seatbelt, would she have survived a car crash whilst on holiday in Paris? Discuss.

Madeleine McCann – the young girl who disappeared while on holiday with her parents Gerry and Kate in Portugal?

Unlike the plane and Diana, no sign of the missing child has been found. And lest you think one missing child is a personal horror for her and her loved ones and not one of life’s great mysteries, the radio station tells just how big the story is.

What about the Bermuda Triangle, the pyramids, Stonehenge in England?

And above all else – and let’s toss in the meaning of life, God and why EastEnders is till on the telly – the writer has one burning question:

Mine would be: Where is Madelaine McCann [sic] and what really happened?

Maybe technology can help?

The Telegraph and Argus reports: “University of Bradford team develops digital face-ageing that could help in search for missing children like Madeleine McCann.”

As a test case, the researchers chose to work on the case of Ben Needham, who disappeared on the Greek island of Kos on July 24, 1991, when he was only 21 months old. Since then, several images have been produced by investigators showing how Ben might look at ages 11-14 years, 17-20 years, and 20-22 years. The team used its method to progress the image of Ben to the ages of 6, 14 and 22 years. The resulting images show very different results, which the researchers believe more closely resemble what Ben might look like today.

 

Ben Needham

The images of Ben Needham provided by police above, and those generated by the new algorithm below

 

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 2nd, July 2017 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney ‘bullied’ in yet another body-shaming attack

When Wayne Rooney finally waves adieu to Manchester United, the tabloids will miss him. He’s been an environment of on-the-clock sex, foul-mouthed rants, rethreading and explosions of ferocious power and sublime skill. When he goes the Sun will produce a special souvenir issue with Shrek toys for the kids, phone-box calling cards for the dads and a hailing of the theme tune from The Adams Family for everyone to click along to when the paper is opened.

It’s been easy to take the Wazz out of Wazza. Given the amount to abuse chucked his way, Rooney might well we reappraised as a model of self restraint.

For an age Rooney has been a figure of fun – and the tabloids have been at the forefront of mocking the most gifted English football of his crop. Rooney has been portrayed as thick, fat and ugly.

 

rooney wayne shrek fat

rooney wayne shrek fat

The Sun salutes the captain

wayne rooney sex

 

 

Today the Mirror – the paper that told readers Rooney had been “kicked out” of the club years before he became United’s all-time top goal scorer – points and laughs at the man. In “The remarkable differences between Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo with their shirts off”, readers are invited to look at “two men of similar age… and very different physiques: “Take a look at Ronaldo and Rooney and “it’s considerably harder to believe that they are of a similar age… particularly when they go topless.”

 

manchester united rooney mirror fat

 

Imagine this were women the paper was talking about, say, comparing Theresa May’s legs to Nichola Sturgeon’s. When the Daily Mail did just that, the Mirror branded the paper “sexist”. Jeremy Corbyn told the paper that supports his Labour Party: “It’s 2017. This sexism must be consigned to history.” It was, said the paper, a “sexist row”. Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the Green Party, called Press watchdog IPSO for “breaking the editors” code and treating women with contempt.

But the Mirror sees a paparazzi photo of Rooney on his holidays and says “given how similar Rooney and Ronnie once were, the recent images of the England captain on holiday in Ibiza become particularly interesting when they are put alongside images of his former team mate. Especially when you remember that the Real Madrid superstar is actually eight months OLDER than the United striker…”

This from the paper that talked of “body-shaming bullies”.

Having diced Rooney into body parts – “the abs”; “the tan”; “the modelling potential” – the Mirror heralds another long lens photo of Rooney minding his own business: “Behold the most unflattering image of England’s record goalscorer you have ever seen.”

Maybe to escape the name calling and body-shaming, Rooney should seek out a new career as an MP? One thing for sure: his skin’s thick enough.

Posted: 28th, June 2017 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, manchester united, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Tabloids lead with naked women, feuding women, mad women and lesbians

tabloids women

 

Who buys newspapers? Women and men who like looking at women do. Or at least they used to buy them – now they get them for free in supermarkets. Today’s tabloids are curious for the absence of men on the covers. They look like fashion titles, porn mag and women’s weeklies. Across all the tabloids, only the Daily Express features a man on the cover, and he’s Prince Charles, the kind of bloke who never understood what a T-shirt is and grimaces as he attempts to straddle two poles by being both relevant to the hoi polloi and beyond the reach of mere mortals. Charles is on the Express‘ front-page to illustrate how lucrative it is to be a royal. This year the proles are to fund the Queen to the tune of £82.2million, or £1.21 from each of us. That represents “such good value” says the Express. The Express costs 55p.

