26 March, 2010

Vatican Drops Ball, Journalist Runs With It.

Thanks to Rob of Whispers and Moans for this.

At the risk of sounding like the Express, I stopped reading newspapers when the 'Princess of Hearts' Diana died, sicked my the sanctimonious muck-raking from people who I've seen participating in the same actions they condemn others for. I've experienced the bile of a Sun journalist destroying someone's career with one hand while using class-A drugs with the other. (A friend of a friend of a friend - story for another time).

I saw the Jan Moir thing about Stephen Gately's tragic death from afar, but as with all those people who didn't actually hear Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand's show, I still felt I had the right to complain about Moir's behaviour after the fact. Likewise, I'm not a football fan by any means, but the joint behaviour of the Evening Standard and the Sun over Hillsborough has made me boycott those papers ever since. Even now the Standard is free, I refuse to take a copy from the station vendors, and the same goes for our 'complimentary' copy of the Hate-Mail that our local supermarket forces upon us with home deliveries. (Each time we say 'No thanks, take it back', the delivery guy smiles and says 'They all do that round here.')

So, the Times has announced that from this June, they'll be charging for access to their site. In a climate where advertisers need all the exposure they can get, I can't help thinking this is a shot in the foot for the Times, but then cleverer people than me have discussed this at length and I'm not going down that root.

No - far better to point at something the Times has inadvertently done today while reporting the news that the Vatican has once again actively hushed up a sex scandal and accused the media of starting it. This might define ambivalence - the Catholic Church attacking tabloids. Hmm... who's best? There's only one way to find out, etc.

Anyway, the journalist reporting this has a long history of quality journalism and I'm sure it didn't strike anyone as inappropriate for his name to appear at the top of this article, but... well, it's unfortunate, isn't it.

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