Daily Archives: June 13, 2010

Hyperbole

This story currently on the Mail website caught my eye:

Dive-bombing buzzard

‘Vicious’ attacks and talons being sunk into ‘terrified locals’ sounds pretty disturbing. Then you click on the article and read it and things become rather less dramatic:

Horse rider Lindsey Wake had a lucky escape when she fell victim to the hawk-like bird.

‘I was totally bemused. I couldn’t see because the helmet had come down over my eyes. I had no idea what it was at first.

‘The helmet is all scratched and marked underneath. The talons could have got my head.’

So, a horse rider gets a slightly scratched helmet and distinctly no ‘talons’ sunk into her flesh at all. What about other victims? Well:

A-Level student Charlotte Colley was also attacked on the lane recently as well as her 16-year-old brother Jack.

OK, now we’re talking, surely this innocent girl was viciously mauled. Let’s see:

‘I was in shock – it came out of nowhere. I just didn’t see the buzzard coming…

‘I had pinpoints of blood across my scalp where the claws had dug into me. It’s very worrying and people are avoiding the area now.

Pinpoints of blood‘, I was expecting huge, permanent scares after reading the Mail headline and strap-line, not scratched head-wear and ‘pinpoints of blood’. Surely there must be other residents who suffered one of these ‘series’ of attacks and were seriously injured? No, of course not and tellingly ‘No-one has reported the incidents'; except to the Daily Mail it seems. The Mail wraps up the article with a few words from a RSPB spokesman:

‘The buzzard is only protecting its nest. The best advice is to avoid that lane for a while.’

Presumably the spokesman was cut off before they could also give advice to national newspapers about how to avoid making much ado about nothing.

Something for the weekend 13 June 2010

After two nights of football and lager I’m going to point you in the direction of stuff to read, rather than attempt to create it.

Tabloidwatch covers the latest media scare: ‘Taliban uses HIV bombs’ and wonders why it is left to people outside of the media to perform basic fact-checking? Perhaps this all goes back to Kelvin MacKenzie’s sage advice to tabloid journalists: ‘if a story sounded true it probably was true and should therefore appear in the paper‘.

Five Chinese Crackers looks at the various ‘bans’ on supporting England and the desperate, scrabbling stories being printed to support this media narrative.

Hagley road to Ladywood looks at how BP seem to be desperately relying on nationalism to avoid responsibility for their oil leak – something that the tabloid media have been crucial in helping out with, attacking Obama rather than addressing the simple fact that this is BP’s fault.

Like punk never happened has a wonderful post on ‘Cycles’, an exploration of the false expectation of thinking others should treat you better than you treat them.

Granny Rant looks at swearing and argues that in context swearing is perfectly fine, which is good news given that you can swear in public a lot more easily – I’m thinking Twitter for starters.

Electro-web has 7 tips for football fans this summer as well as a rant against a rail system that delights in ripping people off – something I can completely agree with given that whenever I travel by train it is invariably stupidly expensive, dirty and cramped.

Men In Suits writes about ITV sport being a bit pants, not just for missing England’s goal with their HD channel last night, but a litany of ghastly sports coverage.

Where is the world from here? invites us to switch off our TV sets and lists Doctor Who as being one of the programs that he ‘absolutely hates’.

And finally, from Left Outside, comes this wonderful device to ensure men don’t splash the floor in public urinals. I urge you to click the link, even though you probably have doubts about doing so.