8th Apr 2009
The race to the bottom continues in Australasia…
Meet Stephanie Mills, who is a former Greenpeace campaign leader with some 20 years experience appearing in that link as a guest on the TVNZ ‘Breakfast’ show with hosts Alison Mau and Paul Henry (who also does his fair share of talk radio).
Stephanie had been invited on that show to discuss the French Government’s decision to compensate people made ill by its nuclear testing in the Pacific.
Now take a look at the moment where Paul Henry, with the aid of some anonymous viewers, reduces his guest and her contribution to one single, irrelevant word:
Meanwhile, across the southern pond, the ABC reports on yet another “spectacular example of lousy journalism”; this time the publication of faked raunchy images of Pauline Hanson.
8th Apr 2009
“We turned to see the police hitting people. A whole line of them lashing out indiscriminately again and again. Two officers close to me who had “Police Medic” written on their back were walking up and down behind the line of their colleagues, protected from direct assault, reaching over and thrashing with the most gusto of all.” – (source)
UPDATE – Oops. I thought I was linking to the original earlier, but the original by amjamjazz can in fact be found here.
Via comments in the original photo thread; video footage of more madcap medics in action (relevant clip at about 2.05 onwards).
8th Apr 2009
“Not a lot in tomorrow’s papers. Oh well, I suppose it’ll be Jacqui Smith’s turn for a battering again…” Iain Dale (at 11pm last night)
“I hadn’t seen the video until I went to Sky last night to do the paper review.” Iain Dale (this morning)
No, he’d just read the reports and made his initial judgement (and a ‘funny’ joke or a Freudian slip of epic proportions) based on his prejudices.
Well, the damning nature of the video evidence may have dragged Iain closer to centre ground, but the doubts still continue from three of his main comment contributors, who appear to cling to some dim hope that Ian Tomlinson might have been strangling kittens moments before that policeman gave him a playful shove:
“The video clearly shows someone not co-operating with police requests to move on. Whether due to his incipient heart attack, drink or anything else, we can’t say.” – JuliaM
“You say he was ‘attempting to get home’, but the facts (i.e. the circuitous path he was taking on his way home) don’t seem to support that. You say he wasn’t abusing the police but how do you know? If a policeman is getting suspended/prosecuted for that shove I’d better turn myself in for some of the tackles I made playing football yesterday.” – PragueTory (Dominic Fisher) (more)
“The video said Ian Tomlinson was ‘attempting to get home from work’ – oh, really? So he just happened to be wearing plain clothes and accidentally found himself in front of a police cordon that was clearing the area of protestors during a mass gathering around the G20 summit? Please, don’t insult our intelligence. This was nothing more than a deliberate attempt to portray Ian as an innocent bystander when in reality he was very much part of the protest.” -
Letters from a Tory>
(See also: Quaequam Blog! – Does the right really value freedom? The acid test. For the record; I’d like the freedom to walk down the road and mind my own business or attend a protest without being attacked in this way.)
UPDATE (10.20) – No word from Iain about what may or may not have been meant as a joke. He deleted my first question about it, and has ignored the second.
UPDATE – (11.20) – Also, do read Mr Eugenides on the above Quaequam post.
7th Apr 2009
Guardian – Video reveals G20 police assault on man who died: Exclusive footage obtained by the Guardian shows Ian Tomlinson, who died during G20 protests in London, was attacked from behind by baton-wielding police officer
Kettling is wrong. Indiscriminate kettling now appears to have led to a man dying simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time… not that it would have been right to kill a man just because he had a far better idea of why police might be rounding up people in the street and hemming them in.
Inquiry now, please.
(See also: Jean Charles de Menezes)
UPDATE – Hm. That was silly of me. I forgot the lessons of this exchange. There are unseen moments between this event and Tomlinson’s collapse; he might’ve been hit by a bus or something.
While the paper that needs to do the most elegant reverse ferret has the most time between now and going to print, you should expect some odd noises from tabloids tomorrow, as they struggle to fit this clear turnaround of events into the tightest of schedules.
“This is exactly why it should never be illegal to photograph and film the police” – Stephen Mullen
Oh, and if you want to stage a demonstration about police conduct, you’ll probably need to fill out form 3175 or 3175a, a mind-focusing short-term consequence that’s only the chewy crust of this iceberg-sized shit sandwich:
Often at protest events in London, some police officers will have a number or letter missing from their lapels, and that’s just the start of it. The Met have been getting away with the use of this tactic and others for quite some time now, and I’d readily wager that several unsavoury tactics and practices will now come to light and make a political nuisance of themselves.
