Tag Archives: daily mail

It’s Vine Time

16 Mar

Midday on Radio 2 and it’s time for the Jeremy Vine show. Those of you with too much time on your hands will have seen my recent Facebook updates and anticipated that a Vine blog post was brewing.  My posts are normally inspired by something that raises my temperature a little and Jeremy Vine (or the format of his show at least) does this on a daily basis without fail.

The format is described on the BBC website as “Jeremy Vine and guests discuss the news headlines and talk to the people making them”. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, the stories are even (on occasion) interesting. The BBC site then goes on to say: “Jeremy loves music. But he’s also a journalist. There aren’t that many shows that do music and news. In fact there’s only one.” Thank the lord for that. And there’s the nub of what I object to – the juxtaposition of ‘serious news’ (Japan earthquake/tsunami) and banal local news (today – whether it’s right to pick daffodils in parks) and jolly pop songs. Hold on folks, we’ll have to leave our Japan correspondent now as here comes some Sister Sledge … Is it just me or is this just plain silliness?

For those who think Jeremy doesn’t do enough damage on his own, the show is not short of ‘experts’ seeking airtime to make their point (as quickly as they can before the intro to Billy Jean takes over). Oh but really Jeremy, drafting in the Daily Mail science correspondent does not add to your show’s credibility in any way. What tipped me over the edge today was a pre-recorded snippet from an expert we all associate with hard-hitting news and serious journalism – Madonna. If I want to hear serious news and great music I listen to Jeremy Vine blah blah blah. Thanks Madge, there’s a Pulitzer on the way.

Jeremy Kyle – sorry Vine – is a serious journalist having presented Newsnight and been a political correspondent at Westminster. Okay, so there’s no harm in wanting to branch out and seek the attention of the broader public but as a clever man can he not see how pop-peppered news leaves it devoid of any seriousness?

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Mail madness

12 Oct

Yet again The Daily Mail has excelled itself in sensible and non-sensationalist journalism. I would laugh if it wasn’t so frighteningly influential. Yesterday they printed this story:  The foetus who broke into a big smile. As much as I hate to encourage people to read the Mail it’s worth a look. Unfortunately the online version isn’t as bonkers as the printed version was  so you won’t be able to fully appreciate the Mail’s ability to turn a simple tale into a moral panic.

Look how sweet it is – a lovely scan photo of a baby grinning merrily in the womb (quite possibly smiling at the cash mummy and daddy will be getting for the story). A photo to show at the child’s wedding no doubt. (“She was so happy even then!”) An inspiring picture which ranks alongside photos of Jesus on a piece of burnt toast or in the lid of a jar of Marmite. (Actually the Mail has already covered the appearance of Jesus in a baby scan: link. Why am I not surprised? Oh, and it gets worse – this one is thrilling: link).

But, in true Mail style, it becomes more sinister. According to the Mail, the fact that the baby is smiling at 17 weeks implies that an unborn child can experience feelings and emotions at a very early stage. “It will prompt further calls from doctors and campaigners to lower the upper abortion limit from 24 weeks. They claim that by this stage the unborn baby can already feel agonising pain and the procedure is therefore inhumane.” Read the print version and substitute “from doctors and campaigners” with “the Mail” and you can see where they’re going with this story. Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile. Watch out for their latest campaign to make the world a lovelier place. On the other hand don’t.

And if this makes you smile then it’s probably just wind.

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