Anorak

Tabloids | Anorak - Part 20

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.

David Beckham and Danny Cipriani: you can’t be victim if you’re famous

Is it a crime to be famous? This week, two stories about blackmail have occupied the Sun’s front page.

The first is the matter of messages hacked from a server that handles David Beckham’s emails. The hackers wanted money to make the ‘leaks’ go away. The company being targeted complained and the emails were delivered to a site that specialises in ‘leaked’ material.

In a few emails, David Beckham allegedly uses industrial language to complain about his lack of a knighthood. He comes out of it badly. But he’s the victim, right? We love the chatter and the details, but surely we can agree that he’s a victim of an apparent crime?

We love to learn that Beckham obtained a high court injunction in December 2016 blocking the emails’ publication in the Sunday Times – a waste of money and effort given that overseas organs published the stuff online. One Romanian outlet detailed Beckham’s ‘angry pursuit of a knighthood’, which included, as the Guardian notes, the former footballer allegedly calling the gong-givers “a bunch of cunts” after he was overlooked for the honour.

It’s all a good read. We can an insight into Beckham’s non-choreographed activities. But he’s the victim.

 

david beckham emails david beckham emails the emails beckham david

 

The second story is on Danny Cipriani, a rugby player. He was blackmailed by a stripper he impregnated. The story goes that he agreed to give her some money for a termination but then failed to cough up. Lisa Murphy, for it is she, had the abortion. When she was forced to miss work, due to health complications, she asked him for money, which again he did not pay. Murphy and her colleague, Violet Smith, 29, then threatened to go to the papers with the story, namely to The Sun on Sunday. Cipriani called the police.

And how does the Sun cover the story?

 

cipriani rugby danny

 

Is the law different if you’re famous?

 

Posted: 8th, February 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Zakaria Bulhan: the tabloids’ favourite Somali-born Muslim terrorist who wasn’t

Zakaria Bulhan, 19, stood in the dock at the Old Bailey and admitted killing US tourist Darlene Horton and wounding five others – Lillie Selletin, David Imber, Martin Hoenisch, Bernard Hepplewhite and Yovel Lewronski – (all strangers to him) on 3 August 2016. Yesterday Bulhan pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and charges of wounding. Bulhan has been handed an unlimited hospital order.

Mr Justice Spencer told Bulhan:

“It is quite clear that when you committed these dreadful crimes you were not in your right mind. You were in the grip of mental illness. These were crimes which caused enormous public concern because, from their timing, it was feared initially that they might be the work of a terrorist fanatic. As it turned out they were not, although that is no consolation to your victims.”

So how does the media report an unusual crime that was front-page news? Is it a tale of knife crime, ‘broken Britain’ or mental health care? No. Parts of the media make Islam and otherness central to the story.

 

zaakria bulhan

 

The Star (page 5) says Bulhan ‘mumbled “Allah, Allah, Allah“‘ after he was Tasered by police and bundled to the ground.

The Mail doesn’t mention the story at all.

The Sun doesn’t report on Bulhan.

 

zakaria-bulhan daily mirror

 

The Mirror mentions the story on page 10. ‘Crazed killer is locked up,’ runs the headline in the fourth story down in a sidebar. Bulhan is ‘a teenager who killed a US tourist’. It does not mention what the man of ‘Somali origin’ with paranoid schizophrenia ‘mumbled’.

The Express covers the story on page 10. Bulhan is the “knife rampage killer’. The story begins: ‘A paranoid schizophrenic stabbed an American tourist to death…’  In the third paragraph, the paper says Bulhan is a ‘Norwegian-born Somali Muslim‘. You might say he’s a Norwegian. But his nationality had nothing to do with his crime. So why mention his religion, which also had nothing to do with the case?

Whereas the Star heard Bulhan ‘mumbling’ the Arabic word for ‘God’, the Express says, ‘They [Armed police] heard him chanting Allah! Allah!” as they Tasered him and found an Islamic leaflet in one of his pockets.’

Mumbling or chanting? And what was on the leaflet? We’re not told.

The tabloids got it wrong with Bulhan. Islamic terrorism played no part in his crime. His religion, place of birth and roots all played no part in his crime. A cynic might think the Press is disappointed by this. But surely papers will get face the problem that writing about mental health lacks the punch and pull of Islamic terrorism, stick to the facts and correct any mistakes made? Surely papers won’t manipulate the story to fit an agenda?

But they do. And it’s ugly.

On August 9, the Mail reported:

Was ‘devout Muslim’ Russell Square knifeman radicalised? Police to trawl ‘impressionable’ attacker’s PC for links to ISIS as neighbour claims mental illness is a ‘scapegoat’

Answer: no. He was not radicalised. He was not in ISIS. He was not a devout Muslim.

The Mail continued:

Counter-terror police will today forensically study computers belonging to the Russell Square knifeman as a neighbour claimed the ‘impressionable’ teenager could have been inspired by ISIS.

He wasn’t.

The Mail called him a ‘migrant‘ on its front page.

daily mail islam

 

The Sun called him a ‘Somali’. He isn’t. He’s Norwegian.

 

zakaria-bulhan-killing

 

daily-mail-bulhan-islam

 

daily-mail-bulhan-islam-jihad

 

 

The Sun wondered if Bulhan was a jihadi who had read books.

 

 

zakaria bulhan

 

He wasn’t. He isn’t.

It’s worth looking at Justice Spencer’s sentencing statement in full, lest we missed the Muslim angle. Express readers get an insight into why Bulhan had ‘Islamic literature’ in his pocket.

4. You are 19 years of age, with no previous convictions. Your parents emigrated from Somalia to Norway in 1994, and that is where you were born. In 2003, when you were 5 years old, your mother came to the United Kingdom and you have been living in this country with her ever since, with your brother and sister.

Bulhan was five years old when he arrived in the UK. His family entered the country legally.

Although your mother and father had separated you saw him regularly too. You left school at 16 but retook your GCSE examinations at college and did well in your studies. You became concerned yourself about your mental health and consulted your general practitioner from 2015 onwards. You were referred for assessment by psychiatric services and you were seen by your local early intervention service on 20th April 2016. You were diagnosed with an anxiety and depressive disorder but it was not thought at that time that you were presenting with any psychotic symptoms.

Can we have a discussion abut mental health services?

5. Sadly your mental state deteriorated sharply over the next few months. You started hearing voices frequently and became convinced that you were possessed by devils, that people were conspiring against you, and that that your life was in danger.

At the end of July 2016 your mother and younger brother went to Holland to visit family members which meant that you were living alone at the family home in Tooting. You became convinced that your neighbours wanted to kill you. You went to stay with your father and he tried to look after you. He took you to the mosque on successive days up to the evening of 3rd August, hoping you might receive some form of counselling.

Did Bulhan pick up that aforesaid leaflet at the mosque, the one the Express delivered fully loaded?

When you were at evening prayers that day and a phone rang you got up and ran out of the mosque. Your father waited for you to come back and tried to find you, and tried to contact your mother in Holland for help, but all
to no avail.

6. Your movements thereafter that evening have been traced to a degree. It is clear from the CCTV clips that you were moving around the streets in a distracted and bizarre way. At some stage you acquired a large kitchen knife. You probably took it from a shop counter. At about 10.20pm you entered Russell Square. It was busy with pedestrians heading home after an evening in London’s West End. Among them were many visitors to London from overseas.

