Friday, 17 October 2008

Feeding Kitty

"At least you won't have to feed kitty every day."

So said an American blogger who invited me to guest write on his blog, this being an alternative to starting up a new blog and committing myself to the daily "must feed kitty."

Not a bad euphemism really, particularly if you want to approach blogging with some degree of professionalism and as such give your readers something new and interesting on a daily basis.

I did for a while take up his offer and not for totally unselfish reasons, firstly it gave me somewhere to write and express myself, but more importantly I had to write within set parameters, those parameters being no profanity and no anger.

It did me the world of good, for when I eventually started Only In America blog it was my second attempt of publishing a blog under that name, the first blog was quite simply an angry rant.
An angry rant that did me no good in the writing of and no good for anybody in the reading of, let's face it an occasional rant is OK but no one, myself included, wants to read a constant tirade of anger and vitriol.

This by the way is not the reason why the blogs have been closed, I just thought I would mention it in passing .

The blogs were closed because quite frankly I needed timeout, timeout from feeding Kitty and timeout to break the cycle of feeding said cat.

As the McCann situation has developed to where it stands today usable material has become increasingly scarce and harder to develop, increasingly more time consuming to the point of becoming a full time job and lastly, and not unimportantly, as the McCann situation has become humorless so have the graphics.

There are however occasions when a bit of material is handed to me on a plate so to speak, a non finer example of what is below, not the most humorous I admit but oh so fitting.

So peeps what I am saying is, I shall open up the blogs but I shall be posting at my leisure so don't be expecting new stuff every day.


Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Indeed a Shabby Bit of Journalism Mister Greenslade

Why then I can but wonder did you write it in the first place? methinks the hacks at the Screws are not alone in "inhabiting some kind of parallel universe."

I shall not bother to highlight some of the more nauseating passages in the drivel you have penned, the entire article is a vomit inducing testament to bad journalism and your jaundiced support of "a grief-stricken woman."

Why the press needs to highlight the sins of the News of the World
by Roy Greenslade

Last week I revealed that the News of the World was in trouble for publishing Kate McCann's diaries without her permission. Yesterday the paper duly apologised for having done so, causing yet more grief to a grief-stricken woman.
But it was a mealy-mouthed apology, carried on page 2 (the original article having been on page 1 and two full inside pages). You can read the "apology" in full here, but note the weasel words:
"We published the extracts in the belief held in good faith that we had Kate's permission to do so. It is now clear that our belief was misplaced, and that in fact Kate neither approved of nor knew that the extracts were to be published."
This is a breathtaking excuse for having screwed up. I understand that the paper had not sought a written agreement, had not spoken to Mrs McCann and had no clear-cut verbal agreement. So let's call "good faith" blind faith. There is no way that the paper would have apologised (and donated money to the Find Madeleine campaign) unless it knew that it had done wrong.
Note also these unctuous sentences:
"Upon learning of our error we immediately removed the extracts from our website and we today offer Kate our immediate and sincere apologies...
"The News of the World remains wholly supportive of the McCanns and their continuing campaign to find their daughter."
It removed the website articles after lawyers intervened. As for being "wholly supportive", it was so supportive it was happy enough to run copyrighted material without permission. It was wholly supportive by intruding further into the privacy of a mother grieving the loss of her vanished four-year-old daughter. It was wholly supportive by feigning sympathy for the McCann family while trying to win sales through a tawdry "exclusive".

But why am I alone in condemning the journalism - the so-called journalism - of the News of the World? The BBC and Sky News did see fit to mention the apology on their bulletins, and carry the story of their websites, here and here. But the paper's scandalous behaviour was ignored by the press. Why should that be?

I think national paper editors tend to believe the News of the World inhabits some kind of parallel universe. It is so far below the salt that it doesn't matter. Better to ignore it altogether.

In fact, as Britain's largest-selling title, it should be monitored carefully and its continual breaches of journalistic ethics - not to mention breaches of the editors' code of practice - should be exposed. They contribute mightily to the widespread public distaste for the press.

And lest we forget, this is not some isolated error. The paper's editor, Colin "Calamity" Myler, was previously fired from an editorship (of the Sunday Mirror) for poor journalistic judgment. He was also responsible for the sleazy journalism that led to a privacy victory by Max Mosley over the News of the World. And this is the man who has broken a pledge made in November last year to change the NoW's agenda.

He told fellow editors at the time that his paper would run fewer sex and drugs celebrity stings. He told them: "I personally believe that stories about celebrities misbehaving - well, that's a surprise, isn't it?" Instead, he promised that the paper would look more often at "other issues... that affect the fabric of society."

This week's "other issues" affecting society's fabric were a collection of soft porn revelations about a footballer's alleged girlfriend being an alleged hooker (plus titillating video), an actress's alleged desire for a lesbian fling (plus slideshow and video) and an "online exclusive" about the alleged "sex secrets" of a Strictly Come Dancing contestant.

Sure, this may be what people want, and the NoW - employing the rationale of a pornographer - is merely satisfying their appetite. But the paper is considered to be part of the British press. If the rest of the nationals avert their gaze from its misdemeanours then it's no wonder that it goes on doing as it likes week after week, dragging us all through the mire.

And it is the reason that Kate McCann was crying with frustration a week ago at the wholly unwarranted use of her personal diaries. source

 Not surprisingly then after reading this sycophantic drivel that 3A's poster CloudCastle penned this little tribute in the form of an open letter to Greenslade.


What's your blind spot with the McCanns, or are you simply using them to have a go at Colin Myler?

Let's put aside this class-warfare nonsense, shall we? It doesn't matter what class the kids were. The McCann kids and those of the rest of their party were left alone in their apartments most nights of the week's holiday while their parents went out to dinner. Madeleine, at 3, was the eldest.

Do you, like xxxxxx above, actually believe the McCanns' claims of an abduction? What piece of evidence makes you think this? The released police files show no evidence of an abduction. All that we have is a claim by Jane Tanner that she saw someone carrying a little girl, at a a time when both Gerry McCann and an independent witness say Tanner was not on the street. The waiting staff at the Tapas restaurant state she didn't leave the table. The police found no evidence of damage to the shutters or fingerprints other than those of Kate McCann and the handprint of a less than careful policeman. The only other sighting that supports the view that the child was carried away is that of Mr Smith, who says he is 60% certain the man he saw was Gerry.

(No opinions here, just evidence from the police files.)

On the other hand, we have sniffer dogs who indicate the odour of a dead body in the McCanns' apartment and hire car, on the car key, on Kate and Madeleine's clothing and on the child's soft toy. In no other cars or apartments searched did the dogs indicate odour or blood. Since being released from arguido/arguida status, the McCanns have failed to address any of the contradictions in their statements or the issues raised by the dogs, not least because the British press has not raised these questions with them.

Over the last eighteen months, we've witnessed how far the standards of British journalism have fallen. Sections of the UK press have merely cut and pasted the most outlandish claims not only of the Portugese press, but the McCann PR team. We've had endless sympathetic hand-wringing opinion columns from writers - I hesitate to call them journalists - who never leave their desks. We've had articles like this one by Roy - an article about an article about the retrospectively written teenage-ramblings of Kate McCann. We've had Lori Campbell in the Mirror pointing the finger at the wrong man, Robert Murat, and getting the Young Journalist of the Year Award for it. We've seen packs of journalists chasing sightings of little girls around the streets of Brussels.

Show me, please, one article in 2008 where the editor of a newspaper has given his reporter the freedom to investigate this case properly. Where are the interviews with the Tapas 7, whose stories simply contradict one another? Why have we seen no interview with Brian Kennedy, who bankrolled the McCanns and flew down to 'interview' Robert Murat? Why has no paper investigated how the Madeleine Fund, a limited company not a charity, has spent the hundreds of thousands of pounds sent to it from children, parents and grandparents from all over the world, details it refuses to make transparent?

Is investigative reporting just too hard for your colleagues today, Roy? Is it easier, not just cheaper, to regurgitate press releases or quote 'a friend of the family'?

Is that why, Roy, the press needs to highlight the sins of the News of the World? Is it because it's easier and cheaper than highlighting the sins of the McCanns?
CloudCastle Sep 23 08,

H/T CloudCastle for penning the reply and NHS: The McCann's Abuse of Power for saving said reply.