Posts Tagged ‘Tabloids’

NewsGush – Russell Resigns, Tabloids Triumph

October 30, 2008

Just to draw a line under this sorry saga (and if you haven’t been in the slightest bit interested, I apologise for the recent Brand-related news triptych), the last few days of complete stupidity and insanity have ended with Russell Brand quitting his post at the BBC. 

Taking the bullet for his friend, Jonathan Ross, in other words. Let’s not forget that it was the older of the two who blurted out the initial offending sentence.

I suppose, in some senses, Brand has also taken the hit on behalf of the BBC who, it has to be said, have behaved like disorganised buffoons throughout this farrago. They shouldn’t have put the recording out in the first place. They should have organised a public apology on behalf of all parties immediately and they should have ignored all the tabloid speculation.

But the real arseholes in this Kafkaesque trial by second hand information are – as usual – the tabloid press. Without the Mail picking up on the story and hypocritically running it endlessly (thus, presumably, adding to Mr Sachs’ embarassment) and without printing tittilating pictures of the supposed ‘fuckee’, this wouldn’t have reached the ridiculous heights it broached.

The Sun also went crazy with the story – as did all the tabloids including those with a more limited circulation – your London Lites, your citywide Metros. All expressing outrage whilst regurgitating the point of Mr. Sachs embarassment. Bizarre, eh?

To compound the weirdness, it seems Georgina Baillie has now signed up with Max Clifford – a day or so after he dumped Katona as a client. Some people are admiring of the girls guile and pluck. From where I’m sitting, it looks suspiciously like she’s exploiting the situation for personal gain. Exploiting her grandfather’s initial embarassment and milking this fabricated ‘shame’ for all its worth. I can’t believe that, by now, she’s still red-faced. Not with all those offers coming in.

The other aspect of this so-called scandal that makes it so very 2008 is the way information spread. Without Youtube, without messageboards and blogs, people wouldn’t have formed an opinion so quickly. The replay wouldn’t be available, so unless you’d taped it it’d all be hearsay.

It’s impossible to quantify whether this made the situation worse for the presenters and the BBC, but it certainly intensified the atmosphere. The web was alive with chitter and chatter and gasbag opinion. Mail readers suddenly found reason to comment on the Guardian messageboard. The papers and their websites couldn’t keep up with the bloggers who were formulating opinions left right and centre – and this aspect of the incident is something we should expect to see a lot more of in the future.

All in all, the ultimate tragedy of the whole affair is that, as a result of a very silly, vaguely amusing and massively ill-considered gag, the conservative element in the press and in the blogosphere has somehow managed to force the hand of the BBC using the most questionable tactics imaginable. They’ve also managed to make one of my favourite podcasters – a genuine talent, I feel – resign over what amounts to very little. I think that’s depressing.

It seems one squawking idiot can’t change a thing, but multiply him by a few thousand using the latest technology and soon enough you won’t be able to hear yourself think.

The Dark Side Of Fame: Jason Donovan

September 23, 2008

I hadn’t seen this before – anything featuring the anus-mouthed Piers Morgan tends to make me run a mile – but it’s quite interesting viewing if you like your celebrities squirmy.

The premise of the show is as follows…

Aided by faked photographs of people being pissed on, Piers Bumhole-Cakehole rattles the cage of an ex-A lister, in the process trying to get to the bottom of their vices, foibles and disastrously bad habits. So far the roster’s been made up of Pamela Anderson (past crimes = being scatty and getting her genitals out), Jason Donovan (being a coke head, coke-casualty and casual homophobe) and Jim Davidson (no explanation really needed).

Add the host, and you have the attendance list for the worst hypothetical dinner party imaginable.

I missed Jim Davidson’s and saw about five minutes of Pamela Anderson’s (ooer) so readers will have to let me know how they went. Someone already commented here that Morgan told Davidson he couldn’t help but find him funny, which is nauseating.

Jason Donovan’s was quite interesting though – and not so much because of coked up tales from Kate Moss’s 21st, but more for the critical appraisal the viewer could cast over Donovan’s appearance. Jason appears to have follicallly receded, as we chaps tend to do. But instead of conceding defeat, he’s circumnavigated the problem by attaching blond wings to the side of his head. I was fooled for the first ten minutes by this ingenious head-apparatus, but soon the trick wore off.

Donovan’s also developed the wild staring eyes of a just-released Guantanamo Bay inmate. This was probably caused by long, long nights on the blow, watching knackered out, knock-off copies of Neighbours on VHS.

I enjoyed the gravitas Morgan’s voice attached to such intense life events as:

  • Our boy Jase turning down a second contract to do Joseph for another year.
  • Donovan having a mental seizure in the Viper Room whilst on drugs.
  • Going for a grungey look which was at odds with his clean cut image.

It’s pure tabloid TV. Like a News Of The World article, paid for by the BBC.

Donovan’s take on the trial that tarnished his image – where he challenged the now defunct Face magazine’s assertions that he’s gay – was suitably weary. He must have agonised over it enough – and it sure did make him look a boob.

I think the defining moment came when Donovan was quizzed about how and when he started taking drugs…(and I’m paraphrasing here)

‘That was probably back in my Neighbours days’
‘Yeah, probably smoking a bit of weed up a mountain somewhere, you know?’
‘So Scott Robinson was taking drugs?!’
‘Yeah – but I’m sure there are bigger stories than that to be written about – than some kid from Melbourne smoking weed’

I’m sure there are, Jase.

I’m sure there are.