Tabloid bullshit of the month award - March 2011

It's here.  This month, the Japanese kodo drummers are out in force to announce the  March 2011 5cc tabloid bullshit of the month award!

Kind of a weird month, this month.  We've had a natural disaster with fake atomic panic in Japan and the declaration of a no-fly zone over Libya.  We've  had some disgraceful coverage from the Mail about the gang rape of two 12 year old girls in a park, which called the girls 'Lolitas' and seemed to take the side of the men involved.

We've also had the Sun claiming Alex Reid was distraught over Jordan giving his watch to her new boyfriend, complete with pictures of the watch.  Which was a different colour.  And a different watch.

The Daily Star also hilariously claimed it never had a negative editorial stance on Muslims after ex-employee Richard Peppiatt spectacularly resigned.

But the award would have had to go to this month's winner at some point.  Spectacularly insensitive comments on the tsunami were the main driver behind Richard Littlejohn winning this month, for 'Who's the Wally with the Golly?' and 'Why my wife's PoW grandad wouldn't mark a minute's silence for the Japanese'.

Here's the email:
Dear Mr Littlejohn,

It is with great pleasure that I can announce you as the winner of one of journalism's newest prizes! Get out the party hats, Scotch eggs and 70s sitcom DVDs, you've won the 5cc tabloid bullshit of the month award for March 2011!

To be honest, I could probably stick a pin in a calendar and pick any month for you to win this prestigious award. Last month would have caught you repeating a myth that was debunked back in 1995 about Haringey Council hiring people to teach Asian women hopscotch for example.

This month will do though, and you're getting the award for two columns, 'Who's the Wally with the Golly?' and 'Why my wife's PoW grandad wouldn't mark a minute's silence for the Japanese'. Here's why:

Who's the Wally with the Golly?
A Richard Littlejohn column about golliwogs is always going to be fascinating. Like a car full of clowns, whoopee cushions and trumpets careening off the road into a schoolbus. In slow motion. While Dennis Waterman sings I Could Be So Good For You in blackface.  These are my favourite bits:   
  • You tell us about a shopkeeper who had his entire stock of golliwogs confiscated. In real life, the Daily Mail account of the story from four years ago (fingers always on that current affairs pulse there) tells us that: 
  • The next day two officers arrived and confiscated one 6in doll and one keyring.
    Which the police subsequently returned without charge.
  • Apparently, a campaign in the eighties led by Ken Livingstone and the GLC forced Robertson's to remove the golliwog from its jars. There's even a big old picture of Ken in the middle of your article online, with a caption telling us that too.

    In real life, Robertson's removed the golliwog from its marketing in 2001. This was 15 years after the GLC was dissolved.

    In 2001 Robertson's said removing the golliwog had nothing to do with political correctness and everything to do with low brand recognition. Still, probably lying, weren't they?  It was really the GLC not buying from Robertson's in 1983 that did it. Coodernmaykidapp!
  • You manage to miss almost the whole chuffing point of why golliwogs are a bad thing, telling us that you thought the whole thing was absurd in the eighties because you'd never met a black person who looked like one. That's kind of like saying you don't see what the fuss is about punching people in the face, since it's only slamming the hard bit of your fist into someone's chops, causing pain and potential injury.
  • Still, credit where it's due. At least you recognise you lost the argument about golliwogs years ago, and the two numpties who posed with the things 'to provoke debate' were idiots, although I was far from the only one to spit their tea at this gem:
    Having said all that, if there’s one thing just as irritating as ‘political correctness’, it’s that peculiar breed of people who go out of their way to be politically incorrect.
    Particularly irritating, those people. Sometimes they're paid hundreds of thousands of pounds every year to do just that. Unbelieveable, huh?
While we're on the subject of people who go out of their way to be politically incorrect...