13. You were chased by members of the public. When you stopped in Bedford Place one witness described you as standing aggressively, holding the knife, uttering sounds in what appeared to be a form of incantation, although your voice and expression were not aggressive. An armed response unit attended very soon afterwards. You were told to stand still but instead you screamed and ran away. Eventually you were tasered and brought to the floor.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 8th, February 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment


What its like to have sex with Simon Cowell, by Alicia Douvall

A small word of thanks to Alicia Douvall, the pneumatic ‘cosmetic surgery addict’ giving full throat to the Daily Star’s front-page screamer, yeller and ‘oh-my-god-yes’ about ‘MY ELEVEN TIMES A NIGHT WITH SIMON COWELL’. Eleven times a night doing what? you ask. Botox injections? Colonic irrigation? No. Sex.

 

alicia douvall sex

Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Sorry, luv, maybe next year.

 

On page 5, Douvall says Simon Cowell is ‘sensitive and domineering’ in the sack. He ‘ would analyse my performance like a judge on a TV show’. He is also unforgettable because Douvall claims she shagged the old eyeball licker in 2001. Like a try-hard X-Factor contestant , Douvall can’t move on.

Says Douvall, Simon Cowell “knows how to get inside a woman’s head”. Penis first? Or is there some other method?

Whatever the technique, we should thank Douvall for restoring the once tabloid mainstay of celebrity shags to the front pages. We’ve missed it.

Posted: 8th, February 2017 | In: Celebrities, Tabloids | Comment


John Bercow: anti-Trump apostate or jumped-up fool?

Is House of Commons Speaker John Bercow an apostate or a jumped-up pillock who overstepped his brief when he declared that Donald Trump should be banned from addressing Parliament? Maybe he’s both.

The Mail (front page) says Bercow ‘sparked fury’ when he told MPs of his opposition to “sexist and racist” Trump sullying the hallowed halls of Parliament with his presence. The paper quotes a ‘Whitehall source’ who calls Bercow “insulting” and in danger of damaging the so-called Special relationship between the UK and USA. Although the same source adds that Trump doesn’t “even know who Bercow is”.

A Mail writer says Bercow ‘let loose a volley of self-important rudeness’.

 

bercow trump

‘I am anti-Trump there for I am’

 

The Mail quotes another source mocking Bercow’s ability to straddle a high horse with such short legs. The paper shows Bercow welcoming such embodiments of enlightenment and protectors of the democratic flame as the emir of Kuwait and the president of China.

The Express (front page) calls it ‘Outrageous’.

The Sun (buried on page 5) says Bercow ‘was cheered by Labour and SNP MPs’.

And the Mirror (front pages) thunders: “Racist Trump banned from speaking in Parliament.’ On Page 2, the Mirror says, ‘Bercow was praised for standing up to Donald Trumps’s questionable values and blocking him from Parliament’. Whereas the Mail can find only people to belittle Bercow, the Mirror finds only voices to exalt him. ‘Tory MPs sat in stoney silence as their former colleague tore into Mr Trump,’ says the paper.

The trouble is that Bercow doesn’t have the right to peak for the nation. His grandstanding was just that. If the Commons values democracy, as surely it must, the man 62 millions American chose for their leader should be respected. Bercow is the Speaker. He is not The Guard. His role is to be versed in the Commons’ rules and officiate during bouts.

Of course, Trump a useful fool. Being anti-Trump means that you stand for something. He defines you by what you are not. But what are you? Being anti-Trump is not enough. It’s easy and it’s lazy. Its invites bigger questions: why don’t you trust the electorate? Who do you represent if not the voters? If you prefer bans over debate, why do you sit in debating chamber?

It’s easy to take issue with Trump. It’s less simple to explain what you would do instead.

Posted: 7th, February 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


Hacked emails reveal David Beckham swears like a footballer

In what the Sun calls ‘leaked emails’ David Beckham allegedly wrote about his disappointment at receiving an OBE and not a knighthood in the kind of language you’d expect from a footballer. He allegedly called the Honours Committee “unappreciative c***s”. The stars are the Sun’s work and without a ‘t’ or ‘ck’ we cannot be certain as to the degree of Becks’ upset. He also allegedly wrote, “Unless it’s a knighthood f*** off.” That’s an easier puzzler.

 

beckham emails leaked

 

Beckham also allegedly queried the value of an OBE, given that one was awarded to Katherine Jenkins, the photogenic singer. ‘Katherine Jenkins OBE for what?’ mused Beckham allegedly. ‘Singing at the rugby and going to see the troops plus taking coke. F***ing joke.’ Her manager says Katherine OBE does lots of charity work and is deserving of her gong. Her manager is ‘Professor Jonathan Shalit’. According to Wikipedia, Shalit was awarded an Honorary Professorship in 2012 by Henley Business School and Reading University in recognition of his contribution to the arts, music and broadcasting.’

Gongs and titles, eh?

beckham emails leaked

 

The Mail says Beckham was all set to get his knighthood from those “c***s” in 2014. He didn’t because of ‘warnings from HM Revenue and Customs’ to ‘sort out his finances’. No, not warned to relocate to France or Luxembourg and keep away from the taxman’s reach. The Mail says it was down to Beckham’s ‘involvement in an alleged tax avoidance scheme’. The Mail also notes that the emails were not ‘leaked’ from the servers of Doyen Global, a company run by Beckham’s PR chief Simon Oliviera, but ‘hacked’.

So Beckham’s the victim,then.

The Mirror says he is. It leads with news that Becks is the victim of a ‘Blackmail plot’. The emails were made public only after Doyen Global ‘ignored demands for cash’. The Mirror pits itself as Beckham’s champion – and thus against its rival the Sun – highlighting his ‘Good work’, role as his daughter’s’ HERO’ and dedicates a column to the subject ‘Lunacy he’s not already Sir David’.

 

beckham emails leaked

 

He’s no victim, says Jan Moir. The Mail writer dips her quill in vinegar and says, ‘Now we know the reality behind the facade’. Isn’t it a tad harsh to judge a man’s life on the value of a few emails? No, says Moir. “We know now the real Beckham is foul-mouth, determined egotist who uses his work for charities as part of an increasingly desperate campaign to win a knighthood.’

He’d make a good editor.

And so what if grandstanding over charity work is based on self-promotion? If people get help, do we care that he gets a knighthood, a gong so precious they gave one to avid charity worker Jimmy Savile?

 

Posted: 6th, February 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester United balls: good guy Mourinho blows his top

mourinho-daily-mail

 

Last night Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was ‘furious’, says the Daily Mail. His side had drawn 0-0 with Hull City. Mourinho ‘blows his top on TV’, says the paper. The ‘irate’ Manchester United boss ‘stormed out of a TV interview’.

How does the Sun cover the Manchester United boss’s latest hissy fit? It doesn’t. Nowhere in its reports on the match does the Sun mention Mourinho’s moodiness and ‘his hasty exit at the first opportunity just 90 seconds into his post-match interview’ (BBC).

Is the Sun a tad biased in Jose’s favour? After all, on January 26, the paper was sure Jose was on the up. His hair spoke volumes:

NEIL ASHTON – Jose Mourinho is back: Back to his old self. Back in the hunt for trophies. Back to his devilish, mischievous best

And on it went:

Jose Mourinho, what with his latest grade-one haircut from the Lowry Hotel barber, is looking razor sharp again. The good behaviour bond is almost into a third month, trouble-free after serving a one-match ban for booting a water bottle when he had a wobbly against West Ham.

