Dear Press TV,
The Bleeding Heart Show
When you compare this:
You begin to forget what it means to live. You forget things. You forget that you used to feel all right. You forget what it means to feel all right because you feel like shit all of the time, and you can’t remember what it was like before. People take the feeling of full for granted. They take for granted the feeling of steadiness, of hands that do not shake, heads that do not ache, throats not raw with bile and small rips from fingernails forced in haste to the gag spot. Stomachs that do not begin to dissolve with a battery-acid mixture of caffeine and pills. They do not wake up in the night, calves and thighs knotting with muscles that are beginning to eat away at themselves. They may or may not be awakened in the night by their own inexplicable sobs.
- ‘Wasted‘ by Marya Hornbacher
“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”
You realise that there’s a very good reason why Kate Moss doesn’t give many interviews.
So how was your day?
It’s a question which must get asked millions of times a day. All over the country, people return home after a hard day’s work and report to friends, housemates or partners about how it all went.
Some surgeons may celebrate a successful operation; some police officers may toast the closing of a case; some bartenders may have enjoyed an evening’s banter with their regular punters.
However, if you’re John Coles, Ace Reporter for The Sun, your response to that question goes a little something like this:
“Oh, my day was GREAT! I went on Facebook and stalked a 24 year old that nobody’s ever heard of. THEN, out of revenge for his Dad’s ‘zany’ statements about drugs, I publicly humilated him in a national newspaper!”
Yes, the minds of tabloid journalists operate a little differently to the rest of us.
So how did Coles’ intrepid cyber bullying increase his readers’ understanding of the world? Well, we’ve discovered that Steve Nutt either smokes weed or roll-ups (or maybe even both!); we’ve found out that he sometimes makes risque & inappropriate jokes to friends; we’ve learned that he has a sister who once drank booze at 16, and a brother who was once NAKED! In Sweden!
So basically, what we can deduce from all of this is that Professor Nutt has raised what appears to be a completely ordinary, unremarkable family, who just happen to have had the misfortune of being related to a scientist The Sun didn’t like.
Not that you’d get that understanding from the ‘article’, of course, because Coles tries his level best to portray Steve Nutt as a potentially disturbed, spliff-smoking terrorist sympathiser, and his siblings as raging, out-of-control hedonists who like alcohol and.. erm.. Scandinavia.
Let’s just set aside the observation that ethics at this newspaper seem to have been completely abandoned, and instead just take a moment to sigh at how poisonous the issue of drugs has become. Not only can a well-credentialled scientist get the sack for trying to explain that science, but his family can be harassed and humiliated for no other reason than politically-motivated revenge.
I really wish Murdoch would hurry up with his plan to charge people for reading his papers; the day when I don’t have access to this vindictive garbage can’t come soon enough.
“Every step you take they remind you you’re ghetto”
Y’know, after he’d offended a whole bunch of people by dismissing Barack Obama as a ‘glossy Uncle Tom’, I had hoped that John Pilger would’ve buried his race card deep in the ground. Alas, the old fool just can’t help himself, as whenever the President enjoys some measure of success, Pilger feels a duty to remind us all what his skin colour is:
Obama, the smooth operator from Chicago via Harvard, was enlisted to restore what he calls “leadership” throughout the world. The Nobel Prize committee’s decision is the kind of cloying reverse racism that has beatified the man for no reason other than he is a member of a minority and attractive to liberal sensibilities, if not to the Afghan children he kills.
With apparently no self-awareness, Pilger then goes on to mock the ‘Call of Obama’, which is “not unlike a dog whistle” to attract “the besotted and boneheaded”. Oh, there’s certainly a dog whistle here, but it’s not being blown by the President. No, it’s a whistle which is more often blown by the birthers, troofers, tea-baggers, hacks and half-wits who lay waste to our political discourse. It’s depressing, if unsurprising, to see Pilger join their number.
Of course I could wax lyrical about the man’s early journalistic exploits; his brave, penetrative, excoriatingly human portrayals of war and injustice. But the reason I won’t do that is because he seems bent on wrecking his own legacy. In the past year, Pilger has transformed into the Melanie Phillips of the left: overwrought, resentful, misanthropic, inaccurate, conspiratorial and, ultimately, totally irrelevant.
