History Repeating

Last week I thought that I had traced the origin of the Mail’s recent obsession with BC and AD back to Peter Hitchens column on September 18th of this year. In this article, Hitchens wrote: The BBC’s Chief Commissar for Political Correctness (whom I imagine as a tall, stern young woman in cruel glasses issuing… Continue reading History Repeating

BBC BCE Addendum

A couple of interesting new developments in BCE-gate. Firstly, the BBC have apparently had a large number of complaints about this issue and yesterday they published a response on their complaints page. Complaint We received complaints from people concerned about press reports claiming that the BBC has replaced the reference terms BC (Before Christ) and… Continue reading BBC BCE Addendum

The Birth of a Meme

It’s not often that you can trace a tabloid meme back to its beginnings. Over the last week we’ve seen the birth of a new tabloid meme and, luckily, we’re able to see where it comes from. Here’s the seed. It’s from the Frequently Asked Questions page on the BBC Religion religion web site. Why… Continue reading The Birth of a Meme

The Mail on Teenage Abortions

A lot of tabloid watchers have obviously been looking elsewhere today, but the Mail still manages to peddle its usual level of bullshit. I was particularly drawn to this piece [istyosty link]. In it they examine recent Department of Health figures on the number of girls of sixteen or under who have an abortion. The… Continue reading The Mail on Teenage Abortions

Watching the Press – Notes

Today, at Opentech, I gave a talk called “Watching the Press“. Here are some notes and references to go with the talk. Downtown Abbey The Daily Mail claimed that two hours of material were being cut from Downton Abbey for broadcast in the US – because the plot was too complex for US viewers to… Continue reading Watching the Press – Notes

Daily Mail on Google and Adele

Today, the Daily Mail published the most hysterical pile of anti-internet crap that I think I’ve ever seen. And that takes some doing as Daily Mail articles usually combine a complete lack of understanding of the internet together with the deep distrust and fear that Mail writers have for most of the modern world. In… Continue reading Daily Mail on Google and Adele

Snow vs Global Warming

Every winter as the snow starts to fall we get some some climate change denier claiming that the existence of snow categorically disproves the existence of climate change. This weekend the race was won by Richard Littlejohn who added the following to the end of his column in the Mail on Sunday. It’s late November… Continue reading Snow vs Global Warming

Berlin Time

You might have heard of a campaign to move the UK onto the same timezone as Central Europe. There are a number of groups campaigning for this (see, for example, Lighter Later) and the proposals are going to be discussed in parliament on December 3rd. Now, I don’t have any particularly strong feelings either way… Continue reading Berlin Time

Complicated Voting System

The Daily Mail never misses an opportunity to push its agenda, does it. Writing about the Labour Leadership election today, Nicola Boden says: Once regarded as the dark horse in the competition, the energy spokesman, 40, took the crown thanks to the party’s complicated voting system. “Complicated”? How can you possibly describe the single transferable… Continue reading Complicated Voting System

Homeopathic Dilutions

Like many press outlets, the Daily Mail pre-empted the publication of the Science and Technology committee report and published a story yesterday summing up the MPs’ findings. Of course the Daily Mail is the home of the gullible reader and a good number of the comments on that story are attempting to defend the woo-mongers.… Continue reading Homeopathic Dilutions