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Bullshit Hell in a handcart

And journalists wonder why everybody hates them

On the 8th of March, the Scottish Sunday Express ran a contemptible piece of shit by Paula Murray about the survivors of the Dunblane massacre. There’s a PDF link here. For some mysterious reason, the paper has wiped the online version.

As Chicken Yoghurt puts it:

If only the doctors and counsellors who treated the wounds and mental scars of those children all those years ago had had the foresight to say: ‘Now, children, you most now go forth and live the lives of angels, not only in tribute to your dead schoolmates who no doubt would have wanted you to live puritanical lives, but also to avoid the predations of journalists barely worthy of the name who, as soon as you turn 18, will ransack your private lives in search of cheap, revolting scoops.’ All this could have been avoided.

Tim Ireland may have discovered a teeny-weeny little bit of hypocrisy. On her Facebook page, she boasts about getting wasted.

In her attack on Dunblane survivors, Paula Murray castigated and demonised survivors of that tragedy who “boasted about alcoholic binges”, which is EXACTLY what she’s doing here.

Obviously, this is just cherry-picked text, and making a judgement based on these statements alone would be a wrong.

So to back them up, here’s a series of photos of Paula getting pished with her mates

Still, the Press Complaints Commission is on the case.

The editor of the Daily Express, Peter Hill, left the board of the PCC last year following front page and high court apologies from Express Newspapers titles the Daily Express, Daily Star, Sunday Express and Daily Star Sunday over a string of false stories about the disappearance of four-year-old Madeline McCann, which resulted in payments of £550,000 in damages to the McCann family.

What’s  wrong with this picture? Clue: she isn’t dead yet:

goodyok

I wonder, what company owns OK?

Copyright ©2009 Northern and Shell Media Publications.

Do they publish anything else? Yep, the Express and Sunday Express. According to the corporate website:

Northern & Shell is determined to maintain all its products and activities as benchmarks of excellence to its readers, customers, advertisers and business partners.

Benchmarks of excellence? Jesus wept.

22 replies on “And journalists wonder why everybody hates them”

I had filed a complaint with the PCC last year and their tack was at Linehan said – the story was not about me, therefore my complaint was invalid. What would Niemoller say.

That’s vile. With that headline you would expect the story to be something like them terrorising the families of the dead kids or desecrating the graves. She shouldn’t be allowed near a newspaper.

>>- the story was not about me, therefore my complaint was invalid.

So if they run a story about someone who has no family and it causes them to take their own life then nobody has the right to complain? That’s not good.

> if they run a story about someone who has no family and it causes them to take their own life then nobody has the right to complain?

Under UK law, there is no such thing as libel against a dead person — even if they were alive at the time of publication — so, the moment the object of the piece kills themself, the journalist is off the hook.

To be fair to OK, Jade has been admirably upfront about her desire to simply get every bit of coverage she can in her final days in order to rake in cash for her boys. So the headline may be crass, but it is at least with her permission and for her benefit. It’s more difficult to see who benefits by slagging off teenagers who had the temerity to survive a massacre.

Did you know that some of the Jews who survived the Holocaust later went to parties? Some of them even got drunk. Cunts.

> So the headline may be crass, but it is at least with her permission and for her benefit.

I’m not convinced it is with her permission – partly because OK has a long track record of making shit up, and partly because she’s hardly in a state to make any sort of judgements any more. I suspect the reason celebs haven’t sued OK for its routine lies is because the cost is too much and the potential lack of coverage too expensive. But publications are supposed to care about their readers, not to lie to them. OK is particularly bad for that.

> It’s more difficult to see who benefits by slagging off teenagers who had the temerity to survive a massacre.

It sells papers. That’s enough.

The linked PCC thing talks about the McCann and Murat libels – even after court judgements, what the Express paid out is a fraction of what it made through increased sales and, I presume, syndication. Just another cost of doing business. That’s what’s so repellent about it.

> Frankly I’m surprised OK didn’t send a covert nurse in with a special syringe. I watch too much 24.

I don’t doubt that if they thought they could get away with it, they’d probably do it.

I really don’t like OK magazine, as you might have spotted.

Graham, Hepworth nails it in that article you’ve linked: “it is quite breathtaking in its contempt for the intelligence of the readers.” I’d add: the fact it sells in huge numbers suggests that, sadly, it’s the right strategy.

That’s hellish. I don’t have the links handy but there have been some really good (and appalling, in terms of what they describe) features about paparazzi in the UK recently. The problem’s getting worse – more mags taking the pics, amateurs wanting to make money, etc. The defence is, as ever, if people didn’t buy the magazines then there wouldn’t be a market for the shots.

And now it turns out that Elisabeth Fritzl has been driven out of her home by British journalists. Makes me feel all patriotic, that.

> It sells papers. That’s enough.

Does it, though? I mean, how much smaller would The Express‘s circulation have been that day without that article?

Oh, you were right: Max Clifford’s not happy with OK. Which means Jade isn’t.

Looks like they might have just screwed up their timing:

The issue went on sale on Tuesday after reports at the weekend claimed Jade had just hours to live.

They thought she’d be dead by the time anyone bought a copy. Didn’t want to get stung by that whole Princess-Diana dying-at-the-wrong-time-of-day-for-newspapers thing. Fuckwits.

>>> Frankly I’m surprised OK didn’t send a covert nurse in with a special syringe. I watch too much 24.

Did they ever find out who was behind the mad woman who went after her with a hammer in hospital? Hmm…

Has anybody really asked questions about the larger issue at hand, which is why journalists have turned away from basic reportage and are now declaring war on innocent civilians? The Dunblane thing last week, the ET’s litter campaign last year. These are not celebrities, they are not footballers, they are not politicians, they are grannies who dropped their bus tickets and kids who got shot.

Maybe it’s coincidence. Then again, maybe it’s because ordinary people are cheaper to investigate, don’t go running to the PCC and don’t hire law firms such as Schillings to prevent anybody printing anything. There was a good piece in the Sunday Times magazine yesterday about that latter issue: essentially we’ve got a system where many papers simply can’t afford to contest legal claims, even when the papers are in the right.

In a word: toothless. I think the PCC ruling is correct, but I don’t think it really matters.

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