What may come as a great relief to many I have to take a break from collating the outpourings of vitriol and trivia from the right wing newspapers to work on my magnum opus of a book which has been four years in the conception, mainly due to slothfulness on my part. But fear not, mortals, for Cunt Corner will return in a brand new and improved way in the future, probably with detailed graphics and all kinds of modern shit to keep people interested. Mind you, the average readership was only about 12 people, but those 12 people were obviously the top of the evolutionary ladder when it came to handing out an interest in swearing and taking the piss out of tabloids.
To paraphrase Edward R Murrow, These instruments of knowledge can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and even it can inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise, it’s nothing but bigotry with a national voice. And to further paraphrase Murrow quoting Shakespeare: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.
The concern is that the public continue to maintain a level of approbation for the kind of news the right wing tabloids present to us. Sometimes these newspapers are used to stick pins in the mighty, but more often than not they’re used to manipulate common feeling against the outsider. It’s used to close the doors to sensible debate around social issues, and reduce these debates to banner headlines which appeal to the primitive instincts. The outsiders are battering the barricades down, so the common story goes if you read The Mail, The Express, The Star or The Sun.
As an example there are two headlines printed today (Tuesday 12th April 2016) which stood out for me.
One was the Star, berating a small child who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent, for being a member of a stage school. The other was The Express, backing up David Cameron’s tax status by promoting his words that offshore wealth creation was a good thing. Both are endemic of British tabloids. Bullying a child nationally is not headline material, and backing up the Prime Minister when his tax avoidance status is still under question is nothing more than toadying of the highest degree.
The tabloids reflect a social status exemplified by the politicians who pretend to run our country. Beat down on the poor and laud the rich and trivial. There is a great debate to be had about whether The Mail, The Sun, et al are merely reflections of the society around them or band leaders at the head of the mob, but that’s for another day. As I’ve been noting down the headlines week after week the over-riding voice has been one of fear and condemnation. Government approved propaganda backed up by private interests from the tabloid proprietors. But has the news industry in general been anything but bite sized trivia in a small and comfortable format ready to be discarded for the next piece of showbiz? Is it merely part of the entertainment fabric of our lives?
It’s easy to lament the passing of hard news, but our sources are diverse in the modern age. The paper and television are only a small faction against the wealth of material we can access online. However, online news is only as good as the integrity of the journalists who maintain it, and with dwindling finances available for a well-researched expose this can lead to the dissolution of credible journalistic resources and the commoditization of the national debate.
With this in mind, and whilst the CC takes a break, listed below are some of the news sources which stand out from the crowd.
Normal service will be resumed soon.
Good night… and big fannies.