It’s the Tabloid Bullshit of the Month Awards. That’s right, each month WesternEye will trawl crawl through the vile spew of the tabloids (& yes, this includes The Daily Mail) and bring you the best of their lies and irrelevant titbits. If we can be bothered, we might make a trophy out of toothpicks and post-its and mail it to them. I’ll let you know.
To make matters worse we will also find the most irrelevant news story we can possibly come up with, and print that. Be prepared for some, frankly shocking, multinational-corporation-fruit-juice related news.
This month; the adventures of ToastWoman, employment according to The Daily Express, wise words from The Sun’s News in Briefs and from the forefathers of scaremongering and bullsh*t The Daily Mail we have guide to coping with depression and the “truth about unemployment”.
To ToastWoman then! Whilst not strictly a lie, ToastWoman is the single worst piece of “news” that the red-tops have vomited into the world this month. It’s simply not news. Essentially someone from Cheshire has made a mosaic of their mother-in-law. Out of toast, the bloody mentalist! What a crazy, crazy world we live in. Thank you Metro for enriching all of our lives.
Moving on from ToastWoman (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write), we have The Daily Mail, a publication which will probably become a mainstay of these pages. The Daily Mail, for those that need reminding, is the paper who told us that Stephen Gately was evil and who give regular column inches (and around £800,000 p/a) to “professional bigot” Richard Littlejohn. Notice the use of quote marks there. Cunning. This month, The Mail had a sneaky look at depression. Given that 1 in 4 of us is likely to suffer from it over the course of our lifetimes, one might think they would approach it carefully. Think again sensible folk, beneath a photograph of a sad looking clown (yes, a clown) The Mail of course went with “Want to beat depression? Do what I did – just get a grip!”.
Wow. A more sensible suggestion would have been “Stop reading this paper”.
Staying with The Mail, and sneaking in just after last issue’s deadline, was a beautiful piece about unemployment, one of the paper’s major bugbears. Most people only read the headlines, which is important here as The Mail blew our minds with “1.6m benefits claimants have never had a job ‘because it does not pay to work’”. Of course the article did not back this up, because these statistics simply do not exist. Yes we know roughly the level of unemployment in the UK, but we do not know why. But it’s OK, because The Mail put it into speech marks, which means you can pretty much say anything. Observe: Most Daily Mail journalists are “violent, racist psychopaths with too much power, and more arse hair than brain cells”.
And the final smattering of lies for you this month comes from The Daily Express, a paper read mainly by people who think that satire is a dish of marinated and skewered meats, served with a peanut sauce.
The Express has decided, and frankly we’re not sure how, that two thirds of all new jobs in the UK go to immigrants. Looking at the figures from the Economic and Labour Market Review, they appear to be onto something. The total column shows a discrepancy rise of 4.5% between immigrants and non-immigrants in the job market. Looking promising. But then it all falls apart when you realize that the figures don’t discriminate between new jobs and jobs that already existed. It just sounds better to argue it like that; the subtext being that Britain is going downhill due to more immigration and less opportunities for non-immigrants. Unfortunately even this argument is rendered, at best, absurd by The Express themselves. In 2007, the figure they reported was not a paltry two-thirds, but “ALL” (in bright red capitals). So as it turns out, The Daily Express thinks that immigration is going down. Shot themselves in the foot a little there. Well done.
Still, at least The Sun managed to salvage the Red Top’s blushes by finding the world’s most intellectual glamour model to grace Page 3. A few days after the last WesternEye was printed, Danni, 23 from Coventry reckoned “PM David Cameron was wise to serve up mince pies to angry union bosses during talks. She said: Spanish born philosopher George Santayana had it right when he said, ‘There is nothing to which men, while they have food and drink cannot reconcile themselves”. Of course she did. Why is Times New Ironic not a font yet?
And finally, it’s WesternEye’s irrelevant news item of the month. Stuck for ideas to rival the banality of ToastWoman (who by now deserves her own theme tune), it looked like this part of the feature was going to be lost. That was until Abbie Chesher’s Freedom of Information request to the BBC was revealed by Twitter user BadJournalism. The all important information she required? How much per year (of the tax payers money) does the corporation spend on orange squash? The shocking answer? “Orange squash is not offered on any of the BBC’s hospitality menus across the estate”. Now that’s news.