Why my wife's PoW grandad wouldn't mark a minute's silence for the Japanese
This is one of the laziest columns I have ever seen in my life. Right from the 'Hey! Some American commentators got a lot of attention for saying the earthquake and tsunami in Japan were payback for Pearl Harbour. Let's rejig that for a British audience' concept through to the end.  Some more of the wrong:
  • Saying, 'You shouldn't do X, yet...' and then doing X anyway doesn't mean you haven't done it.
  • Nor does somehow trying to distract attention by projecting what you're doing - breaking your rule about later generations not being responsible for the actions of their forebears - onto 'lefties'. We can see what you're doing. You can't have your Scotch-egg and eat it.
  • Hiding behind the hypothetical position of someone who isn't around to ask doesn't make it any better. It just makes it that little bit more cowardly. 
  • Even the stereotypes are lazy. The 'inscrutable Oriental' is as old as they come, but who can understand the Japanese? Surely, no-one can fathom this alien culture of violent racists. Let's not bother trying.
  • "Did we have a minute's silence for this? Maybe we did, I dunno. But did we? What about this one? We might have. Can't remember. Not sure. Did the Japanese have one? I don't know. Probly not. Shall I check? Naah. Is it time for my dinner?" I'm paraphrasing of course, but those are the rigorous research skills we've come to expect from the man who thought a dog was a woman on show there.
  • They're also shown to spectacular effect in an entire section about why you're not going to bother covering the no-fly zone in Libya. No-one knows anything about it. Can't be arsed to try to find out. Won't be writing about it. Let's pretend that it's because no-one can know, like with Japan.
  • "I missed the row over Midsomer Murders..." Really? You're normally so sharp and well informed. Long queue at a particular Florida branch of International House of Pancakes that day?
  • Nice save with the joke about how churches in the East End have been turned into mosques and every woman is forced to wear a burkha. That is hee-laireeyuss. But since you call the BNP nasty names sometimes, this joke is totally fine. You can carry on to joke about the golliwog people being suitable for the BNP without looking the least bit hypocritical.
  • Which segues neatly into the best bit of laziness in the article, which I've been saving til last:
    "But why Japan and not, say, those massacred in Rwanda or starved to death by Mugabe in Zimbabwe?"
    This from the man who reportedly said of Rwanda, "Does anyone really give a monkey's about what happens in Rwanda? If the Mbongo tribe wants to wipe out the Mbingo tribe then as far as I am concerned that is entirely a matter for them."

    Maybe that's why. They just didn't care about the Mbongos and Mbingos. The bastards.
Okay, that's it. Stick your feet up until five minutes before the deadline for your next piece. I'll be reproducing this letter over at www.fivechinesecrackers.com. You're more than welcome to have an acceptance comment or rebuttal published. Just reply to this email (that way I'll know it's you) and I'll publish it. You'd be the first hack that's bothered.  I'll send you the crap picture of a trophy you won, too.  Don't want this message ending up in the spam filter.

You're now in with a chance to win 5cc tabloid bullshitter of 2011 at the end of this year.  That's when I'll tally up how many monthly awards each hack has won to find out the winner.  The more monthly awards you get, the more likely you are to win win win!  I suppose that just means you'll have to wait until I get lazy and just stick a pin in the calendar.

Cheers then!

That's it for March.  Tune in on the last Saturday of April and see who wins next month.  As long as there's not a march or something.  Suggestions are always welcome, either in comments, on twitter to @5ChinCrack or by email to fivechinesecrackersATgmailDOTcom.

Now get out of my house!


sianandcrookedrib said...

whoop whoop! well said :-)

Bob said...

Sorry but I think it is unfair on other contenders to include Mr Littlejohn in the monthly race for this award. Unless you introduce handicaps to even out the field!!

Anonymous said...

Well I think you've been GROSSLY unfair there.

I really like scotch eggs :(

Robbert said...

Oooh, this is exciting. Surely Littlejohn has too big an ego to let this lie? He just HAS to respond. C'mon Richard, you know you want to.