Media Shoddy Journalism

How The Meeja Works: We’ll Just Print Any Old Rubbish We Get Sent In A Press Release…

I read this story about a teenager getting a cabinet (when she wanted a cab, init–DYSWTDT) in the Metro of the bloke sitting next to me on the tube this morning. It’s also for some reason made it into El Reg (er, technology angle?) who appear to have just copied it out of the Daily Mail.

How many ways is this clearly the fabrication of a desperately unfunny PR department at the furniture company?

Let us count the ways…

– This “19 Year South Londoner”. What has her name? No? Funny how you’ve managed to get in the name of the company that supplied the cabinet, though, isn’t it?

– Since when did teenagers not off of Eastenders use cockney rhyming slang? I’ve never heard anyone call it a “Joe Baxi”. Have you?

– If she lives in London, home to 6 major airports, why was she flying from Bristol?

– Didn’t they ask her what type of cabinet she wanted? Size? Colour?

– Did the people selling her the cabinet not think it was odd when she said she wanted this cabinet to take her to Bristol? (And why travel there by cab in the first place?)

So well done, display company PR people. I’ll give you a B+ for effort, but next time you want some free publicity, maybe try something that’s moderately believable, ok?

And this is also notable for some speak your branes level commentary from the unwashed illiterates who read the Mail and the Metro:

“Looks like this is another one who will be kept by the taxpayer for life on benefits. How can these people expect to get a job when they can’t talk the language?” — Brian Lightfoot, Birtley Co. Durham

“She definitely should not have received either an apology or a refund. The woman is one of our Nulabour illiterates, a product of our wonderful education system taught by teachers who have threatened strike action because they are “underpaid”. Unfortunately good English is seldom spoken or understood by the text generation. God help Britain because our children will not be able to.” — Ken, South London

“Serves the idiot right.” — Mr. J. Smith, Birmingham, England

“Well, if she had asked properly, then no mix up would have occurred. A sign of the times, I suppose, innit?” — Sandie Seward, Basildon U.K.

“Why should the furniture company apologise? If the idiot girl had spoken correctly in the first place she would have got the taxi she wanted.” — Simon, Nottingham England

So that’s “benefit scroungers”, “the yoof of today”, the “text generation”, “Nulabour”, and “striking teachers”… If someone could just find a way to pin this one on the immigrants then I’d have a full line of my “right wing middle england” bingo card.

Thanks, one and all, for thinking carefully before responding rather than just trotting out your lazy prejudices. Well done everyone!