Anorak

Tabloids | Anorak - Part 18

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.

The Last Easter: nuclear war, nuclear bunker puzzles and killer eggs

It’s Easter, when Christians thank God for being alive. But will they make it to next Easter? The newspapers are full of doom.

On the Mail, it looks like two reality TV stars are threatening to blow up the world. But it’s not Kim Kardashian, of course, it’s Mr Kim, North Korea’s hereditary leader, and Donald Trump, formerly of The Apprentice and now as President of the USA giving top jobs in USA Inc. to enthusiastic amateurs, not all of whom he’s related to.

 

kim's threat north korea trump

 

At least the Mail is looking on the bright side of life with this brilliant front page.

 

easter trump

 

Over in the Mirror, help is at hand for all of you spending the holiday in nuclear bunkers. The paper’s tales of Armageddon are padded by a full eight pages of puzzles and games. The world might well be “IN CRISIS”, but there’s no excuse to be bored at you await annihilation. You can even place a bet, and those cheeky bookies will most likely lay odds on you being alive to collect any winnings and them being around to rub their stumps when you don’t.

 

daily mirror death trump war

 

And hold any thought of enjoying your Easter chocolates left by the housebreaking Easter bunny. Those Easter eggs are out to kill you, says the Daily Star.

 

daily star easter

 

Happy Easter!

 

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


Madeleine McCann: hiding in ‘plain sight’

More news on Madeleine McCan in our occasional look at reporting on the missing child. And the news is huge. The Sunday Express thunders: “Madeleine McCann alive but hidden in plain sight.”

She’s not hidden at all, then? Which begs the question: where is she? And then we read the paper’s news that this is not a fact. This is the view of “an expert”. He says the missing child whose picture travelled the world “could be living in an isolated property just miles inland from seaside towns on the Algarve”. She could be. And, then again, maybe she isn’t.

In this “exclusive” bout of speculation the Express  hears from former police detective Dave Edgar, “who was hired by Kate and Gerry McCann for three years to try and find their missing daughter”. That he didn’t find the child is clear. But his work has formed an opinion. “There is every possibility that Madeleine is still alive and could be being hidden somewhere,” says Mr Edgar. It’s possible she could be alive. So says the expert, who adds: “When you get up beyond the main strip of the Algarve there’s countless isolated properties where Madeleine could be being held.”

So she’s not hiding in plain sight, then? She’s being “held” in a remote property. Maybe. Maybe not. We heard much the same eight years ago. Why is a man’s old theory presented as news today?

Having wondered aloud about the child’s whereabouts, Edgar then reads minds. “I would suggest that 10 years, while it seems a long time, would not feel like that to that person with information,” says Edgar. “What happened on that night would still be fresh in their mind.” Unless they’re deranged, demented, ill or forgetful.  Or dead.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 9th, April 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comment


Brexit blamed for Croydon attack on Kurdish asylum seekers

Grim news from Croydon, where a 17-year-old Kurdish-Iranian asylum seeker has been beaten up as he and two friends – also Iranian Kurds – were at a bus stop. Police are calling it a “hate crime”, which of course it is. Any violent attack is hateful. The Mail calls it a “suspected ‘hate crime'”.

Why are the police so sure it was a hate crime and the Mail and Guardian less certain? According to the CPS: “A Hate Incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someones prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.”

If you think it is a hate crime, then it is a hate crime. Were the thugs who beat up three teenagers waiting for a bus looking for asylum seekers to further a racist cause or violent people looking for an excuse to hit someone? The police know. The rest of us should be less certain.

We should also wonder why existing laws are not enough and the State thinks we need a new kind of crime to cover what looks like a brutal attack?

What happened?

The teenager was set up by upon by up top eight other youths, who chased him down the road and kicked him unconscious. Croydon’s Metropolitan Police Borough Commander, Ch Supt Jeff Boothe, calls it “a frenzied attack by a large number of people”. As the victim was being kicked, “members of the public [were] asking them [his attackers] to stop”. This “horrendous and frenzied attack” only ended when the police arrived.

Gavin Barwell, Croydon Central’s MP, labels the attackers “scum”.

Det Sgt Kris Blamires has more:

“At this early stage it is believed that about eight suspects approached the victim as he waited at a bus stop with two friends outside The Goat public house in the Shrublands. It is understood that the suspects asked the victim where he was from, and when they established that he was an asylum seeker they chased him and launched a brutal attack. He has sustained critical head and facial injuries as a result of this attack, which included repeated blows to the head by a large group of attackers.”

Four 20-year-olds, a 24-year-old woman and 24-year-old man have been arrested.

The Agenda.

But can this attack be politicised? Can any agenda-driven soul find political mileage in a violent assault about which all facts are not known? Yes. Al Jazeera links the attack to Brexit. The police – those right-on champions of civil liberties – know a hate crime when they see one. Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott, tells the Sun: “Sadly, this is not an isolated incident but part of a sustained increase in hate crimes that this Tory government is yet to offer any effective response to.”

She adds: “With rightwing politicians across the world scapegoating migrants, refugees and others for their economic problems, we are seeing a deeply worrying rise in the politics of hate. We must make clear that there is no place for anti-foreigner myths, racism and hate in our society.”

It’s no longer a very nasty incident outside a pub at 11:40 on a Saturday night. It’s a politically-triggered attack. Well, it is if you want it to be.

UPDATE.

Posted: 2nd, April 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians, Reviews, Tabloids | Comments (2)


Madeleine McCann: Spain’s gypsy child kidnappers

The absence of anything beyond theorising has turned Madeleine McCann into a commodity. And like all goods and services, the media’s speculative assault on Madeleine McCann means ‘Our Maddie’ can be exported to become any nation’s very own Maddie. BrazilIsraelAmericaSpain, New Zealand, Panama, Greece and Holland have all had their versions of the media’s benchmark for missing children.

 

madeleine mccann daily star gypsies

 

On March 31, the Daily Star led with news of a “Spanish Maddie ‘kidnap'”. That the word “kidnap” was served to readers wrapped in inverted commas promised a story light on facts. Line one told us: “A Madeleine McCann lookalike has been grabbed by a ‘scar-faced’ gypsy” in Estepona.

The “British girl’s mum said the abductor grabbed her daughter’s hand and tried to take her away after promising sweets”. The man known locally as “Paco” was already with a young child, “whom he used to strike up a conversation with the girl”. Paedo gypsy child kidnappers? (Always the gypsies.) “When the girl’s mum began to scream the man with a scar on his head ran off.”