Focused, and firmly in control again, Mourinho is on to something good.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 2nd, February 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Beyonce’s womb becomes an other venue on Jay Z’s arena tour

Beyonce and Jay Z are getting a divorce, announces the National Enquirer on its front page. What are the details? Well, it’s worth $1bn and it ‘EXPLODES!’. A clue as to why the showbiz stars are apparently splitting is hinted at in the teaser: ‘Love child sparks vicious court fight.’

 

jay z twins

 

Odd, then, that the Sun leads with news that Beyonce is expecting. Is she the one with the love child? No. This pregnancy is heralded not only by a veiled Beyonce cradling her stomach, her face serene, her buttocks clad in knickers the colour of the Virgin Mary’s shawl, but also by Jay Z, who points to yonder star and says he and she are “blessed”.

 

jay-z-twin-rymir

 

‘Sun Doctor’ Carol Cooper, who hasn’t treated the happy couple, sees fit to opine that at 35 years old Beyonce faces “a few extra risks” – but overlooks the effects of any stress triggered by the NE’s news that ‘aspiring rapper Rymir Satterthwaite, 23’ thinks Jay Z’s his dad. Rymir’s demanding Jay X takes a DNA test

But before the test is taken and the results are known, judgement has been passed. “Beyonce’s turned a blind eye to Jay Z’s past affairs,” says an unnamed source, “but this is the straw that broke the camel’s back. She’s ready to slap him with divorce papers!”

Is Jay Z Rymir’s mother? Did Jay Z impregnate Rymir’s mother, Wander? Is Beyonce’s womb just one more arena on the couple’s global stadium tour?

 

Posted: 2nd, February 2017 | In: Celebrities, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCaan: Amaral wins, Maddie Missing and Kate doesn’t sing on BGT

Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child. Today Madeleine McCann is on the front pages of the Mirror and Express.

As ever we are looking at the missing child’s parents in the papers, Kate and Gerry McCann. They’ve lost their libel case against former detective Goncarlo Amaral, who in a book and documentary implicated them in their daughter’s disappearance. In 2015, a Lisbon court sided with the McCanns, ordering Amaral to pay €500,000 (£429,000) in compensation to the parents.

Last year that ruling was overturned. The McCanns took the case to Portugal’s supreme court. And lost.

The McCanns have issued a statement:

“What we have been told by our lawyers is obviously extremely disappointing. It is eight years since we brought the action and in that time the landscape has dramatically changed, namely there is now a joint Metropolitan police-Policia Judiciaria investigation which is what we’ve always wanted.

“The police in both countries continue to work on the basis that there is no evidence that Madeleine has come to physical harm. We will, of course, be discussing the implications of the supreme court ruling with our lawyers in due course.”

The Express tells of the McCanns’ “new agony”.

 

madeleine mccann express

 

The Mirror tells of the McCanns’ devastating defeat.

 

mirror madeleine mccann

 

The Daily Record sums up in a headline:

Kate and Gerry McCann facing financial ruin after losing libel case against cop who said they faked daughter’s abduction.

Adding:

Kate and Gerry McCann could be left penniless… Kate and Gerry will also have to pay his legal fees – believed to be a six-figure sum – as well as their own lawyers’ bills.

What about the fighting fund to find the child? Martin Fricker writes:

The result could empty Madeleine’s Fund – a company set up days after Madeleine vanished – and leave the McCanns broke.

Madeleine’s Fund has about £700,000 in the coffers. But accounts filed last month say nearly £500,000 of that was invested last year in an unknown venture.

So around £200,000 remains?

More than £4.2million has been donated to the fund since three-year-old Madeleine vanished from the apartment in Praia da Luz.

The Sun has a slightly different figure:

If they are ordered to pay Mr Amaral’s legal costs, the money may have to come from the Find Madeleine fund – which has dwindled to around £480,000.

The Telegraph wonders what will happen next:

Madeleine McCann’s parents could be sued by police chief who falsely accused them of covering up death

‘Could’ is not news.

Over in the Mail there is news of a sort:

Madeleine McCann’s mother Kate and her choir made up of families of missing people hope to win Britain’s Got Talent after reducing judges to tears with a heartbreaking performance in secret auditions

Reducing the BGT judges to tears is a task akin to differentiating between your arse and your elbow. But the Mail’s story is weaker than Amanda Holden’s tear ducts .

Madeleine McCann’s mother Kate, 48, is an ambassador for the The Missing People’s Choir, which is expected to appear on the talent show in May, ten years after her daughter’s disappearance from Praia Da Luz in Portugal.

Although she has not been singing in the choir during the auditions, Mrs McCann may become more involved if they progress to the televised stages.

The Mail has used Kate McCann to flog a story that doesn’t feature her.

There is no word on the investigation into what happned to Madeleine McCann.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 1st, February 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comment


Donald Trump: God save the Queen from common muck

Donald Trump continues to set the news agenda, his presidency a political take on ‘Stay Tuned’ TV cliffhangers. President Trump’s ill-conceived travel ban dominates the news. But the Daily Mirror has a new angle. It books itself into one of The Donald’s five-star hotels – the Trump International Hotel in Washington DC – and sets about looking at the labels on the luxuries therein.

Full disclosure: I’ve stayed in a Trump hotel, his tower in Toronto. And, aside from my iPhone getting nicked from the room, found it pretty good, from the linen to the pink ‘Trump’ baseball hats left for each guest. And, no, hair was not attached to the complimentary lids.

 

Donald Trump

 

The Mirror’s Christopher Bucktin got the tough job of stock taking at Trump Inns. He found lots of ‘imports but few US goods’ at ‘Hotel Hypocrite’. He found Samsung TVs (made in Mexico), shower caps (made in China), cups (Germany) and a fridge (Switzerland).

Having quoted one hotel guest who lambasts Trump for picking the cheapest goods, Bucktin makes a false step. ‘We also fund him cashing in in his most hated religions – Islam,’ he writes.

Cashing in? How so?

In the bedside drawer ‘I came across a Gideon Bible’, a move akin to finding your own arse with your own hand. By the Bible is a note: ‘If you would like to continue your spiritual journey, we also offer the following: Talmud, Quran, Gita, Avesta, Tripitaka, Shri Guru, Grantha Sahib and Book of Mormon.” A call to housekeeping confirmed guests were able to have the holy book of Islam brought to their room in Arabic and English, with a prayer rug and a compass pointing to Mecca.’

The swine!

So how was he cashing in? There is no word that the mat, book and compass incur a surcharge. Bucktin explains: ‘Trump the hotelier welcomes Muslims – if they are loaded with dollars.’ He treats all customers the same. He does not discriminate. Just like Hitler, then.

And what if they’re workers? We don’t know if any staff at the hotel are Muslim. Maybe Trump welcomes Muslims so he can pay them, too?

Attacking Trump, the accidental president whose bad for liberty, is not too hard a task so why make a bad job of the facts? The Mirror says rooms ‘start at an average of £500 per night’. A quick look at the hotel’s website tells us a room can be had for $400 a night all in. Not cheap. But not £500.

 

Queen Donald Trump: The Don becomes Her Majesty and Vice Versa in these unsettling pictures

 

Over pages 6 and 7, the Mirror looks at the protest’s against Trump’s executive order banning travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries. It notes the on-line petition calling for Parliament to cancel Trump’s State visit lest it “embarrass” the Queen. Over 1.5m people support feudalism and the monarchy. Who knew?

‘Prevent Donald Trump’, runs the petition text, ‘from making a state visit to the United Kingdom. Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the UK in his capacity as head of the US government, but he should not be invited to make an official state visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen.’