You couldn’t make it up:
It’s not entirely clear from the ‘literature’ or accompanying video (which trades on a mixture of violent revenge fantasies and ‘chicks dig violence’ machismo) which of the martial arts you’ll be taught in order to survive a ‘chav attack’. Kung fu? Taekwondo? Or is jujitsu better for repelling a chav’s savagery? Who knows, maybe the traditional forms of self-defence aren’t sufficient to deal with the chav’s menace & guile, forcing the civic-minded folks at Gymbox to invent a type of self-defence which is more suited to 21st century street fighting. The possibilities are endless; lessons could include: “How To Drop A Chav Without Dropping Your Kebab”, “Didn’t Pull Tonight? Then Shove A Hoodie On Your Way Home”, or “The Ultimate In Male Bonding: Form a Chav-Banging Gang!”
Or maybe it’s just a last resort for sad little men who don’t have the friends to field a 5-a-side football team to try to raise their sagging self-esteem through fantasies about beating up teenagers. Y’know, like real men do.
Well, each to their own, I guess.
The Catch the Fire Ministries has tried to blame the bushfires disaster on laws decriminalising abortion in Victoria.
The Pentecostal church’s leader, Pastor Danny Nalliah, claimed he had a dream about raging fires on October 21 last year and that he woke with “a flash from the Spirit of God: that His conditional protection has been removed from the nation of Australia, in particular Victoria, for approving the slaughter of innocent children in the womb”.
He quoted a headline describing the fires as “The Darkest hour for Victoria”. “A few months ago the news media should have reported `the darkest hour for the unborn’, but unfortunately the `Decriminalisation of Abortion bill’ went through parliament and was passed, thus making many people call Victoria `the baby killing state of Australia,’ ” Mr Nalliah said.
Pastor Nalliah said there may be criticism. But he said he did not send out his media statement thoughtlessly. “We spend two days working on it.”
He had previously said drought and the world financial crisis could be partly blamed on human sin.
There’s much I don’t understand about these lunatics, but foremost is this: assuming that what the Pastor says is true, why would anyone in their right mind want to worship such a vindictive God? You’d have to have serious self-confidence issues to pray to someone who’d endorse such suffering.
I wish I could say this was some kind of joke, but alas, it seems the ‘clean coal’ industry really is this desperate…
Treehugger has even more, if you can stand it.
I’m sure it’s a secret only shared among members of the gilded media elite, but I would love for someone to explain why the BBC is so infatuated with Kelvin MacKenzie.
For a start, they’d do well to remember that he was editor of a newspaper for which Beeb-hating is its raison d’etre; you’d surely think the instinct of self-preservation would dissuade them from giving a mic to a guy who hates their very existence.
But this isn’t really about that; the BBC is free to fawn over anti-license fee acolytes if it so chooses, I just wish their airtime was after the watershed. And on a channel nobody watches. Nor is this even about the spite his newspaper spat in the faces of working people during the 1980′s – if the corporation excluded people on that basis, they’d have to impose a media blackout on half the Conservative Party.
No, this is really about The Lie. The Lie to end all lies. A Lie of such magnitude that it makes ‘I did not have sex with that woman’, ‘the sword of truth‘ and ‘I’d like to report a missing child‘ seem like minor fibs. A Lie he authored, defended and still defends to this day, and which continues to haunt and hurt its victims. You know The Lie I’m talking about, right?
In almost any other walk of life (aside from professional politics, of course) making such a disgraceful error, and then standing by that error over a decade later, would make you persona non grata in your own profession. If you were a doctor, you’d be struck off. If you were a builder, you’d struggle to find work. But if you’re a mendacious media rent-a-mouth, the market will embrace you with open arms.
And so on the BBC’s Breakfast news, MacKenzie was brought on to advocate for James Purnell’s welfare reforms. Quite what qualifies him as an expert on welfare provision – or an expert on anything other than the art of tabloid slime – is beyond me, but there he was, on that plush, license fee funded sofa, explaining that (I’m paraphrasing here) poor people can go fcuk themselves. It was like a ghostly, ghastly echo from the eighties.
And he’ll be back in few weeks time, no doubt, armed with tabloid-pleasing quotes and hackneyed ‘analysis’, and the BBC will once again ignore the hurt his appearances continues to cause to The Lie’s victims, simply because he makes good TV. And we wonder why everyone wants a career in the media.
Update: Sorry for betraying my usual temperate self, but some people just incite enraged ranting.
Tags: Melanie Phillips
Since I still remember the right-wing gloating which accompanied Bush’s victory over John Kerry, I tried to stop myself from indulging in any schadenfreude over the Democrats’ victory this time around. Granted, I had to quit blogging for a few days, but I reckon that was some admirable self-restraint on my part.