So not all that much like the vanishing of Madeleine McCann, then. Unless you, like the Star, considers it relevant that the “girl bears a resemblance to Madeleine McCann”.

 

maddleine mccann suspect

Is this Paco?

 

maddleine mccann suspect daily star

Paco’s dead?

 

In other ‘Their Maddie’ news, the Sun says the remains of “America’s Maddie McCann” have been found. This ‘Maddie’ was called Isabel Celis. Her parents last saw her alive at their home in Tuscon, Arizona, in April 2012. “The mysterious case sent shockwaves around the world,” says the Sun, “and bore a haunting resemblance to the disappearance of Maddie McCann”.

 

Isabel Celis

Isabel Celis

 

But kgun9, Tuscon’s local news station, makes no mention of Madeleine McCann at all as it delivers the grim news of a dead child. Isabel Celis was 6-years old at the time of her disappearance.

But the Daily Mirror does. “Harrowing 911 calls from devastated parents of ‘America’s Maddie McCann’ on morning she vanished after police find remains,” comes the headline. The paper invites its readers to listen in. Come on, readers, pull up an armchair and watch the parents.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 2nd, April 2017 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment


England, Millwall and Spurs fans sing what they want to

Still no news on what the police and FA are going to do about Millwall fans shouting “DVD” at Spurs’ South Korean “labrador muncher” * Son Heung-Min. No news either on those Spurs fans who called Millwall supporters “pikies”.

You’d think that with Spurs and Millwall “in the dock” over such terrible racism, England’s other football fans would button their collective lip. But no. They only went and sung songs when England played Germany in the Fatherland. The Independent was horrified. “English football dragged through the mud once again by braying beer-fuelled scum who sing anti-German war songs,” the paper chimed.

 

achtung germany england

 

One writer on the Sun, the paper which this week beamed its logo onto the White Cliffs of Dover to mark Brexitnoted: “There, hundreds of boorish, inebriated men continued to glory in a world war which ended 70 years ago, bellowing out tedious chants about German bombers and swaying around, mimicking aircraft.”

Right now the Football Association is studying police videos for signs of a member of The England Supporters Travel Club making offensive chants and not simply joining those righteous minds in “do-do..do-do-do-do..da-da..da-da..da-da,da,do-doing” along to the god-awful supporters’ bands’ rendition of the theme to Escape to Victory.

“Unfortunately, little of the wit and imagination that goes into our club football songs is reflected at England games,” stated the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF). Crap songs, yes. But crap fans?

Surely the point is to goad the opposition. Spreading your arms like one of those “Ten German Bombers” or hymning the historical fact of “Two World War One World Cup” could do with an update. But until some bright spark creates songs mocking the Germans’ EU-backed battering of Greece or Boris Becker’s latest jacket, we might have to make do with the jingoism.

It’s not easy coming up with insults that are catchy and popular but not insulting enough to be offensive. Maybe the Germans can help? After all, their English is often better than ours. As an Arsenal fan it’s often been my lot to be serenaded by Bayern Munich fans’ chants of “You’re not very good”, “We can see you sneaking out” and “Can we play you every week?”.

Of course, what this is is the latest episode in the State’s purge on people like ‘them’ at football grounds.  Those “scum” who use vulgar words and say nasty things, who emply mockery and insults to taunt other fans in the pantomime of football need hosing down.

But the people who dish it at the match can also take it. “The Germans I spoke to were not offended by the puerile chanting, they were just embarrassed for us,” said one Daily Mirror writer. If grown men and women want to behave sadly, let them. It’s their right to sing what they want to, however stupid, witless and arcane.

* That’s how some Tottenham fans refer to Son in the chant: “He’ll shoot / He’ll score / He’ll eat your Labrador / Son Heung-Min.”

Posted: 31st, March 2017 | In: Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Brexit triggers a return to Page 3 and home-made British porn

Of course, if your really want to celebrate the UK leaving the European Union, you don’t need Nigel Farage’s underwear. You don’t need any underwear. You just need the Sun to reinvigorate Page 3 and invite Rhian Sugden to show everyone the “BUST IN BRITAIN”.

 

page 3

 

Those Europeans can take back their Finnish bestiality videos, Danish XXX-rated filth and weird German stuff that you regret ever seeing. Britain will make do with a saucy topless stunna, cheeky postcards, nostalgia-proof sex comedies and other more traditional and essentially British aides to masturbation, like the Argos catalogue, Katie Price and her Jordans, Helen Mirren’s washing-up gloves and Emmerdale.

It’s time to roll back the years to those halcyon days when Britain’s censorship laws meant that continental style porn couldn’t be shown.

(Unless, of course, you’ve got a Sky box and get your smut on pay-per-view.)

Posted: 30th, March 2017 | In: Celebrities, Tabloids | Comment


Farage becomes the tabloids’ Great British Mascot

Nigel Farage beams from the front pages of the Daily Express and Daily Mail. Legs crossed to best display his Union flag socks-styled socks, a half-drunk pint of the warm stuff in his paw and a patriotic red, white and blue tie about his throat, Farage is politics’ answer to Ken Bailey, the man who dressed as John Bull, helped restore Erica Roe’s modesty after her Twickenham streak, and followed the Queen and the England and Bournemouth football teams across the world. Subbuteo even honoured him with his own model.

 

ken bailey

 

Farage is the figure who heralds the main event before vanishing from the field of play.

Including the cover, there are 6 pages given to Brexit in today’s Mail – and Farage’s one and only mention appears in the caption to that front-page photo: “Unions Jack socks: Nigele Farage in Westminster yesterday.”

 

Farage pint daily express mail

 

And there he is again on the Express. No socks. But lots of British teeth. One page on and we do get to the socks. “Today’s the day the impossible dream came true,” says Farage sat on patio furniture. “I’m delighted.” And so too is the man dressed up as Godfrey of Bouillon across the page. Godfrey’s the bloke who led the Crusaders when they captured Jerusalem in 1099 and massacred so many Jews and Muslims, it was said, “the streets ran with blood.”

If the foreigners don’t come here to be hated by Express readers, you can always visit them.

 

Farage pint daily express

 

Farage pint daily Mirror

 

As Farage tartily wafts his socks and waves on the main event – we suppose the UK-supporting Express would have featured a UKIP MP if such a creature existed –  the opposition are notable by their absence. Not a single one of them (well, not unless you count Theresa May who wanted to remain ‘In’ the EU), is pictured in the Express.  Biased, of course, but the Labour-supporting Daily Mirror also ignores Jeremy Corbyn, preferring its readers to hear from former Labour leader Gordon Brown. The paper finds space to feature an unflattering picture of Farage looking not a little gnome like. But not a sign of Corbyn.

