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Elsewhere Daley explains Abernathy's absence by telling us that he is receiving Maundy Money today.

Actually, her Madge is doling it out in Sheffield, as reported by the BBC: ... e-32152147" onclick=";return false;

It ends
Simon Green, an executive director of Sheffield City Council said: "It's a priceless event for Sheffield. It's a positive endorsement of the city."
He said the estimated cost for the council of the event was £30,000 but it had "brought 12,000 people to the city".
That strongly implies that some journalist was crass enough to ask a question as to the cost of the ceremony and it's cost-benefit. I wonder which newspaper or news organisation they were from?

The cost of everything and the value of nothing...
Mika Baumeister, a pupil at the Joseph-König high school in Lautern, Germany who lost 2 teachers and 16 students in the Germanwings plane crash on the way the media deal with disasters. ... -intrusion" onclick=";return false;

The full version on his blog ... altern/189" onclick=";return false;
The story is massive, it's global and, as you would expect, it is nowhere higher up the agenda than in Germany.

Earlier this week, the press were reporting that the press had been behaving appallingly (yes, you read that right) but I do wonder to what extent that is really the case.

There are two forces at work here. 1; the privacy laws which are strict in this country and, 2; the fact that mainstream journalism is the preserve of the congenitally lazy.

Doubtless, there will have been intrusions and insensitive coverage (that's what Axel Springer Verlag is for)in the relentless quest to peel back another layer of the artichoke but I would not be surprise if a significant number of these "stories" are just a patchwork of innuendo and hearsay being woven in to scoops.

There is no way to verify reports that "Lukas B (not his real name), said eins zwei drei..."

More disconcerting is this vid that Bild and Paris Match are purporting to have seen. If neither the French nor German authorities know of its existence, the only logical explanation is that there is either corruption in the search team or the press have planted an insider on it.
In the early stages of the recovery process a BBC face was based on the field where the helicopters flew to the site taking searchers and bringing back remains/bits of plane. Merkel, other politicians and airline representatives had had a meeting/service there with victims' family members. No press or TV were allowed at the event but the BBC guy had found a woman who was there as an interpreter. His live quizzing of the woman was dreadfully intrusive, his questions were all angled at trying to get the emotions of the families. The woman was having none of it, she was polite but would not be drawn into such specifics. You could see the BBC guy panicking as producers back in London must have been shouting into his ear to wring more emotion out of the interview but he ended up looking like a total twat.

Well done to the woman who by her faint accent might have been German.
I have just read an email sent by a ‘contributing editor’ of The Sun newspaper who is looking for a particular someone. This person’s words speak for themselves so I’ll say no more. Here’s the email (anonymised, of course)…


I’m looking for a woman aged 35+ who used to be overweight and on disability living allowance due to weight related issues, but is now a healthy weight and employed. We”d like her to agree with the idea that overweight people SHOULD lose their benefits if they refuse treatment on the NHS (e.g. gastric band surgery, gym membership etc). We’d want her to talk about how having her benefits taken away would have given her the motivation to lose weight, and how great she feels now that she\’s thin and supporting herself.

NB, this is an edict from on-high (the editor [of Woman's Own]), not one of my making (in case anybody takes offence!).

Please contact me by email…if you can help.

Kind regards,


This is what our ‘news’papers do every day. They very consciously and strategically construct a ‘reality’, a spectacle that is designed to divide us against each other, to direct our hate and anger toward the poorest and most vulnerable, and, by doing so, distract us from the real causes of the poverty, injustice, and misery so many face.

Please spread this email far and wide. Please don’t buy their newspapers. ... every-day/" onclick=";return false;
I've been thinking about this over the weekend.

There was a piece by Brian Reade in Saturday's Mirror, in which he said that while working as a press officer for the GLC he and his colleagues ran a book on whose press release could get the most wilfully misinterpreted by the right-wing media. "Despite claims to the contrary," he says, "you can make it up".

As I've said elsewhere, the nature of journalism has changed from the reporting of facts to the creation of a narrative. This has leached into other areas of public life and not just in the UK. In the US, the official report into the events of 9/11 (a document that would be widely read, have massive implications for government, security services, businesses, architects, emergency services, the military and more) began waxing lyrical about clear but chilly autumn mornings - the sort of guff that at least I was taught has no place in report writing. But it wasn't written as a factual document, but as a piece of myth-making.

You create the myth. You establish what the acceptable reaction to the myth should be. Then you crucify anyone stepping outside of your predetermined boundaries. That's what journalism is.
It's not necessarily a new thing. Much of my work is concerned with journalists and the Soviet Union in the 1930s. One thing that is very clear, and has been explicitly identified by certain historians of the period, is that many of the journalists (particularly American) who were based in Moscow during the era of the first Five Year Plan, and beyond, were more concerned with establishing the narrative of Soviet progress than objective accounting. Simply speaking, everything was ultimately bound up in the regime's own narrative: 'Problems exist, we will overcome them, the future is bright and it is here. Anything bad you see is a legacy of Tsarism or the result of sabotage.'
Following the Easter eggs nonsense, a quick breakdown of how that 'story' came about.

Telegraph journalist decides to cause trouble.

TJ finds image on NT website, crops it, publishes it with 'story' that NT/Cadburys are eliminating references to Easter.

Telegraph runs the story, other news outlets follow it up.

NT/Cadburys/anyone with half a brain point out that the original image is up on the website, the URL says Easter in it, etc.

News outlets stick together and say that the website image/URL/etc were "hastily edited" to include Easter references.

Impression given is that this is last minute face-saving by NT/Cadburys, after being shamed by campaigning journos.

Loads of people lap it up, because who looked at the website(s) in question before the story broke?

Talking heads spout shite and detract from news likely to embarrass the government.

Other talking heads take story off on predictable angles ("Easter's a pagan festival anyway"/"Where are the bunnies in the Bible?"/etc) and the main point is lost.

The thing being, in any other profession, if someone was to act so unprofessionally and craply as the Telegraph journo in this case, the papers would be calling for heads on spikes. Or at the very least, resignations and "hanging of heads in shame". Yet when it's one of their own, it's cheeky schoolkid time - "Oh sorry, I was just being a bit naughty! Giggle!".
Bit of a giggle? Nah. It's deliberate because it helps to reinforce the agenda of the newspaper, in this case the story validates the Telegraph and other right wing newspapers' cries about the secularisation of the UK and attacks on Christianity. Easter being erased will have sunk into the collective UK psyche and will be trotted out in years to come along with Baa baa black sheep being banned in schools and Winterval while, at the same time, stating for a FACT that no one, and they mean NO ONE would dare to do that to the Muslim religion, would they?
I'm not saying it was a bit of a giggle - I agree totally with your reasoning why the thing was run in the first place. It's just that reaction when they get called out.
Andy McDandy wrote:NT/Cadburys/anyone with half a brain point out that the original image is up on the website, the URL says Easter in it, etc.

News outlets stick together and say that the website image/URL/etc were "hastily edited" to include Easter references.
Whilst it's science and technology and therefore inherently untrustworthy in the eyes of some, a quick trawl of Google's cache or should be enough to disprove the latter statement of "hasty editing".

Then you'll get accused of using facts to prove anything.
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