That said, there was no misery I enjoyed more than that of Melanie Phillips. Phillips, in case you need reminding, exists in two very different political spheres. In Britain, she writes for the respectable Spectator, where she spits out the same yawnsome yarn about how the liberal-left is responsible for the end of civilisation. But when writing about America, she exists on a diet of hard-right partisans and part-time ‘journalists’ whose obsessive, inaccurate and heavily deterministic reading of the President-elect’s past leads them all to one magical conclusion: the dude’s basically Chairman Mao with better cheekbones.
Yep, Mel was so certain of Obama’s radical socialism that in the aftermath of the election she wrote a post declaring the end of America and everything in it, but then the President-elect went & picked a bunch of moderates to head his economic & national security teams, and some on the right started wondering whether their panic attacks were a little misplaced. We should count ourselves lucky, then, that Phillips still pokes her head out of that nuclear bunker in Londonistan to remind everyone of the hammer & sickle which remains tatooed to his chest:
For sure, he has made some solid and reassuring appointments, such as his Treasury team. But did anyone really believe that a radical president would appoint obvious radicals to key roles in his administration? Maybe he really was a centrist all along. But if not, the one thing Obama is not going to do is torpedo his presidency at the very start by displaying a radical bent.
As rhetorically speaking puts it, “you see, Obama’s failure to behave like a crazy radical is in fact proof that he is a crazy radical. It is a double-super-secret-reverse-blind to trick us all.”
She doesn’t stop there, of course; the burden of being a supersleuth is that you’ll stop at nothing until the whole horrible truth has been revealed. And so she brings us ‘news’ about the ‘Obama advisor’, ‘terrorist apologist’ and ‘Israel-hater’ Robert Malley, who has, on strict instruction from Obama, been asking Egypt & Syria how America might bend to their ‘dastardly’ will:
There are other unsettling indications that Obama may already be running a shadow foreign policy. Robert Malley, one of Clinton’s Oslo negotiators, is one of America’s most outspoken apologists for Palestinian terrorism against Israel and claims that Syrian, Lebanese and Iranian attacks against Israel are all Israel’s fault. The Obama campaign distanced itself from Malley last May after the Times reported that he was meeting regularly with Hamas leaders. But a few days after Obama’s election, Malley travelled to Syria, ostensibly under the aegis of the appeasement-minded International Crisis Group. Yet one of his aides told FrontPage Magazine that acting on Obama’s instructions, Malley traveled to Cairo and Damascus to tell Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Syria’s President Assad that ‘the Obama administration would take into greater account Egyptian and Syrian interests.’ And as Caroline Glick reported, Hamas terror operative Ahmad Youssef told the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper that in the months leading up to his election, Obama’s advisers held steady contacts with the leaders of the terror group in Gaza, and had asked that Hamas keep the meetings secret in order not to harm Obama’s chances of being elected.
Gosh, sounds horrible. So why did I use surround ‘Obama advisor’, ‘terrorist apologist’ and ‘Israel-hater’ in quotation marks? Well, as Lord Patten points out in this letter of complaint to the Spectator, none of those descriptions are even remotely true:
From: The Rt Hon Lord Patten of Barnes C.H.Dear Sir,
Your article, “Carpe diem — or can we all relax now?” by Melanie Phillips (26 November 2008), repeats a number of patently false assertions about Robert Malley that are currently blighting the more dubious corners of the internet and do not belong in a respected publication.
Mr Malley did not work for the Obama campaign, nor is he working for the transition team. He did not travel anywhere for Obama, neither before nor after the election. His work on the Middle East in recent years has been in his role as the Middle East and North Africa Programme Director of the International Crisis Group, where I am currently co-chairman.
Ms Phillips uses a quote from a US publication, but neither she nor the original author bothered to check the veracity of that statement with Mr Malley or the International Crisis Group. In fact, no “aide” of Mr Malley could have told anyone anything, as Mr Malley has no aides.
A simple phone call to the International Crisis Group when writing the article would have cleared up all of these points, but your author apparently found it easier simply to copy-and-paste a libellous statement from an American web page.
Ms Phillips’ blunt assertions that Mr Malley is somehow anti-Israel also represent a completely unwarranted attack given his dedicated efforts to achieve Middle East peace over the years. What is more, these types of spurious accusations have been publicly addressed — and completely undermined — by a March 2008 letter in The New York Review of Books from a group of other US heavyweights in Arab-Israeli affairs: Samuel (Sandy) Berger, Former National Security Adviser; Ambassador Martin Indyk, Former Ambassador to Israel and Egypt and Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs; Ambassador Daniel C. Kurtzer, Former Ambassador to Israel; Aaron David Miller, Former Senior Adviser for Arab–Israeli Negotiations, Department of State; Ambassador Dennis Ross, Former Special Envoy of the President to the Middle East.