Can Trump achieve what Prince Andrew, Prince Charles, the Duke of Edinburgh, Fergie, a grandson dressed as Nazi, an uncle who was a Nazi, walking about with a crown on your noggin’ and riding in a gold coach failed to do? Can Her Majesty feel embarrassed? “[Trump’s] misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him from being received by the queen,” says the petition’s writer. Over one million people think Trump is too common for Her Majesty. What a snooty view. Look how superior we are to Trump and his supporters. No red carpet for him. He has hotels; she has palaces. He has Bibles; she is Defender of the Faith. He has voters; she has subjects. He has borders; she has Empire. He has Tiffany; she has diamonds as big as your face.

The paper notes that outside Whitehall, protestors demanded Theresa May condemn Trump.

And then come the inevitable celebrity endorsement. ‘Bianca Jagger, Lily Allen and Gary Lineker, who was with two of his sons’, were all there. ‘America united to condemn Donald Trump,’ says the paper. All of it? Odd not to hear one word in support of Trump’s ban. ‘Hollywood stars’ spoke out against Trump.

It’s all pretty much what Trump wants, no? The media present one side of the debate. Check. The celebrities vent forth. Check. People who don’t like the fact he was democratically elected in a legal vote use polls and numbers to try and derail him. Check.

More Trump on the Sun’s cover. ‘PM: No Trump U-turn.’ Over pages 8 and 9, the Sun spots Gary Lineker and Lily Allen in the 10,000 people outside Downing Street.

The paper quotes MPs likening Trump to Hitler. “The Holocaust didn’t start with the gas chambers,” says SNP Carol Monaghan, one of many keen to use the murders of 6 million Jews to score a political point. Boris Johnson told the Commons the comparison “demeans the horror of the 1930s”. It does. Trump is not plotting and fomenting genocide. He’s not that organised.

‘Protest march? It’s a waste of time,’ writes the Sun’s Clare Foges. Maybe. Maybe not. It; good for filling pages and spotting famous faces. Foges adds: ‘Strangely there was not the same outcry when Obama banned refugees from Iraq for six months in 2011.’ She spots hypocrisy and ‘anguished luvvies’ in a ‘pitch of hysteria’. Protest is for losers. “Save your breath,’ says the Star, which one sided with the protesting EDL.

Does this ‘hysteria’ over Trump whitewash crimes of other politicians, like Tony Blair, Hillary Clinton and Obama?

One of those ‘luvvies’ occupies the Mail’s front page. It’s Gary Lineker and a son. The Mail says May is ‘right to ignore the hysteria’ and the ‘twitter-obsessed, virtue-signalling student union politicians running today’s Labour Party’. The matter of US security, says the paper, is ‘a question for US politicians’.

And a question for Daily Express readers, too. An impressive 99% of them ‘agree with Trump’s tough migrant stance’. Well, those who voted in one of the paper’s polls do, which has still to bring in that 100% result. Of course, 100% could be achieved by there being just one caller keen to spend 50p on a premium-rate phone line – that’s 5p less than the paper costs. But at 99% the poll looks busy and representative.

And the Express has another. Today it asks readers: ‘Is Donald Trump right to bring in the travel ban?’ Anyone in doubt as to how to vote can see the headline hanging above the question: ‘Trump fury is just liberal left hysteria.’

The vote is open to liberal left hysterics with 50p to burn. Like everything about Trump, it’s fair and fair can be.

Queen Donald Trump: The Don becomes Her Majesty and Vice Versa in these unsettling pictures

Posted: 31st, January 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


The thugs who attacked a Birmingham jogger were schooled in Islam

Does the Press have an issue with Muslims? Or do sections of it pick news stories that appeal to its readers’ prejudices? Or is debate on all religions so stymied by fear of causing offence and the speaker being labelled a bigot that free speech is on the rack? These questions and others are triggered by a story in the Express of a jogger who having been knocked into a canal only escaped his attackers by speaking Arabic.

 

daily express immigrants

 

The story, culled from the Birmingham Mail where it first appeared, tells of Lee Skinner, 38, who was “punched and knocked into the freezing water as he ran past five hooded youths in Acocks Green, Birmingham.”

The Express‘s writer is – get this – ‘Rob Virtue’. The Birmingham Post’s reporter is Jeanette Oldham. The reports are identical.

Badly bruised, Mr Skinner managed to clamber out.

As he struggled to get out of the cold, slippery canal the thug who punched him was waiting – until the former language teacher started speaking Arabic. The shame-faced gang, all aged around 17, then fled the scene and the attacker is now being hunted by police.

Mr Skinner told the Birmingham Mail:

“The police praised me and said my speaking in Arabic showed quick-thinking. They said my actions could have stopped the situation from being a lot worse.”

He went on:

“There were five in total, all wearing grey and black, casual clothing, puffy coats, caps and hoods. The guy who punched me was rounded in the face and had neat, tidy stubble. The other four were quite slim.. As I jogged past, the one with a rounded face punched me full force with his left hand, into my right cheek. I went up into the air and into the water.

“The one who punched me was waiting at the side of the canal with an incredible look of pleasure on his face. He was waiting to watch me suffer or to come back so he could hit me again.

“I was able to identify them as Pakistani as I’ve worked in Muslim communities and have a detailed knowledge of Islam and speak Arabic to a certain level. I also used to teach asylum seekers for a while.

“So in that moment I said something in Arabic – a Muslim declaration of faith. As soon as I said it, a look of panic spread across their faces. I then shouted in Arabic, ‘May God forgive you’.

“At that moment they looked like a bunch of terrified schoolchildren. That’s what ended it…

“They said they were very sorry this had happened. They then walked off and I walked home… The four boys admitted that the attack happened because I was white and I explained that in the current political climate, such actions could have a negative effect on the Muslim Pakistani community which they are supposed to be representing.”

It could be argued that the thugs were stopped from doing worse damage and perhaps repeating their alleged crime by their faith and Mr Skinner’s intelligence. Does religion make you less violent?

No-one on the Express got to debate that or more because comments below the paper‘s article are closed. The Birmingham Mail left them open. Here are a few of them:

My initial comment on this has been deleted. This I feel is unfair.
I only suggested that those who commit a crime be deported along with their families. This may deter those who are willing to carry out attacks such as these. Surely being passionate about the country you live in cannot make me racist.

Congratulations to Lee Skinner for his quick thinking and courage. Nevertheless he is sadly deluded. Firstly there are no genuine positive aspects of Islam and Mohammed for the non-Muslim…

Secondly, this is an illustration of the difference between “radical” and “moderate” Muslims. The attacker was following the cruel, violent example of Mohammed and the other four gave him passive support and didn’t help the nearly murdered kaffir.

What a surprise. More proof that integration does not work. These people do not live by our standards and do not have the same morals. Just look at the areas they live in, Rubbish piled high, dirty and dangerous. Some of you may not like it but its true.

Islam a religion of peace my a##e.

You what? Absolutely disgusting behaviour, I’ve always thought whites were overly paranoid about being in majority asian areas but I might have to revise my position

Many of the comments claim the gang attacked Mr Skinner because they were Muslims and thereby inherently violent. One commenter notes:

EVERY TIME there is a news story to do with a Muslim or Islam,
MOST of the comments are full of HATE or BIGOTRY,

So how does the Birmingham Mail follow up its story? Like this: “Jogger who escaped canal thug by speaking Arabic hailed a ‘hero’ by readers.” Thugs is right. And which readers praised Mr Skinner? Five are name-checked:

Adam Lii Khan said: “Absolutely disgusting behaviour. A human is a human regardless of his nationality, colour or language. You did an amazing job by schooling them though! Hope you get better soon.”