Indeed, there is not single photo of Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition, in any tabloid. There’s not even a picture of the Labour leader wearing his signature tatty vest. Just lots of Nigel Farage and his underwear.

Phwaor!

Posted: 30th, March 2017 | In: Politicians, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment


The Mail’s Legs-It cover triggers a race to the bottom

When Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon had a chat in Glasgow, the Daily Mail noticed that both women had legs. It wasn’t just a meeting between two leaders of British political parties; it was a beauty contest. It was also an eye-catching front-page headline and photo. If newspapers set out to be relevant and capture their readers’ attentions, the Mail did a fine job of it.

But many leading voices – most of whom don’t much like the Mail and don’t buy it – were quick to accuse the paper of “sexism”.

 

legs sturgeon may daily record scotland

 

Reaction to the Mail’s cover has been loud. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn looked beyond mere policy and leadership to decry the picture’s “sexism”. “This sexism must be consigned to history,” Corbyn tweeted. Labour MP Harriet Harman found the Mail’s headline “Moronic!” She checked her calendar and added with not a muon of wit, “And we are in 2017!”

Conservative MP and former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan accused the paper of “appalling sexism”.

 

womack daily mail

 

Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the The Green Party of England and Wales, ruled that the cover was “treating women with contempt”. She went further than most and complained to IPSO,  the Independent Press Standards Organisation. To her mind the over was “breaking the Editors’ Code”.

The Editors’ Code of Practice covers:

Accuracy
Privacy
Harassment
Intrusion into grief or shock
Reporting Suicide
Children in sex cases
Hospitals
Reporting of Crime
Clandestine devices and subterfuge
Victims of sexual assault
Discrimination
Financial journalism
Confidential sources
Witness payments in criminal trials
Payments to criminals
The Public Interest

Which of those topics deals with a picture of two clothed women and a silly comment on their legs? You can try and guess but you’d be hard pressed to nail it. Helpfully, Womack says the Mail broke clause 12 of the code which says editors must “avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability”.

Of course, drawing attention to the leaders’ legs story gives Womack a chance to draw attention to herself. Like all other ‘Outraged of Westminster’ moaners, Womack uses the Mail to showcase her own clean lines. The paper must love it. At a time of falling circulations, the Mail is one newspaper still able to rile and matter. People really do care what it says.

The Mail online even features a report on its own front page:

 

mail legs

 

And what of Theresa May, the poor woman being objectified by the nasty Mail? She called the cover “a bit of fun”. Which it is.

In next week’s Mail: “Put ’em away Jeremy!”

Posted: 29th, March 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


Ted Heath: no rest for those suspected of wickedness

9th January 1979: Edward Heath, British Conservative politician and prime minister (1970 – 1974) playing the piano to the amusement of Kermit the Frog and Paddington Bear. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

 

It’s been a quiet few months for Ted Heath. Dead, of course, the former Prime Minister remains mired in allegations of sexual depravity. In today’s Mirror,  the enjoyable Fleet Street Fox looks at men of Kent, of which Heath was one. Other sons of Kent’s darling, budding soil are: Nigel Farage, the former UKIP leader, and Adrian Elms, also known as Khalid Masood, the nutcase who murdered three people in a ‘loon wolf’ attack on Westminster.

In a list of rogues and reprobates born in Kent, the Fox includes Heath. The man known for his sailing, political U-turns and organ playing is billed as “suspected paedophile Ted Heath”. How’s that for a legacy? Of course, once you’re dead you can be a suspected paedophile for as long as people want to call you one. There will be no court case because the accused is dead and can’t defend himself. Justice hasn’t been denied. It’s been buried with no realistic hope of resuscitation.

In future the sane and sensible thing will be for all of us to be cryogenically frozen and, should allegations be made against us at a future date, defrosted in the white heat of a criminal trial.

Over in the Sun, news is that Heath is not to be dug up and beaten with sticks. “The £1million child abuse probe by police against former PM Ted Heath is set to be ditched,” says the paper. “Last night it was claimed the cops will close it after finding no evidence.”

Yeah, but he’s still a suspected child molester. Until you can prove he wasn’t one, the mud will stick to his bones. The paper’s next line tells us: “Detectives are investigating the former Tory leader accused of being part of a group which stabbed, tortured and maimed 16 children in churches before gorging on their blood.”

Disprove that!

 

Posted: 27th, March 2017 | In: Politicians, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: the ‘abductor’s secret confession’

Madeleine McCann: A look at reporting on the missing child. Today the Mirror leads with news that “Someone is protecting Maddie’s kidnapper”. They are? Maybe. Who?  Dunno. It’s a ‘SEARCH COP’S CLAIM”. A “detective inspector” is “convinced” the “abductor has confessed to a friend”.

 

maddie mccann kidnapper daily mirror

 

It soon turns out that the “COP”, the “detective inspector”, is a “former Detective Inspector” called Dave Edgar. Having established that the front-page headline is a little light on facts  – the “cop” is no longer a serving police officer; the “detective inspector” isn’t a detective inspector – readers might wonder at the point of the story, let alone why it’s worthy of the Mirror’s front page.

Reading on we learn that retired Det Insp Dave Edgar, for it is he, “broke his silence for the first time to open his files. Revealing findings, that a child-sex gang most likely took the three-year-old.” He tells the paper: “Someone knows what happened and it’s time they came forward.”

What is “most likely” is not a fact. But if you thought that woolly, the next line tops it: “Mr Edgar believes an abductor has secretly confessed to the crime.”

A detective deals with gathering evidence and facts. But this story is one of belief and an imagined secret. The story continues:

Calling for an end to the agony of Maddie’s parents Kate and Gerry, he pleaded: “If anyone confided in you, now is the time to come forward.”

Now. Or, indeed, any time in the last ten years.

We then get what Edgar, “one of the top experts on the case”, “also believes”. There’s a list:

There is no evidence to suggest Kate and Gerry were involved.
It was a well planned abduction.
There was no evidence against two prime suspects of abducting her from Praia Da Luz in May.
The motive for taking three-year-old Madeleine was sexual.
There is still hope she is alive.

With no child to look at, the Mirror just looks at the parents, raking over old ground:

After Madeleine vanished from the McCanns’ Warner Ocean Club holiday flat, while her parents were dining with friends, Portuguese police named Kate and Gerry as “arguidos” or suspects.

Yes. They were.

But Mr Edgar dismisses that, flying in the face of last week’s Lisbon court decision to uphold the right of Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral to publish his book alleging Madeleine had died and the McCanns covered it up.

