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.
What’s it like to have sex with Donald Trump? Until Melania goes full Princess Diana and reveals all, we can roll over and ask Stormy Daniels (aka Stephanie Clifford) about intercourse with The Don. “It may have ben the least impressive sex I’ve ever had,” is the lead quote on the Mirror’s front page. So there’s Trump in his ‘I’m Number 1 why Try Harder’ T-shirt possibly expecting new adventures with a professional shagger. Reading Stormy damn Trump brings to mind the tennis pro playing with the happy amateur. The pro knocks the ball over the net with spin, power and guile; the amateur hits a sublime return, his game improved immeasurably by the skill of his partner . I once played head tennis with a top footballer. With an equally hapless mate, I could manage 6 or seven headers. But with talent we got to 20, 30, 40… So, Donald Trump, what’s it like to have sex with a pro?
On page 7, we learn that Trump’s penis is “smaller than average” but not “freakishly small”. “He knows he has an unusual penis,” says Stormy T-Cup. “It has a huge mushroom head like a toadstool.” did little Mis Muffet sit on the engorged tuffet? “I lay there,” she says enticingly, “annoyed I was getting fucked by a guy with yeti pubes and a dick like the mushroom character in Mario Kart.” so much for the fantasy porn star level sex. Stick with the love doll, smut enthusiasts. You won’t get judged.
On page 10, Stormy’s lie-there-and-tell becomes “Donald stump”. In the Sun, we learn that Stormy’s tribute to gaming forms part of her book, Full Disclosure. Donald isn’t a “fun guy” in bed, the paper puns. We’re reminded there and in the Express that Trump denies the affair. She claims to have been paid “hush money”. And Trump reimbursed his then lawyer, Michael Cohen, for the money she received, $130,000. Yep. That’s what it allegedly costs to shag an angry woman who thinks you’re an inadequate loser. There’s a book in it – but not a token entitling the bearer to a discount on marriage guidance…
Shocking to learn that the middle-classes take more drink and drugs than the poor. The Mail calls the report by the Social Metric Commission a “landmark” finding. Having discovered that people with more money and leisure time use more mind-altering substances than those with less money, we wonder what else the Mail has revealed?
In 2016, the Mail told readers: “Middle-class drinkers can get away with drinking MORE because their otherwise healthy lifestyles make up for it.” Adding: “Wealthier drinkers are less likely to smoke, be overweight and have a poor diet – traits more associated with the lower-income demographic.” Today Ian Duncan Smith, the Tory MP, says: “Part of impoverished adults drinking less is that they do not have the cash to spend on it.” The other part being, presumably, that huge taxes on drink affect the poor more than the wealthy. He doesn’t mention that. He also doesn’t mention why politicians of all stripes want to clamp down on cheap booze with minimum pricing (see: sin tax for people seen as too poor, too thick and too dependent to know what’s best for ’em). But he does say: “This is not in the report but my own experience is that where people are drinking or taking drugs in poverty, it is at a very serious addictive levels. For the middle-classes, they are holding down a job and doing what’s expected of them.” Which is to say: paying more taxes.
But the overriding message is that drinking in excess of the Government’s stated limits does you no harm at all. Indeed, in 2007, an insider said that the recommended weekly limit of 21 units of alcohol for men and 14 for women decreed by the Royal College of Physicians in 1987 was a guess. Former panel member Richard Smith, a former editor of the British Medical Journal, revealed to the Times: “So those limits were really plucked out of the air. They weren’t really based on any firm evidence at all. It was a sort of intelligent guess by a committee.”
The Mail‘s readerships is very much middle-class. But having told the middle-classes that drinking more makes no impact on their health, the Mail also says that it is a huge problem for the kind of so-and-sos who say ‘wine ‘o’clock’:
The talk is of “problem” drinking. The middle-class “culture of drinking at home is driving the problem”. And you can narrow it down still further to educated women:
It’s hard to work out what the point of all this bilge is. Perhaps it’s just a prelude to tax rises, moves to hike the price of booze for our own good – even if it it’s not doing the biggest payers any harm.
Madeleine McCann is back in the news. And it’s all abut the money.
The Metro tells us that the “hunt for Maddie McCann has cost £11600000 so far”. Not quite. That’s what Scotland Yard’s Operation Grange has cost. The Met’s investigation into the vanishing of Madeleine McCann began in 2011. Before that Portuguese police were investigating the case of the British child who went missing on the Algarve in 2007. That wasn’t without cost. And there was the private investigation funded by well-wishers and run by Madeleine McCann’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann. The headline figure is wrong. But, then, the story isn’t about the missing child; it’s about us and if British readers can turn her into a talking point. Is she worth it?
The Metro oozes: “Speculation is growing into whether UK police will stop the hunt when the funding ends as no request for more cash has yet been made.” Who is speculating? Hopefully you are. And hopefully tomorrow you’ll tune in for an update on the single thread story spun out of control by a voracious media.
No news on the money means the story has been kickstarted as far afield as New Zealand, where the Herald announces: “Hunt for Madeleine McCann may end within three weeks.” When the word “may” appears in a headline you know your story is in trouble. But she was spotted “in a New Zealand supermarket”, so maybe the story is local to New Zealand after all?
She’s also been spotted in:
Canada,Italy, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Majorca,Belgium, Bosnia, France, Australia, Brazil,Wales, Malta, Italy, Germany, Australia, France, India, Dubai, Dorset, USA and New Zealand (by boat).
In the Daily Record, readers are told: ‘Kate and Gerry McCann have vowed “the search will go on” for their missing girl amid reports police could shelve their hunt.’ Could. Or could not. An unnamed source tells us:
“They will never stop looking for Madeleine or hoping that one day she will be found. More than 11 years on there is still no evidence to suggest that she is dead or has been harmed. If the police search comes to an end, there are other avenues to explore. They have carefully managed the money in Madeleine’s Fund for that eventuality. Whether they choose to employ private investigators or go down another route is something for them to decide.”
To recap: There is no news.
Stories on Madeleine McCann stories can be divided into two files. There’a huge fat as a skyscraper file marked “Speculation”. And there’s another very slim file marked “Facts”. In this second file are two sections: a) ‘All We Know’ – which can be distilled into the single thread ‘child vanishes; and b) ‘Fees’. Today’s Star leads with news that “MADDIE COPS” are ‘demanding’ more cash in their hunt for the missing child. That police want money is less surprising than a puppy sat beside a pile of poo, but to the Star news that the police would like more cash (not less -shocker!) is a “reveal” – one right up with the reveal that Sooty did not grow Harry Corbett out of his arse.
We read the usual facts: the Met Police’s investigation into Madeleine McCann has cost “the taxpayer” £11m. We’re hard-pressed to think of any police investigation not funded by taxpayers, but the fact remains unchanged. The story continues on Page 9, where we are told “WE CANT GIVE UP NOW”. If not now, when? NEVER! Not until the mystery is solved. A spokesman for the police says “the investigation continues and we are in dialogue with the Home Office over more funding.”
Back on page 6, Miss McCann is the lead concern in the Star’s editorial column. Point one: does she still sell papers? Point 2: “Police must be given more funds in their search or Madeleine McCann.” Which brings us back to point one, which must be a big ‘YES’ or at least ‘Maddie outsells Brexit’. The paper reasons that the Met’s investigation has found “no definitive answers”. Isn’t an undefined answer just a guess? We are then invited to emphasise with Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann. The editorial ends: “Someone out there knows what happened to Madeleine and they must be tracked down.” Unless she wandered off and fell down a hole. Can anyone prove that she didn’t?
The only other national newspaper to deliver news on Madeleine McCann is the Express, which tells readers on page 7: “McCanns vow to keep hope alive as Madeleine hunt set to run out of cash.” The parents not the child are the story’s central thrust. They face the “daunting” prospect that the Met’s Operation Grange will end in three weeks – the last tranche of cash is said to run out on September 30. As readers try to work out why this is news – the Home Office tells the Star police have yet to appeal for any more cash – the Express quotes one Clarence Mitchell, the McCann’s spokesman. He talks about the money, which is “entirely” a matter for the Met and the Home office. He then says “Kate and Gerry will not be making any comment”. But he might. As might an unnamed “source” who says the investigation running out of cash is a “daunting prospect”.
Madeleine McCann is missing – and there is no news. There are no suspects. If you think you know what happened to her, don’t guess here. Call the police.
News that Boris Johnson has been named an “adulterer” in divorce papers comes as a shock to anyone who wakes each day, quints at the sun and asks, ‘What the bloody hell is that?’ To the Sun Johnson’s penile adventures are an alliterative tale of of ‘Bonking Boris”, a “long-suffering wife” called Marina Wheeler and 30-year-old “Tory aide” Samira Mohammed. No, only joking. The alleged other woman is called Carrie Symonds, and she’s not wearing a burqa because we can see her face on the Mail’s front page.
In the Sun we see photos of Johnson in his garden. He’s drinking from a mug – a metaphor perhaps – and looking “grim-faced” at his phone. Both pictures are credited to Simon Jones, aka “Sun photographer Simon Jones”. Might they, you know, be staged? “Explosions aside, Boris is still The One,” states Trevor Kavanagh three pages on in the paper., not exactly discounting the idea that the Sun is presenting the philanderer in a good light.
The photos also appear in the Mirror, but it’s main thrust is not into Carrie Symonds, but Johnson’s Mail on Sunday column in which he said Theresa May had “wrapped a suicide vest around the British constitution” and handed the trigger to Brussels. A few Tory MPs are lined up to say how revolting that is. Amid the “fury” the Mirror says it asked one Tory MP “if Mr Johnson had put a bomb under Mrs May’s leadership”. I see Tory MP Tom Tugendhat’s horrific tale of a suicide bomber who maimed and murdered many in the courtyard of his office in Helmland, and notice the bomb detonated below then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, which killed five Tories, including one MP, and permanently disfigured many more.
But what’s that? “Show us the totty!” Ok. The Mail obliges with five phots of Symonds – a “fun-loving blonde”. She is “glamorous” – and what more speaks of glamour than shagging Boris Johnson; maybe finding a pre-loved glamour magazine in a bush? – a “Tory party cheerleader”who tweeted as her name rode high on the news cycle: “Sea otters have the thickest fur of all animals.” To say nothing of their pockets – an otter’s pocket being something Johnson finds irresistible.
The Guardian’s cover is a thing of wonder – the wonder being did anyone read it before going to print? Having invited readers to “fight fatphobia – ten ways to do the right thing” (well, if it’s a phobia, you should seek therapy or avoid the fat let you feel physically ill), the Guardian tells readers that “unhealthy lifestyles put four out of five adults at risk of an early death”. You’ve got a problem that need fixing if you look at someone whose obese and think them unhealthy – but don’t worry because 80% of them should die before you.