But the rest all focus on women only.

The Daily Star, the Express‘ fun stablemate, has Eastenders actress Jessie Wallace looking tired and emotional as she “boobs” on a bight out; “Sexy” Emma Willis illustrating the fact that Big Brother, the show she presents, is crap (yes, it is still on); Theresa May signing a deal with the DUP (pronounced D! U! P!) to give the county a working Government; and Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s current lover, often “nips over to Harry” on a plane.

The Sun leads with claims that “lesbian jailbird” Syndee Offord and “female prison guard” Faron Selvage enjoyed “LESBIAN ROMP BEHIND BRAS”; May’s deal; and the Sun’s “Chest test”, in which Alice Lazar covers her naked breasts in glitter and walks about the streets of London.

The Mirror leads with Theresa May and D!U!P! leader Arlene Foster engaging in a “handshake of shame”. It’s “May’s £1bn Bribe to Crackpots”.

 

 

But the Daily Mail takes the cake. Its cover shows a picture of Princess Diana and Camilla Parker-Bowes, once “Britain’s most hated woman” and now part of the PR camping to make us believe that after Her Majesty leaves the throne the feckless ninnies and knobs who make up her Royal Family will do a decent job of being our betters.

To recap, then: in this enlightened age, the tabloids lead with naked women, sexy women, mad women, women’s primary sexual characteristics, materialistic women and lesbians. We’ve come a long way, baby….

Posted: 27th, June 2017 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment


The Daily Express free Brexit calendar is beyond parody

 Daily Express free Brexit calendar

 

In the Daily Express a free calendar to mark Brexit by. Behind every star is a Brexit champion. You’ll see Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage. But will there be a Gisele Stuart, a Jeremy Corbyn or a Katie Hopkins? Scratch*, sniff and see.

Stars will only be removed fully if you scratch very, very hard. No soft option available.

Posted: 23rd, June 2017 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


After Grenfell: 600 deathtraps, party political boomerangs and another lousy inquiry

News is that Grenfell Tower was not the only building swaddled in flammable cladding. The Sun leads with “600 Fire Traps”. It sees “thousands of families living in fear” that what happened in North Kensington could happen to their home. Eleven building in eight local authorities have been tested by the Government so far, including those, says the paper, in the London borough of Camden, which just happens to be a council under Labour control. So much for the narrative about only people in jeans, double-vent jackets and brogues placing the poor in danger. The Sun is happy to point out when a horror comes along and upsets all the pieces on the board, playing party politics with the dead is a campaigning boomerang.

Theresa May does not murder children. Jeremy Corbyn does not value life more or less than other party leaders. Using the dead for a political campaign is sick. I’m sure among the enlightened and knowing screaming about justice for Grenfell and Tory child killers it’s a monumental order of self-restraint not to revisit Guy Fawkes’ old plot.

 

 

On page 5, the Sun tells us of the 4,800 residents in five Camden council tower blocks who can’t sleep for fear of a blaze. The “killer cladding” was installed by Rydon, the same company that worked on Grenfell Tower.

Over in the Mirror, the front-page news is also of thousands more people “living in deathtraps”. We hear from Labour’s Harriet Harman, who calls the news “chilling”. It too mentions Camden Council, and looks at the Rivers Apartments in Tottenham, London, where the building is wrapped in the same “lethal material” as Grenfell. In Camden, the council has ordered the cladding on the Chalcots Estate to be stripped immediately. The paper does not mention that Camden Council is under Labour control. It does, however, remind readers that the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is under Tory control, and that its hapless leader has resigned.

 

 

In the Express, Grenfell and cladding becomes something to do with illegal immigration. Ross Clark agrees that any illegal immigrants who survived Grenfell Tower should not be prosecuted but his bleeding heart swiftly dries like camel spit. No-one wants to be an illegal immigrant, dead or both. But he tells us that illegal immigration is a health and safety issue because lots of them live in sub-let council flats. Presumably, the way around this is to flush them out with random spot-cheques and drills. All for their own good, of course. The Grenfell Towers disaster, he notes, “might not have been caused by overcrowding” – no might about it, Ross, it wasn’t – “but unless we investigate properly the living conditions there, then sooner or later we are going to have similar tragedies caused by having people crammed into unsuitable housing.”

As the Express looks to rehousing the poor and displaced in better accommodation – i.e. a prison before deportation – the Mail sees the “GREAT EVACUATION”, saying that thousands of tenants in the 600 infected towers may have to move out.

Of course, the exact cause of the inferno that destroyed Grenfell Tower on 14 June remains to be discovered. But, yes, you’d want to move out if you lived in a tower block with questionable safety standards.

So they move out into temporary accommodation, the contractors move in, the council wonks say “lessons have been learned” and thank sheer luck that Grenfell never happened on their patch – and then what?

Right now the feeling is not that we need more legislation, but that building companies and clockwork councils need to better observe rules already in place. They should employ more common sense and gut-feeling in jobs that have been reduced to box-ticking. A disaster on this scale could have been prevented had people in power listened to the warnings. The cladding changed the building. But who was looking into how cladding affected fire risk and fire control? Nothing exits in isolation. In focusing on the cladding, the councils are not considering the bigger picture: who oversees the whole thing not just the micro-management? Who wasn’t listening to Grenfell Tower’s residents when they campaigned long and hard for their Tenant Management Organisation to address their concerns? Instinct and local knowledge were ignored. Removing faddish and dangerous cladding won’t alter that.

And then there’s the ubiquitous inquiry. Over the need for quick action and addressing the concerns of people who live in their flats and know them best, politicians franchise action to a body not accountable to the public. And nothing changes.

 

Posted: 23rd, June 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment


The Daily Mail continues to plagiarise The Mail Online, which it has ‘nothing to do with’

daily mail mail online guardian fight

 

If the Daily Mail is “nothing to do with the Mail Online” why does the Mail Online publish “top stories from the Daily Mail“?

Spotter: @Liz Gerard

Posted: 22nd, June 2017 | In: Tabloids | Comment


DAY OF RAGE: tabloid facts and figures from the Grenfell Tower march

How many people attended the “DAY OF RAGE” March? Was it a success? What did they protestors achieve? The tabloids review the action.

 

day of rage

 

Daily Mirror: “Rage against the Maychine” – “400 people passed Downing Street shouting ‘Theresa May – murderer'”. The protest is front-page news. The protestors are seen behind a banner demanding: “We Need Justice for Grenfell Tower.”

The Mirror finds one person who survived the disaster at Grenfell Tower who supports the march. She wasn’t on it, however. It makes no mention of survivors who did not agree with the march. Says survivor Anita Mohamed, 46: “I blame the council and the Government. More than 100 people could be dead because of their policies.”

Daily Star: “DAY OF RAGE MARCH FURY.” The paper says protestors “clashed with police”. The Mirror made no mention of any aggro. The march “erupted in violence”. There were “several arrests”. How many were on the march to topple the Government? “Around 250,” says the paper.

 

day of rage sun

 

The Sun: “TOO HOT TO TROT.” The march to “bring down the Government” “fizzled out”. In all “around 400 turned out to march 5 miles from Shepherd’s Bush to Westminster”. How many people were nicked? “There were two arrests.” We don’t hear from any Grenfell Tower survivors who support the march. We do hear from aid worker Zeyad Cred, 29, who says: “The community are still trying to recover – the last thing we need is a day of rage.”

On Page 10, the Sun calls the marchers “the furious few”. It was a day out for “freshly-minted Socialist Worker propaganda”.

On Page 13, Rod Liddle tells readers the march was organised by “another tiny left-wing organisation, the Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary”. They are “nasty, self-righteous, thick-as-mince Trots and snowflakes”. He says the people who suffered and the charities helping the Grenfell survivors “did not approve” the march. Their “misery has been hijacked by Left-wing nutters” – it was “egged-on by by the Labour Party”, specifically Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.  When McDonell doesn’t get his way “he can always be found standing in a street surrounded by furious anti-Semitic Muslim protestors, radical lesbians… bedwetting students and professional agitators”.

Daily Express: “Militant mob clashes with police outside Downing Street.”

There were “fewer than 500” on the march. The march continued “despite the pleas of victims’ families who said their grief was being hijacked”. One volunteer helping the Grenfell survivors tell the paper: “It’s politicising the anger. Now is not the time… They are running around saying how can we get Jeremy Corbyn in.”

