ME and Ophelia

Sunday, October 24, 2004

GUARDIAN COLUMNIST PLEADS FOR AN ASSASSIN TO KILL PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH - Represents a new low in mainstream media commentary

Here's some news. A line from my previous post here has been quoted in a New Zealand news report at

Pity they attributed the post to an American blogger, and not a British blogger, an important point in the context of this story. Where did they get the idea I was an American blogger? They've made it up. In my sidebar here it clearly states I am in Dorset, England, UK. Wonder why they presumed I was American? Thankfully, Francis Till, the reporter has linked the report to my blog, so visitors will see I am a British blogger - English born and resident in England.

Incidentally, bloggers and the blogosphere were given a good mention in today's Sunday Times newspaper in a report on the spectacular backfiring of the Guardian's madcap 'Clark County Campaign'.

Thank you to journalist Francis Till for linking to my weblog on this important issue. Here is a copy of Mr Till's report dated October, 24, 2004:

Guardian columnist: Where are the assassins when we need them?

Following closely on the heels of its disastrous attempt to meddle in the US elections through a letter writing campaign, the Guardian has published a column that appears to plead for an assassin to come forward and kill President George W Bush.

It could represent a new low in mainstream media commentary.

The columnist, Charlie Brooker, apparently reviews television programmes for the Guardian.

In his October 3 column, Dumb Show, Mr Brooker reviews the debates between Mr Kerry and Mr Bush and finds both candidates lacking -- but reserves a particularly venomous evaluation for Mr Bush.

He writes: Throughout the debate, John Kerry, for his part, looks and sounds a bit like a haunted tree. But at least he's not a lying, sniggering, drink-driving, selfish, reckless, ignorant, dangerous, backward, drooling, twitching, blinking, mouse-faced little cheat. And besides, in a fight between a tree and a bush, I know who I'd favour.

Fair enough, if a bit over the top.

But his closing paragraph has set the internet's blogging community ablaze -- and some have speculated that an outage that hit the website early today was caused by a retaliatory hacker attack.

In that passage, Mr Brooker writes: On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?

As one American blogger queried, incredulously: "one has to ask, if the person in charge of Guardian UK has gone stark, starting, raving mad?"
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UPDATE Sunday 14:20:

Note, Scott Burgess of The Daily Ablution in London has received 61 comments at his post "We Need" Bush Murdered<

Also, he has written this neat piece:

Although it only concerns an insignificant theatre review, I thought that this correction, published today (Sunday), beautifully epitomised the journalistic integrity of Guardian Newspapers, Ltd. (emphasis added):

"We were wrong to say the musical Brooklyn had been 'roundly panned by critics' in our round-up of US theatre (Review, last week). The show had not actually opened when the piece was written."

The mind is thoroughly boggled.
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Further reading:

(1) A Small Victory - sticks and stones.

(2) Cranial Cavity - The Question Should be: Where is the Secret Service? If I made such a statement my front door would be laying flat, my face would be pressed against the latex paint with legs spread.

I also wonder what standards the Association of Online Publishers used in awarding the Guardian this award for “trailblazing. ”Bill Murray, the AOP chairman, praised Guardian Unlimited for its trailblazing contribution to online publishing. “The quality of content shines through and the team continues to innovate, identify what consumers want and deliver it well. “These achievements are undoubtedly due in substantial part to inspired leadership,” said Mr Murray.

Can someone point out the “quality of content” in Brookers column? I won’t hold my breath waiting.

(3) Read this other piece Whatever happened to Saturday night TV? by Charles Brooker to get a flavour of his style. As Ellimondo points out, he pushes the libel laws to the limit.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 10/24/2004
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