Raziq Rashid wrote: “Lee Skinner I wish a speedy recovery and hope they catch the criminals. It was brave what you did and hope it shows the racist people our there that someone of a diffrent colour is still human and should be treat with the same respect we expect for ourselves.”

“Once again fair play on confronting the individuals with dignity which they probably didn’t deserve.”

Nad Arabian wrote: “This is ridiculous, I am Arabic and against what these guys did. Language is not the protection they should know their religion properly. Unfortunately it is individuals behaviour. Hope they get what they deserve and well done to this Man.”

Bob Khan said: “It doesn’t matter what race or colour people are, we are all human beings and we should respect everyone religion and race.

“I personally condemn this action against a respected person who was jogging on his way home.

“Get well soon my brother and hope police can catch those idiots soon”

The Mail must haver picked through its readers carefully to get that report out.

The only other readers name-checked are Dee Webb, who says:

Dee Webb said all five of the gang should be prosecuted by police. She said: “How can he shake their hands, the hands that could have killed him? It wasn’t just the one that hit him…they all took part and watched and did nothing..they are all responsible. .and should all be charged the same. Scum.”

And Jackie Playdon:

“Brave man. I hope his attackers are caught and punished. It could have been so much worse had he not been able to speak a bit of Arabic. I doubt I could have offered them my hand….but kudos to him.”

To call the assault on Mr Skinner a crime typical of Muslims is absurd and monocular. You can follow these links and discover that not all thugs, thieves, alleged rapistsmuggers, robbers, would-be killersrapists, bastards who shove joggers into the canal and criminals on Birmingham’s many towpaths are Muslim. Being a criminal is not the preserve of any one religion or race. To say the hateful acts of a few epitomise the many is as stilted and absurd as the Birmingham Mail’s vox pop.

 

Posted: 29th, January 2017 | In: Reviews, Tabloids | Comment


Daily Mirror uses John Hurt’s death to bury Theresa May and Donald Trump’s Special Relationship

When Donald Trump was voted in, the Daily Mirror was aghast that he’d called Theresa May after dialling so many other leaders. It was a”poor start to the Special Relationship”. May was “at the back of the queue of world leaders”. The President-elect had issued a snub.

 

donald trump theresa may daily mirror

 

Donald TRump daily mirror

 

So how did the Mirror report the news that May is the first world leader to meet President Trump?

Was it front-page news?

 

donald-trump-may-daily-mirror

 

And every other paper?

 

trum-mp-may trump-may-the-times trump-may-the-daily-star trump-may-the-daily-express trump-may-the-daily-telegraph trump-may-the-daily-mail

 

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 28th, January 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comments (3)


Liverpool Balls: tabloids want Klopp out but heap praise on Manchester United under Mourinho

When is it safe to write off Liverpool’s Premier League chances?

Jeremy Cross tells Daily Star readers that Jurgen Kloop ‘doesn’t deserve the sack’. Who said he was being sacked? Liverpool are fourth in the Premier League – two points off second place and 10 points from the top. They made it to the semi-finals of the EFL Cup. Last season, Liverpool finished runners-up in the EFL Cup and the Europa League.

Liverpool are one point behind Tottenham, of which the Star wrote On January 24, Dele Alli is “the key to Tottenham winning the Premier League”.

Spurs on 46 points can win the title but Liverpool on 45 points are thinking of sacking their manager? That’s one hell of a big point.

Says Cross:

‘Having lost twice to Southampton in the EFL Cup semi-finals, Klopp resembles a man on the run as the critics round on him.’

Liverpool fans might care to compare and contrast those words with Neil Ashton’s opinion of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, whose plucky side last night lost 2-1 to big-spending Hull City last night but still progressed to the EFL Cup final. Wrote Ashton of Mourinho four days ago.

‘He is back. Back to his old self. Back in the hunt for trophies. Back to his devilish, mischievous best. Focused, and firmly in control again, Mourinho is on to something good.’

Manchester United are four points behind Liverpool:

And there was Rio Ferdinand in the Daily Mirror:

“The next window is a big one for United in terms of getting players out and getting some in who will invigorate his squad and be able to carry out his methods. I like what Mourinho has done. He has shown again he is a top manager. We have seen with Pep Guardiola how difficult it is to get right…Jose is doing that really well.”

Chelsea fans might well scoff. Blues’ manager Antonio Conte is in his first season at the club. Chelsea are eight points clear at the top of the table. If Mourinho is doing really well in sixth, what’s Conte doing? Incidentally, Ferdinand said of Conte at the start of the season:

“Conte will need time to find his feet. I don’t think he will win the Premier League in his first season because he has a big job on his hands there.”

The Mirror also has a pop at Klopp., who has ‘run them into the ground’. ‘German’s training regime “too intense” say critics.’

In the Sun, the aforesaid Ashton says with Steven Gerrard back at Liverpool, Klopp’s days are numbered. ‘The problem will be when the people at Anfield start wondering out loud whether the iconic figure in the stands could do a better  job than the fella currently in it,’ he writes.

To recap: Liverpool are in fourth place, two points off second spot, ahead of both Manchester United and Manchester City.

Posted: 27th, January 2017 | In: Liverpool, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Are Daily Mail readers are creating killer smog over London?

The air in London is not A1. It’s not good enough to be canned and sold as restoratives to New Yorkers. It’s a bit dirty. A friend tells me that when you can see the air move your know you’re in London. Last week the air in the capital was pretty thick. Visibility was poor. Today the Mail‘s Ross Clark wonders: “Are trendy wood-burners taking us back to the pea soupers of the 1950s?”

In 1952 the pea-souper “cost 4,000 lives” he notes. In the Telegraph the 1952 smog is “estimated to have killed 12,000 people”. You can read a great article about the deadly air on Flashbak.

Can we blame wood burning stoves for the bad air? In a word: maybe. In two words: maybe not.

Ross thinks he’s on to something. He ends the story, in which he admits he doesn’t know precisely what wood-burning stoves do to the air, by saying: “How ironic, then, that trendy British homeowners are being encouraged to poison our own air.” A pox on those trendy fools. Maybe they were encouraged by stories like the one which told people to get a wood-burner to save money on heating bills and make a home “cosy”. You can read in the Mail, which in November 2016 advised its trendy readers:

One way of making a home more cosy this winter – and potentially saving money along the way – is installing a wood-burning stove. While the initial outlay can be expensive, they can reduce your fuel bills, while at the same time being a fashionable addition to your home.

But what about the pollution?

New regulations being introduced from 2022 will see a limit on emissions on wood-burners. A total of 7 per cent of all smoke emissions in cities is attributed to wood-burning – although the majority of this is from wood-burning in gardens, on open fires and from old stoves.

Now worries, then. Which is odd because the Mail had previously told its readers in February 2016:

Could your wood burner KILL you? Air pollution caused by the popular stoves is linked to cancer, diabetes and asthma

In 2015, on Mail writers told us how he bought wood-burner  “TOBY WALNE: WOODBURNING MY WAY TO SUCCESS.”

And in December 2014:

Wood-burning stoves are fuelling rise in winter smog: Levels of one form of the pollution surge during colder months

And in February 2011:

Wood-burning stoves ‘can be as deadly as exhaust fumes’ by producing smoke that can cause heart disease

Meanwhile, King’s College London says the pollution is cause by cold, calm and settled conditions combined with “traffic pollution and air pollution from wood burning”. Weather and lots of vehicles might have something to do with a city’s poor air quality.

