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Futility revisited/Blacksmith

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Futility revisited/Blacksmith

Post  Annabel on Wed 1 Feb - 21:30

http://blacksmithbureau.blogspot.com/

The Blacksmith Bureau

Wednesday, 1 February 2012
Futility revisited

DICK:The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.Shakespeare, Henry VI part two.

Anyway, we came out yesterday and admitted that if we have to choose between the lawyers and the tabloids we support the latter; historically the lawyers have always been the enemy of free speech.

It’s no coincidence that the Bureau’s view of the press “crisis” is the direct opposite of the inquiry’s. Just as we believe the media only began to tell some of the truth about the McCanns after July and the real scandal was the way they’d reported the affair before then, so we believe that the real problem with UK journalism lies with the so-called quality newspapers, not the tabloids.

We agree with the coarse and crude (he’s Australian after all) Rupert Murdoch view: if people want to read trashy tabloids full of celebrity tripe with tits on page three, piles of adverts for internet gambling (a true reflection of what the tabloids really think of their readership) with some over-simplified news slipped into the pot then it’s their right to do so.

Feel the quality

The “quality” press is a different matter. Preoccupied by weak finances and declining readership,it has blindly refused to combat the infiltration of its pages by people and organizations with an agenda. For decades now, as the Bureau has described exhaustively, whole industries have been growing up dedicated to penetrating and using the quality press: about 80% of the paper is created by bodies feeding the journalists, either openly, as with the press conferences organized by charities, unions and other visible pressure groups, or semi-openly, like the corrupt travel and motoring pages or secretly by the vast PR and lobbying industry—an industry, by the way, packed with lawyers.

They don’t bother with the tabloids much because nobody except the thickos really believes what they read there. The qualities, however, still have the false, if diminishing, reputation that if something appears in them then it’s probably true, a situation worsened by the increase in news opinion pages—easier to corrupt— at the expense of factual reporting.

The significance of the McCann affair is that for the first time a spotlight was shone on the way that information professionals—from PR companies, legal practices and government information departments–were shaping the news reported in the qualities. Not only have these papers never admitted what they knew was going on but they actively encourage it by using the conventions taken over from the original infiltrators, the political correspondents. Did you ever read a paper which said “the following stuff comes from a dodgy source that you can read but shouldn’t trust”? Unthinkable, isn’t it? Instead we have “a pal told us”, “sources say ” “a friend of the family said”— deliberate lies.

And so we reached the position that by late 2007 The Times was used (“Beyond the Smears”) by Gerry McCann to plant secret material regarding Jane Tanner’s baby monitor in the public domain in his own interest, something which its wretched reporter only admitted when confronted by a clever German blogger.

Enter the judge

And what does the Leveson inquiry have to say about this sink of misinformation and corruption and what might be done to clean it up? Nothing. It hasn’t even noticed it.

But then what can one expect from a supposed legal tribunal that, as we wrote yesterday, had clearly determined before any hearings were held to treat witnesses differently according to prior assumptions? Some of them were to be aggressively examined by the absurdly smug and self-righteous Jay while others had their written evidence accepted virtually without question or demur. Is this sort of goodies and baddies, victims and persecutors, soap-opera view of the world a basis on which to recommend legislation limiting free speech? Does it reflect reality?

leveson jay

Mr Sneer QC. We prefer the one on the left.

So we had the nauseating spectacle of the bearded Jay, who asks his questions from behind his hand as though hiding bad teeth and worse breath, and the toad-like Leveson, treating the surprisingly dignified and sensible Peter Hill, editor of the Express in 2007, like a bad smell. Had they bothered to listen carefully to Hill’s evidence–and we invite those interested in the subject to read the transcript—they would have learned much about how the media work. But they didn’t listen: they mocked and sneered.

Can you hear the sneers?

Man with beard: And the answer is what? What did you do to check on the validity of those stories?

Peter Hill: We did the best that we could do, which was not very much.

Q. Which was nothing, wasn't it?

A. I'm not saying it was nothing, but we tried our best.

Q. Okay. But against that, of course, you had another eye on the circulation figures, didn't you?

A. One always has an eye on the circulation.

--------

imagesCAOWFI09

Peter Hill, enemy of the people, before receiving the death sentence

Is that a neutral attempt to discover the truth? Read some more.

A. I felt that the stories should be published because there was reason to believe that they might possibly be true.

Q. So that was a sufficient basis: reason to believe that they might possibly be true, so we'll whack it in the paper. That's true, isn't it?

A. I don't use expressions like "whack it in the paper". I find that to be a very judgmental expression.

Q. Yes, well, I don't actually apologise for it. I'm going to carry on. At the same time, Mr Hill, you knew –

A. The fact of the matter is that this is a public Inquiry. And I do not believe that I am on trial.

Q. I'm sorry, Mr Hill, I'm just going to carry on.

A. But I think you are putting me on trial.

--------

Judge grovels on hands and knees – latest

Rather different from this, don’t you think? No we’re not making it up: it also comes from the transcript – except for our italics.

LORD TOAD: [sinks to knees] Before we start, you've probably heard me thank others before you for coming along,voluntarily, to speak of matters which I have no doubt are intensely personal and extremely sensitive, and I am [chokes back sob] very, very grateful to you for doing so. In your case, of course, nobody, and in particular nobody with children, could fail to appreciate the terrible impact of your daughter's abduction on you and your family, so words of sympathy for these appalling circumstances are utterly inadequate, but I am very grateful to you for coming.[rolls on back]

---------

Urgh! You can tell they’re going to get a really rough and probing ride, can’t you?

Finally, for those like the Jay and the Toad who swallowed Gerry McCann’s untruthful line that the UK media really had “turned on” the McCanns in summer 2007 because they wanted new, invented and sensationalist stories, have a look, for once, at a neutral view: The McCanns' Trial by Media - TIME in September 2007 beginning:

“There's been no shortage of surprises in the ongoing saga of Madeleine McCann, the 4-year-old British girl who disappeared from her family's vacation apartment in Portugal more than four months ago — the biggest shock occurring earlier this month when Portuguese police officially named her parents as suspects. Still, it was somewhat stunning when a YouGov poll published in the Sunday Times of London this week found that only 20% of Britons think Gerry and Kate McCann are completely innocent.

That indicates a huge disconnect between the public and Britain's many and multifaceted newspapers, which are usually adept at playing to their readers' biases. The press here — from populist tabloids to serious-minded dailies — has largely been unswerving in its support of the McCanns. [our emphasis] "Madeleine: Her Mother is Innocent," shouted Wednesday's Daily Express. "Torture," declared Sunday's The People over a picture of Kate McCann, Madeleine's mother. And Chris Roycroft-Davis, a media consultant and Express commentator, thinks that's how it should be. "The media have been very, very sympathetic toward the McCanns, quite rightly so," he said on a Sunday morning BBC Radio 2 program.”

Doesn’t quite tally with the McCann version, does it?

But who cares?

Still, as we said the inquiry is becoming irrelevant. The press itself is looking for new models as the failure of the “quality” pretence becomes clearer. The Guardian, having lost hundreds of millions over the last few years despite its large-scale tax avoidance, now says that it is considering closing the paper edition completely and going 100% on line, an admission of the depth of its failure. And the Murdoch group has been exposed as a nest of criminals with consequences we can’t yet foresee.

Meanwhile, thank God, the internet is here and the public can get behind the newsfeeds to find out more. They can also see some things for themselves – such as how the tribunal witnesses performed. Better than sitting like fat, passive Strasbourg geese waiting to have the Clarence Mitchell version stuffed down their throats.
Posted by john blacksmith at 15:32

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Re: Futility revisited/Blacksmith

Post  Angelique on Fri 3 Feb - 0:34

Annabel

Thank you for this article from Blacksmith.

It is very good and needed to be said - all of it - over and over again.


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Re: Futility revisited/Blacksmith

Post  tanszi on Fri 3 Feb - 12:15

The truth is stranger than fiction. I was also surprised at the fawning and consideration given to a couple who left three children with a total age of 7, in an alledgedly unlocked apartment in a foreign country whilst they went out on the lash with friends. Talk is of the terrible impact on them and their family. What about the terrible impact that had on Madeleine, something isnt right here. jWhy does no one question the "misunderstandings" of jemmied shutters and other inconsistencies, jimo.

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Re: Futility revisited/Blacksmith

Post  Lillyofthevalley on Fri 3 Feb - 15:56

double post!!


Last edited by Lillyofthevalley on Fri 3 Feb - 15:59; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Futility revisited/Blacksmith

Post  Lillyofthevalley on Fri 3 Feb - 15:58

jWhy does no one question the "misunderstandings" of jemmied shutters and other inconsistencies, jimo.


Tanszi because the media have all been happy to tow the line, the Leveson enquiry has changed all that, especially Gerry and Kate sitting there the first week, sticking the knife into the papers that IMO actually helped them.......there arrogance knows no bounds, (as my mum says you dont bite the hand that feeds you!)you would have thought they would have stayed well out of the Leveson Show, but NO, NOT DRS MCCANNS.....

Now they are going to pay.....we all know the papers have always liked to build people/celebs up just to knock them down again, imo its the McCanns turn now

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Re: Futility revisited/Blacksmith

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