Paula Murray: certified depth

This entry was posted on
Tuesday, March 10th, 2009
5:18 pm and is filed
under Old Media.

Everyone from 4chan to Fark knows that it takes a special kind of person to enjoy the challenge of being the very first to comment, especially if one has nothing to say (other than “First!”, obviously).

If there were a real-life league of such people, Paula Murray would top the main table.

Why? Because after over a decade of freedom from press intrusion, the child survivors of the Dunblane massacre are now over 18, and therefore fair game… and Paula Murray has covered herself in glory by going after them first on the flimsiest of pretexts.

We interrupt this endorsement for a public service announcement:

New citizens of Teh Internets should be aware that keeping a Facebook profile is not unlike collating your trash in a presentation folder for the benefit of passing tabloid scum. Some weblogs also fit this description, but at least a blog provides you with the means to fight back; all Facebook lets you do is moan to your mates.

Sunday Express – Paula Murray: Anniversay shame of Dunblane survivors: Dunblane survivors have “shamed” the memory of their dead peers with foul-mouthed boasts about sex, brawls and drink-fuelled antics as they reach adulthood. A number of the youngsters, now 18, have posted shocking blogs and photographs of themselves on the Internet, 13 years after being sheltered from public view in the aftermath.

Anton Vowl – A new low for the Express: Regular reader Keith sent me the tipoff to this latest disgrace from the front page of the Scottish Sunday Express and called it ‘a new low’. At first I was a little sceptical, given that I wondered just how much lower it was possible for the Express to sink into its midden of unpleasantness, but he’s right: it really is an atrocity.

Justin McKeating – Paula Murray is an idiot: So, the survivors of an atrocity try to live their lives in as normal a way as possible only to find judgement at the hands of a gutter journalist trying to stir the pot of moral outrage.

As I was creating this post the original article appeared to be clumsily withdrawn from the Express website.

There’s no apology or admission of guilt, naturally, but the article has been quietly withdrawn with little-to-no public condemnation/consequence outside of the blogosphere, and the reporter appears to have emerged safely from this new depth.

So, once the band stops playing and the medals have been handed out, I would like to make a mark at *this* level, and propose that it be considered as the lowest certified safe depth for reporter Paula Murray.

Please be advised that this is an extreme depth, not to be attempted lightly, and that Murray is not certified to sink any lower.

UPDATE – Via Carl Eve, a somewhat related link:

BBC – Chris Summers: How crime has lost out to showbiz: Believe it or not, once upon a time, newspapers and television news bulletins were full of actual news involving actual people, much of it generated by reporters on the crime beat. The demise of the crime reporter, and the decline of investigative journalism in general, has coincided almost perfectly during the past 20 years with the rise of celebrity news.

(Quite. Rummaging through Facebook and feigning outrage is now the pinnacle of investigative journalism in some quarters. No wonder Staines thinks he can make a good fist of it. Not that he needs to, what with his website being worth a million dollars and everything.)

UPDATE (11 Mar) – A minor update here and some fine bloggage here…. and via Septicle’s post, I hear reports of popping rivets. This depth may not be as safe as it first seemed.

Oh, and BenSix’s post and Justin’s update both remind me of an idea I had for an ‘Express Watch’ weblog; its working title is ‘The Express Newspaper: Rebuttals’ and the plan involves a single editor whose only job is to report when the Express is outraged about anything sexual, ‘dirty’ or similarly ‘unseemly’ and counter it with the simple but true observation that Richard Desmond is a pornographer.

This simple action would be then be repeated (constantly, and hopefully to comic effect). The only departure from this pattern would be the occasional attempt to reach readers of OK! magazine with a similar message.

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