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


Rory McGrath’s sex and crimes play second fiddle to his ‘phenomenal’ wife

nicola-mcgrath

 

The tabloids focus as much on Rory McGrath’s blameless wife Nicola as they do on the “TV star” (Sun) found guilty at Huntington magistrates’ court of harassing a former mistress.

“Wife stands by comedian,” says the Express front-page. “Incredible forgiveness of TV comic Rory’s wife,” says the Mail on it front page. “Astonishing forgiveness of allen TV star Rory’s wife,” the Mail adds over two more pages.

“Wife’s pain as McGrath is guilty of terrorising ex.. but he grins as he dodges jail,” says the Mirror on is front page, words below a picture of Nicole being kissed on the head by her wayward husband.

He is “smiling Roy McGrath”. She is “tearful Nicola”. Over pages 4 and 5, McGrath’s crimes are laid out. He “followed his victim in the street and she saw him in bushes. He threatened to send explicit pics to her husband.”

But it’s Nicola the tabloids look to for an angle. McGrath’s lawyer gives them grist for the mill by telling the court: “Their relationship is healing and [Nicola’s] ability to be magnanimous and understand his conduct is nothing short of phenomenal.”

Alison Phillips (Mirror) looks at Nicola and attempts reads her mind. “She may forgive but can she forget?” she wonders. We doubt it. But Nicola McGrath is 61 and maybe with time and old age she’ll forget where she put her glasses and that her husband was shagging a younger woman for years and then harassed her after she broke up with him. “This tragic situation is far from over,” oozes Phillips with cod sympathy.

Only the Sun focuses on McGrath. He is alone on the cover. “TV RORY STALKED SECRET LOVER,” runs the headline. There is no mention of Nicola, who played no role in his crimes. Over pages 4 and 5, readers get “Stalking hame of Besotted Love Cheat Comic.”

And that’s it. The Sun gets it. The man’s to blame. Why he wanted sex with a much younger woman and she wanted sex with a famous man is hard to fathom. Why the criminal’s wife is still with him is her own business.

Posted: 27th, January 2017 | In: Celebrities, Tabloids | Comment


Police ‘holding George Michael’s body’ as tabloid investigation continues

George Michael’s body is being “Held By Police”, says the Star. “Funeral is on hold over drug mystery,” adds the teaser.

 

George Michael death daily star

 

That this is front-page news might lead readers to suspect and expect the story is a big one. But the rest of it appears on page 15, providing a clue to the story being less than the headline promises.

It’s not the police who have George Michael’s body. It’s the coroner. And Darren Salter, for it is he, is waiting for the results of toxicology tests carried out on the singer. The tests are to ascertain if drugs were a factor in the singer’s death.

This is not unusual. The Ministry of Justice tells us: “After the post-mortem examination the pathologist will send a report to the coroner. The report will give details of the examination, of any tissues and organs retained, and any tests, such as for drugs and blood alcohol level, which have been carried out to help in finding out the cause of death. Sometimes the pathologist’s report may not be available for several weeks.”

But George Michael was star. So in tabloid land his death must be clouded in mystery.

The Sun quotes a “source”. “The investigation is now picking up a bit of speed,” says the unnamed figure. “Officers from the Major Crime Unit have begun asking questions of those who were in the area at the time George died and the day before. They want to build up an idea of what George’s last seven days were like and who came and went.”

Or as Thames Valley police put it: “Mr Michael‘s death is still being treated as unexplained but not suspicious.”

Posted: 27th, January 2017 | In: Celebrities, Tabloids | Comment


Madonna waves the hand sanitizer on kid-scouting mission to Malawi

Madonna is going to adopt more children. Yeah, that’s what we thought. But Barron Trump seems pretty happy where he is. No, Madonna is going to adopt two children from Malawi.

Madge is stocking up on antibacterial gel and looking through profiles. (In 2009, Madonna, who has already adopted two children from Malawi, waved her bottle of sanitizer out the limo window as she high-tailed it away from the Home of Hope orphanage.)

 

madonna-malawi

 

The Star says Madonna has flown to the country on a private jet to “thrash out the deal”. The paper says the singer was seen carrying a child from the court, believed to be one of the two she wants to adopt”. Rumours that the child was first baptized in the paddling pool that marks the approach to a public swimming pool are wide of the mark. The smart money is that the child was dunked in a sheep dip.

But hold on. At the end of the Star’s reports” MADGE I’LL ADOPT TWO MORE KIDS”, we hear from Madonna, who says, “The rumours of an adoption process are untrue.”

 

madonna-malawi

 

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 26th, January 2017 | In: Celebrities, Tabloids | Comment


Scare Stories: roast potatoes give you cancer

Make your roasties too crunchy and get cancer. That’s the message in the Daily Mail, which warns readers that cooking roast potatoes beyond a “light yellow” hue increases the risk of cancer. Maybe.

 

cancer daily mail

 

The problem is in a chemical called acrylamide, which “caused by the browning process”. And it can also be trigged by keeping your spuds in the fridge.

 

cancer daily mail

 

You might have read the news on cancer-inducing roasties when it appeared in the Daily Mail back in November 2016.

Professor Guy Poppy said in a report accompanying the study: ‘The risk assessment indicates that at the levels we are exposed to from food, acrylamide could be increasing the risk of cancer.’

Could be.

Michael Caine says “Nah!” The Mail told us that Caine knows the secret of a perfect roast potato. “My mother always dusted her potatoes with a little white flour to ensure they stayed crisp once out of the oven,” he advises Mail readers.

So how soon will you get the cancer from a roastie? Dr Poppy tells us today:

“The amount of acrylamide in food has the potential to increase the risk of developing cancer for all ages during a life-time of exposure.”

Conclusion: living on roast potatoes might be bad for you.

Add it to the list.

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


Brexit the Daily Express and the 55 Tufton Street gang

So keen are migrant workers to pay UK taxes, the Daily Express says “more than 1 million citizen” of them will “rush in” before the country leaves the European Union.

Well, maybe they will. Maybe they won’t.

 

daily express migrants brexit

 

The headline figure is the opinion of Richard Tice, billed as “co-chairman of the Leave Means Leave campaign”. Why there should be a campaign to implement something decided by a free and legal vote is off. And how Tice came to be the voice for it is not investigated.

But it’s exists. And the Express is all ears, keen to support Tice’s views and guesstimates on its front page. Indeed, this is the third time this January Mr Tice’s views have reached Express readers.

Who is he? What is Leave Means Leave? The Express doesn’t say much about the group based at 55 Tufton Street, London. The Independent has a little, reporting on February 10 2016:

The address where Eurosceptics and climate change sceptics rub shoulders – The offices of 55 Tufton Street in Westminister [sic] are home to no fewer than eight right-of-centre organisations

 

tufton steet

 

After the clanger in the headline, the Indy has some insight on goings on at 55 Tufton Street.

But this low-profile four-storey block, a stone’s throw from Parliament, is home to no fewer than eight right-of-centre organisations dedicated to pulling Britain out of Europe and undermining the battle to curb global warming.

We get some names, most of which the Daily Express seems to have on speed dial:

The former Conservative chancellor Lord Lawson is one of the key figures at 55 Tufton Street, after he moved his climate-sceptic Global Warming Policy Foundation to the premises.

This puts the foundation in the same building as the TaxPayers’ Alliance, the bullishly effective low-tax pressure group…

We’re told that  55 Tufton Street is owned by Richard Smith. Who is he?

Richard Smith is probably best known for flying David Cameron to his home in Shobdon, Herefordshire in 2007 – shortly after the then leader of the Opposition proposed taxes on unnecessary flights… His company, HR Smith Group, owns number 55 Tufton Street… He is also a trustee of the Politics and Economics Research Trust, the charitable arm of the Taxpayers Alliance.