True enough being fat was once a sign of being jolly; whereas now you’re a victim and scourge of the NHS. But the juxtaposition of those competing headlines is dire. An it’s underpinned by those ‘Ten Ways’, including: “A fat activist once said clothing was the alphabet we used to express ourselves – and fat people have fewer letters.” What about XXXXL?
Oh, read it all if you must. But the pick is people praising others for their weight loss:
Make it a rule not to use language that focuses on your own or others’ weight. We have no idea what someone is going through, whether they are dealing with body shame or trying to heal from an eating disorder. When we stop using this kind of language altogether, we create an environment in which people of all sizes can coexist without a sense of weight surveillance.
More evidence of abuse are restaurants which don’t offer “sturdy chairs without armrests”, undoing the myth that the “proximity to fatness bears the threat of contamination” and a medic dishing out “medical discrimination” who failed to spot a fat woman’s cancer (Note: I wasn’t fat when five doctors missed mine.)
She was only “copping a feel” puns the Sun in its take on Inspector Owen Pyle, 28, who arrested a woman at the Notting Hill Carnival for “patting” him on the bum. Yeah, this is story about a man called Pyle’s arse. Oh, nominative determinism.
Having nicked the “boozy reveller”, Pyle did as all police must and took to twitter. “I didn’t come to work to be sexually assaulted while doing my job,” he tweeted. That kind of behaviour is unacceptable.” To say nothing of it being illegal, which his tweet didn’t. The paper says the Met Police have not said if the woman “faces action”.
But over in the Mail, Pyle is repotted as having said the women was arrested for being drunk and disorderly – which is not the same as being arrested for “patting”. She was issued with a dispersal order banning her from the carnival.
Scotland Yard has issued a statement:
“At 21:45hrs on Monday, 27 August a 26-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly in Westbourne Park Road, W2.
“She was taken to a central London police station, where she was issued a dispersal order requiring her to leave the Carnival footprint.”
The Carnival what?
To Newcastle Crown Court, where vicar Peter McConnell is accused of groping a fellow traveller aboard a flight from the US to London. Innocence is assumed, of course. Mr McConnell denies any wrongdoing. The trial continues. This is not about Mr McDonnell, rather reporting on the matter. Might it call be a case of mistaken identity?
The Daily Mail identifies Mr McConnell thus:
But the Sun spots a different man apparently of the same name:
A look at the Newcastle Chronicle reveals that the Sun’s photo is the correct one.
In the shadowlands where transfer news and transfer gossip merge into clickbait balls was the summer’s news that Manchester United were dead keen on Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld. Today the BBC tells its readers that Man United “made no attempt” to sign Alderweireld, 29, from Spurs.
The Metro told us on August 6:
Tottenham were demanding £75million for Alderweireld, but a compromise has been reached and United are poised to complete the deal.
One day on the Daily Star had reduced the fee by a mere £20m – still £15m more than the United “bid”:
Confusing stuff. Maybe the Mirror can help. It’s the source of the BBC’s story that United never did bid for Alderweireld. The paper reports:
Manchester United made NO attempt to sign Toby Alderweireld or Danny Rose in the summer transfer window… despite reports claiming otherwise.
In fact, it’s emerged that it was Spurs who informally approached United, their hosts for Monday night’s Premier League game, to ask if there was interest in either of their stars in the lead up to deadline day.
Fact. But on August 5 the Mirror said United were “set to sign” the Belgian for – get this – £60m.
Just two days later and the “final offer” form United was down to £40m:
Total balls, then.
The Green Party has issued a statement on the sentencing of David Challenor, 50, father to the Green Party equalities spokesperson Aimee Challenor. He has been convicted of torturing and raping a 10-year-old girl in the loft of the family’s home in Coventry. Aimee is transgender, having been born a boy and transitioned at age 16. Those are the facts all media shares.”The Green Party was not aware of any of these allegations until the case concluded and Mr Challenor had been sentenced,” says the statement. Which seems a bit remiss.
Mr Challenor has not held any elected positions in the Green Party although Aimee appointed him as her election agent for the General Election in 2017 and local election in May 2018.
But he was a member of the Green Party until his sentencing. The Party did know who he was. And reports say those appointments to help his daughter took place after his arrest. Again, the Greens seem a little less than thorough when it comes to checking things.
Innocent until proven otherwise, of course. But some of the reporting seems to be targeting innocent Aimee as much as her disgusting father and the slapdash Greens.
Aimee Challenor, 20, planned to become the party’s deputy leader. The Guardian says ‘she had had no idea about the crimes but was withdrawing from the race to prevent the election process becoming “dominated by what my father has done”.’
She too has issued a statement:
“I did not know about the full details of the crimes my father has been found guilty of until very recently. It is also very difficult to believe that a parent can be guilty of such abhorrent acts. That might be hard for you to understand, or to believe, but it is the truth. I was taken into care a few years ago and have also lived in independent supported housing. There were sustained periods where I did not live in the family home.
“But I cannot be held responsible for the actions of my father. I am not to blame for his behavior. Yes, he was my election agent. This was one of a number of ways I was seeking to reconcile my relationship with my father after coming out of care. On reflection, I can understand that it was unacceptable for me to appoint my dad as my election agent when he had been arrested. I can now understand the potential risks of that decision. For that I am sorry.”
