Posted by: docdenbow | September 30, 2012

I Read It In The Paper So It’s True

Please note that this was written and published before the Exposure programme was braodcast

They say there’s no smoke without fire, but is that true? The press has been full of stories about Justin Lee Collins’ relationship with an ex-girlfriend. I’m not too happy with the way that Justin’s name has been dragged through the Courts in a minor blaze of publicity. It seems as if the press are being very quick to condemn the alleged actions on the part of Justin, but when his Barrister begins the rebuttal I wonder just how much publicity will be generated?

Then in the last day or 2 there are the stories that the press have been very quick to print, without fear, about Sir Jimmy Savile. Now as I am certain that you now Sir Jimmy Savile is dead. These allegations have come when the body is still cooling in its’ grave. Sir Jimmy Savile has no one to defend him for he is gone. Surely in recent times we have seen far too many instances of trial by the media with us the great unwashed believing anything put before us due to the simple reason that it is in the papers or on telly. I am not disputing the sincerity of the claims, but just wonder why wait until until Sir Jimmy Savile is dead? If indeed these claims are true, then associates of Sir Jimmy Savile should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves, especially Esther Rantzen who is quoted in The Mail On Sunday….

“‘I feel that we in television, in his world, in some way colluded with him as a child abuser – because I now believe that’s what he was. We all blocked our ears. There was gossip, there were rumours.”

Hey ho Esther, hey ho.

Moving on………………………….

There was a rush to judgement about Liverpool fans with regards to the tragedy at Hillsborough in 1989. The fact that the 96 had friends and loved ones meant that there were literally hundreds of people across the UK fighting for truth on behalf of their behalf has meant that the press and the police have been shown for what they are –  economical with the truth. Moreover, we should never forget how the “challenged” Boris Johnson made heinous sweeping comments about the people of Liverpool in 2004 in a desire to jump on the bandwagon. In the wake of the execution of Ken Bigley in Iraq, in a column in The Spectator written by Mr. Johnson said that Liverpudlians “wallow” in their “victim status”, adding it is part of the “deeply unattractive psyche” of many in the city. He said that and was heard, but for 23 years the voices of the 96 was not heard, lost in the crosstalk and babble of manufactured disinformation. The power of the press?

From time to time the judiciary do get involved and try to rein in the power of the press and the media. 2011 was notable for the term “super injunction” entering our everyday language. These, although a little noxious and very expensive, did serve to protect the higher profile individuals in society from the rather scurrilous attention of sections of the gutter press. The use of these “super injunctions” was abused in my opinion, but they did serve the purpose of making the press a little more circumspect regarding what was printed. The phone tapping scandal  led to the demise of the NOTW so perhaps there is  justice out there. The NOTW ended up like many of its’ victims who got “caught out.”

We are told that the stories are published because they are in the public interest, but just how many of these tabloid enhanced “scandals” are in the public interest? The press print stories, often questioning the morals rather than the illegality of actions of the high profile individuals in society and try to take the high ground. For those amongst us who have adequate brain cells we can sort the wheat from the chaff, but there is a whole subculture and cross-section of the inhabitants of this sceptic isle who have their opinions formed for them from birth and they have narrow dogmatic views which are reinforced by the gutter press.

In this world of the internet, Twitter and suchlike, news travels fast. Stories which may or not be true spread like wildfire through Twitter and the veracity of these tales can rarely be checked. These tales can be harmless as “official” stories about who is going to be the new Manager of some football team, but can also be historic as the world was party to the Navy Seals landing in Abbotabad in pursuit of Bin Laden thanks to a Tweep. Some people view Twitter as the ultimate in terms of freedom of the press. Me, I’m not sure because at least the paper and TV have to pay at least lip service to checking their stories.

So what point am I making here?

Well that’s for you to decide…..

Ciao For Now



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