At the time of writing, the Indy said you could find the following organisations at 55 Tufton Street: Global Warming Policy Foundation, Global Vision, The European Foundation, Civitas, Taxpayers’ Alliance, Business for Britain, Big Brother Watch and UK2020.

You may well wonder why London-based think tanks carry so much weight in the media? If their thoughts trigger debate, we should know more about how their treatises came to be.

Richard North claims:

…55 Tufton Street is a nest of vipers. It harbours groups which form a nexus of influence which dominates the fringes of right-wing Conservatism. And it provides the spiritual home of those who believe they are entitled to run the “leave” campaign.

Adding:

…the referendum is an opportunity to rethink how we do political research in this country, working towards the idea of virtual think-ranks, freed from the stultifying grip of the Tufton Street Gang, and the intellectual constraints that it brings.

So to the Express‘ story, which does little more than repeat Mr Trice’s claims. Over pages 4 and 5, we get “Fears over EU migration in run-up top Brexit”. Tice says we could “easily see one million to 1.25 million extra EU migrants move to Britain” if “freedom of movement for EU citizens continues over the  next two years”.

 

daily express migrants

 

Will these “rushing” foreigners be allowed to hold British passports or continue to work here after the country leaves the EU? Dunno. How much will they pay in tax? Dunno. Will all the jobs they do be low-paid? Dunno.

Few facts, then. But the Express has heard enough. “Mr Tice says that estimate is a conservative one based on National Insurance registrations,” it reports. One million could be millions of rushing foreigners.

Tice’s guess ‘does not take into account the extra pull factor of Britain’s looming departure from the EU, making this the “last chance saloon” for people to secure better prospects offered in the UK than elsewhere in the bloc”.

How many will see it as their last chance to leave the UK and secure better prospects in the bloc? Dunno.

Lest readers still not have got the message that foreigners are to be feared, the Express presses f7 and conjures up one of its other sources of fact: MigrationWatchm, an outfit not hymned for its love of immigration.

Have loaded the argument the Express invites readers to vote in a premium-rate phone line poll which asks, “Should Britain act NOW to control immigration.”

Vote now and vote often.

Posted: 24th, January 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madonna misses the White House as envious celebs bask in Trump’s light

madonna-v-trump

 

In the twilight area between fact and fiction lies the Daily Star. Today’s Star leads with the sensational news that Donald Trump is “IN CELEBRITY BIG BOTHER”.

Such is the way of Trump, it might be that the thin-skinned reality TV creation is to appear on another reality TV show. But did you spot the pun? Anorak had to read it twice. It’s “BIG BOTHER” not “BIG BROTHER”. And news is that Donald Trump in in trouble because:

a) China has eaten the last creature he wears on his head?

b) There’s a gay sex tape?

c) He’s a jihadi?

d) Madonna is upset?

Yeah, it’s ‘d’. But should there be trade war with China, things might get worse for Trump.

As we’ve noted, Madonna says she is so upset at the result of a legally democratic vote she considered “blowing up the White House“. And no, she wasn’t planning on achieving it by nipping in the back door and pricking her inflated ego. Kaboom! Rhinestone all over the place.

Also unhappy with Trump are: The Edge (from U2, the group front by Bono, aka Mr G21), Natalie Portman, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and Amy Schumer.

Does anyone else think the problem celebs have with Trump is not a problem at all. He’s a symbol that what a TV star says matters. Their lives are not just about endorsements for fizzy drinks, the next record / film / miracle baby / diet / gadget and Hillary Clinton. People actually listen to what famous, vain, rich people with zero political nous, diplomatic savvy and military experience say. And what’s more, they vote for them to be President of the US of A!

“Look,” say the A-listers “one of us can get into the White House. Why didn’t my agent tell me?”

Madonna’s just gutted it isn’t her sat in the big chair with a finger on the button. Neither brave nor daring enough to go for the top job, she’s been reduced to playing on as Trump’s support act. No wonder she’s unhappy.

Posted: 23rd, January 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


Mike Dean punctures his ego at Barnsley and Leeds United

Mike Dean is the Premier League referee in the spotlight. In days gone by he’d have been ‘Mr Dean from [insert place here]’. The media would have shown deference to his job. Now he’s Mike and you don’t know his address in case someone puts his windows in.

The Sun loves to give Mike a bashing. And it’s delighted to report that Mike’s been relegated. Adam Jones writes:

What will this do for Mike Dean’s ego? …he’s been dropped to the Championship for this weekend’s fixtures.

Mike’s the referee for the Barnsley v Leeds United match.

Or as the Daily Mail puts it:

Dean asked to officiate in the second tier after doing six consecutive high-profile Premier League games live on TV

So much for Mr Dean’s ego.

Posted: 20th, January 2017 | In: Back pages, Tabloids | Comment


Fear President Trump: Obama’s legacy takes the chair

Donald Trump’s presidency is causing one Guardian writer to come over all anti-democratic.

I turned off the radio after Obama said, in his final speech: “In 10 days, the world will witness a hallmark of our democracy, the peaceful transfer of power from one freely elected president to the next.” I yearned for a leader who would say something like: “Hey, there was foreign intervention in this election, along with voter disenfranchisement, so maybe it wasn’t free and fair.”

You might recall when Barack Obama popped over to the UK to tell Britishers how voting for Brexit would relegate the country to the “back of the queue”? As Henry Kissinger put it: “Obama seems to think of himself not as part of a political process, but as sui generis, a unique phenomenon with a unique capacity.”

The Guardian writer adds:

We didn’t need to know the minutiae of the Russian intervention; we already knew that it raised questions so grave that the whole transfer of power should have been halted while it was investigated.

So is democracy not free and fair when it delivers the result you don’t want?

Only one tabloid leads with Donald Trump’ inauguration. The Mirror introduces the 45th President of the United States. “Now the world holds its breath,” it adds. Over pages 4 and 5 readers are told “IT COULD ALL GO VERY BADLY WRONG.” The paper produces a listicle: “20 reasons why Trump’s reign could be a disaster for USA & World.”

 

obama-disaster-mirror-trump

 

Across the page, we see a picture of the Obamas sharing a hug as they gaze out from the White House. The message is clear: the good times are over. The good people are gone.

But let’s look at that list.

2. The rich will get richer.

What of Obama’s record, under whom African-Americans’ economic fortunes declined?

4. Deport illegal immigrants.

Under Obama, the US facilitated around 2.5million deportations. A record.

This is not to undermine Obama’s achievements and record. As the New York Times reports, Obama pulled “the nation back from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression”. This is to highlight monocular reporting of a man whose wife billed him as “a leader who’s going to touch our souls”.

Lest any reader not have got the Mirror’s point, its editorial thunders, “Reasons to be fearful.” Brian Reade delivers Trump’ speech as he imagines it. People are “subjects of the Trump organisation”. But didn’t we all buy into Obama’s world, the man whose identity was key to his success? When Trayvon Martin was killed by a white Hispanic vigilante in 2012, Trump opined: “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.”

So how do you follow that? What is Obama’s legacy? Is it Donald Trump? “There is not a liberal America and a conservative America: there’s the United States of America,” said Obama in 2004. Now what do you see in a country where ‘white man’ has become an insult more than an observation?

Once all eyes were on Obama the man not the party activist, a politico branded ‘The One’, by Oprah Winfrey; now they are on Trump and his identity.

Plus ca change.

