Fox (n): carnivore of genus vulpes; crafty person; scavenger; (vb) to confuse; -ed (adj): to be drunk.
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Saturday 2 July 2011

Letters to Lillys.

OUR week began with a denunciation of Glastonbury for being about as cool as Jesus sandals on your dad.

Dave said: "Agreed, Glastonbury is about as edgy as a tartan rug on the back shelf of a Volvo." Peter added: "Glasto is poseur land. All that self conscious chilling. Caitlin Moran just gets embarrassing when she raves about it. Plus all that coverage in the press. Counter culture was wanky enough before - but now..." And Mark pointed out: "Want to know who goes to Glasto? When Beyoncé headlined last night there were more black people on stage than in the audience."

Then Johann Hari admitted nicking other people's quotes and pretending they were part of his own interviews and the internet convulsed with a cliched loathing of journalists, which provoked this explanation of how, exactly, one would have to go about publishing a lie in a newspaper.

It produced a quite startling number of positive responses, from hacks and civilians alike.

Jon said: "Why journalists don't lie - If only more people understood this process!" Victoria added: "Never a truer word written - and I'm an ex tabloid hack - well done you." While Kat said: "Is a truly brilliant and necessary piece, thank you." And Emma added: "You don't know me but I'm a reporter, and after reading your blog post from yesterday I quite wanted to stand up and cheer."

Carl said:
"Bloody loved it. Thanks for that. You've summed up a lot of my frustrations with the anti-journalist blogging brigade who've used Hari as yet another stick to beat us with. Cheers."
Euan added:
"I really enjoyed reading your blog... it describes my own experiences, and I'm sure many others', perfectly. And crucially it's a really good piece of writing. Thanks for putting a smile on my face."
Gary summed it up by saying:
"Mr Hari would have us believe that what he has undertaken to do, on occasion, is the linguisitic equivalent of airbrushing... in my opinion it's all about integrity. I love the band Pearl Jam. I don't read Rolling Stone interviews to have Eddie Vedder's quoted remarks replaced by cut and paste lyrics from his songs - however accurately or concisely they portray his sentiments at the time."
Not everyone agreed - George got in touch with his own first-hand experiences of a journalist who had reported an opposing view of an event to his own, in too much detail to report here. "It undermined my faith in the newspaper industry," he said.

Then there was Adrian, who said:
"I spent my entire tabloid career makng up stories, and we always contrived the photos to go with them. It was like taking candy from a dead baby. As soon as you twig that the newsdesks are fucking retards you are home and dry."
David added:
"I've watched a well known BBC Radio journalist walk round to other offices/bureaux in a press building and get voxpops from his colleagues who were all happy to pretend to be locals - even faking accents - and giving 'first hand accounts' about an event happening outside the building - journalists don't lie? please..."
And Vicky chimed in:
"Great article - although I really struggle to believe 'showbiz' journos tell the gods honest truth, a lot of what they write does seem to be utter garbage, with no actual 'evidence' to back up the story. Just a load of 'sources'."
Ed: I was touched at the number of people - too many to quote here - who said not only 'thank you' as journalists but 'I believe you' as non-journos. Part of my aim is to show you the stereotype does not reflect my experience although, as I am sure is the case in any job, there is a handful of twats all doing their worst.

Charlene Wittstock drew attention by reportedly trying to flee Monaco on the eve of her wedding to Prince Humperdinck Albert, only to have her passport confiscated and be "persuaded" to go through with the £50m ceremony.

Bill may have found the reason why - aside from international embarrassment - the playboy prince was so keen to press ahead with the wedding.

He said:
"If he cannot procreate within matrimony the Grimaldi clan will be forced to cede Monaco to France and lose a territory they have held since 1297. That's old skool, by which I mean 'medieval'. He'd better watch out for Sarkozy's DGSE goons, armed with scalpels... It would make a great plot-line for a Carry On movie."
The summer wedding season seems to have hit a peak, what with Monaco's Royal marriage, Kate Moss taking three days to tie the knot and the astonishing email from Carolyn Bourne to prospective stepdaughter-in-law Heidi Withers which made headlines. At the same time yours truly had a dig at Lily Allen for changing her name to Mrs Cooper, which prompted what can only be described as a deluge of responses.

There were far, far too many to mention here but they split fairly evenly into thirds. One third wanted to berate the Fox for being a femiNazi being mean to poor Mrs C, another third vowed they never had nor would change their name on marriage "BECAUSE I AM NO MAN'S PROPERTY", and the remaining third had either happily double-barrelled, or weren't much bothered but still wanted to say so.

Mrs C herself took exception to "I thought you would have had more spine" to respond: "I never liked Allen, and it marks a new chapter of my life. I have spine, thanking you." Ben said: "You can't have a conversation or 'row' with her without tons of people weighing in or attacking you (which sometimes, she provokes)." Sam said: "It was you being a twat. If Lily and thousands more women want to change to their husband's surname then let them do it. Lily has every right to do what she wants. Who the hell are you to dictate?" And Lucy said: "I think Lily's mad - she had all that great assonance in her name."

Ed: I find it amazing the former Miss A stuck with her famous dad's name for so long if she hated it so much... but perhaps my choice of words was unwise. I should have said 'gumption' rather than 'spine'.

Then we had the latest pictures of Nick Clegg, the only high-profile figure in Britain to put on weight and apparently not merit a double-page spread in every national newspaper as a result.

Martin said: "After losing his deposit yesterday, could be facing cuts himself - pork chop cuts that is!" And Dave added: "Nick actually enjoys widespread support (from his belt)." Lewis said: "Not being funny, but is that the best story you have?"

Ed: A story no-one else has got? Yes.

Phew. It's been a long week; now for a short weekend. Have a good one y'all.

Foxy out.