Tag Archives: media

The Fat Cat in the Red Hat

There was a sharp knock on the heavy oak door, which swung open into the dim evening light of the Oval Office.

‘Mr. President, the PR team is here for the daily update. Mr. President…are you alright down there?’

A flustered-looking face poked out from behind the opulent sofa in the middle of the room. Wayward strands of yellow hair were stuck to the moist brow of President Trump, as he crawled out on all fours and stood up.

‘Lost my fidget spinner,’ he said breathlessly as he dusted himself off.

‘Gone behind the sofa.’

‘I’ll get someone on it right away, sir.’

‘Get the girl from the press office. What’s her name, she’s got really skinny arms, like a child’s arms.’

‘Rosita, sir? I think she has a skeletal condition, I’m not sure if…’

‘Yeah, I knew it was one of those brown ones. Get her up here right away.’

‘Yes, sir. Eh, your PR team, sir.’

A group of nervous-looking men shuffled into the room and stood awkwardly at the door.

‘Alright, sit down, let’s do this quickly. I’ve already had two meetings today, it’s crazy in here.’

The men sat down in the chairs around the formidable desk as the President collapsed into his chair.

‘Good evening, Mr. President,’ said one of the men, shuffling some papers in his lap.

‘Yeah, yeah, get on with it. Where did I put that other spinner?’

As the President rifled through the drawers of his desk, the man cleared his throat and continued hesitantly,

‘Well, eh, J.K. Rowling has been Tweeting about you again, sir.’

‘Rowling, who’s that? Did I play golf with him last week?’

‘No sir, she wrote the Harry Potter books. You know, Hogwarts?’

‘Hogwarts? They’re back again? Can you see them? I need to get some more of that cream.’

‘No sir, it’s fine. Put your trousers back on, please. Anyway, it’s the 20th anniversary of the books and Rowling was answering fans’ questions on Twitter. Someone asked if she would ever write a villain based on you and she Tweeted back,

“What a great idea. I could call it Harry Potter and the Big Orange Twat.”’

‘I don’t get it.’

‘It’s not important sir, but it got us thinking that maybe it would be good to try to soften your image with young people.’

‘Young people love me, I’m great with young people.’

‘Indeed sir, but we thought it would be a good idea if you wrote a children’s book yourself.’

‘I’ve written tons of books, I have the best books. Tell them to read The Art of the Deal, you can never start too young.’

‘Sir, the focus groups are showing that a warm, engaging children’s book coming from the Oval Office could shift your image with young people away from the creepy, handsy uncle perception to more of an affable, doddery grandfather type.’

‘This sounds like a lot of work, I’ve got golf tomorrow morning, I need to fly out tonight.’

‘We’ve freed up your schedule for a few hours, sir. All we need is a rough draft and we’ll have the press office do the rest.’

‘Have any other politicians done this?’

‘Yes sir, quite a few. In fact, Jeremy Corbyn’s just written one.’

‘Who?’

‘Corbyn, the UK opposition leader.’

‘The homeless guy who can’t do a high-five?’

‘Yes, his book is called The Very Hungry Caterpillar who Lost his Food Stamps due to Tory Cuts.’

‘Never heard of it.’

‘It’s not great. Marine Le Pen wrote one recently too, it’s called Where the Even Wilder Things Are. It’s about Calais, apparently.’

‘Calais, what’s that? A type of cheese?’

‘…Yes. Yes, it is. Very good, Mr. President.’

‘I knew it. Nobody knows more about cheese than me. I’ve got some cheese in one of these drawers, you guys want some? Let me have a look here.’

‘Eh, sir, Putin has just released one too. I mean it’s just transparent anti-Western propaganda, but it’s given him a five-point bump among 11 to 15-year-old undecideds.’

‘Vladimir Putin?’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘Did he respond to my Tweet yet?’

‘Which one, sir?’

‘Any of them.’

‘No, sir.’

‘Time difference issue, I imagine. Well, what’s his book? Is there golf in it?’

‘I don’t think so sir, it’s called Charlotte’s Web of Lies. It’s about a 9-year old girl who gets locked up for posting pro-homosexual propaganda on her Facebook page.’

‘Sounds like a good read. Get a copy for me.’

‘It also comes with an autographed photo of Putin himself.’

‘What’s he doing in the photo? Is it just the face or full body?’

‘I’m…not sure sir. I could check…’

‘Just get me five copies.’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘Okay, get out of here and let me write this thing.’

‘Excellent, sir. Here’s some paper and a new box of colouring pens. Now, remember what we talked about last time. If you don’t put the lids back on…’

‘Yeah yeah, they dry out, I know, I know. Gimme that.’

‘May I suggest a Dr. Seuss type book, sir? I think that would suit your…unique style.’

‘Who’s Dr. Zeus? Does he have my cream? He sounds foreign. Gary’s my doctor. He wears an army uniform.’

‘…Good luck, sir.’

~

Let me tell you a tale

Of a big White House

And the traitorous fraud

Who lived there with his spouse

 

It’s a story of winning

And electoral drama

It’s the tale of the Donald

And that sucker Obama

 

It starts with a boy

Who grew up in Queens

Already a winner

While still in his teens

 

He made so much money

And had all the best things

All the women he wanted

And more gold than kings

 

But the people were jealous

And the laws were corrupt

It wasn’t his fault

He kept going bankrupt

 

He moved into TV

With the best talent show

People loved The Apprentice

(Should’ve won the Emmy though)

 

Then one fateful night

This loveable winner

Went to the White House

To attend a dinner

 

By the vicious Obama

He was mocked and hurt

The guy never even

Showed us his birth cert!