The Times is a little less sympathetic, saying “she had used her father as her election agent even though he faced charges of raping and torturing a 10-year-old girl”. Readers are told “Aimee lived with him in a small two-up, two-down house”. Why mention the size of the family home if not to cast aspersions? And this:
On both occasions she appointed her father as her election agent, legally responsible for running her campaign, even though he had been accused of or charged with the crimes, which were reported to police in late 2015. By the time of May’s elections he had a trial date.
Candidates’ election campaign leaflets are legally required to include the name of their agent or promoter. Challenor’s leaflets for both campaigns, seen by The Sunday Times, did not show her father’s correct name, instead giving it as “Baloo Challenor”.
Baloo, a character from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, was a nickname used by Challenor’s father in his work as an assistant Scout leader and volunteer with children’s gymnastics. He used his proper first name on the election nomination forms as Challenor’s agent.
The Mail is doubting, headlining the story: “Top Green Party star quits the party after hiring her father as her election agent despite knowing he was about to stand trial for rape and torture of a child.” The story begins:
“A transgender politician campaigning to be deputy leader of the Green Party hired her father as her election agent – despite knowing he was facing trial for the rape and torture of a child.”
Aimee Challenor’s gender is given top billing. She has condemned his “abhorrent crimes”, as anyone sane must. But the story of a depraved crime is being given a whiff of conspiracy. And over in the Sun, it’s pornographic: “ATTIC OF HORRORS Inside grotty torture den where sick rapist whipped girl, 10, and gave her electric shocks while dressed as a BABY.” Want to see where a child was tied to a beam, electrocuted and raped by man wearing an adult nappy? Maybe not.
Want to use a man’s sick crimes to cast a shadow of an innocent woman? Go ahead…
As Cristiano Ronaldo unpacks his wash bag in Turin, the Manchester Evening News works out how it can continue to milk the tired and desperate story of the Portuguese one day playing for Manchester United. After years of headlines and utter tosh about Ronaldo (born: Madeira Portugal) coming ‘home’, the paper cooks up the headline: “Cristiano Ronaldo transfer to be answered by Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.”
The English is mangled but the headline the robots read is what the MEN is really interested in. The URL for the paper’s clickbait nonsense is: “https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/cristiano-ronaldo-manchester-united-juventus-14911995.” No word of what Jose Mourinho’s “answer”, just the words “Transfer”, “Cristiano Ronaldo” and “Manchester United” in the same link. Whamo!
The teaser adds: “Man Utd manager Jose Mourinho is set to meet the press for the first time this summer, with Cristiano Ronaldo high on the agenda.” A player who does not play for Manchester United is at the top of topics up for discussion?James Robson says “his first press conference since a rather irritated affair following the FA Cup final defeat to Chelsea promises to be a fascinating one”.
And Ronaldo? Well, Robson tells us that “it’s understood United never seriously threw their hat into the ring when it became clear the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was ready to leave Real Madrid”. United didn’t want Ronaldo. Ronaldo didn’t want United. But Robson says “United have watched on [?] as Neymar and Ronaldo have proved eminently gettable.” The tin lid on this dire story is carried by “the belief” that United has “prioritised” the signing on Gareth Bale.
What chance have United of signing Bale?
“Bale’s own wishes could be the determining factor. His post-Champions League final ‘come and get me’ plea felt like a game-changer – and have certainly been enough to make United spring into action.”
A plea? Nothing of it. The Guardian reports:
Gareth Bale is set to be handed the challenge of replacing Cristiano Ronaldo as Real Madrid’s driving force when he meets his new coach, Julen Lopetegui, for talks in the next two weeks.
Pretty much every media outfit agrees with the Guardian that Bale is set to stay at Madrid. But over at the MEN clickbait farm, the news becomes:
What is the ‘one question” Bale must have answered? We click and get:
James Robson once more has the scoop:
Once again the Manchester United executive chairman’s pursuit of Gareth Bale comes down to a simple question of stick or twist. That is the dilemma on Bale’s mind after he held his first face-to-face with new Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui this week.
The “one question” for Bale is should be stay or should he go? And United “are ready to move as soon as they get the go-ahead from Bale’s representatives.” Which they won’t.
More shameless ball in the MEN every day.
A headline is an opinion, which is why the Daily Express can call Croatia’s brilliant midfielder Luka Modric a “Spurs flop”. The full headline used to seduce readers to click on the paper’s story runs: “From Spurs flop to World Cup semi – the rise of Luka Modric.” Total balls, of course. Modric was great at Spurs. He joined Spurs on April 26, 2008 for around £17 million. He was good enough to attract the attention of Chelsea – who offed £40m for him – and Real Madrid, who signed Modric for a fee in the region of £30m. “Luka has been a terrific player for us and, while we preferred not to part with him, we are pleased that it is to Real Madrid, ” said Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy. At Real, Modric has been instrumental in the club winning the Champions League four times in the last six seasons.
And so to the Express’s story about this “Spurs flop”. Matthew Dunn calls Modric a “prodigious talent”. It “pained Tottenham to lose their midfield gem”. “His energy in midfield coupled with his reading of the game meant that whenever a team-mate was in trouble, Modric was always an out-ball.”
Others spotted the chasm between headline and story. Dunn responded to criticism on twitter:
“Thanks to all who’ve taken the trouble to say what they think of me based on one word in a headline, since changed, that I didn’t even write. By my reckoning, only one of you took the trouble to read the 842 words I did write. Thanks btw @chilly_spurs”
Sure enough, the Express clickbait factory did change the headline to: “Luka Modric: How the quiet Croatia star evolved from Tottenham to become a World Cup hero.” Time for Dunn to have a word with the hacks to run the website. But it’s unlikely the clickbaiters will listen. The paper’s other news on Modric is that he is joining Arsenal:
And the story?