UPDATE – Interactive map of Ian Tomlinson’s last movements including accounts by eyewitnesses and Guardian video now available on YouTube. Share, share, share.
UPDATE – A photo of a police medic in action that is sure to impress you. Also, a couple of hours after the assault of Ian Tomlinson was captured on camera, this report went live on Indymedia; “We are current(ly) receiving reports from the Climate Camp in the city, that all people are going to be searched to be allowed out, as well as people are told to delete photos of officers from their cameras, under the threat of seizure.”
[MINI-UPDATE (10 Apr) - Headline altered for the sake of accuracy. Tomlinson was assaulted moments before his collapse, not his death. I would say 'heart attack', but let's wait for the second autopsy ordered by the IPCC, eh?]
7th Apr 2009
So the next time Craig has difficulty publicising this government’s complicity in torture, Iain Dale will withhold any publicity (via his website and/or his ‘politically neutral’ magazine) because of one comment that he chooses to take personally?
Bloody hell… there’s holding a grudge and there’s holding a grudge. I know this measure is typical of Iain (it’s one of the reasons why he is a poor ambassador for blogging and why no fair poll of weblogs can be conducted on his carefully-filtered website) but surely this is a hissy-fit too far.
(I can only assume the ” I have gone out of my way to support you” bit refers to the Usmanov post that Iain has waved in my face in the past; as if he were doing me/Craig a personal favour instead of standing up for a principle he believes in or any silly nonsense like that.)
6th Apr 2009
Either way, Glen Jenvey describes Jeremy Reynalds as a friend, they worked together to some extent on a book that has yet to see the light of day, and Jeremy Reynalds recently wrote two articles that were quite sympathetic toward our Mr Jenvey (one of which has since been removed):
(Psst! Don’t feel bad, boys; everybody who’s anybody is withdrawing articles without explanation these days, and I myself have a novel languishing in the doldrums.)
I’ve just been in touch with Jeremy Reynalds, who insists that he has “no advocacy position” on Glen Jenvey, and claims merely to have given Glen Jenvey an opportunity to tell his side of the story, as he felt there was an imbalance in reporting at the time; in his own words, Jeremy Reynalds’ intention was to “present Mr. Jenvey’s response to the charges against him and to share some of his perspective about why they surfaced,” as he felt this had not been done.
(For some reason, Mr Jenvey had little trouble getting his other conspiracy theories aired in tabloids, but could only rely on Jeremy Reynalds to air his claim that the Guardian were in league with extremists. This could simply be a budget-cutting credit-crunch thing, because lately even I have trouble getting any kind of response out of any of these people.)
However, after delivering one side of the story, Jeremy Reynalds appears to have failed to keep up with both sides of the story, as he now claims not to have heard from our Mr Jenvey in a month, and to be unaware of any accusations of sex crimes… i.e. the pile of turds currently at the centre of the story.
(Psst! A new round of freshly-crafted smears emerged at the weekend. All you need to know is that the only departure from the established plan/theme is that the perpetrator is no longer posing as a representative of the Daily Mail.)
One can only wonder when exactly the story ‘dried up’ for Mr Reynalds, because I didn’t catch any part where he pointed out that someone might have been wrong about the Guardian being in league with extremists thing, but at some stage he clearly stopped pursuing this dynamite story, so I can only assume that the leads stopped coming in… at about the time Mr Jenvey… stopped… calling………..*
… no, don’t mind me; I thought I saw a little revelation lurking in the shadows there, but it appears to be a trick of the light.
Anyway, as I’ve pointed out a couple of times now I’m experiencing some story imbalance myself in places, and Jeremy Reynalds appears to have dropped the ‘Guardian in league with extremists’ exclusive that was keeping him so busy… so I’ve asked him if he wouldn’t mind taking the time to tell my side of the story.
You know; to present my response to the charges against me and to share some of my perspective about why they surfaced, and like that.
I’ll let you know how I get on.
5th Apr 2009
3rd Apr 2009
(Pardon my tense… there’s a few things I’d like to put in the past.)
For the benefit of the archive:
This post first went live when the Dunblane/Express petition was delivered, as elements of the mainstream media made false claims about G20 protestor violence on par with Hillsborough. At that time, it was mostly beyond the remit of the PCC to do anything about an article that wasn’t about you personally, and the libel laws were mostly a set of tools for rich bullies wishing to silence critics while denying them their day in court.
Recent events showed that few newspapers allowing comments were publishing any criticism of substance, and they rarely if ever engaged under comments, which is an entirely un-blog-like thing to do, and certainly not on during a phase where mainstream media companies were trying to horn in on the blogging action while rubbishing the reputations of those in their way (i.e. us).