 

So our hero decided

He’d show that chump

He’d get his revenge

As President Trump!

 

And so it began

His quest hard and long

The losers all doubted him

Well guess what guys…Wrong!

 

So the campaign started

And Trump hit the trail

His opponent was Hillary

(who should be in jail)

 

Trump told the people

He’d build a big wall

To keep out bad hombres

(And they’ll pay for it all)

 

The media were mean

But Trump was too clever

Even for Megyn Kelly

And her bloody…whatever

 

They spread lies about him

But the voters weren’t fussy

They knew that the Don

Grabbed life by the pussy

 

Then election night

Saw Hillary collapse

(Oh, have I shown you

These electoral maps?)

 

Hillary had folded

To Trump the champ

(Just like John McCain

In that POW camp)

 

So Trump won the vote

Now he sits in the chair

While the rest of you losers

Are left out there

 

He won, he’s the best

He’s a real Alpha man

Getting things done

Like his great Muslim ban

 

There’s some talk about Russia

As if it’s a -gate

But don’t worry folks,

He’s here for the eight!

 

The future is bright

We’re all winning bigly

With President Trump

He’s our man – Covfefe!


Ruse of the World

After a long, illustrious history of publishing nonsense and wilfully ignoring the presence of the word ‘privacy’ in the dictionary, the News of the World has finally run out of phone lines to hack and will cease to exist after this Sunday’s edition. This news will no doubt be welcomed by its tabloid rivals, as well as by anyone who values journalistic integrity, intelligent writing and stories that aren’t about Cheryl Cole. It is sad news however for its staff, who must now find another job that values misappropriation of the truth and harassing people on a daily basis. Perhaps they could find work in the PR department of the Communist Party in China? No doubt it would seem a little tame by comparison but I’m sure they could get used to it. As for the paper’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, apparently he has a small number of other media assets that should just about keep him afloat.

It’s all well and good to denigrate the British tabloids like the News of the World, The Sun and the Daily Mirror. It’s fun, too. But the fact is that these papers sell up to ten times as many copies daily as their broadsheet rivals like The Guardian and The Times. Supply inevitably rises to meet demand, and when demand calls for sensationalist lies, sordid details of the private lives of reality TV ‘stars’, and pictures of tits, the tabloids comply. So are they to be blamed for profiting from a gap in the market? Of course it is not just the content of these papers that infuriates people, but the intrusive actions of the journalists who pester and annoy and practically stalk certain celebrities, some of whom court that kind of media glare, but most of whom do not.

While the phone hacking scandal revolves around illegal activity, many of the most abhorrent practises of these tabloids, including harassment of people, are legal. Any complaint by the affected parties is met with excuses about ‘the freedom of the press’ and is summarily dismissed. One man who was at the forefront of the tabloid press in its halcyon days of the 90’s, and who has an awful lot to answer for, is Piers Morgan. This man built his career by destroying people’s lives when he was with the Mirror and the News of the World and has now somehow become the darling of American television, recently replacing the affable Larry King on his primetime talk show.

Quite how such a horribly smug, unscrupulous, reptilian character has managed to generate anything approaching popularity is quite beyond me. He spent fifteen years thinking up offensive headlines, printing doctored photos, and writing unnecessary books like “To Dream a Dream: The Amazing Life of Philip Schofield.” Contrary to the incredibly original and catchy title, I would imagine there is absolutely nothing amazing, dreamlike, or even booklike, about this particular waste of trees.

In 2006 Morgan took his place as one of the judges on America’s Got Talent, presumably securing the job because he would at least turn up to work less drunk than David Hasselhoff. Appearing on numerous series over the following years, it was breathtakingly obvious to anyone who watched that Morgan was an utterly charmless and manipulative individual, whose very deliberate and studied “I’m a cranky toff and you’re all inbred hicks” act was basically just a bad impression of Simon Cowell. He now spends his time being fawned over by drooling middle-American reality TV aficionados, and engaging minor celebrities in pointless, inarticulate Twitter arguments.

Morgan’s rise is an example not only of the power of the tabloid press, but also of the acceptance of its presence in society. The questionable methods used to serve up the latest gossip and scandal have been allowed to continue, with the line only being drawn recently at phone-tapping. Female celebrities, in particular, have to deal with being followed around by greasy little paparazzi, who instantly look to press charges if anyone comes near them or their precious camera. God forbid they should lose that photo they took this morning of Katie Price yawning, or that action shot of Lily Allen tying her shoelace. It is also nearly exclusively females who are accosted every time they enter or exit a car by photographers pointing cameras up their skirts. Although as awful as this is, all I can say is thank God we live in a world where it’s Cheryl Cole’s crotch and not Louis Walsh’s bollocks that sells magazines. Well, not those kinds of magazines anyway.

Ultimately we have to look past the likes of Morgan and Murdoch, who, while being amoral and exploitative in the extreme, are simply giving people what they want. When looking to vilify someone over the prevalence of such low standards of journalism and professionalism, the blame must ultimately lie with the consumer. As long as there are people whose fixation with celebrities extends to what they wear to the shops, which footballer they’re attached to this week, and other such banal aspects of their carefully stage-managed public lives, there will be Heat magazine, Piers Morgan and tabloid newspapers. The rest of us will just have to be thankful for the modicum of intelligent news reporting that is left to us. If it ever gets to the stage where The Guardian is printing pictures of Ed Miliband’s cellulite on his holiday to Marbella, I’m officially announcing the end of the human race. Stay tuned.