And:

“I was looking at everything and that would include them,” he said. “If I found any evidence against Kate and Gerry I would have given it to the police immediately. Kate and Gerry would expect no less. But I found no shred of evidence. We obviously look at all factors – motive, preparation, opportunity – and there was absolutely nothing.”

Fair enough. But why do other theories get aired? Is there evidence a sex gang stole Madeleine McCann? Is there evidence the child was abducted? Is there evidence she is alive? Isn’t broadcasting theories what caused the McCanns and Robert Murat to be libelled?

Mr Edgar was “paid for by the Find Madeleine Fund” to crack the case. That he didn’t is regrettable. But why are we now listening to what he believes? Surely it’s wise to stick to what he knows and has found?

He [Edgar] has heard dozens of theories about Madeleine – that she had wandered off, and been run over, become the victim of a random burglar or taken by someone wanting to raise a child for themselves.

So much for the theories. What of the facts?

He believes it was a planned operation by a lone kidnapper or a gang.

No facts. Well, only one: a child vanished.

Almost 10 years after the story began, a national tabloid is leading with speculation, just as many have done ever since May 2007. Says Egdar: “If the motive was gang-related child prostitution, there might have been more than one involved.”

Believes. If. Might. And on it goes, this guessing. However educated and based on well-trained hunches the theorising is, it remains guesswork. Get a load of this line:

Like millions of others, the retired detective clings to the hope that Madeleine is still alive, possibly being held prisoner and potentially still in Portugal.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 27th, March 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comment


‘Workshy’ Prince William cheats death by being on holiday

First up, we can reassure you that Prince William is ok. Alpine nightspots, rhinos and the Surrey ribbon-makers guild can all sleep easy. Your patron is safe. But had Williams been at work he could have been a little less safe. Anglia Two, the rescue helicopter William occasionally pilots, was in the air when a remote-controlled drone flew too close for comfort. No-one was hurt. Although the mentally negligible berk flying a drone in the ‘copters air space should be, or at least have his toy confiscated.

 

prince william helicopter

William split-second from next holiday

 

And how does the Mail on Sunday interpret the news? “Wills cheats death,” it thunders. Wills was not onboard when, as an official report into the incident states, “a collision had only been narrowly avoided”. Two pilots and three medial staff were on the helicopter then the “terrifying near-miss happened at 1,900ft”. The vehicle was “flying almost directly over a McDonald’s restaurant filled with families”, none of whom are believed to have been the Windsors.

Other media agree that this was William’s helicopter.

“WILLS’ CHOPPER DRAMA Prince William’s horror as drone comes within ‘half a second’ of hitting his air ambulance in shocking near-miss” – The Sun

“Prince William’s air ambulance in near miss with drone” – Telegraph

The Mail says it was a” fluke” that Wills was not on board at the time.

Was it? Just one week ago, one Mail on Sunday writer called William an “idiot”, an “ungrateful, workshy party-goer who doesn’t think he or she has to put a fair shift in to justify their lavish life at the tax-payer’s expense”. William’s part-time job with the East Anglia Air Ambulance service “requires you [Wills] to do a maximum of just 80 hours a month”.

It’s more of a fluke he’s ever on the thing.

 

Posted: 26th, March 2017 | In: Reviews, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Daily Mail assures terrorists: it only takes two minutes to learn how to murder on Google

Like most of you, we had no idea a knife or a car could be used by terrorists to kill and maim until the Daily Mail used its front page to advise us that Google is the go-to-place for learning about weaponising your cutlery drawer and vehicle.

It turns out that everyone who ever stabbed anyone ever or used a vehicle to carry explosives and run people down learned how to do it via the media.

 

google terror daily mail

For just 65 pence, single mums and immigrants are able to buy the Mail and therein get directions to websites dealing in death. Moreover, we found copies of the Mail on display in shops, often on the bottom shelf where children can read them.

Says one worried mum: “I’m shocked they allow that muck on sale. I for one won’t be buying it.  I’ll read it for free online.”

 

Posted: 24th, March 2017 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Carole Middleton’s Easter party tips leave a bitter aftertaste in the Mail

pippa middleton book mail on sunday

 

The battle between the Daily Mail and its sister organ the Mail on Sunday continues. Sebastian Shakespeare uses his Mail social diary to tell readers about “former air hostess” Carole Middleton and her daughter Pippa Middleton. Carole has written a “banal” story for a children’s magazine about ways to celebrate Easter. This is not in the spirt of giving, rather in the hope it will “boost sales at her mail order paraphernalia business”.

Carole’s “fatuous” tips (tip 1: “Chocolate bunnies and eggs are favourites”) are evert bit as “anodyne” as Pippa’s entertaining tips, which “were published in a widely panned book”.

Indeed they were. They were also published in a newspaper. No prizes for guessing which one? Yep: the Mail on Sunday.

Posted: 22nd, March 2017 | In: Celebrities, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: horror in Cyprus and trolling the McCanns in the Sun

Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child.

We begin this round-up with news in the Sun that the missing child’s parents are posting on their official Facebook page. In “BEATING THE BULLIES” we read that Kate and Gerry McCann have re-opened their Find Maddie Facebook account amid a “huge outpouring of love and support” after “taking a ‘break’ from trolls”.

You might well wonder how that is news. But social media functions as something nasty for old media to look down on, like a school gates mum gathering her PTA pals around to snipe at the gauche new arrival. “As the page administrator switched it back on,” we’re told “she vowed to ‘continue to turn the page off if we receive hateful posts’.”

But you can’t turn off the Sun’s comments section. Beneath the paper’s story “MADDIE PROBE SLAMMED – Good Morning Britain viewers in meltdown over ‘ridiculous’ £11million bill for the Madeleine McCann investigation as top cop declares it a waste of money”, the Sun’s bleeding hearts offer lots of opinion. These are the comments in order of appearance on the Sun’s story:

 

the Sun Madeleine MCCan

the Sun Madeleine MCCan the Sun Madeleine MCCan

 

The “TOP COMMENTS” are:

 

the Sun Madeleine MCCan

 

One site’s ‘Bullies” and “trolls” are another’s commenters and readers.

Having made not an inch of progress in finding out what happened to Madeleine McCann, the voracious Press see if they can have any better luck with a new ‘Maddie’.

“My daughter could have been the next Maddie McCann,” says the Mail’s headline. “Mother staying at five-star Cyprus hotel woke to find maid trying to snatch her one-year-old.”

The maid did it!

Siobhan Prescott, 25, “claims she woke to find her one-year-old daughter Harper crying as a dark-haired woman in her 40s attempted to pick her up out of her cot at the five star King Evelthon Beach and Hotel Resort in Chloraca Bay, Cyprus.”

As parents cancel their family summer holiday and eyes “dark-haired” women (in Greece!) with suspicion, the Mail tells us what happened next:

The horrified mother claims she was powerless to react because she was sleeping naked, so screamed out for her partner Simon Smith who was on the balcony of their room.

Who knew British holidaymakers were so demure?

Anyhow, Simon came running.

He confronted the sheepish woman, who was dressed in a maid’s outfit, and demanded to know what she was doing.

The woman said something in another language, before bursting into tears and trying to flee the room – but stopped to make a phone call from the room phone.

Eh? She made a phone call before legging it? So there are finger prints, a number to track and you got a good look at the would-be abductor. Right now the only thing Madeleine McCann-like about his story is that readers to examine someone else’s parenting skills.

“I was napping when a maid snuck into the room and tried to snatch my baby,” says Siobhan. “The only reason I woke up was because Harper screamed out, otherwise she could have been the next Maddie McCann.”

Well, yes, aside from the fact that this time both parents were in and the child never did go missing. What the incident could have been is the subject of the thrilling headline, but what actually was it?

“We were furious and we made our way down to the reception and demanded the hotel manager immediately,” says Siobhan. “I was absolutely hysterical, but the hotel management just said she was cleaning the room and picked up my baby to check she was alright. But it was rubbish. That woman had no cleaning products on her and it was the afternoon so our room had already been cleaned. I was naked in the bed, what kind of person walks into a room when a woman is lying naked on the bed? She let herself in with the aim to try and steal our baby.”

“TOT SNATCH HORROR,” thunders the Sun. “Brit mum reveals terrifying moment maid tried to snatch her toddler from cot on holiday and says ‘she could have been the next Madeleine McCann’”.

A TERRIFIED mum said she feared her daughter could have been the “next Madeline McCann” after she woke to find a hotel maid looming over her cot.

Siobhan Prescott, 25, claims the worker was attempting to pick up one-year-old Harper, who was screaming hysterically.

The baby was crying. The woman picked her up. The Sun writes:

The family were on a dream holiday to Cyprus between February 22 and March 1 when the horror unfolded.

It was weird and unsettling, no doubt. But a “horror”?

They claim they were later told by the hotel that the same maid had been sacked two years previously following an “incident” but was on her first day back in work.

So the woman “dressed as a maid” was a maid, which is why she was dressed as one. Is that right?

Siobhan said: “I am lucky to have woken up, but if I hadn’t God knows what would have happened. Harper could have easily been snatched and we would be in the exact same situation as Kate and Gerry McCann.”

What, hated by Sun readers?

Posted: 22nd, March 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comment


Chuck Berry: the King is dead so let’s give his body a good kicking

chuck berry hail

 

No sooner is Chuck Berry dead than the Mirror pulls on the boots and gives his bones a good kick. The rock’n’roller who gave full throat to all the taboo-busting stuff the olds hated is the subject of the front-page yeller about his ‘Dark secrets’.

For readers to be shocked by anything, Berry would have to have been extraordinarily depraved. Having seen knights of the real and papacy exposed as predatory paedophiles – You never can tell, right? – and knowing your internet-based readership is reared on Rule 34 – ‘If it exists, there is a porn of it’ – you wonder how dark Berry’s darkness got to warrant front-page news.

 

chuck berry crime

 

A clue to things being not all that dark comes on pages 8 and 9, where the Berry abyss becomes more ‘murky’ than inky black. And those ‘secrets’ become anything but. Berry’s ‘three spells behind bars’ are well documented (robbery, tax dodging and transporting a 14-year-old prostitute across State lines to work at one of his clubs – when he sacked her she grassed him up to the law; he says he never slept with her), as is his conviction for sticking a hidden camera inside the ladies’ toilets at one of his restaurants.

And that’s it. There is nothing more. No ‘Nick‘ to talk of dead children. No priapic visits to the mortuary. No Satanic cults. No octopus porn.

One of the most influential musicians of all time, the man who brought joy and light to millions with his swagger, wit and infectious songs will not be airbrushed from history. So great was Berry that even the Mail, a paper not given to shying away from moral panics, overlooks the ‘shadows’ and ‘secrets’ to hail the ‘Godfather of Rock’, the ‘musical genius’ who inspired Britain’s biggest stars’ and led an ‘outrageous life’. Chuck Berry’s the man who grew up on the wrong side of racially segregated America and got white and blacks dancing in the aisles.

And so without further ado, here’s Chuck Berry. Hail, hail, Rock And Roll:

 

Posted: 20th, March 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, Tabloids | Comment


Prince William turns into his feckless father as mute Kate awaits her Diana moment

prince william dancing the sun

 

It’s the third day of the Sun’s Prince William expose. On Tuesday the paper led with news that Wills had ‘sloped off’ to the Swiss Alps to pranny about his pals on a lads’ holiday, where he met an Australian model called Sophie Taylor. So much the norm for the super-rich. But the Sun was aghast, saying that Wills should have been at a Commonwealth Day service with the rest of his kin.

Over pages 4 and 5, we saw Wills ‘sloping off again’, ‘snubbing’ the service at Westminster Abbey. Wills does a ‘high skive’ palm slap with Sophie as he ‘chills ‘with ‘topless model’ Sophie and his mates.

On Wednesday it was more of the same. There was Wills on the Sun’s cover page, his lips pursed in disapproval as he stared into the paparazzo’s lens. Wills has an ambivalent relationship with the Press. The photo-ops that make him looks good and chummy with the hol polloi are great; the ones where he’s seen larking about for the 30-plus weeks of the year in which he isn’t ‘working’ as a military-lite soldier and celebrity lifesaver are undesirable and invasive. The narrative is that the paps did for his mother, but what really hurt William’s mother was his father, cheating Charles, who refereed to Princess Diana as ‘Diana the Martyr‘ as she carved out a life for herself that involved more than being the Windsor clan’s latest ‘brood mare‘.

And it keeps coming. Wills is ‘Throne Idle’. He is – yet again – ‘sloping off’, having performed ‘just 13 royal duties’ this year (although it’s at least a couple more if you include telling the secretary to tell the nanny to wipe Prince George’s arse and smiling at Kate in public) to the Queen’s 24.

