Monday, August 25, 2008 

Fuck Fox News.

Quite possibly the greatest thing ever:

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Saturday, July 28, 2007 

The silly season commences and Fox News takes on Anonymous.

The politicians have deserted Westminster, school's out for summer, it can only mean one thing: the silly season is upon us. What better way to get it started than in today's Scum, with the usual hoary old tale of a "great white shark" being sighted off the coast of Cornwall?

SHOCKED tourists told of their terror last night over the Great White shark sighting off Cornwall.

And one holidaymaker said: “This has got to be every swimmer’s worst nightmare.”

Despite getting the head of the Shark Trust to proclaim that the shark filmed is indeed a "predatory shark", it remains far more likely that it was a relatively harmless basking shark, which are often sighted off St. Ives, as this one was.

Even the Sun's usual standard of journalism can't come close to the level of idiocy displayed in this Fox 11 News "investigation" into Anonymous, a coven of "hackers on steroids" using "secret" websites to defame and intimidate various individuals across the length and breadth of the interweb.


One can only come to the conclusion that this will not end well.

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Friday, July 06, 2007 

Another one bites the dust.

It seems Brillo Pad Neil got a little ahead of himself in reporting that Murdoch had succeeded in his $5bn bid to purchase the Wall Street Journal from Dow Jones, but it does now look as if Murdoch is going to succeed in getting his filthy mits on the world's largest and most influential business newspaper.

The dissent about the sale of yet another newspaper with major clout to Murdoch's stable hasn't been so much about how it will instantly swing to the right - the WSJ op-ed pages are so right-wing that they make the Times' look like the Socialist Worker's by comparison - but how the editorial independence which it currently enjoys will instantly come under Murdoch's clunking fist.

Editors at the Times and Sunday Times have in the past hilariously offered their opinion that Murdoch has never interfered with their work, and while he certainly doesn't exercise the same sledgehammer with which he orders about the staff on the Scum and News of the Screws for instance, it's more than apparent that one of the reasons why he doesn't need to do so is that his selected editors either agree with him or know that to potentially contradict his own views would instantly constitute the sack. No amount of promises about how he won't interfere with the independence of the paper will alter the one major piece of evidence we have about how he almost by stealth makes certain that his newspapers across the globe follow his own views.

In the run up to the Iraq war, one of the few people who was prepared to talk about oil in connection with the eventual invasion was Murdoch himself. He stated in an interview with the Australian magazine that:

"The greatest thing to come out of this for the world economy...would be $20 a barrel for oil. That's bigger than any tax cut in any country."

Not freedom for the Iraq people then, or the removal of a dictator with weapons of mass destructions, but rather the emancipation of the country's oil for the betterment of mankind.

Amazingly, every single one of Murdoch's 175 editors agreed with his stance on Iraq. Even in China, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand, every newspaper supported the Iraq war, even if they weren't as gung-ho as the Scum was. 4 years and 650,000 lives later, even if you were to do a similar survey now you'd likely find that every single one of those newspapers was still at least supportive of the invasion, if not of the aftermath.

The Wall Street Journal itself has at least got in its detailed, well-sourced article on how Murdoch has in the past meddled and dabbled with the editorial line of his other papers. It might well be one of the last chances it'll ever have to be critical of him again, so treasure it.

And just in case you think that Murdoch could never get away with introducing the equivalent of the Fox News Channel here, Ofcom yesterday put into place the first steps towards what could be the abandoning of the impartiality rules governing news broadcasts, because "ethnic minorities and the young are failing to engage with it". Sky News has never exactly been the most restrained news broadcaster, but the threat of having Sun News ought to be enough to send a shiver down the spine of anyone who believes in the dissemination of the truth, as the study into the misperceptions surrounding the Iraq war showed.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006 

Scum-watch: A disgusting exclusive.

I've cropped Jordan off the front page as seeing her makes me want to gouge out my eyeballs and feed them to the nearest passing cat.

Exclusives don't mean anything. Everyone knows that. The complete downfall of the term has become all too apparent in recent years - the term can't get much lower than being used to describe a Sunday Mirror gossip page story about Dannii Minogue buying a new car - yet it's still used all too frequently, especially by the tabloid press when there is absolutely nothing exclusive about the report at all.

Even with this in mind, today's Sun front page "exclusive" breaks new ground in tastelessness. SUN EXCLUSIVE screams the front page, before it nonchalantly reveals that a 13-year-old girl has been raped. There's something deeply unpleasant about regarding the news that anyone has been the victim of a sexual assault, let alone an underage girl, as an "exclusive," something to be used to sell newspapers. The word "tact" never seems to have occurred to the sub-editors involved.

This being the Sun though, that doesn't even plumb the depths of the base lack of journalistic morals at the centre of this story. As the salaciousness continues, the Sun reveals the girl was allegedly raped by one of the trainers working on the "reality" tv show Cirque De Celebrite. Only halfway through does the article mention that Cirque De Celebrite is a Sky One production.

Yep, that's right, this so-called exclusive is derived entirely from a television show made by BSkyB (Chairman: R. Murdoch), is about a teenage girl allegedly raped by a man employed by BSkyB (Chairman: R. Murdoch) and is being printed by a newspaper owned by News International, itself owned by News Corporation (CEO and Chairman: R. Murdoch). Only at the end of the article does the Sun actually seek a comment from Sky One itself, with the rest of the detail being given by an "insider" and a "source."

Still, I'm sure that the family of the girl are delighted that the Sun has seen fit to splash the misfortune of the teenager on its front page. Perhaps all those who for some reason decide to go see the hell on earth which is Cirque de Celebrite should be given a disclaimer before they enter the arena that if any unfortunate crime should happen to them while they're there that the Murdoch empire reserves all right to fill the Sun newspaper with it.

P.S. In other Murdoch related news, Fox News is giving O.J. Simpson the opportunity to explain how he would have killed his ex-wife and her friend, if he err, actually had. As well as being able to do so as a "two-part event", Regan Books, which is a division of HarperCollins, owned by News Corporation (see above) is paying Simpson $3.5m (£1.85m) for an accompanying book, titled "If I Did It, Here's How It Happened." It seems tastelessness is no barrier when it comes to making Murdoch money on either side of the Atlantic.

P.P.S. Via Curious Hamster:
The elections and Rumsfeld's resignation were a major event, but not the end of the world. The war on terror goes on without interruption.... [L]et's be on the lookout for any statements from the Iraq insurgents, who must be thrilled at the prospect of a Dem-controlled Congress.

The question of the day, and indeed for the rest of Bush's term, is: what is the Dem plan for Iraq?

That would be the fair and balanced briefing on the aftermath of the US mid-term elections, as detailed by Fox News's John Mooney in an internal memo.

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