Posted: 20th, January 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment


Daily Express tricks Arsenal fans with deceptive clickbait headline

Click Balls: a look at dire football reporting designed to trick readers. The Daily Express has news for Arsenal fans. The paper’s headline is a scoop. “CONFIRMED: Arsene Wenger announces new Arsenal deal.” Looks like Wenger will stay at Arsenal for even longer. It’s 20 years and counting.

But wait a minute…

Arsenal Daily Express

 

The Daily Star, from the same stable as the Express, has a similar take on the news that defender Per Mertesacker has signed a one-year extension on his current deal. This is how Google sees the story:

Arsenal daily star

 

And you wonder why the Press is in trouble?

Update: The Express seems to have found an editor who respects their readers and doesn’t seem them as advertisers’ fodder. The headline has now been altered:

 

clickbait arsenal

Posted: 19th, January 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


The CIA files: Uri Geller is a weapon less powerful than Donald’ Trump’ little finger

Is Uri Geller a weapon? What about just a bit of a weapon? The Star hears the spoon-bender say he met with the CIA to see if he could be “used as a weapon”.

This is promising idea, readers. If the UK pulls out of the European Union, as now seems highly likely, we’ll be forced to repatriate the myriad ‘stars’ in the Celebrity Silo just outside Brussels. What better way to kill two bids with one stone – and, Orville, we’re talking to you – than by spicing up any trade wars by sending Geller and more to Paris on a trebuchet?

The Mirror has the same story, only now it’s an “exclusive”. In the “CIA Geller files”, the celebrity who “seemingly bends spoons with his mind” tells the paper that in 1972 “the CIA tested me at Stanford Research Institute and I passed under laboratory conditions, twice.” He says he was also tested at the American Surface Weapons Center in Maryland and the Lawns Livermore Radiation Labs. “They wanted to seem if my mind could trigger a nuclear weapons.”

Geller’s testing is part of 800,000 files – 13 million pages – of declassified documents released online yesterday.

 

uri-geller-cia

 

uri-geller-cia

 

In one experiment a researcher picked a word at random. Another researcher draw a picture inspired by it and stuck it on a wall outside outside Geller’s room. Geller was then invited to reproduce it. The Mirror says he identified “bunch” by drawing a bunch of grapes and “fuse” by drawing a firecracker. The Mirror does not say how many he got wrong. But the Times says: “Sometimes his efforts were hopelessly off but others proved eerily accurate.”

We don’t know if Geller can fire a nuclear weapon with his mind, but knowing Donald Trump can fire one with his little finger is far more impressive and almost nearly as worrying.

 

Posted: 19th, January 2017 | In: Celebrities, Tabloids | Comment


Celebrity Big Brother: bonking bonkers in TV’s Bedlam

william-hogarth-does-big-brother

 

You know Celebrity Big Brother is dead when something better and harder-edged comes along to replace it. The Star trails the new show on its cover: “VIOLENT BBC STAR PULLED OUT Of HOUSE – Locked in ‘padded cell’ by security.” Slap a few cameras on the walls and you’ve a new take on Bedlam, the Bethlem Royal Hospital, where the insane were locked inside to be gawped at by the well of mind and examined by the sinister.

And the language hasn’t changed much since those dark days in the history of mental health treatment. “Bonkers Kim Woodburn,” begins the Star’s story. After or during a televised “row” with Jamie O’Hara, a former footballer once married to serial footballer-dater Danielle Lloyd, “the wild-eyed How Clean is Your House? star” [answer: it’s ****ing filthy] was “locked in a side room”, where she remained for the rest of the night.

Peering down at the CBB Petri Dish, we also learn that O’Hara “got hot and steamy” with Bianca Gascoigne, former footballer Paul Gascoigne’s step-daughter. “Producers think it is a matter of time before a full-blown romp,” we’re told.

We’ll leave you with César de Saussure’s account of Bedlam during his 1725 tour of London’s sights.

…either side of which are a large number of little cells where lunatics of every description are shut up, and you can get a sight of these poor creatures, little windows being let into the doors. Many inoffensive madmen walk in the big gallery. On the second floor is a corridor and cells like those on the first floor, and this is the part reserved for dangerous maniacs, most of them being chained and terrible to behold. On holidays numerous persons of both sexes, but belonging generally to the lower classes, visit this hospital and amuse themselves watching these unfortunate wretches, who often give them cause for laughter. On leaving this melancholy abode, you are expected by the porter to give him a penny but if you happen to have no change and give him a silver coin, he will keep the whole sum and return you nothing

Bonkers and Bonkers is coming to a screen near you soon.

 

Posted: 19th, January 2017 | In: Celebrities, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment


Clickbait Balls: Daily Telegraph tricks ‘paranoid’ Liverpool and Manchester United fans

The Manchester United v Liverpool match was memorable for a number of things, according to the clickbait-mad Press.

The Mirror’s football expert learned “five things” from watching the game, one of which is that Paul Pogba’s “handball handed Liverpool the early advantage”. That was the handball that gave Liverpool a penalty kick, from which they scored their only goal of the game. David McDonnell leaned that. He also learned that Wayne Rooney got a yellow card and “Ibrahimovic keeps on scoring”, which he did when he scored United’s equaliser.

The Express also learned five things, one of which is, “Simon Mignolet put on a solid display.”

Coincidentally, the Sun also learned five things. Fred Nathan delivers his fistful of insight. He watched Pogba give away a penalty and learned that he “must not let silly mistakes creep into his game”.

In the Indy, which didn’t make enough money to remain as proper paper so went web only, there are just four things learned. But Fox News, which has oodles of money, learned seven things. Ryan Rosenblatt learned that when United and Liverpool drop points, their rivals are pleased. The other top sides “love this result” he learned.

But the prize for the biggest Clickbait Balls goes to the dire Daily Telegraph. The once great newspaper is now a clickbait factory. “Martin Tyler accused of ‘bias’ following Manchester United vs Liverpool commentary,” says the headline. It also says just that in the URL for the story:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2017/01/15/martin-tyler-accused-bias-following-manchester-united-vs-liverpool/

 

martin-tyler-manchester-united-liverpool

 

 

So who accused Sky TV’s commentator of bias? Liverpool boss Jugen Klopp? Manchester Untied manager Jose Mourinho? Well, no. A clue to how the story was the product of the paper’s clickbait factory is in the now revised headline: “Liverpool fans round on Martin Tyler following Manchester United’s last minute equaliser at Old Trafford.”

They “rounded on” Tyler on Twitter. The Telegraph picks three tweets to back up its story, which beings: “Paranoid Liverpool fans are becomingly increasingly convinced that SkySports’ Martin Tyler is a secret Manchester United fan.”

Tweet 1:

@dreamteamfc
Martin Tyler just called Zlatan: “THE TOWER OF POWER!” #MUNLIV

Tweet 2:

@StephenDuffy6

Still coming to terms with the fact Martin Tyler just called Zlatan the ‘Tower of Power’, since when has that been a thing?

Lest you think those “paranoid” Liverpool fans are just having a laugh and mocking Tyler’s absurd phrase, @Footy Humour tweets the third piece of evidence.

Tweet 3:

Martin Tyler: “Rooney here. Is it in the script? Is it in the stars?”

*Rooney gives away posession*

Martin Tyler: *silence*

 

The troubling thing is that the clickbait works. The story even the Telegraph recognised as bad enough to warrant a chance of headline (but not a change of URL) is the second biggest story on the paper’s website:

 

martin-tyler-manchester-united-liverpool

 

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 16th, January 2017 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment