Wednesday, October 03, 2007 

Tabloid-watch: Glorious Diana humbug.

You might recall that earlier in the year Channel 4 came under heavy pressure, both from the tabloids and as a result of their fury, Prince Harry and William themselves, to pull a documentary that was alleged to contain images of Princess Diana lying in the smashed Mercedes in the Paris tunnel, being treated before she died. While Channel 4 quite rightly refused to remove the programme from the schedules, it obscured one image to "avoid any unwarranted intrusion into their [the Princes'] privacy or that of their families".

At the time Private Eye pointed out that the Scum, one of those newspapers noisily complaining about this latest unwarranted distress to the Princess's children, had in fact already previously published the photograph at the centre of the whole storm, also blanked out, splashing it on the front page when an Italian magazine went ahead with an article that used the already freely available on the internet photographs of the late Princess receiving treatment.

Fast forward to yesterday, which saw the opening of the inquest into Diana's death, only 10 years' after the fact, and the release of a number of previously held back photographs, including those that see inside the car a matter of minutes before the crash that killed three of the occupants and badly injured Fayed's bodyguard. They clearly show all three of those in the picture, Henri Paul, Trevor Rees-Jones and Diana, with her back to the camera, looking highly agitated and trying to get away from the paparazzi that were taking the shots we're now seeing for the first time.

How then did the tabloids (and Telegraph) react to the release of these potentially highly insensitive and upsetting set of photographs? Why, by splashing them all over their front pages with appropriately sensational headlines of course!

While these photographs are central to the inquest, there was no need whatsoever for them to be published in such a way, but then with the tabloids ever more desperate to boost their circulation it was no brainer decision, even if it shows how flagrantly hypocritical their faux-outrage over the Channel 4 documentary was, or indeed last year's publication of the same photographs by the Italian magazine, coming at the same time as some genuinely "shocking, sickening, outrageous" photographs were emerging from both Israel and Lebanon. Amazingly, the Express resisted the temptation to throw them on their front page, although I have no doubts that they're used inside. The Grauniad's coverage of the inquest, written in a humourous style by Stephen Bates, managed to avoid using them; the tabloids, regardless of their past attempts to savage anyone who dares to impugn either her memory or publish the graphic photographs of her passing, had no such qualms.

The whole inquest is a pointless, hugely expensive waste of time. We know how and why Diana died; as a result of a tragic car accident, exacerbated by the presence of paparazzi desperate for shots of both Dodi and the princess, something which was also not helped by how the driver, Henri Paul, having taken a toxic mix of anti-depressants and alcohol, was clearly unfit to be in change of a motor vehicle. It's also quite possible that both Diana and Dodi would have survived if they had been wearing their seat belts. All of this has already been set out in Lord Stevens' exhaustive report that considered all the conspiracy theories that will be debunked once again, this time in court, and found that they were complete bunkum.

This is all being done for the benefit of a man who is already certain of what happened. Whether it's because of vanity, guilt, pigheadedness, denial or a vendetta against the British establishment that denied him a passport is impossible to know for sure perhaps without a psychiatrist intervening, but Mohamed Al-Fayed is never going to be satisfied until a court decides that the accident was in fact murder, something which is never going to happen. Why we are continuing to indulge this wealthy egomaniac is the only question remaining about what happened that night, and it's one which the court cannot pass judgment on.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007 

Humbug, how we've missed you.

Shock horror! The Scum reports that "A SHOCK ITV1 programme reveals that increasing numbers of teenage girls are desperate to have boob jobs", along with a suitably revealing photograph of gorgeous pouting Leanne, who celebrated her 18th birthday by getting fake tits.

This would of course be the same Sun newspaper that fills its pages day after day with countless photographs of Jordan, Gemma Atkinson, and of course, Keeley Hazell, who despite having real breasts that look better covered over than out and the face of a 5-year-old is somehow considered the 2nd sexiest woman on the planet. Its page 3 idol contest, the lowest common denominator competition that a "newspaper" has ever run, encouraged thousands of women across the country to believe that their only real worth is their chests, and that only by flashing the flesh will they get anywhere in life. It's spent years trying to cater to male fantasies, whether they be lesbian sex, schoolgirls (the uniforms, especially) or school teachers, while hating and making fun of gay men, crusading against paedophiles and damning soft wet liberals for inculcating only political correctness, and now it wonders why teenage girls are dumb, ignorant and interested only in increasing their confidence through expanding their sacks of fat?

We can't just blame the Sun. The rise of the lads mag, especially the weeklies which compete to see how many nipples they can get in each week's depressing, soul-destroying bog read and how much semen they can get their teenage boy readership to expend on average, are just as culpable, as is reality television, especially Big Brother, where for the last few years the only women who have appeared have been either surgically enhanced or so desperate to show off their bodies that within a week of getting evicted they've appeared in the aforementioned magazines.

In fact, we're all to blame. We've allowed this culture to flourish, where instead of making fun of and destroying these sad, fucked up people, we've allowed them to become the centre of attention for the wrong reasons. Instead of reporting what Paris fucking Hilton was wearing when she attended her court hearing, we should be coruscating the worthless, oxygen-stealing cunt for drink driving and putting the lives of people actually worth something at risk. We should be mocking the women who are so completely lacking in self-esteem that they feel the need to increase the size of their bosoms until they're the size of the brains of their entire circle of friends put together and maybe even considering sectioning them, but instead we applaud and bay for more. We're more interested in what's up Britney Spears' skirt (a
scar and a gaping axe wound that could envelop a giant octopus, as it turns out) than whether we're on the road back to Tory government.

I'll admit, I'm being a little harsh. The women getting boob jobs out of confidence issues are probably on the same path as those who cut themselves, enjoying the self-destruction and temporary release from anguish that it brings. As for the rest of them, and this celebrity culture which smothers everything, I mean every word I say.

Related post: Rise and rise of the idiots.

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