Over pages 6 and 7, we see Wills in ‘Boogie-wonderland’ getting ‘crown on it’ at Verbier’s Farinet club. We hear from a ‘stunned’ onlooker who “couldn’t believe” Wills was ‘gyrating to a rap song with lyrics about smoking cannabis’. It’s unbelievable. Where’s the future King’s sense of tradition? What happened to getting goofed on opiates, impregnating peroxide-tinted serfs, murdering dumb animals and giving Nazs salutes? It was good enough for his ancestors, so why not Wills? The snob.

“William clearly isn’t interested in taking his role seriously and I really wonder if he wants to be king,” says the chief executive of anti-monarchy group Republic.”He’s not living up to the hopes that people had of him and does seem to be taking all this for granted,’ adds a ‘Royal historian’.

And so to Thursday’s Sun‘s lead story. We hear that Sophie did a slut drop’ dance in a rarified Swiss club. On pages 4 and 5, we learn that Wills was ‘cavorting on a club dance floor with two beauties’.  We also learn that the slut drop is a dance move ‘made famous of Geordie Shore’, the TV show in which orange-skinned Geordies shag on camera and then read each others tattoos by the light of their teeth.

What it all amounts to is not very much at all. Unless you consider Kate, the missing part in all her husband’s life of privilege and privacy. The Sun invites its agony aunt Deidre to ‘imagine’ what Kate would write about her husband. Imaginary Kate is worried that her ‘boring and ‘balding’ husband ‘has been pictured with his hands all over some girl’. She wonders, ‘Has the magic gone?’ Above all she is terrified he’s turning into his father. We hope, of course, that Kate learns from Diana, a woman who touched the shunned and sick (literally) and attempted with no little success to turn a life of public virtue and private vice into something the subjects can look up to.

Over to you, Kate…

Posted: 16th, March 2017 | In: Key Posts, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: a manhunt, a lifeline and a missing man

Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child.

Daily Mirror (front page): ”Maddie Cops Hunt Worker At Resort.’ The now ‘ex-employee has ‘vanished’. Like the missing child, he just disappeared?

 

maddie mccann daily mirror

 

In the very first paragraph we get not facts but news that ‘cops believe’ the missing worker has ‘clues about her disappearance’. The Portuguese man worked at the Ocean Club resort at the time Madeleine McCann ‘was snatched in 2007’.

The next headline adds: ‘Madeleine McCann cops hunt worker at resort as they fear he “kept secrets” from local police.’ So the missing man spoke with police, then. ‘He gave a statement at the time but detectives fear he may have kept secrets.’ The man spoke with police two days after the child vanished.

Believe. Fear. May. It’s the Maddie Mantra.

As ever with this story of the missing child, facts give way to feeling. Unable to add anything of substance, the Mirror repeats itself: ‘British officers trying to find the youngster fear he may have kept secrets from local detectives that could have led to a ­breakthrough in the case.’ Why do British police believe the wanted man may not have told local police everything? A Portuguese police ‘source’ tells readers: “British officers are convinced he knows more than he was previously saying and are very keen to question him.”

They don’t believe it. They know it. they are convinced. Is that why the ‘Maddie cops’ are ‘hunting’ him? They are not looking for him to help with their enquiries. They are hunting him, as you might hunt for a man who doesn’t want to be caught. The word is more loaded than Gorge bush at a frat house party. But hold on. The unnamed source tells us that the hunted man might not have anything to do with the missing child. “They are not suggesting he stole Maddie,” says the ‘source, “but he may know people who could have been involved after a burglary went wrong. The investigation in Britain seems to be grinding to a halt and they want to rule him out of the case if not rule him in. Then detectives know they have done everything in their power to try to solve the case.”

So much for the manhunt.

As for the facts, the Mirror soon revisits the old news: “Her doctor parents Kate and Gerry McCann , of Rothley, Leics, have always believed their daughter is still alive.” As ever, the paper mentions the parents’ jobs.

 

maddie mccann daily express life

 

Daily Express (front page): ‘Parents’ joy at lifeline in hunt for Madeleine’

Another hunt, but this time it’s the search for the missing child. The Express hones in on Madeleine McCann’s parents. The child peers out from the paper’s cover, as she has done scores of times over the past decade.

 

madeleine mccann daily express

 

And we learn nothing new. All we know is the child went missing. The rest is speculation.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 13th, March 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comment (1)


Arsenal balls: Wenger stays and Allegri agrees to take over

It’s been a huge two days for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger. Only yesterday, the Star was pleading with Wenger to make up his mind and tell everyone if he was going to sign a new contract and stay at Arsenal for a further two years.

The paper said Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri was tired to waiting to get the call to move up from the Italian giants to English football’s also-rans. The Star thundered:

EXCLUSIVE: Massimiliano Allegri sends ‘come and get me’ plea to Arsenal

 

wenger daily star

 

Words from Allegri on his dream to manage Arsenal: none.

Of course, the Star is a rich source of fake news. On February 28, the Star told its readers ‘Allegri confirms he’s joining Arsenal’.

 

daily star arsenal fake news wenger

 

You click on that news headline and you get told on the Star’s website: ‘Calciomercato has this afternoon sensationally claimed Allegri, 49, will join the Gunners this summer.’ On that Italian site, we’re told:

The news comes from his hometown of Livorno, where reports are circulating that the manager let this story slip at dinner with friends.

And that’s it. No quotes. No links.

Looking for more, a search for ‘Allegri’ and ‘Livorno’ produces a story on another Italian news site. It says the Allegri to Arsenal news is sourced in the – get this – Daily Express, sister organ to the Daily Star. In the Express we learn that Allegri and Arsenal have agreed a deal.

 

 

daily express arsenal fake news wenger

 

All done and dusted, then. No dithering at all. Allegri in. Wenger out. Which brings us to today Daily Star story that Wenger is, er, staying at Arsenal.

 

arsene wenger daily star

 

All utter balls, then.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 12th, March 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (2)


Madeleine McCann: just £85,000 left to find ‘Our Maddie’

Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child. The Metropolitan Police continue to search for Madeleine McCann, the child who became the media’s ‘Our Maddie’.

 

maddy solved

 

Sunday Express (front page): ‘Madeleine Bombshell – Police net closes in one just one man who is key to the mystery’.

The police have been given more funding to find our what happened to Madeleine McCann in 2007. The Express‘s lead story and the extra cash are linked, as Caroline Wheeler explains:

DETECTIVES investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have identified a person they want to question and have been given an extra £85,000 to follow up the crucial lead.

That doesn’t sound like very much money. The BBC says it’s enough ‘to extend the search for a further six months’ – a search that has to date cost anything from £11.1m to £13m, depending on what publication you read.

Is it a sign the cops are closing in on their quarry? Or it a sign that funds are being reduced considerably – that the investigation is being wound down? The Express says there’s a ‘specific person of interest they need to question’:

The lead is seen as solid enough to persuade the Home Office to grant the extra money which will extend the search until September.

It’s not much money, though, is it, especially to follow up a ‘solid lead’.

All we’re told is that the mystery man was possibly in Portugal when Madeleine McCann went missing. If you think that’s all a bit blurry, it isn’t cleared up one line on when we’re told:

International intelligence agencies have been working together to find the “person of interest” who detectives believe may hold the key to solving the case.

And with that we’ve progressed not an inch. What detectives ‘believe may’ could be the Maddie Mantra. And very quickly what looked like fact becomes editorialised wishful thinking:

Had the information not been deemed a “solid live lead” then the £13million police investigation would have been wound up.

The mystery man is called a ‘crucial lead’. What was once shrouded in ‘believe’ and ‘may’ is now ‘crucial’.

A Home Office spokesman delivers the official line:

“Following an application from the Metropolitan Police for special grant funding the Home Office has confirmed £85,000 in operational costs for Operation Grange for the period April 1 until September 2017.

“As with all applications the resources required are reviewed regularly and careful consideration is given before any new funding is allocated.”

Cue an anonymous ‘insider’ to tell us: “There is just one person who detectives want to speak to who was near to the area where Madeleine disappeared almost 10 years ago. An international search has been underway to find them.”

Them or him? How near were they?

Policing Minister Brandon Lewis, who rubber-stamped the cash, steps in:

“I am pleased to be able to support the British police who are trying to get to the bottom of what happened to Madeleine McCann and give some kind of closure and justice to her family.”

When one newspaper leads the rest follow.

The Sun: ‘NEW MADDIE SUSPECT Cops given extra £85k to probe new key suspect in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance a decade ago.’

Detectives have identified an individual they believe was near the coastal resort of Praia da Luz, Portugal when the tot went missing in 2007

That police only ‘believe’ the person was in Portugal soon becomes a fact that they were:

The person was near the area where Madeleine went missing from in the coastal resort of Praia da Luz, Portugal in May 2007.

Is this person who was there and maybe wasn’t there a suspect, then?

The person could be a Portuguese suspect.

For that insight we can look to now fewer than three journalists, the story is ‘By Ryan Sabey, Political Correspondent, Tracey Kandohla and Brittany Vonow’.

Over on LBC this morning, Andrew Castle has been fielding calls about whether or not the cash is value for money. After an hour of chatter, in which Castle says ‘as a parent, “you would expect your government to support you”, it turns out that no-one who calls in can be certain of anything other than that the child is missing.

And so it is that on a slow news day you can still press’f9’ on the keyboard and call up an ‘Our Maddie’ story and field all those nasty, doltish, unhelpful, anonymous and to-deadline opinions.

 

Posted: 12th, March 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comment


Bruno Fernandes should quit football and get a job in the media

Brazilian footballer Bruno Fernandes admitted ordering the killing of girlfriend Eliza Samudio and feeding her body to dogs. He’s a nutter. Having served 7 years of a 22 years sentence, Bruno is out of prison. He has served his time. And now that he’s out, he can seek work. The Sun hears of Bruno’s agent, Lucio Veloso Coutinho, who reportedly said: “Almost 10 clubs have already shown interest. We cannot mention them all now for contractual reasons.”

As Mr 15% makes loud no comment, the Guardian is aghast:

There’s a problem with Murdering Bruno returning to football. No, not mass protests, a life ban and questions in parliament. The problem is he’s not quite match fit. Just give it a few weeks, his agent says. He’s back, baby. Murdering Bruno is back.

What’s Bruno’s job got to do with parliament? It’s a matter between him and his employers.

Or is somehow different when you’re a footballer? The Sun has employed a known killer. The Guardian has promoted the work of reformed violent criminals who have written books and worked on TV.

If the media’s big and robust enough to accept the work of former criminals, why is it so troubled if a football club does the same?

 

Posted: 11th, March 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Celebrity Weed Farm: BGT dancer inspires new TV show

Remember Stavros Flatley, the chubby fella from Britain’s Got Talent, whose dance with his chubby son scored them a job on Sugar Free Farm with Ann Widdecombe, Alison Hammond and Gemma Collins, a show which proved that shovelling shit was not just for TV’s executives? Well, the boy, who the Sun bills as ‘the chubby young lad’ (CYL), is the subject of the paper’s front-page headline: ‘Stavros Flatley Drugs Bust.’

Police ‘have said’ marijuana plants have been found at a North London flat allegedly ‘owned’ by CYL. The Sun calls it a ‘cannabis factory’ and values the plants at £56,000. Yeah, that’s what we thought, too. Forget the lo-cal farm. Legalise weed and put celebs to some profitable use.

 

 

Posted: 6th, March 2017 | In: Celebrities, Tabloids | Comment


Croydon car wash crash horror: let’s blame the victims

Can the story of the ‘suspected drunk driver’ who ploughed into five people at a car wash be turned into an immigration issue? In the Daily Mail it can, yes. In the very first line of the horror near Catford bus garage in Bellingham, south-east London, the paper makes the victims’ nationality known and key to the story:

‘A suspected drunk driver smashed into five Romanian workers following an alleged row as they washed his car.’

Why tell us the ‘bloodied  victims’ nationalities but not that of the alleged criminal?

The Sun does the same in its headline:

‘Suspected drink-driver ‘deliberately mowed down Romanian car wash workers leaving man, 25, critical and four others injured after rowing with them moments earlier’’

 

croydon car wash

 

The Croydon Advertiser is less concerned with the victims’ place of birth. ‘Driver questioned after car hits five outside car wash,” runs its headline.

The paper quotes the police, who say the injured people were ‘pedestrians’. ‘Detectives continue to investigate following a collision in Lewisham which left a number of pedestrians requiring hospital treatment,’ says the Met’s report.

Romanian workers or pedestrians?

The Mail says a man aged 25 is ‘fighting for his life’. Two others are  in a ‘serious condition’. Two more suffered injuries to their feet and legs. The alleged drunk driver is said to have got out of the car and run down the street before an off-duty officer grabbed him. He was arrested on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and drink driving. He was treated for a head injury.

You might be wondering about the innocent victims, but the Mail is more concerned with what they were doing here in the first place. ‘Why are so many car wash staff migrants?’ it asks. Maybe it’s because so many newspaper journalists aren’t. You go where the work is. The Mail comes over a bit thick and defers to ‘experts’ who say such work is cash-in-hand and easy to get.

But the Mail can’t end it there. It wants to smear the victims in more than their own blood. So it quotes Dawn Fraser, of something called the Car Wash Advisory Service, and says that ‘only 1,000 of the country’s 20,000 hand car washes are thought to adhere to UK business laws.’

No-one has been arrested for being run over at work. Yet.

Posted: 27th, February 2017 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Jeremy Corbyn meltsdown in the Sun, Mail and Express but is smiling in the Mirror

When Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn appeared on Sky News, he was asked about his leadership. “I’m carrying on as leader,” said Corbyn, “because I’m determined that we will deliver social justice in this country.” So, er, will you stay on as leader. “I have given you a very, very clear answer, yes,” said Corbyn.

At one point he face contorted. As 

 

jeremy corbyn monocle

 

The Express calls Corbyn’s reaction a ‘meltdown’.  He ‘dramatically flew off the handle’. On page 2 it features the same screen shot you see above, in which Corbyn seems to be auditioning for Steptoe and Son. 

 

Corbyn sky news daily express

 

On the Sun’s page 2, it’s ‘JEZZAAARRRGGH!’ cornyn ‘snapped’ on TV. He ‘snarled’ as he ‘dodged three questions on whether he would be in the job to fight the 2020 election’. The paper quotes a Comres poll that 77% of Labour voters ‘think their party has the wrong leader’.

 

Corbyn sky news the sun

 

In the Daily Mail, ‘snarling Corbyn features on page 24. He ‘snapped angrily’ when asked about his future. It’s slightly better news for Jeremy, though, because in the Mail he only ‘twice ducked questions about whether he would keep his job until 2020’.

 

Corbyn sky news daily mail

 

The story gets a different twist on the Mirror’s page 2. Thereon, Corbyn is issuing the rallying call : ‘We won’t give or retreat.’ No sign of a screw face here, it’s just Jezza with one thumb up as he addresses Labour’s Scottish conference – yes, they still have one, albeit in the room under the stairs. There is no word on his Sky ‘meltdown’. There is no word on the Comres poll.

 

Corbyn sky news daily mirror

 

Such are the facts.

 

 

Posted: 27th, February 2017 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comments (3)


Jimmy Savile’s sex-free sex den at High Royds Hospital

Fancy a peek inside ‘Jimmy Savile’s sex den’? This is where the ‘shamed star preyed on victims’. The Daily Star’s wrong, of course. Savile wasn’t shamed. Sir Jimmy was buried with full honours. The great and good lined up to praise the “colourful character”, the embodiment of “diligence and decency” who will be “greatly missed“. Savile was not shamed. He was dug up, possibly beaten with sticks and buried a good deal deeper down than the normal six feet, but the Papal knight died a State- approved hero.

Savile’s ‘sex den’ is the abandoned High Royds Hospital in Menston, West Yorkshire. Savile was a depraved, gibbering loon who hid in plain sight. He didn’t need a sex den. He had a caravan, a BBC studio pass and an NHS-issued gown.

Reading on we learn that the sex den featured no actual sex. The Star reports:

It was here sexual predator Savile targeted a number of women during the get-together in 1988. The party was to celebrate the centenary of the hospital, according to a 2014 report.

More of an office party than a sex den, then?

An investigation found that the monster had cupped women’s boobs and put his hand up one victim’s skirt during the event.

All nasty, pervy, leery, criminal and sad. But not what anyone would call a sex den, least of all the Star, whose Television X stablemate broadcasts hardcore pornography with such titles as Sexual Predator 1. 

As for Savile, well, the Star continues: ‘But the women didn’t make a formal complaint because sexual assault was considered an “occupational hazard”, the report said.’

Maybe that should be investigated – why nurses were seen as fair game?

Over in the Mirror, the sex den is gone. We are in the former hospital ‘where Jimmy Savile groped nurses and asked for a room in case he “pulled”‘. We see photographs by Kieran Young, 20, who posts as Exploring Lancashire.

“I had been here a few times previous but never found a way in,” he says. “I’ve always love the look of Victorian buildings so this really took my eye so I kept going back to get in. After five or six attempts I finally got in with a friend. My pictures encapsulate the past while also showing the morbid reality of the present.”

They’re good. We like looking over disused building, which given their massive size and emptiness often look haunting and sinister. Was Savile the worst thing to have occurred at West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum, later Menston Mental Hospital and finally High Royds Psychiatric Hospital, where up to the 1960s inmates were buried in unmarked graves? Who listened to the poor and vulnerable back then? Who listens to them now?

A staff member is quoted talking about Savile in 2014: “He was just very free with his hands, so hands going round people, round their waist but then upwards, cupping under breasts, hands up the skirt. We just laughed it off, said ‘Dirty old man’ and didn’t go near him for the rest of the day. I can’t imagine that if we had said anything to anybody, or the police, that anybody would take it seriously, I don’t think, at that time. It was just an occupational hazard of being a woman.”

It sounds like Savile wasn’t the only man free with his hands. But he’s the focus of the Mail’s report, even if the paper does spell his name wrong.

 

jimmy savile nurse

 

The Mail issues an invitation: ‘Look inside an abandoned psychiatric hospital with a truly dark past: Jimmy Saville [sic] once prowled these corridors to launch sickening attacks on nurses.’

He more walked and jogged than prowled. That was the thing with Jimmy Savile – he was there for all to see, often dressed in a shining gold tracksuit and neon hair. He was hard to miss. But no-one was listening.

Posted: 26th, February 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment


Roly-Poly Goalie Wayne Shaw gets a job in the Sun

Having lost his job at Sutton FC for eating a pie in the dug-out at odds of 8-1, ‘roly-poly goalie’ Wayne Shaw is today pictured eating lots more pies in the Sun. The paper loves Wayne. After all, it was Sun Bets, the paper’s betting wing, which offered odds that seemed so tasty to Shaw’s pals. He didn’t bet. But they did. The game was brought into disrepute. Rules governing betting rules were broken.

 

wayne shaw the sun pies

 

Shaw, a man prone to depression, offered his resignation after what predictably became known as pie-gate. Shaw’s former manager told BBC Radio 5 live that Wayne was “crying” on the phone and “very, very sorry about the whole situation”. The Sun talked of ‘fan fury’ of her ‘sacking’.

Good to see, then, that the Sun is sticking by their man and getting him working as a pie taster. It is Wayne Shaw’s ‘new career’. ‘My football career may be on hold, ‘says Wayne optimistically, ‘but I’m not letting it stop me exploring new opportunities.’

It’ll be interesting to see how long the Sun can keep this going until it feels that any debt has been repaid.

Posted: 24th, February 2017 | In: Sports, Tabloids | Comment