Further, a combination of economic forces and selfishness was leading to widespread sackings and an alarming downturn in quality, as profit was shoved ahead of the public interest more often and to clearly unacceptable extremes.
On this blog/week alone, I found myself chasing editors of The Times, The People, the Daily Star, The Sun, the Daily Mail, the Express, the Sunday Express, The Scottish Sun and even The Independent with really quite valid concerns, but hearing back from none of them, presumably because ‘more money’ equals ‘better than’.
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Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve all seen the recent/sudden downturn in the quality and reliability of mainstream news and comment, coinciding with alarming outbreaks of carelessness and sheer malice in some places.
We’ve got at least one rogue publisher (Richard Desmond) thumbing his nose at the PCC, and while every news outlet is begging us for chunks of our private lives that they can publish for profit (with or without our permission), no bugger will answer our emails or address our concerns when something that is clearly false has been published, and no effort has been made to remove, correct or (Dog forbid) alert readers to the error. Meanwhile, pretty much the same applies to the (blissfully) few ‘leading bloggers’ who claim to be challenging the establishment.
The only news outlet that’s in any way compelled to answer is the BBC, who find themselves crippled since Andrew Gilligan shot off his fat gob, and under constant attack by the same parties described in the previous paragraph (i.e. those who demand accountability of others, yet think themselves above it).
Clearly the time has come for us to form organised squads and start hitting people with sticks.
If you’re of a mind to do something positive and powerful about outright lies in the media, I invite you to join the Media Watch Rock-a-Hula, now in progress.
Much like Sun Lies and Mail Watch, the job (described in detail here) is to target outright lies, document them where possible (on your own site if you wish), and pursue a correction with vigour when circumstances call/allow for it.
While I expect this to be a modest-sized crowd with maybe a few dozen experienced/dedicated bloggers, writers and researchers on board at first, there are roles that pretty much anyone can play.
Yes, even you.
You could easily be that one person in a thousand with the right expertise, contacts, access or influence required to get a specific job done quickly, and if not, someone has to carry the pitchforks and kerosene.
Anything you do will be on a strictly voluntary basis and you can do it with or without a website. You’ll probably even learn a few things as we go along, and as natural talent groups form within the crowd (as they usually do), we can casually give birth to little beasties like the long-overdue Express Watch and more.
And it is with that (and that only) in mind that you should join me on Twitter, as that is all I plan to use it for:
More sign-up options (e.g. a mailing list) to follow. Comments and bloggage welcome.
2nd Apr 2009
I hate it when publishers do something that’s obviously wrong/dishonest, and then refuse to publicly admit it and/or apologise for it in front of their readers.
I’m not talking about one person here; I’ve got at least two newspaper editors at it at the same time as this wank-stain (who, by the way, today knowingly published a false claim/implication that i was a liar and homosexual – and former lover of his, to boot – only deleted it after the second notification, and then refused to apologise or even admit that he was refusing me a right of reply on that or anything else).
And the issue here isn’t just what these people are doing to me (and others) right now, but what they are likely to do to me and others in the future if they are continually allowed to get away with it.
Anyway, let’s put all that aside for one moment to enjoy this little ray of starshine… for tomorrow, we go to war.
2nd Apr 2009
In the old days of ‘journalism’, if a hard-working reporter wanted to get hold of a family snapshot, he’d have to pocket a framed picture or two from the mantelpiece while the interviewee was making tea or being comforted/distracted by an accomplice.
Now, in the marvellous age of digital photography, all newspapers have to do is get a snapper to rattle off a few pictures of your pictures.
He can then go on to sell copies, even if you don’t sign any paperwork giving him permission to do this, because from that point on, the photographer (or their agent) can claim copyright on these images of images.
I’ve contacted Epicscotland and the Independent to try to find out what’s happened here, but it doesn’t look at all right to me. Still, there’s an opportunity for David Dinsmore to indignantly bitch about the one thing that might not be his fault in the hope that it will distract us from the things that clearly are.
Coming up next: Who wants to share my copy of a camera-recorded version of Watchmen? It’s free, and entirely legal, according to the newspaper people.
MINI-UPDATES – The online version of The Sun’s stunt has been withdrawn, and the journalist listed as author of the piece – Yvonne Bolouri – has issued a statement claiming that she has nothing to do with any of it, which puts David Dinsmore clearly in the frame. Dinsmore has not been in touch; he would instead prefer to bully/cajole Jamie by phone by the looks of things. Jamie has been advised that this is an old newspaper dodge to be avoided; if you suspect someone of being a liar and/or a cheat, conduct the conversation by email, *not* telephone.
When you’re ready, Mr Dinsmore…