First up, Akela has posted a guest article on The enemies of reason blog, and it is a cracker: Agendas, idleness and collateral damage: A scout leader writes.
The post perfectly demonstrates exactly how the media just talk absolute shite 90% of the time and that they rely on the reader not knowing enough about the issue to argue with the newspapers story. However, as you may occasionally notice, when a newspaper covers a topic that you know a lot about (or sometimes even a little) you can instantly spot the mistakes, misunderstandings and outright lies printed by the mainstream media. Akela quotes the scouts Chief Commissioner’s statement on the scouts’ website in reaction to the story:
A Mail on Sunday journalist approached us on Friday having read the latest guidance we issued in Scouting Magazine/online in December 08 and April 09 on advising Scouts on the situations in which they can use a knife as part of normal Scout Activities. He was looking to make the story into “Scouts Ban knives shocker”. The media team took them through the facts and sent them links to our various documents and magazine articles giving him the following info:
– The Rules changed about wearing knives with uniform in 1968
– We have issued regular guidance to the Movement on this matter ever since 1968 e.g. early 1980’s , 1996, 2008 and 2009 (the latest being the magazine article in April/May)
– We need to support leaders with information to help them support young people
Despite making these facts available the Mail on Sunday published the piece, They used a few selective statements and quotes some out of context..
Along the same lines is a brilliant post from the very quiet Bloggerheads (calm before the storm I am led to believe) over on Mailwatch which demonstrates that a journalists idiocy and ignorance can be demonstrated on the simplests of topics, in this case Twitter: Julie Moult is still an idiot! (Please RT).
Essentially Julie Moult – famous for being an idiot – is being a complete and utter idiot once again, this time completely failing to understand how Twitter works in order to attack Sarah Brown. Just go and read it, I promise that you will find it very funny that the Daily Mail pay money for a moron like Julie Moult to write for them – and that somehow ‘hard-working taxpayers’ then buy that newspaper.
Sticking with the theme of newspapers talking rubbish we move onto slightly more intentional misinformation from The enemies of reason who has the patience to look at the recent ONS publication of most popular children’s names: What’s in a name?
The Maily Telegraph, though, doesn’t care about the popularity of Jack. It’s trying to whip up a bit of a frenzy about the popularity of the name Mohammed, resorting to ringing up a right-wing ‘think tank’ which has published a series of questionable papers about Islam in order to get some outrage. It’s pretty pathetic journalism, the sort of toss you’d expect the Mail to come out with in its darkest hours, but now it’s standard fare for the Telegraph.
Of course, the Daily Mail did cover this by getting Max Hastings to write similar drivel – claiming that someone is somehow making a ‘shabby effort to conceal it‘ – which is picked apart over on Mailwatch.
And last but not least, Stirring Up Apathy has a guide to Daily Mail commentators.
Apologies to any links I have missed out, I will try harder in future to bookmark and link to blog posts I have enjoyed recently.