This incident is symptomatic of Phillips’ sloppy, credibility-crushing approach to writing about American politics. Having seemingly done no research of her own, her posts depend entirely on the slime-drenched stories she finds in the trough of the right wing blogosphere being accurate. But they hardly ever are. As we’ve already documented, her writings are full of basic factual errors, slurs, exaggerations and unreliable, disreputable sources. As examples of journalism, her posts on American politics are thoroughly bankrupt.
Lord Patten closes his complaint with this:
The Spectator article has sullied the reputation of one of the most committed analysts and peace advocates in the field of Middle East affairs today. It is unworthy of your pages, and I believe an immediate apology and correction are in order.
He’ll be waiting a long time for an apology, and probably an eternity before she stops trading in the type of tarring & feathering which has become her raison d’etre, but perhaps this one precious moment of accountability will force this most fact-averse of journalists to briefly clean up her act.
Image by RW Photobug (Creative Commons)
Global reactions to Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri’s controversial condemnation of U.S. President-Elect Barack Obama as a “House Slave” (or, alternatively, “House Negro”) have begun to pour in — including via the top jihad web forums used by Al-Qaida to disseminate its propaganda. Though hardcore Al-Qaida supporters have predictably dismissed any criticism of Dr. al-Zawahiri and are fiercely backing his choice of words, there is a rather ironic (if not entirely unfamiliar) twist to this issue. After observing international press reporting on the incident, these same supporters are now bitterly attacking the media for its “unfair” pro-Obama bias and for deliberately “confusing” the meaning of al-Zawahiri’s message.
Yeah, that line of attack didn’t work too well for John McCain either.
Memo to terrorists: Don’t ever mock the Obamessiah. You have no idea of the kind of adulation you’re up against…
At this point I really have nothing more to add in the way of commentary, so just imagine me rolling my eyes and sighing a lot:
Al-Qaida delivered its first response to America’s election today in a video that used racial abuse against Barack Obama, and said the president-elect did not represent a genuine force for change.
He resorted to racial slurs to make his point, calling Obama a “house slave” in Arabic who just did the bidding of his white masters. Subtitles supplied by al-Qaida translated the term as “house negro”.
The video, which ran more than 11 minutes, called Obama the “direct opposite of honourable black Americans” such as Malcolm X.
I suppose you should call this a work in regress. Back in 2003, the execrable, homophobic loon Bounty Killer weaseled out of some UK concerts after Peter Tatchell & OutRage! called for him to be arrested for inciting violence against gay people.
Five years later, the Metropolitan Police have decided that Mr Killer ain’t all that bad, and providing he doesn’t perform songs where he says things like ‘burn the queer’ (it’ll be a very short set, I guess), then they’re okay with him spreading what I’m sure is his primary message of peace, love & understanding.
Both Tatchell & Brett are completely correct to point out that if a musician tried to enter Britain with a songbook of ballads about white supremacy, he or she would struggle to find a visa, let alone a venue.
Maybe the soft, passive, ‘well, the last time he played a concert no gays were killed’ way of dealing with things has its merits, and if anyone has a clue what they are, I’d be happy to be enlightened. But I don’t see how we’re going to succeed in erasing homophobia when the police’s actions seem to imply that it’s less of a social evil than racism.
Via Brett at Harry’s Place, a woman called ‘shirley’ comments on this slightly bonkers story about a council which has banned the phrase ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’ because it somehow offends us atheists. Naturally, she takes it as an affront to the British way of life, and is in no doubt about who’s to blame:
goole 10/11/2008 08:53:39
councils are reaslly getting more and more stupid – this is an old english saying and it is stupid to ban it. The foreigners should realise they came here willingly, they were not forced to come and by the same reasoning if they dont like it they either accept it or return back to where they come from It is time now for all councils to stand together and honour the english way and the traditions. Thankfully my local town council are still having christmas lights.
At which point the foreigners in the audience are entitled to turn around and ask ‘huh, what did I do?!’ Just a minute later shirley realises she’s blaming the wrong scapegoat but… well… je ne regrette rien springs to mind.
goole 10/11/2008 08:54:47
I appear to have become mixed up with atheists and foreigners, but the sentiments are still the same.
I think Mark Twain said it best:
“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”