Monday, 16 April 2012

Aristocrats joke around with gun

Last month I blogged that police are just another gang, children fooling around with guns. Today a similar story has emerged with regard to another privileged, state-supported group in society. Who is Pippa Middleton? I had to ask myself this question today when I saw this tweet:
I thought the name sounded familiar - perhaps a BBC newsreader? But no, apparently she is the sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, who is married to Prince William. Middleton was in Paris for some mock-18th Century Versailles-style parties with various aristos. While she's driving around the city of lights in a German convertible, the driver decides to point a gun at paparazzi. What larks! Er...yes, but they're paparazzi, mate. That means the whole world can see what an asset you are to society:
Let them eat lead.

In a gift for newspaper copywriters, this incident comes shortly after deadly shootings in Toulouse, exposing these more privileged gun-fans to accusations of 'bad taste'. The Sun report, which has a further three pictures, points out that even waving a fake gun publicly in Paris carries a potential custodial sentence.

From our point of view, we are interested in what this story reveals about the normal workings of power. The non-coverage by the BBC does reveal something about how that channel's pro-aristo, pro-state bias and self-censoring norms persist despite its sometimes radical, investigative history. For other organisations, I guess the potential revenue from covering the story, and any prestige from claiming the public interest high-ground, outweighs any bias they too have towards the powerful. Step outside the British media and the coverage becomes marginally more explicit. But let's not assume that bias and censorship has disappeared. Here's NBC:
The report is keen to tag this as a 'strange incident' straight away, immediately precluding the possibility that this is normal, if usually hidden, behaviour.  And is it really 'unclear' who the men in the car are? Or do the Sun know exactly who they are but prefer not to say?

NBC's sources claim that police don't know anything. Whether that will change is moot, but notice how the report, on no evidence whatever, that the gunman 'may'facing questions from police. How do they know? He could be over the border by now. The effect is to reassure the viewer that the gunman will face the legal consequences, while in fact there is no guarantee of that. Despite covering the story, they don't want us to get too angry about it, or know the names of suspects. The bias is still there.

No one is asking why these people didn't realise that their act would be interpreted as bad taste in the light of the Toulouse shootings. It's a terrible gaffe, but with such bad timing one assumes it did not even occur to these people that the two incidents would be connected in the public mind. Its as if these people believe they live in a rarefied strata of society that has nothing to do with the fall out of recent foreign policy that the rest of us have to deal with. The incident in Toulouse - if they were even aware of it at all - was probably filed away as beneath consideration. The grubby world of plebeian gun-crime has nothing to do with them. These people are proud to be able to brandish guns in public, as you can see. It is their birthright and their pleasure. It's interesting that despite the BBC non-coverage, this is public knowledge now. The Crown's PR people will presumably be doing whatever damage limitation they can right now. Expect a contrite-sounding public apology from Middleton soon. Aristos will keep their guns hidden for a while. But the power behind it carries on regardless.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Cock News

Sally Nugent, a television sports presenter, was recently drafted in to present the BBC Breakfast News and attracted a few headlines for accidentally saying 'cock' when she meant to say 'pocket'. The Daily Record claims
viewers took to Twitter to point out the embarrassing gaffe during a report about fake pound coins. Sally said: “When you’re walking around with a couple of pound coins in your cock – um, pocket...” Eleanor Head tweeted: “Oh, Sally Nugent.. your first time giving BBC breakfast news and you say cock rather than pocket on live television! freudianslip.” And Tim Marben said: “Four pound coins in your cock...” Oh, BBC Breakfast, you please me no end.”
A quick search of Twitter reveals no user by the name 'Tim Marben' exists; there are a number of users called Eleanor Head but none of them tweeted about Sally Nugent. It appears that the Daily Record decided to add an angle to the story by pretending people were talking about it on Twitter. Which they are not. There's only one tweet about Sally Nugent, to do with her legs. She's the new Angela Rippon it seems. Here's an edited version of the moment:

Slips by female newsreaders that get a lot of publicity often relate to sexuality, usually penises. From earlier in the year this was getting a lot of attention:

Meanwhile this newsreader seems to associate policing with masculinity:

Male newsreaders also enjoy explicitly referring to the penis:

McCain endorses Obama!

I warned you John McCain would be back. Here he is in animated gif form, having one of his renowned 'senior moments'.

From Under the Mountain Bunker

Monday, 2 April 2012

Lessons in Memory Stick Zen

A Catholic priest is 'co-operating', with an investigation into an "inadvertent" display of gay porn, apparantly caused by an auto-loading memory stick left in a laptop, during a presentation at a primary school in County Tyrone. Father Martin McVeigh projected the images onto a screen during a meeting for parents in Pomeroy in preparation for First Holy Communion. According to the head of the Catholic church in Ireland:
The priest has stated that he had no knowledge of the offending imagery. The archdiocese immediately sought the advice of the PSNI who indicated that, on the basis of the evidence available, no crime had been committed.
"He was visibly shaken and flustered," said the parents. "He gave no explanation or apology to the group and bolted out of the room"; the co-ordinator and the teachers then continued with the presentation. The meeting continued in his absence, however, the parents who viewed the pictures were horrified and distracted. "Twenty minutes later he returned, he continued with the meeting and wrapped up by saying that the children get lots of money for their Holy Communion and should consider giving some of it to the church."
From BBC News Northern Ireland, 2 April 2012

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