Modric is likely to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season with the Croatia international’s form waning this season… And Spanish website Diario Gol say the veteran could make a stunning move to Arsenal.
He’s a flop!
The story contains no link to the source of the scoop. And the paper of record does not stop there. Modric is heading to Arsenal AND Liverpool, says the Express:
That story contains not a single fact linking Modric to either Arenal or Liverpool. But the Express does not stop there. Modric is also going to play for Manchester United:
What is the “one reason” Modric will join United? Want to know what it is? Is it that he loves Manchester? Not quite. Jack Otway has the facts:
It is claimed Real will offer the player a new deal.
Who made that claim? Otway doesn’t say. But he does tell us:
But that will only be until 2020 and Modric, who feels he can play at the top level for many more years, may want a longer contract.
He may. He may not.
That is where United can intervene. However, whether Real allow another key asset to leave the club remains to be seen.
More shameless tosh in the Express every day.
The Daily Mail says that Chelsea are to sign Juventus and Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain for £53m. Just as soon as Chelsea tell Antonio Conte to vet thee hence, they will recruit Maurizio Sarri from Napoli as their new manager and get Higuain. Or not.
Sky Sports hears Higuain’s agent say that nothing has been agreed and his man has not spoken to Chelsea. And the Times says Conte is not going quietly. The paper says someone on Chelsea’s technical staff emailed players not involved at the World Cup to tell them to report to the club’s training ground this weekend for fitness tests. Conte saw the missive and told everyone that the manager – him – doesn’t want to see any players until the following Monday.
As Chelsea’s pre-season implodes, it’s worth noting that Higuain plays for Arsenal. The Sun told us he does:
That was 2013. And the story is still on the Sun’s website, having been updated in 2016 – when Higuain still wasn’t playing for Arsenal.
Says the Sun:
ARSENAL last night smashed their transfer record when they agreed a £23million fee for Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain….
The Argentine will undergo a Gunners medical today…
The deal, which has been confirmed by the player’s father Jorge…
Now Wenger wants to build on Higuain’s imminent arrival by pressing ahead with negotiations for Wayne Rooney and Julio Cesar.
Now the Sun has more to say about Higuain:
Higuain to Chelsea is a done deal. Fact.
Or as, er, the Sun says one day later:
Such are the facts.
Arsenal will sign Lucas Torreira, 22, for a transfer fee of around €30 million just as soon his his Uruguay side get knocked out of the World Cup (or win it). “Arsenal offered to do the medical in Russia,” says Lucas’s father Ricardo on Fox Sports, “but we decided against it because we felt it was inconvenient. It is as good as a fact that Lucas will join Arsenal. There are many clubs who contacted us but we have given our word to Arsenal. We are very satisfied with what they offered. The deal is virtually done and only Lucas’ arrival is remaining.”
The only thing missing from the transfer is the player. But Torreira and his people are coming. “There will be people that will accompany him,” says Ricardo. “He won’t be alone. It’s a big change [going to England] and we don’t want to think about it yet because we’re scared. The truth is it’s tough to manage the language, adapt to the [London] society and customs and at the same time not lose ours. But there’s a whole programme getting readied for Lucas.”
Of course, we at Anorak not only bring you the latest Arsenal transfer news but also the clickbait that might be termed ‘fake news’. The Daily Express heard the words of Ricardo Torreira and mangled them into:
To recap: Torreira’s dad says the deal is done; the ‘big worry’ is about the player learning the language; and Torreira is not a ‘target’ because the player has given his word. The rest is clickbait.
Remember Nick? Of course you do. He was the whistleblower who knew all about VIP peadophiles abusing and murdering children in Westminster. He’s heading to court. No, no to confront the perverts. He’s in count to answer 12 counts of pervert6ing the course of justice and one count of fraud.
Thanks to Nick’s allegations – which one leading copper called “credible and true”; detective superintendent Kenny McDonald, the man heading Operation Midland, knew everything was true before the investigation was over and any trial had even begun – police, who had taken to calling accusers “victims” investigated former Prime Minister Ted Heath (who was stubbornly dead at the time and unable to help police with their enquiries), former Home Secretary Leon Brittan (also dead – his accuser said he pointed the finger at him for a ‘joke’), Field Marshall Lord Bramall (alive and innocent) and former Tory MP Harvey Proctor (also alive and innocent). All four innocent men had their names dragged through the mud and reputations brutally damaged.
The story was popular with the Daily Mirror and associated titles. But whilst the Daily Mail gives an entire page to the story of Nick’s trial, the Mirror buries it on”NAMED: EX-PM Ted Heath”, the page 7. In a small and short column headlined “VIP sex gang accuser Nick faces 13 raps” and a photo of Ted Heath captioned “NAMED: Ex-PM Ted Heath”, we read that Nick is heading to court and that “detectives said his claims…were ‘credible’.” Not quite. They said Nick’s allegations which sparked Operation Midland were “credible and true”. The Mirror’s sister title The People called it a “sensation”. Fiction was treated as fact.
Of course, anyone into conspiracy theories will roll their eyes and think Nick the accuser morphing into Nick the defendant was always going to happen. The rest of us should wonder about due process and how claims of historical sex abuse came to define policing and bind a nation.
Did you know Manchester City and England striker Raheem Sterling has not scored for England in 1000 days? It’s a fact Matt ‘Statto’ Lawton wants to share with his Daily Mail readers. Sterling could have scored last night as England defeated Colombia on penalties to progress to the World Cup quarter-final but he was “hooked” off after 88 minutes. Sterling was replaced by Jamie Vardy, who in the Mail’s all-important “Jamie Redknapp’s Big Match Ratings” scores 6.5 – the same as Sterling gets. Sterling was not the worst England player on the pitch according to Redknob. He scored higher than Kyle Walker (6), Deli Alli (6) and Ashley Young (6). But why does Sterling feel the hatchet between his shoulder blades and the rest do not?
And what of Eric Dier’s scoring a 7? He had a “pass completion rate of less than 25 per cent in his first 24 minutes on the pitch” (source: Martin Samuel, Daily Mail) and was “ordinary” against Belgium. He did score in the penalty shoot-out, a shot that was a “bit scuffed and [David] Ospina got a hand to it”. But there he is on the Mail’s back page “The Coolest Man in Moscow”.
He was cool? No. In the Mirror, Dier says he was “nervous”. Andy Dunn says “Sterling at least remains one who can dash past a defender, take a risk, create splash of chaos”, factors described as “rarities” in a game big on “chaos”. The Mirror gives Sterling a 7 – the same as Pickford, Trippier, Henderson and Kane. Only John Stones with 8 scores higher. Sterling was “dangerous”.
Over in the Sun, Sterling gets a 6. That’s a higher mark than Lingard and Henderson, and the same as Pickford, Walker, Young and Dele. The Sun says Sterling was “slippery and lively” and “darting”.
In the Express, “lively” Sterling who “caused Colombia all kinds of problems” scores a 7 – that’s more than Pickford, Stones, Maguire, Henderson, Dele and Young. Only Harry Kane (8) scores higher.
So why is Sterling derided in the Mail? Has the Mail got a problem with Sterling?
It’s been while since Sterling scored in an England shirt, his last goal coming on 9th October 2015. But only Sterling gets compared to a “mascot” and a “jockey” in the Mail. No other player is so diminished.
Becky Vardy has issued a no comments. In “Vardy hits back”, Jamie Vardy’s wife is wrapped in the England flag. As patriotic as Britannia – albeit more demurely dressed (Britannia bares a naked breast on the silver and gold coins) – over pages 6 and 7 Vardy has a no comment for the Wags who troll her.
“Have they got nothing better to do? It’s probably a massive fat Russian that doesn’t have any mirrors in the house. They just do it to get a reaction. They won’t get one from me.”
You can read Becky’s non-reaction on page 1, 6 and 7.
There’s “horror in the heat”. The Star leads with news that a young girl died when a bouncy castle “exploded”. The four-year-old was “catapulted” by the force of the exploding blue inflatable. “Dozens” watched as paramedics tried in vain to save the life of the girl in the ‘Bounce About’ play area on Gorleston beach, near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. Or as the Mirror leads: “Tot killed by exploding trampoline.”
What was it: an inflatable or a trampoline?
The Mirror says the child was tossed 30 feet into the air when the “trampoline exploded in the searing heat”. Was the heat a factor in the horror? A witness says it was the “most horrific” thing they had ever seen. It sounds horrendous. Another says: “I’m sat next to the bouncy castle when it just popped.” Another says the girl was thrown “about 20 ft into the air”.
The witnesses says the castle “popped” and the girl was thrown 20ft into the air. The tabloids says the trampoline exploded and the heigh was 30ft. A child dies on a day out and for some news sources that’s not enough.
As for the heat being a factor in the horror, we only hear the owner of the inflatable castle / trampoline say “he believed the intense heat caused the explosion”. Maybe. But the heat sounds more like the trigger than the cause. The owner, identified as Curt Johnson, is then quoted: “It is very upsetting. An inflatable trampoline exploded because of the heat and that is all I know… It is quite shocking.”
As for the “searing heat”, well, the Mail says temperatures reached 73F. Not all that hot for a summer’s day, then.
An investigation is underway…
Hard cheese on any Liverpool fans hoping for an upgrade on goalkeeper Loris Karius, whose errors cost the reds so dear in the Champions’ League final. The Sun says Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has given up on signing Roma’s Alisson Becker and wants Karius to remain as his number one. Karius “made two horrendous mistakes” as Liverpool lost to Real Madrid in the Champions League final, says the Sun. It was “his calamitous Champions League final where he gifted Real Madrid two goals”. At no point does the Sun mention the claim that Karius was suffering from concussion.
Is that an oversight? The Mirror adds: “Karius’s errors in the Champions League final had appeared to highlight the Reds’ need for a new man between the sticks.” Again no word on any concussion. Why is it that something so serious as concussion is now dismissed?
The Sun once thought it serious enough to explain Karius’ injury in full and advise its readers to go to hospital if the’ve suffered a bang to the head. “The effects usually only lasts up to a few days or weeks,” said the paper, “although in severe cases sufferers will need emergency treatment and can be left with longer-lasting symptoms.
It’s all balls, anyhow. Because Sky Sports notes: “Liverpool’s may see long-term target Alisson pinched from under their noses, with Chelsea planning a £65m offer for the Roma goalkeeper.” Can you pinch something the victim never owned and doesn’t want, according to the Sun and Mirror?
The Week magazine’s news on Manchester United transfers begins: “If Gareth Bale leaves Real Madrid…” And if he doesn’t? Well, then we will repeat the line next year, and the next and keep on repeating it until Gareth Bale is too old even for a desperate United to recruit. (See Anorak passim).
The Express says United manager Jose Mourinho “is intent” on recruiting the 28-year-old. Intent enough to lend United a few million of his own cash to bolster what would be a huge transfer fee? Or is intent measured in how many times Mourinho can moan about not being able to pick a side made up of the world’s costliest first XI? The Times says Mourinho has told the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward that Operation Get Bale is of paramount importance to his plans.
The nadir of this hopeless balls is found in the Star, wherein we learn that Bale’s agent “breaks his silence” over Bale to United – because if there is one thing agents are known for it is their decorum. Jonathan Barnett, chairman of the player agency Stellar Group, says: “I think we need to talk to Real Madrid to see what’s going on, he wants to play more, that’s top priority for him. He’s one of the top three or four players in the world. So he has to play, it’s not about money.”
Mentions of Manchester United: nil.
Oh, and here’s what Barnett had to say in April: “Gareth is a Real Madrid player and loves Real Madrid and Real Madrid love Gareth. All this talk about leaving is written by reporters who have no idea what is going on and who need to write something and don’t care if it is true or not.”
More Bale to United to follow…
Want to know the “truth” about “the hours” before Ant McPartlin went drink driving? The Mirror thinks its readers do, leading with the story of the build up to Ant’s crime. On page 9 we get the facts: Ant had a row with his wife Lisa Armstrong. They argued over – get this – who had first dibs on their dog. One of Ant’s “pals”, of which he seems to have many and all of them unnamed and with a hotline to the tabloids, says, “Lisa is no angel in this. She would been giving it back, and then some.”
The “pal” then calls Lisa “stubborn”, stating that the rows are all “rooted in the fact Lisa refused to believe the marriage was tover”. News, indeed, to anyone who thinks the rows were “rooted” in Ant rooting the PA, taking drugs and drunk driving.
Anyhow, “hours” after the row over the dog, Ant crashed his Mini into two cars while well over the drink-driving limit.
The story has one spot of new news: divorce lawyers are trying to decide how to “divide Ant and Lisa’s fortune“. Finally! All that guff about him giving her half of his fortune has stuck in the craw. The Mirror gets it.
Dec is away.
Dr Jane Barton’s is the face we are getting to know. The Mail leads with the demand “PUT HER IN THE DOCK”. On what charge? The Express demands “justice for hundreds killed by ‘Dr Death'”.
Dr Barton, dubbed ‘Dr Opiate’, is “blamed” for failings that costs up to 650 lives at Gosport Memorial Hospital. The dead were aged 62 to 99. the saying is true: if you want to be invisible, go grey.
A report “accused” Dr Barton of “giving patients powerful drugs they did not need”. The number of dead is staggering: 456 people died after being prescribed opioids “without medial justification”; the records of 200 more have gone missing. The Mail guesses that “they probably suffered a similar fate”.
Who needs fact when you’re talking about life, death and justice?
Dr Barton worked at the hospital between 1988 and 2000. The deaths making news occurred between 1987 and 2001. The report by the former Bishop of Liverpool James Jones does not mention her alone. His report is, says the paper, “scathing” about senior consultants, nurses, pharmacists and managers at the Hampshire hospital. None of them are pictured in any newspaper.
The dead have been the subject of reports, three police investigations, two reviews by medical bodies and 11 inquests. Nurses raised concerns decades ago. And not a single criminal charge has been levelled at anyone. The word conspiracy is flung around. Its reach extends to scores of people. But is it valid?
On pages 6 to 11, Mail readers hear more of the “deadliest coverup”. One fact seems notable above others: in 2010 the GMC found Dr Barton guilty of misconduct and that she prescribed “potentially hazardous” amounts of drugs. She retained her licence to practice medicine. The Mail says she was made the subject of sanctions, one being that she could not prescribe opiates for three years. In March 2010 Dr Barton retired on a “fat” pension.
We’re not being invited to sympathise with Dr Barton. But what we crave are facts. But the papers can’t get the most basic of those right. The Mail says Dr Barton is 69. The Sun says she’s 70. The Mail says she is in Menorca. The Express says she’s in Majorca.
It’s worth noting that Dr Barton has not been charged with any criminal offence – ever. But you know who has… Yep. Dr Harold Shipman.
Such are the facts.
Ant MacPartlin’s drugs habit and drink-driving have kept the papers busy. And now we read about his lover, one Anne-Marie Corbett, a 42-year-old married mum-of two. She used to work as a personal assistant to Ant and his wife Lisa. All tawdry and predictable stuff: married TV star takes drugs, drinks too much and shags blonde. But what’s interesting is how the tabloids are taking sides. You can tell which side they are on – Ant: the one who might give you interviews, sell newspapers and secure TV exclusives; or Lisa: the woman who won’t.
The Sun is Team Ant. Describing Anne-Marie as Ant’s “rock”, the Sun produces these photos of the trio:
The Sun also adds that “blazing rows over his £62 million fortune have made it [divorce] increasingly acrimonious”. His fortune? Not their fortune? Childhood sweethearts Ant and Lisa have been married since 2006. This is about Ant and us continuing to like him. Good old Ant:
The Mirror leads with news that Lisa “suspected” Ant was with Ann-Marie “months ago”. Poor Lisa. Let’s take a look at her:
The Mirror says Lisa and Anne-Marie were “pals”. Anne-Marie split from husband Scott in October last year. But that has nothing to do with Ant, say “insiders”. Perish the thought. Ant and Lisa broke up “10 months ago” – “long before he started dating his new love”. Ten moths ago was September 2017.
Over in the Mail and Lisa is looking happy. Ant is looking happy. Anne-Marie is wearing a “blue summer dress… with a plunging neckline, wedge heels, red lipstick and a Lulu Guinness tote bag”. She looks “glamorous”. The Express says Anne-Marie wore her “blonde hair loose”.
The final words is with an “insider, who tells the Express that Ant “could decide to to return to I’m A Celeb. That’s how far things have changed thanks to Anne-Marie”.
Rejoice! Ant is happy. The show will go on.
On a break from advertising biscuits, Chelsea and Belgium footballer Eden Hazard is doing his best to alienate the club’s fans. Well, he is if the BBC and Sun’s back-page headline is to be believed. “Belgium forward Eden Hazard, 27, has warned his club side Chelsea that ‘Real Madrid could interest me’,” says the BBC. The Sun leads: “EDEN WARNING – Eden Hazard has warned the club he will quit unless they sort things out in the summer.” Warning your employer to work hard to please you is an iffy move. But is that what Hazard really said in an interview with L’Equipe before he flew to Moscow for the World Cup?
What can we believe? Reporting on Hazard is so much more clickbait than fact.
On January 11, the Sun reported: “EDEN HAZARD has NOT agreed to join Real Madrid in the summer, despite reports.”
Reports like… this one in the Sun from July 2o17. The word ‘agrees’ is in inverted commas but fro SEO purposes hazard to Real Madrid is a statement of fact.
Not that the Sun is alone in milking the ‘Hazard has gone nowhere for years’ story. In January the Independent said Hazard was staying at Chelsea. Fact.
The Express told its readers: “…the Belgium international has now quashed rumours that he will leave the Blues by confirming he intends to sign a new deal…However, he has claimed he will not do so until his fellow countryman Thibaut Courtois has also extended his stay at Stamford Bridge.”
Really? No. He said nothing of the sort.
So much for the trusty Express, then, which performed the same trick as the Sun in gearing news for the robots. Like the Sun, the Express said Hazard ‘agrees’ to join Real Madrid. But because Google’s bots don’t read those conniving inverted commas, Hazard to Real is a statement of fact:
So will Hazard remain at Chelsea or leave for Real Madrid? This is what he said when pressed on his future as quoted in the Sun:
“I will stay at Chelsea if the team is better than it was last season. I don’t want to stay if we are less good,” says Hazard, who might reflect on is role in the team and how you can know next season is better before its been played? “It would be too easy for me to say that I want to leave because I have done it all. I have won everything bar the Champions League in London. I am where I am in my career thanks to Chelsea. Above all I would love to know what will happen at the club next season. I will wait and see whether the manager stays or goes. As everybody knows, Real Madrid could interest me. But if tomorrow they don’t want me, I won’t talk about them any more. If they want to buy me they know what they have to do.”
And this is what he said in May, as quoted by the Guardian:
The 27-year-old knows his next contract could well be the last in his prime. “That’s why I’m taking my time,” he said. “It’s something big, so I need to think about a lot of things. But one thing is for sure: I’m happy here.”
Asked to elaborate on the factors that would influence his decision, he added: “I’m waiting for new players next season. I want good players, because I want to win the Premier League next season.
“Like I’ve said many times before, I think the FA Cup final is not my last game for Chelsea. It’s the last game of the season, that’s it. After the World Cup then we will be ready for the next season. But, for me in my mind, I’m here. I have one week to play now. Saturday is a massive game, I just want to win, for me and them also.”
He’s not warning Chelsea over anything, is he? Hazard’s Chelsea contract runs til 2020. He’s not going anywhere unless Real Madrid or any other club pay a huge transfer fee.
NOTE: Maybe he just wants more money? Chelsea are to offer him £300,000 a week says the Sun:
Although according to the Sun they made the offer last year:
Such are the facts.
Raheem Sterling’s gun tattoo caused the Sun to shunt all other news from its front page and channel the fury. It was that bad. A few days on after the the Sun had given lots of space for people to slam the Manchester City and England forward, we saw photos of Prince George and his bang-bang stick. Like Sterling, the gun young Windsor’s gun also featured at a sporting event, notable a polo rubber.
Said the Sun:
Playful Prince George takes aim with a toy gun as he and sister Charlotte – gripped by watchful mum Kate – enjoy a day in the sun watching dad William play polo today.
The Duke of Cambridge was taking part in the Maserati Royal Charity Polo Trophy at Beaufort Polo Club in Gloucestershire, where he was cheered on by the Duchess of Cambridge and the family.
Sterling (picture of a gun; black; working-class; self-made) got a very different press from George (toy gun; white; uber alles; never worked a day in his life). Whereas Sterling was linked to murder and the Vietnam war – no kidding! – George is just fun, fun and more fun. Photos of the ole model promoting gun crime and mayhem captioned:
The Duchess of Cambridge beams as son George plays with his plastic pistol
Prince George shows off his sharpshooting skills as he takes aim with a toy gun
And there is more gun larks. The England football team, of which Sterling is one, pretended their fingers were guns when they posed for photos at their World Cup training camp. The Mail has a photo of Eric Dier and Del Alli is “Charlie’s Angels pose.
Is that red on their shirt blood? And will Putin take this as a declaration of war? Over to the Sun to discuss…