Posts Tagged ‘The Sun’

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.


July 26, 2007


Despite watching this stone cold sober I found it baffling and uninspired. For those with better things to do, the synopsis is thus: ordinary people that have superhuman powers.

The thing about ‘super’ power is that before you’ve even begun one is expected to suspend belief in the rational, but we have a fucking problem when the producers are desperately trying to convey how ordinary they are. If one has ‘super’ human powers one isn’t ordinary are they? (and the word ‘super’ annoys the shit out of me; it’s so bland and unspecific. I mean if you could fly, to say it’s ‘super’ is a bit of an understatement).

We start off in India where a Professor in genetics by the name of Mohinder finds out his father has been killed. He took the news very well I hasten to add – bloody awful acting… Turns out Pops had a controversial theory on human evolution so he goes to New York to find out what happened to him.

We then start to learn more about the individual ‘Heroes’ that presumably Mohinder’s dad knew of, and obviously explains his death, which means that others know of these Heroes too. One of the main characters, Mr. Bennet, the only character without a forename, suspiciously, seems to be ‘on’ to our gifted friends, even if they don’t fully realise their abilities yet…

We then continue to follow the day-to-day lives of a handful of characters in the USA, conveniently, as they realise they are ‘super’. I can’t be fucked to list them all, so if you really care go here and check them out. The only other foreign chap, a Japanese fellow called Hiro (hero – geddit?), is able to bend the fabric of the space/time continuum. Surely this character negates the whole fucking concept of the plot because anything bad/good to come/go can be reversed/pre-empted. He arrives in New York at the end of the first episode, by using his special powers. Ooer.

A modicum of attention must be made to the Texan cheerleader who is indestructible; so far we’ve seen her leap from great heights only to un-crunch her broken body, catch on fire without injury, blend her hand and have her neck broken only for it to crack back into place… really, if you could actually do any of this stuff, keeping it secret would be last thing on your mind. Channel 4 would pay a fucking fortune for that sort of shit and The Sun would be your pension.

Anyway, already some of the characters know each other, I presume this isn’t a coincidence that they’re, in some way, all connected… though having said that I wouldn’t be surprised if it isn’t, such is the dire lack of imagination that has gone into the initial stages of the ‘plot’.

Essentially this is yet more over hyped shit from the USA and it’s duller than dishwater.