Written on 05-Feb-2009 by DaveyWavey
Typical. You wait three weeks for a blog post, then two come along at once. This one's going to be a big rant.
For a while now, I've been getting the hump with what I perceive to be the media's obsession with hysterical over-reaction and exaggeration. Examples:
- Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand do A Bad Thing. The BBC receives 2 complaints. Then the tabloids pick up on it, and put some frothing invective on their front pages about it. All of a sudden, the BBC receives 19,998 more complaints, presumably from people who were so shocked initially that their complaining muscles were temporarily paralysed. And so all of the media, and parliament, jump on the bandwagon. And we don't hear the end of it for several fucking weeks.
- A sick fucker in North London tortures and murders a baby. This is obviously terrible, and I hope he rots in hell. But do the media spend a month talking about what a sick fucker he is? No. Instead they spend a month obsessing about the local council, and how they could conceivably have somehow stopped the sick fucker from being a sick fucker, and blathering on about the employment details of specific council staff. Next thing you know, we've got the hard-of-thinking making death threats to said council staff, meaning that less people are inclined to work in child protection in the future, making the whole problem worse. Nice one. Very clever.
- The recession and property prices. Two things here: FIRSTLY... The media spent more than 10 years reporting an "imminent crash in house prices". And, during those 10 years, did the house prices crash? Did they fuck. They tripled. Idiots. Just because in the 11th year they actually got it right, they still spent 10 fucking years trying to talk down the market. SECONDLY... Yes, we are now in a recession. But, they have been telling us every fortnight since September 2008 that "for the first time in this downturn, we are officially in recession". So it's been 'official-for-the-first-time' a dozen times then, has it? How exactly does that make sense? Idiots.
- A few years ago, just before Christmas, there was no shortage of fuel in the UK. Everything was perfectly fine in that respect, thankyouverymuch. But the Daily Mail were obviously having a slow news week, so they ran a completely fictional story on their front page, shrieking that there was a massive fuel shortage and crisis at the pumps. Predictably enough, like a poorly-written Shakespearean tragedy, middle England all started panic-buying fuel, thus creating the crisis that the tabloids were all-too-happy to then continue reporting on. That is quite clever, actually, in an annoying way.
- Don't even get me started on Robert Peston.
And now, this:
There are a number of things I don't like about all this weather hysteria. Firstly, it's not the "worst snow for 18 years". It just fucking isn't. We had snow like this in London in 2002 (or 2003, I can't remember the exact year). We did. I saw it. I was there. I am not an idiot. I refuse to participate in this mass hallucination. Secondly, it's winter. Of course it will snow. Just clear it and get on with things like they do almost everywhere else in the world. Thirdly, if you are a council, don't run out of salt. If snow is forecast for days in advance, and your salt-mountain is looking a bit diminutive, buy some more salt. Fourthly, stop reporting the weather as if it's an apocalyptic event. It's not raining iguanas. The four horsemen do not appear to be surfing on the snow clouds just yet. It's just snow – a well-documented meteorological phenomenon around the world (and one that used to occur every single year a few decades ago).
Right. I've run out of steam now. The pub beckons.