 

day of rage mail signs

 

day of rage mail signs

 

Daily Mail: “‘THIS is class war!’ yelled a thug at an old boy in a blazer.”

“Hey! Hey! Theresa May! How many kids did you kill today?” ask the “few hundred” fair-minded marchers. One woman carries a poster of Jeremy Corbyn with the word “Hope” over his face. We learn that the march did include “some who had been personally affected by the fire”. One woman whose young son had lost a friend in the blaze in marching. We see a few banners. “WHY DO TRAGEDYS [sic] always happen UNDER TORIES?” asks one, the holder seemingly oblivious to goings on in Iraq and Libya.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 22nd, June 2017 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment


After Grenfell Tower: let’s envy the ‘victims’ in their luxury flats

Kensington Row grenfell tower

 

After Grenfell Tower, news that displaced residents will be rehoused in “Posh New £5m Flats” (Star) at a new-build complex called Kensington Row located around a mile and a half from the disaster. The development has 68 flats, where the three-bed and four-bed flats are worth “around £5m” each.  These bigger flats, says the paper, are where “a majority of the survivors” will live.

Over in the Express there’s news that only “some of the victims” will be rehoused in the new flats. I’d say none of the victims will be. They’re dead – at least 79 of them. It’s the survivors who are being rehoused because their last home was a toxic time-bomb.

The flats, secured by the City of London Corporation, are worth even more in the Express. Now homes on the plot are worth up to £8.5m. Residents have access to a “gym, swimming pool, spa, private cinema and 24-hour concierge”. Are we supposed to envy them, or just marvel at the insane London property market which keeps so many people off the property ladder?

 

Kensington Row grenfell tower

The Mail says those survivors are living the dream

 

And then we learn that the City of London Corp paid around £10m (source: The Sun) for the 68 flats. That’s not £5m each is it – even if Diane Abbott is doing the maths. The majority of survivors are not living in £5m flats. It’s just under £150,000 for each, on average. Yes, I know that’s not the asking price, but the base price. The developers have “sold the properties at cost price”. But it proves that the flats’ monetary value is affected by many forces, not least of all guesswork and the legal requirement that all new complexes contain an element of low-cost housing.  The government defines affordable housing as “social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing provided to specified eligible households whose needs are not met by the market”.

The need for a decent roof over your head is not a luxury or an investor’s punt. It’s a basic human requirement.

Oddly, the Mirror makes no mention of the new flats until Page 5. Buried in the 14h paragraph of a story on how Grenfell Tower became enveloped in a “deadly cyanide cloud”, we learn that “some Grenfell residents” will be rehoused “in a £10m deal”.

The Mail leaves it to pages 20 and 21 to focus on the flats. Now the flats are in “£2bn blocks” and worth up to £13m. The flats are “the stuff of dreams”. Well, the privately owned ones next door the council flats on the same £2bn development are. The council homes will have a lower spec.

The rehoused Grenfeell Tower survivors will, the paper observes, “live near multi-millionaires”. Not everyone’s a multi-millionaire in London – yet. There are people in the city who live in social housing and do menial and blue collar jobs. Who knew?

Posted: 22nd, June 2017 | In: Money, News, Tabloids, The Consumer | Comment


Daily Express overdoses on aspirin

The Daily Express has big news on aspirin:

 

Aspirin Daily Express

 

A daily dose of aspirin poses a health risk, says the paper.

Or as it told us earlier:

 

Aspirin Daily Express

 

Spotter: Liz Gerard 

Posted: 14th, June 2017 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Daily Express leads with scoopiest scoop of all time

What news from the Daily Express? Well, the investigative team has been in full cry:

 

theresa may daily express weather scoop

 

It’s going to be hotter in the summer! Get me an ice-cream – and make it double, no, a treble scoop!

Posted: 13th, June 2017 | In: Strange But True, Tabloids | Comment


Richard Hammond is not dead (he’s on Amazon Prime)

“I thought Richard Hammond had died.” says Jeremy Clarkson on the Daily Star’s cover. No, Clarkson, he’s just not on the telly as much, having moved from the BBC to Amazon Prime.

 

Richard Hammond car crash

 

For those of you not in the know. Hammond was in a car crash. No, it wasn’t the car crash that put him in a coma a few years ago. And it wasn’t the Top Gear car crash – that was Chris Evans. This car crash was when Hammond destroyed a “£2million electric car” while filming The Grand Tour show.

He’s alive.

But how much was that car worth? The Sun, Mail and Mirror all agree that the car was worth £2m. But was it? The Times says it was worth $1m, which a lot of money for a customised milk float, but a lot less than £2m.

 

Richard Hammond car crash

 

 

The car was a Rimac Concept One, an electric car. You can buy one for $980,000. You can buy the one Hammond was riding in for less.

 

Posted: 13th, June 2017 | In: Celebrities, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Man City’s Joe Hart’s Liverpool limbo

News is that Joe Hart hasn’t received any offers. Oh, come on, someone must have offered the big lunk a job as a clothes line or a figuring in a bi snow globe (he’s not advertising anti-dandruff treatments any longer so look out below).

The Sun and Mirror say the Manchester City and England goalkeeper is “in limbo”, having received no offers to play for a new club. The idea of Joe Hart, a man possessed with all the composure of a loon screaming at pigeons in the precinct, being agile enough to dive for a ball let alone limbo is far-fetched.

But can this be the same Joe Hart who had agreed to joined Liverpool?

 

joe hart balls liverpool

 

joe hart balls liverpool

 

The Mirror then produces one of those awful ‘7 things’ columns:

 

joe hart balls liverpool

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 12th, June 2017 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Tabloid review: Boris Johnson is BOJO the healer as Corbyn waits for Number 10 and Theresa hangs on

Is Jeremy Corbyn surging towards Downing Street? Can urban young Remainers get Corbyn, a Eurosceptic for most of his life, to change his ways, scupper Brexit and become Prime Minister? The stakes seem very high after Theresa May’s humbling. The General Election result invites so many questions.

Is democracy in peril? Wasn’t Brexit the biggest revolt in British politics, a rejection of the establishment? Is Corbyn’s dynamic campaign and his leadership a strike against a hard Brexit? Is the increased Labour vote share a turn away from Leave and back to the EU? Brexit was not central to the General Election debate. Well, so they told us. And then when the votes were counted, it became all about Brexit. Have your heard anything other than Brexit leading the news cycle and TV bulletins?

Tabloid round-up:

In the Daily Mirror, we read (fornt page): “Corbyn: I Can Be Prime Minister In Months”

Corbyn says that if the Tories call another snap election, he’s ready to win it and become Prime Minister. So close is Corbyn to power that the paper finally introduces Mrs Corbyn III. She’s Laura Alvarez, an ex-banker and 48 years young. She married Corbyn in her native Mexico in 2012. What does she do with her time? “She now imports fair trade coffee.” She is very much the kind of supporter Labour now represents.

 

 

The Daily Mail leads with “Theresa Tears Up Manifesto”. Well quite. “Theresa”. We’re still on first name terms with Mrs May in the Daily Mail. Even on Saturday, when the vote was raw and she was, as the Mirror’s source tells it, “welling up with tears”, the Mail backed “Theresa”.

 

 

The Mail on Sunday is less pally, preferring a night in with Boris:

 

 

As Mail editors compete, today’s paper has Boris Johnson, for it she, declaring: “Me after the top job? That’s tripe, says Boris.” Tripe you can read in the, er, Mail on Sunday.

So into Theresa is the Mail that Peter Oborne analyses the election and declares: “Let’s calm down and remember that Mrs May won.” She won a bigger slice of the vote and more voters, but she lost the most important result on seats won. Rather like Nicola Sturgeon, May took voters for granted and failed to engage with them.

 

 

But the real winner seems to be Boris Johnson. The Mail on Sunday loves him. The Star (“IT’S BOJO THE FAVE”) supports him. The Sun leads with him. “BOJO: BINNING MAY IS A NO-NO – Boris tells Tories to stop plotting.” BOJO. Boris. May.

So keen is Boris Johnson to leave Theresa May in the limelight that he writes a column for the Sun. He make one salient point about democracy and the fluidity of modern politics, noting that Corbyn “picked up Kensington – but then he also lost Mansfield”. Labour is the party of the south. Who represents the working class now? Boris Johnson?

And finally the Express also leads with “BORIS”. He says”TORY MPs MUST BACK MAY”.  Over pages 4 and 5 we’re told: “We need to calm down and pull together says Boris.” We see the text message he sent to Tory MPs to encourage them to back the Prime Minister. Rally round the leader, says Boris. Boris should be leader, says the media. Rally round me, says Boris.

 

 

Posted: 12th, June 2017 | In: News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment