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Shameless

by | 19th, August 2002

‘VILE, disgusting, horrific, degrading… The tabloid hacks churn out the usual bile over pages 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 and 12 this morning.

The editor of The Sun

They speak of the two corpses found in Suffolk and assumed to be those of murdered 10-year-olds Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. And of course it is all of those things, and our sympathies go out to the parents, relatives and friends of the victims.

Beyond that, there is no point in saying anything. But the tabloids don’t see it that way.

The list of adjectives with which we began could equally apply to their coverage, with its combination of prurience and self-righteous anger, all under the strap headline of the paper’s choice which appears at the top of each page (”ALL HOPE LOST”, ”WHY DID THEY HAVE TO DIE?” etc).

There are horrible, intrusive pictures of grieving relatives. There are completely irrelevant photos of the girls taken from family albums. There are furious ”hanging’s too good for them” articles by journalists quite happy to turn this sort of thing out by the yard for a nice fat cheque.

There are cartoons showing the supposedly cushy life of a paedophile in prison, drawn by idiots who are as aware as anybody that being a paedophile – or, just as significantly given the hysteria that surround the issue, a person labelled a ‘paedo’ – is about the last thing you’d want to be these days, in jail or anywhere else.

One of the pictures sums it all up: a note from some Americans, attached to a teddy, which says, ”Thank you for letting us into your hearts”.

There should have been another one, signed by every British newspaper editor: ”Thanks for inviting us into your misery to have a good cry and make ourselves feel virtuous. It’s been emotional. Signed, Piers, David and all the gang.”



Posted: 19th, August 2002 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink