Innocent Eric Bellquist denies being the jogger who allegedly shoved a woman into the path of a London bus. Bellquist “categorically denies” he was involved. Presumption of innocence matters. But the media has been engaging in a voracious feeding frenzy, monstering Mr Bellquist.
The BBC says: “Eric Bellquist, 41, was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm”.
The Standard adds: “Eric Bellquist, 50, was detained by detectives on suspicion of grievous bodily harm. He was questioned at a south London police station and later released without being charged.”
As the papers argue over his Bellquist’s age – he’s 41 – we see footage from CCTV cameras showing a bus on Putney Bridge swerving to avoid a 33-year-old woman’s head. The BBC claims she “was pushed into the path of an oncoming bus by a jogger”. Investigating officer Sergeant Mat Knowles says: “It was only due to the superb quick reactions of the bus driver that she was not hit by the vehicle.” True enough.
Meanwhile, lawyers acting on behalf of Mr Bellquist make the following statement:
“This statement is issued in relation to our client Mr Eric Bellquist, who was arrested yesterday in relation to an assault that took place between a male jogger and a female pedestrian on the 5th May 2017 on Putney Bridge, London.
“Our client has been wrongly implicated in this matter. He categorically denies being the individual concerned and has irrefutable proof that he was in the United States at the time of the incident. Consequently, we expect a swift resolution to this wholly untrue allegation.
But who is he?
CBS says: “U.S. man denies he’s jogger who pushed woman into traffic.” Over in the Sun, Bellquist is not longer just a man, he is a “wealthy American banker“. The Standard bills him as a “partner at Mayfair private equity firm“. To the Guardian he is a “Partner at private equity firm“.
Does the man’s job matter? What’s his bank balance got to do with anything? Would we care more if the alleged victim were a vicar or a vivisectionist? What facts are left in and what facts are left out matters, no?
On Buzzfeed, the Sun, the Guardian and more we learn about Mr Bellquist’s career in finance. We’re told the name of his employer and who their clients are. Buzzfeed tells us he’s a “graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder”. Which means? Dunno. But thanks to such intrepid reporting (ie looking at his Linked In profile), we now all know where to find the man who has stated his innocence. The Times says Mr Bellquist works in “Pall Mall, central London, and lives in a red-brick mansion block in Chelsea”.
And then it gets worse. Craig Jackson, head of psychology at Birmingham City University, went on Good Morning Britain to analyse this rare incident. The Guardian transcribes:
“I think what we’re looking at here is an embodiment of what we often see as ‘cis privilege’, or you might want to call it white male privilege.
“This is clearly an individual who, upon seeing someone in his path, veers towards them and not only does he barrel them over, but he continues to run down the road without even looking back to make sure they’re okay.”
Them? But only one person ends up on the floor.
“That to me is quite horrifying behaviour and I think what we’re looking at here is the pedestrian equivalent of road rage. It’s very, very worrying … it could have been murder or manslaughter.”
Might be better to arrest all white males as suspets now and save time later.
Tottenham fans looking for their club to boost the Premier League’s second best side last term with new players are addressed by the Sun’s Paul Jiggins. Just as pressing f8 on the keyboard has for years given the Sun stories of Cristiano Ronaldo’s imminent return to Manchester United, we now get news of Gareth Bale’s Spurs homecoming:
With Spurs suddenly looking vulnerable, Levy needs to do more than merely ensuring the current playing squad is retained. He needs to make a statement. And there would be no bigger one than taking up the first option Tottenham have on buying back Gareth Bale if and when he becomes available.
‘If’ and ‘when’ might well be words familiar to Spurs fan whose side have one a single trophy this century, but they aren’t exactly the way a savvy operator like Daniel Levy, the club’s chairman, is likely to dwell on.
As for buying Bale, perhaps Jiggins could suggest a fee? He continues:
Levy still wears the £86m sale of the Welsh wizard to Real Madrid four years ago as a badge of honour. Buying Bale back would be an even greater one.
Why stop there? Why not get more badges and buy back Luca Modric from Real or get Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal? Well, one issue might be the money. Take Danny Rose, the Tottenham and England defender on £65,000-a-week. Rose watched Kyle Walker leave Spurs for around £50m and secure a £180,000-a-week deal at Manchester City. Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld is on around £50,000-a-week. The only way Bale will rejoin Spurs is if all parties lose the plot.
PS: Spurs fans I know aren’t overly bothered about who the club didn’t buy. But they are impressed by who they didn’t sell.
Anyone hankering for Ostalgie (nostalgia for East German life behind the Berlin Wall) should know that elements of American society are sympathetic to your mood. Ersatz liberals are operating a sinister and tentacular network of volunteer narks who will grass you up for failing to adhere to ‘right’ thinking. Their preferred medium is twitter, over which wrong thinkers will be publicly shamed. If all goes well, the enemy will be interrogated by their employee before dismissal, shunned by their friends and ostracised by decent, tolerant society.
Last week, actress Lena Dunham was on surveillance at a US airport. She picked up two flight attendants engaging in what she termed “transphobic talk”. Swiftly she hopped on Twitter’s spite hotline and grassed: “Not gonna call out the airline who delayed cuz shit happens BUT I did just overhear 2 @AmericanAir attendants having a transphobic talk.”
American Airlines got in touch with Dunham. No, not to condemn her as an insidious voyeur for spying on two working stiffs having a private conversation, but to seek help in fingering the miscreants. Dunham provided details of the conversation and directions as to how the Untermensch could be found.
“I heard two female attendants walking talking about how trans kids are a trend, they’d never accept a trans child and transness is gross,” said Dunham to American Airlines. “I think it reflects badly on uniformed employees of your company to have that kind of dialogue going on. What if a trans teen was walking behind them? Awareness starts at home but jobs can set standards of practice. Thanks for your consideration!”
Ella Whelan notes:
Dunham’s latest attempt to call out prejudice reveals her own prejudice. She felt comfortable ratting out workers to their boss because left-liberals like her no longer have any interest in expressing solidarity with working people. They also have no interest in free speech. The idea that your employer should punish you for what you say and believe is apparently fine. As a result of the impact of Dunham’s tweet, it wouldn’t be surprising if the two American Airlines attendants soon found themselves out of work.
This is how low the PC brigade will stoop to pose as good and decent. All Dunham’s tweet achieved was to prove that she was a self-righteous eavesdropper. She even tweeted a warning to other employees who might dare to have a political opinion different to hers: ‘Headed back to the airport and I guess my biggest hope is that people will keep it cute. But if they don’t YOU WILL KNOW.’ Beware the PC police – they will try to get you fired if they disagree with you.
Thankfully, no “uniformed” worker was doxxed or sacked. “We always look into complaints from customers, but at this time, we are unable to substantiate these allegations,” American Airlines told Fox News. “From the team members we hire to the customers we serve, inclusion and diversity is a way of life at American Airlines. Every day, our team members work to make American a place where people of all generations, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, religious affiliations and backgrounds feel welcome and valued.”
Win-win, then. The airline got to showcase its sound moral credentials. The minted celebrity got to look good and teach the lesser beings a lesson. And the somewhere in East Germany a man ran his hand over his pliers and dared to dream of a return to the good old days when everyone agreed on everything.
Palestinian Sultan Abu al-Hajj refused to fight an Israeli athlete at kickboxing’s World Youth Championship in Thailand. Al-Hajj refused to fight “as there has not yet been an official Palestinian decision over whether to face Israeli athletes in any sporting event”, says MaanNews. Israeli kickboxer Amit Madah, 16, won a bronze medal after Abu al-Hajj forfeited.
Bit odd and self-defeating, no, to forfeit a bout when you arrived knowing Israelis were competing?
Everything is not rosy at Google. An internal memo written by Google engineer James Damore accusing the internet behemoth of operating as an “ideological echo chamber” is riding high on the news cycle. Google, opined Damore, is a place where the company’s approach to diversity is taboo. Google “dismiss anyone that disagrees as immoral, and harshly punish those we see as villains to protect the ‘victims’,” he wrote. And for saying that he was – get this- sacked.
“I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes,” says Damore. He says “differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don’t have 50 per cent representation of women in tech and leadership”. He adds that ‘”discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business”.
Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, read that and decreed that Damore had amplified “harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace”. Google’s workforce is 69% male. A mere 2% of Google staff are African American.
Damore’s views were not debated. He was fired. He lost his livelihood for being a disruptor, something Google, which owns YouTube, is proud of saying of itself. You must stick to the orthodoxy or perish. Free expression is out at Google. But Pichai maintains, “we strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves.” That’s not free speech you can hear – that’s the soft wind of everyone nodding in agreement.
Damore touched a nerve. Google fired him to advertise its own sound morals. Never mind that women are underrepresented and one in 50 workers at any paygrade is African American, just read the press releases and know that Google upholds diversity and equality and will punish anyone expressing ‘the wrong’ views. On Google’s diversity page, Pichai is quoted saying, “A diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.” Oh, the irony.
Danielle Brown, Google’s vice president for diversity, integrity and governance, tells us in response to Damore: “Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate. We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul.”
She fails to tells us why, though. Damore did not understand the point of Google’s diversity programs. Does it improve results? Can its success be measured? Google defines itself as ‘diverse’ – Damore was sacked for breaking its “code of conduct”.
Picahi adds that female Googlers “are hurting and feel judged based on their gender”. Lucky for them that the blokes in charge are there to rally to the defence of these ultra-sensitive, simpering women who tremble and cower in the face of a man with a memo.
The summer’s here and with it comes the usual news that Gareth Bale dreams of leaving the heat and glory of Real Madrid for life at Manchester United. Like everyone else, the Star hears Real Madrid president Florentino Perez state the current European champions have no intention of selling Bale, 28, to Manchester United or any other club. “He’s a Madrid player, he’s important for us and he’s one of the world’s best,” says Perez of the Welsh powerhouse bought from Spurs.
But the BBC tells its readers that “privately Perez has told Jose Mourinho that he would be willing to let the Welshman leave”. Got that? Perez told the Manchester United’s manager something in private and the BBC got wind of it. And so did the Daily Express, whose Jack Otway reveals beneath the headline “Real Madrid stunner: Man Utd given green light by Perez to sign Bale after private talks”, that his source is Diario Gol. Slap its story through the prism of Google Translate and you get:
José Mourinho has returned as best he knows to the press rooms: with his provocative instinct. In the previous one of the Supercopa of Europe, the Portuguese technician sent darts poisoned.
One of them went to Florentino Perez. Luso acknowledged that he would be willing to tackle the signing of Gareth Bale. Especially if he sees that his club does not have him.
Mourinho believes that Bale could not be indisputable in Real Madrid. In contrast, the Setubal would secure a place without hesitation in Manchester United.
The two sides have approached positions but lack consensus. A Bale something happens like what happened to Neymar : he wants a club where he is the leader.
Neymar could not be in Barça because he was Messi , and Bale can not be in Madrid while Cristiano Ronaldo. But the case of Welsh is different. The good moment of form of Isco and Marco Asensio make think that not even its site in the initial eleven is guaranteed. Everyone can not play.
That is the main asset of José Mourinho. The United coach wants to persuade him to change his mind. What was not expected was that Florentino entered the rag.
The president of Madrid wants to play and has recognized that if they are willing to pay what it is worth, “Bale is for sale “. The problem is that Neymar has already assessed the market price of Welsh.
Florentino paid 101 million euros for him and will not let him escape for less than 200 million euros. This is how PSG put things and that is what United should study . The cunning of Florentino, with much higher clauses than the Barça has, makes it unfeasible that nobody can pay Bale’s departure . Only a transfer will be negotiated.
In other words, Perez has apparently told Mourinho and Manchester United that if they love Bale so much they can make an offer starting at €200m for him. And they can forget about triggering any escape clause because Perez, the Real Madrid maestro, is no dummy like those negotiators at dread rivals Barcelona who allowed Neymar to slip away to PSG.
If that’s a green light, any drivers reading the Express fact sheet should proceed with extreme caution.
Is Facebook a friend to quality journalism? As well as publishing Anorak, I publish Flashbak. It’s Facebook page is up to 280,000 followers. But very few of the people who choose to follow the Page get to see it. Facebook limits the reach of anything I and others post there.
To reach every reader who wants to see our stories in their newsfeed, we’d have to pay Facebook a few hundred dollars per post. Post 5 stories a day and we’d be giving Facebook around £1,000. Add that up over a week; a month; a year. We can’t afford it. But that’s the deal. So we play along in the hope that readers will seek us out and find us though Facebook and other means – such as a weekly newsletter pulled together by the excellent Rob Baker.
But Facebook is making it even harder. Facebook is to penalise “reposted” content. They want us to post “new, original, content”. Posting links to stories on Flashbak.com we’ve taken a long time to research and resource, for instance, will be seen by even fewer readers. But slap up a livestream video of one of us walking about an art gallery, say, and lots more people will see it.
Come on, Facebook, we want to work with you but you’re making it harder and harder for small and mid-sized publishers to make the deal work .
Transfer balls: news is that Southampton’s Virjil can Dijk no longer thinks Southampton’s ambitions match his own. The defender has asked the Saints to let him know if he can move to a club higher up the pay scale. Liverpool want the Dutchman, but back in June, Southampton alleged the Reds had made an “illegal approach” for him.
Liverpool released a statement:
“Liverpool Football Club would like to put on record our regret over recent media speculation regarding Southampton Football Club and player transfers between the two clubs. We apologise to the owner, board of directors and fans of Southampton for any misunderstanding regarding Virgil van Dijk. We respect Southampton’s position and can confirm we have ended any interest in the player.”
So today the Daily Telegraph declares:
After Virgil van Dijk handed in a stunning, forthright transfer request on Monday, asking that Southampton “consider the interest in me from top clubs should it still exist,” Liverpool will revive their interest in the defender.
But Liverpool ended their interest in the player. Which makes us wonder where the Telegraph sourced its story?
That’s according to reports in the Daily Express this morning, who say Liverpool will not be deterred by the fact Southampton reported them to the Premier League earlier in the summer for their pursuit of Van Dijk.
When the trusty Express is your source, it’s worth a look at what the self-style ‘World’s Greatest Newspaper’ (aka: The Daily Clickbait) has to say. In a word, lots. In the past 24 hours, the Express has spun Virgil’s transfer demand into 24 stories. We’ve picked out the highlights:
To recap: van Dijk is off to Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal.
The 46 year-old victim was a willing participant in the sex game. In readiness for the insertion, she had texted Jeffers: “I can’t sleep, so excited.” The victim, who works in Stockport, Greater Manchester, had arranged and paid for Jeffers to travel from his home in Leeds to stay with her at the Britannia Hotel on the evening of January 30. Booze and dugs were consumed by both parties.
At some point in the evening, Jeffers, who claimed to have found a gun in the toilet of the Wetherspoon’s pub at Leeds train station, inserted the firearm into his lover’s vagina. His hand was on the trigger it accidentally went off. With the woman in agony and suffering “catastrophic injuries”, he dressed and before fleeing called reception to request an ambulance, telling them a woman had been shot.
It was, said the judge at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court “a sexual fantasy with dreadful consequences”.
The gun has never been found.
Brazilian footballer Neymar Junior has moved from Barcelona to PSG, and the tabloids are looking for a love interest. Unable to find one, they instead rest their gaze upon 22-year-old Brazilian actress Bruna Marquezine, who used to date the player. Bruna has 21 million Instagram followers. Discovering her is akin to finding your own arse with both hands.
But the Sun is excited, declaring: “NEYMAR’S world-record Paris Saint-Germain move is not the only reason for fans to be excited.” PSG’s sex-starved fans will be frothing at the lips because in a city short of women Neymar’s former girlfriend Bruna “could follow her man to the City of Love”. This guesswork is cemented in the headline: “Who is Neymar’s girlfriend?” Indeed, who is she? She’s not Bruna Marquezine. One down. A few million more model /actresses to go and the Sun should find her.
After seeing a mere 17 photos of Bruna reaped from her Instagram page, Sun readers might be able to recognise her should she walk past them, but they won’t know anything about her. Toby Gannon’s dossier doesn’t even include her age! (She turned 22 yesterday.)
The Star invites its readers to “click through the gallery to see photos of Neymar’s gorgeous on-off girlfriend Bruna Marquezine”. The Evening Standard’s Fiona Simpson opts to simply rewrite history. The headline above her story boasts: “With the Brazilian set to join PSG, we take a look at the lady in his life”. She isn’t the lady in his life. They are not dating. Indeed, after illuminating her text with a few photos taken from Bruna’s social media accounts, Simpson quotes Neymar: “Me and Bruna are separated.”
Such are the facts.
The Japanese terms for people who like dressing up as toys is kigurumi. The Premier League is full of such people. But in Japan mascots are pretty much everywhere. This week another mascot waddled into life. Representing the Ichijiku Pharmaceutical Company, Kan-chan posed for media in front of Tokyo’s Skytree Building.
Kan-chan is the super-sized soft face of the company’s range of enemas. Oddly, Ichijikusays Kan-chan is a… penguin. The pointy head is not for easy access, rather a “hair accessory”.
And here’s the inevitable plush toy.
Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has bowed to pressure. The UK version of his bloodsports channel will not broadcast big-game hunting, an utterly barbaric and wholly sad hobby for psychopathic dentists. (Yes, I now that’s tautological, but you take the point.)
The UK version of subscription service MyOutdoorTV, run by Kroenke’s Sports and Entertainment, was to show footage of men and women dressed in camouflage gear posing with inedible animals they’ve killed for fun. Now you’ll only get to see Bob and Mary-Jo grinning next to dead rarer breeds in the US.
Kroenke spokesman Jim Liberatore says that “in light of the public interest” there’ll be lots of to-deadline deaths but not of any big-game animals. They’ll be shot off-camera, like Aintree horses and Celebrity Big Brother losers. “While many on both sides of this issue have made their voices heard,” adds Liberatore, “and this content is only available through paid subscriptions, Stan Kroenke has directed us to remove all content related to those animals in light of the public interest.”
Liberatore added some guff about Kroenke being there for animal welfare, in the way that Mr Toff is there to support foxes who if it weren’t for hunting would died of boredom and lack of exercise. “He has a decades-long track record of environmental stewardship,” Liberatore continues, “working with conservationists, hydrologists, microbiologists, and others to responsibly manage habitat and enhance wildlife preservation.”
You can just imagine the animals and birds camped outside Mr Kroenke’s fencing, waiting for the chance to leap inside and be cared for by his welfare state.
PS: Of course, if you’re stinking rich, as Kroenke is, and really love animals why not just buy a large swathe of land and leave them alone?
More news on Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez, who has endured a busy summer in the media, joining Paris Saint Germain, Bayern Munich and Manchester City. He was on his way to Chelsea, definitely staying at Arsenal – who will sell him for £80m – and yesterday kissed the badge on his Arsenal shirt.
On Monday, the Daily Mirror told readers Sanchez would put in a transfer request this week. It’s Friday. He hasn’t.
Today’s news is that he could be on his way to Monaco. The French champions will bid £45m for the Chilean, says the Metro. The Express says Barcelona, rolling in filthy lucre since Neymar let for PSG, will try to bring Sanchez back to Spain. Incidentally, did you know that Neymar’s father has reaped more money from Barcelona in the last four years than Lionel Messi has? It’s true. And it illustrates just how over-hyped football is.
Meanwhile the Sun reasons that Monaco will use Arsenal’s interest in their midfielder, Thomas Lemar, “to try to tempt” the Gunners into lobbing Sanchez into a swap deal.
Unless they don’t.
Alexis Sanchez has been training hard at Arsenal. And today he did the unthinkable: he kissed the badge.
.@Alexis_Sanchez with a cheeky kiss of the badge? 😘
— Hayters Teamwork (@HaytersTeamwork) August 3, 2017
Might it be that Sanchez wants to remain at Arsenal, the club offering him £280,000 to extend his current contract? The Mirror says Sanchez” will tell Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger this week that he wants to join Manchester City.” But he hasn’t told him yet. And even if he does, Wenger’s non-plussed. “He is focused. My decision is clear, he will stay. He will accept that,” says Wenger. He adds: “The frame of mind of a footballer is quite easy – once you go out into the game, you focus on that.”
The Brooklyn Paper reports that local New Yorkers are refusing to vaccinate their pets over autism fears. Holistic hipsters are buying into the anti-vaxx movement and “applying it to their pets”.
“I really don’t know what the reasoning is,” says Dr. Amy Ford of Veterinarian Wellness Center of Boerum Hill. “They just feel that injecting chemicals into their pet is going to cause problems. I had a client concerned about an autistic child who didn’t want to vaccinate the dog for the same reason,” adds Dr. Stephanie Liff of Clinton Hill’s Pure Paws Veterinary Care. “Most trends in veterinary medicine are extensions of human medicine, so I think the anti-vaccination movement extending into veterinary medicine is natural.”
Dog and cat owners are legally obliged to inject their pets with anti-rabies serum. How many of these pets have autism is hard to tell. But we should be able to count the number of human being being treated for rabies after a hipster’s dog bit them. As ever, the lawyers are ready…
Good news for TV types looking to create telly on a low-budget: when you hire to-deadline psychic Derek Acorah, you also get Jade Goody and David Gest. It’s a three-for-one deal. Sure, two of the trio are dead, but if it’s good enough for God, it’s more than works for Celebrity Big Brother.
In the Daily Star, we read: “Derek claims to be in touch with dead housemates Jade Goody and David Gest.” The rest of us can catch them on Big Brother highlights reels, which haven’t needed to be updated for years.
Now, who fancies a Popadom?
In Ahaus, Germany, you can drink at the UnBrexit pub. @cirian75 spotted the place which opened in July this year:
British pubs are closing – patrons driven away by the smoking ban and a lack of cash; pulled home by discount supermarket fizz, central heating, your own toilet, fridges, smart phones and take-away delivery drivers schlepping round anything your heart desires to shove in your pie-hole. The pub, once the hub of British social life has been killed off by wealth.
The UnBrexit is more Harvester than hipster. No stripped brick walls, rickety, eclectic furniture and too-cool-for-school staff who do tattoos with irony and holes with narcissism. This one’s got those vomit-friendly carpets, high seating and a gastropub menu.
The theme pub is on a mission:
The die is cast: Britain will leave the European Union. But only one year after the British have voted to quit the EU, The Unbrexit is our answer to this unexpected referendum: 400 sq m of British ground in the center of Europe. The Unbrexit will be the last British place remaining part of the EU in the near future.
Order your lasagna and chips at the bar.
Anyone visiting the website of Norway’s NRK website is asked to take a quiz if they want to comment on a story. The idea is to ensure that everyone about to comment understands the story, which is, of course, factually accurate and not in the least bit biased.
Readers are faced with three questions. Get them all right and you can post a comment. Get just one wrong, and you are banned.
“We thought we should do our part to try and make sure that people are on the same page before they comment,” journalist Ståle Grut tells Nieman Lab. “If everyone can agree that this is what the article says, then they have a much better basis for commenting on it.”
“If you spend 15 seconds on it, those are maybe 15 seconds that take the edge off the rant mode when people are commenting,” said Marius Arnesen, editor of NKRbeta.
While many outlets have gotten rid of comments and outsourced reader conversations to platforms such as Facebook, others like NRKbeta are working to improve on-site conversations.
Last week, Google parent company Alphabet announced that it was working with The New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian, and Wikipedia to test a new tool called Perspective that uses machine learning to identify “toxic” comments, which it defines as “rude, disrespectful, or unreasonable comment that is likely to make you leave a discussion.”
Machine learning v human speech and interaction. Only one winner there. Can we agree to just let the bots and SEO wonks take over the Internet and the rest of us go down the pub?
You read the news that Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez has “agreed“a four-year contract with Paris Saint Germain? You read that the Arsenal player had been in Paris to meet with PSG reps? And like me you thought it odd that no-one had a photo of Sanchez in Paris. Now Sanchez is in London, training with – yep – Arsenal. But the Daily Mail has news: “Judgment Day: Wantaway Sanchez flies back to London ahead of return to Arsenal… but what was he doing with his lawyer in Paris?”
He was, er, agreeing to play for PSG?
The Mail doesn’t answer. It just notes that “his brief stop-off in France has led to some fans questioning whether PSG is his next destination, while Man City supporters are still hopeful he will arrive at the Etihad.”
Hie next destination turned out to be Arsenal. Which leaves us to wonder what Sanchez was doing in Paris, if it wasn’t to sign a contract with PSG? The Daily Telegraph explains:
Ruben Inostroza Povea, who is Sanchez’s lawyer, uploaded a picture of the pair preparing to leave Santiago airport, Chile, on Sunday evening.
Odd. The paper said he was already in Paris. But at least his time there was a photo to prove that he wasn’t. But why was Sanchez heading to the French capital?
According to Povea’s Instagram picture, the trip included a stopover in Paris, where the forward is thought to have renewed his British work permit.
Just like he did in 2014, when he first joined Arsenal.
Such are the facts.
In a move that should have marketing types swooning, London City airport has issued a Marmite amnesty. Passengers passing through the airport found in possession of the processed spread will not have it seized at customs so long as the jar is the new 70g miniature. Passengers will be offered the chance to exchange any larger jars in their luggage for the smaller pots for free
It’s a move that should prove popular because Marmite was found to be the most common branded food item confiscated from passengers’ hand luggage.
“With 4.5 million passengers travelling through our doors each year, we see all kinds of weird and wonderful restricted items, including Marmite,” says Melanie Burnley, director of customer experience at London City airport. “The Marmite swap is a temporary but popular addition which means that whether you love it or hate it, you’ll still be able to get your Marmite fix when travelling from this airport.”
The airport has listed the 10 most commonly confiscated items:
Jams and spreads
Jars of chutney and pickles
Nutella chocolate spread
No sign of knives, bombs, poison and all the other stuff the officials are actually looking for.
The Sunday Times has sacked Kevin Myers for his appalling article on the BBC gender pay gap. In it, Myers looked own the list of BBC earners and picked out Vanessa Feltz and Claudia Winkleman. The two Jews, he suggested, earned more because of their Jewishness.
The story is no longer on the paper’s website but you can see part of it below:
I note that two of the best-paid women presenters in the BBC – Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz, with whose, no doubt, sterling work I am tragically unacquainted – are Jewish. Good for them. Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price, which is the most useful measure there is of inveterate, lost-with-all-hands stupidity. I wonder, who are their agents?”
Myers has gone. The paper has apologised. But how did the nastiness ever make it into print in the first place? Frank Fitzgibbon, editor of the Sunday Times Ireland, tells everyone: “As the editor of the Ireland edition, I take full responsibility for this error of judgement.”
Judgement? He means the story was looked at and approved? And what of Myers, who in 2009, wrote for the Irish Independent:
“There was no holocaust (or Holocaust, as my computer software insists) and six million Jews were not murdered by the Third Reich. These two statements of mine are irrefutable truths.”
That article remained online until yesterday. Didn’t the Sunday Times know what it was getting with Myers on the payroll? Didn’t it just get what it paid for?
The New Statesman’s ‘Media Mole’ says Myers has been sacked for using an “antisemitic trope”. It goes on:
The Irish edition of the Sunday Times operates separately from the UK versions of the Times and Sunday Times. However, the column’s appearance on the TheTimes.co.uk is likely to reflect on the brand as a whole.
Rival organs like to stick the boot in, using the others’ pain to bolster their own sound morals. But readers might recall the New Statesman’s vile cover which employed another anti-Semitic trope, that of Jews being only out for themselves:
Its editor followed up:
“The cover was not intended to be anti-Semitic, the New Statesman is vigorously opposed to racism in all its forms. But it used images and words in such a way as to create unwittingly the impression that the New Statesman was following an anti-Semitic tradition that sees the Jews as a conspiracy piercing the heart of the nation.
“I doubt very much that one single person was provoked into hatred of Jews by our cover. But I accept that a few anti-Semites (as some comments on our website, quickly removed, suggested) took aid and comfort when it appeared that their prejudices were shared by a magazine of authority and standing.”
It’s funny how so many intelligent, sensitive and compassionate people keep getting it wrong and coming across as anti-Semitic bastards. But – hey-ho – you can’t legislate for your readers’ misunderstanding.
Angelina Jolie has been casting for her film set in Cambodia. The film, First They Killed My Father, features children living under Pol Pot’s murderous regime. According to Evgenia Peretz writing for Vanity Fair, the auditions involved a novel form of mental torture and exploitation. Jolie, a woman with the purchasing power to pluck orphans from slums, slap an ‘X’ on the names and transport them to an American mansion to appreciate the kind of lifestyle a Russian oligarch might find gauche, was looking for the right kind of desperate child:
To cast the children in the film, Jolie looked at orphanages, circuses, and slum schools, specifically seeking children who had experienced hardship. In order to find their lead, to play young Loung Ung, the casting directors set up a game, rather disturbing in its realism: they put money on the table and asked the child to think of something she needed the money for, and then to snatch it away. The director would pretend to catch the child, and the child would have to come up with a lie. “Srey Moch [the girl ultimately chosen for the part] was the only child that stared at the money for a very, very long time,” Jolie says. “When she was forced to give it back, she became overwhelmed with emotion. All these different things came flooding back.” Jolie then tears up. “When she was asked later what the money was for, she said her grandfather had died, and they didn’t have enough money for a nice funeral.”
Presumably all the losers in this ugly contest got an all-expenses paid trip back to the slums from whence they’d came. And what of the local stage school kids who’ve trained to act – because it’s all about pretending, right? Would Jolie pull a similar stunt in the US? Would poor children in Jolie’s native LA be used to make the stinking rich, self-aggrandising narrator’s moralising resonate with purpose and meaning?
Angelina Jolie says she’s been misrepresented. She responds:
Every measure was taken to ensure the safety, comfort and well-being of the children on the film starting from the auditions through production to the present. Parents, guardians, partner NGOs whose job it is to care for children, and medical doctors were always on hand everyday, to ensure everyone had all they needed. And above all to make sure that no one was in any way hurt by participating in the recreation of such a painful part of their country’s history.
I am upset that a pretend exercise in an improvisation, from an actual scene in the film, has been written about as if it was a real scenario. The suggestion that real money was taken from a child during an audition is false and upsetting. I would be outraged myself if this had happened.
The point of this film is to bring attention to the horrors children face in war, and to help fight to protect them.
Is grandstanding and ‘raising awareness’ better than coming up with solutions and handing over cash? Jolie’s work is a movie, something she hopes people in her homeland will spend their leisure time and money watching. Celebrity colonialism might well make viewers and fans in rich countries take notice of stuff in poorer places but is there a shred of evidence it changes lives other than those lucky enough to make it on the plane to the land of make believe?
What facts we have are simply those reported over the newswires. A girl aged either 15 (BBC, Daily Telegraph) or 14 (Birmingham Mail, Express) was allegedly raped twice at Witton railway station in two separate attacks.
The Times opts to age the alleged victim at 14 and 15:
The story goes that the girl was with a friend at Witton station not far from Aston Villa football ground. The BBC says she was “approached by a man who led her to a secluded part of the station and raped her.” It was around 8pm. Reeling from her ordeal, the girl “flagged down a passing car and was assaulted again” at around 2am. There is no word on what happened to her friend.
The Times reports:
She had walked to the station with a friend but was led away by a man who approached her. Shortly after that attack, the girl walked out of the station and flagged down a passing vehicle to ask for help.
After getting into the car, she was then raped by the second man. Detectives from British Transport Police and West Midlands police are looking at CCTV and appealing for witnesses.
British Transport Police and West Midlands Police are treating it as two separate reports of rape.
The BBC describes the suspects:
The first attacker is described by police as an Asian man in his early 20s with light skin, brown eyes, skinny build and about 6ft tall.
Police said the second man was also Asian and in his early 20s and about 5ft 6in to 5ft 7in tall. He was of a large build, with a beard and wore a blue jumper and black jeans.
Police released CCTV images to the public. The Express follows up:
Khurram Rahi, 27, of Rosefield Road, Smethwick was arrested yesterday, July 29, morning in connection to an incident at Witton station on Tuesday 25 July.
He will appear at Birmingham Magistrates’ court on Monday morning.
A 34-year-old man from the Birmingham area who was also arrested on suspicion of rape,has been released under police investigation whilst enquiries continue.
Innocence must be presumed. So no speculation, please. But what of the second man police are seeking. In the Guardian he is described thus:
The man suspected of carrying out the second rape is described as thick set, about 5ft 6in, with large biceps.
The “Asian” part is now omitted.
Det Ch Insp Tony Fitzpatrick, from British Transport Police, tells media:
“This case has gained national interest and I am pleased we are now in a position to charge a man. However, we still have a suspect outstanding for the offence in the vehicle. I would urge anyone who may have any information regarding this attack to get in touch as soon as possible.”
Surely he means the ‘alleged offence in the vehicle’?
Kevin Myers writes in the Sunday Times:
I note that two of the best-paid women presenters in the BBC — Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz, with whose, no doubt, sterling work I am tragically unacquainted — are Jewish.
Good for them. Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price, which is the most useful measure there is of inveterate, lost-with-all-hands stupidity.
I wonder, who are their agents? If they’re the same ones that negotiated the pay for the women on the lower scales, then maybe the latter have found their true value in the marketplace.
Ouch. How did that one slip past the editors?
Update: The Times online has removed the article.
PS: the Jewish Chronicle notes:
When the BBC reported on its list of highest-paid broadcasters on its News at Ten last night, it said there was no one from an ethnic background in the top 20.
Which was wrong (well, wrong depending on your definition of ethnic minority). For the top 20 included two Jewish women – Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz.
Spotter: Mat Morrison
What news of Alexis Sanchez, the Chilean footballer last seen cradling the dog that most likely ate his homework when the Arsenal player was a lad? Is the Chilean as ill as she claims to be? That question to Arsenal manger, Arsene Wenger, who replies:
“Your job is to be suspicious. Your job is built on mistrust and my job is built on trust. That’s why I prefer my side… I had him [Sanchez] on text yesterday, he will come back as soon as possible. We were in touch with him and his doctor. There is no basic problem.
“He comes back on Tuesday. I cannot reveal what he says to me. I cannot reveal a secret conversation. He is flying back as soon as he is in position to fly back. He has flu, that is normally four to five days.”
The Sun gives its readers the side eye:
but the facts are the facts. Sanchez is returning to Arsenal and will not be old, something Wenger has stated previously. To date the frenzied press have spotted Sanchez in Paris, where he was meeting with PSG reps in Paris before agreeing a four-year contract, talking in code, met with Manchester City’s reps in London, was on his way to Chelsea, is definitely staying at Arsenal – who will sell him for £80m – and was on his way to live his “dream” and play for Bayern Munich.
Today the Mirror publish more total balls. The paper brings news of a “new twist in the Alexis Sanchez saga”.
The twist is:
Alexis Sanchez will tell Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger this week that he wants to join Manchester City.
How do we know this? We’re not told.
And, as exclusively revealed by Sunday Mirror Sport, he has priced himself out of moves to Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain by demanding £400,000 a week.
This would be the same Mirror newspaper that has told its readers:
Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez finalises deal to join Manchester City in blockbuster summer transfer signing – June 10, 2017
Bayern Munich prepared to make Alexis Sanchez their highest paid-player with £350,000-a-week offer – June 8, 2017
Arsenal superstar Alexis Sanchez targeted by super rich Inter Milan as “poster boy” of new era at San Siro – July 10, 2017
Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Paris Saint-Germain preparing £35million Alexis Sanchez bid? – July 30, 2017
So much for the Mirror’s scoops. And let’s not forget their news that Wenger has quite the club:
The paper adds today:
Wenger insists his star striker will not be sold – even for £50m, with less than 12 months left on his contract. Arsenal are preparing a compromise deal, with the offer of a one-year contract at £300,000 a week and a promise to review the situation next summer.
Such are the facts.