News of the World

A section to discuss matters not related to Chess in particular.
Arshad Ali
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Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:27 pm

Re: News of the World

Post by Arshad Ali » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:45 pm

I'm waiting with bated breath for the slap on the wrist.

Simon Spivack
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Re: News of the World

Post by Simon Spivack » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:00 pm

Arshad Ali wrote:I'm waiting with bated breath for the slap on the wrist.
Is the said slap to be administered to yourself or the Dirty Digger? ;-)

Naturally I won't reveal my position. Nonetheless, I feel impelled to point out that I have never taken out a subscription to The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun, The News of the World, Sky TV or Sky Internet.

Following the revelations about the spying on Gordon Brown, I can see the Dirty Digger giving up his UK newspapers in return for 100% ownership of BSkyB.

Good people all, of every sort,
Give ear unto my song;
And if you find it wondrous short,
It cannot hold you long.

In Islington there was a man,
Of whom the world might say
That still a godly race he ran,
Whene'er he went to pray.

A kind and gentle heart he had,
To comfort friends and foes;
The naked every day he clad,
When he put on his clothes.

And in that town a dog was found,
As many dogs there be,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,
And curs of low degree.

The dog and man at first were friends;
But when a pique began,
The dog, to gain some private ends,
Went mad, and bit the man.

Around from all the neighbouring streets,
The wondering neighbours ran,
And swore the dog had lost his wits
To bite so good a man.

The wound it seemed both sore and sad
To every Christian eye;
And while they swore the dog was mad
They swore the man would die.

But soon a wonder came to light,
That showed the rogues they lied;
The man recovered of the bite,
The dog it was that died.


- Oliver Goldsmith.

Arshad Ali
Posts: 704
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Re: News of the World

Post by Arshad Ali » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:46 pm

Simon Spivack wrote:
Arshad Ali wrote:I'm waiting with bated breath for the slap on the wrist.
Is the said slap to be administered to yourself or the Dirty Digger? ;-)
The Dirty Digger. People like me don't get slapped on the wrist -- for the likes of myself, it's Guantanomo, renditions, mysterious disappearances as we become unpersons. My contention is that media is part of the warp-and-woof of the British state, and Murdoch is a central part of that media. There'll be some sanctimonious utterances from politicians, dutifully reported in the media (much of it owned by Murdoch), and then it will sort of taper off, die out ....

Nick Thomas
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Re: News of the World

Post by Nick Thomas » Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:01 pm

Came across this today and thought it a good read:

http://www.slate.com/id/2298936/

Glad to see that Christopher Hitchens is still well enough to churn out worthwhile writing.

Arshad Ali
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Re: News of the World

Post by Arshad Ali » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:18 pm

Nick Thomas wrote:Came across this today and thought it a good read:

http://www.slate.com/id/2298936/

Glad to see that Christopher Hitchens is still well enough to churn out worthwhile writing.
To my mind, he makes two perceptive observations:

1) It was the Guardian -- rather than any organ of the British state -- that exposed NOTW, and

2) "What strikes the eye about the material in the News of the World is its relentless nullity: when cruel things happen to unimportant people, or when sordid things happen to famous people. Prurience and voyeurism supply the only energy."

Murdoch isn't solely to blame for this; he but noticed the characteristics of the British zeitgeist and made quite a bit of lucre out of it.

Arshad Ali
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Re: News of the World

Post by Arshad Ali » Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:32 pm


David Robertson
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Re: News of the World

Post by David Robertson » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:27 pm

Arshad Ali wrote:he but noticed the characteristics of the British zeitgeist and made quite a bit of lucre out of it
'British zeitgeist', my a*se. Wherever human abasement, crowds gather. True in antiquity; true today

Arshad Ali
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Re: News of the World

Post by Arshad Ali » Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:19 pm

David Robertson wrote:
Arshad Ali wrote:he but noticed the characteristics of the British zeitgeist and made quite a bit of lucre out of it
'British zeitgeist', my a*se. Wherever human abasement, crowds gather. True in antiquity; true today
So why do France and Germany not have anything quite comparable to the Sun and NOTW? I don't think even the German Axel Springer empire stoops so low as Murdoch in Britain. Maybe Berlusconi in Italy is similar but I don't know.

Paul McKeown
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Re: News of the World

Post by Paul McKeown » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:19 pm

Arshad Ali wrote:So why do France and Germany not have anything quite comparable to the Sun and NOTW? I don't think even the German Axel Springer empire stoops so low as Murdoch in Britain. Maybe Berlusconi in Italy is similar but I don't know.
What are you talking about :?:

Try Das Bild, just to start with, if you want tabloid titillation. I will leave you the exercise of telling us which of The Sun or Das Bild is worse.

Personally, I think the Daily Mail is much worse in many ways than The Sun is; the Mail identifies social groups which do not fit its readership profile and then blames them for all that is wrong in our society, which happily (?) reinforces the prejudices of many of its readers. Everyone's happy, apart from those cast in the role of sin eaters. And it fills so many of its pages with endless "lifestyle" advice, buy Laura Ashley and no one can twitch their curtains on your street more stylishly than you, which I find particularly nauseating.

But let's put it all into perspective. Even the Mail isn't all bad, it does do a lot of serious journalism and does campaign from time to time to correct injustice, the Daily Mail's Stephen Lawrence campaign was fearless, just and widely applauded, for instance. The fact is that the British public are fairly tolerant and rather few hold extreme views, so no successful British newspaper could survive without reflecting that to some degree.

We have a fairly rubbish press, but it does do a job of holding governmental and judicial excess to account. So it needs to be cleaned up, there has to be a genuine mechanism to allow those who have been abused by the press to seek redress, the press needs to be held accountable for its actions, it cannot corrupt officers of the Crown, it cannot break the law without powerfully overriding reasons of public interest, it must respect boundaries of personal privacy and it mustn't seek undue influence. But we don't need to destroy it either, nor do we want to prevent it doing its function.

Arshad Ali
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Re: News of the World

Post by Arshad Ali » Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:46 am

Paul McKeown wrote:
Arshad Ali wrote:So why do France and Germany not have anything quite comparable to the Sun and NOTW? I don't think even the German Axel Springer empire stoops so low as Murdoch in Britain. Maybe Berlusconi in Italy is similar but I don't know.
What are you talking about :?:

Try Das Bild, just to start with, if you want tabloid titillation. I will leave you the exercise of telling us which of The Sun or Das Bild is worse.

Personally, I think the Daily Mail is much worse in many ways than The Sun is; the Mail identifies social groups which do not fit its readership profile and then blames them for all that is wrong in our society, which happily (?) reinforces the prejudices of many of its readers. Everyone's happy, apart from those cast in the role of sin eaters. And it fills so many of its pages with endless "lifestyle" advice, buy Laura Ashley and no one can twitch their curtains on your street more stylishly than you, which I find particularly nauseating.

But let's put it all into perspective. Even the Mail isn't all bad, it does do a lot of serious journalism and does campaign from time to time to correct injustice, the Daily Mail's Stephen Lawrence campaign was fearless, just and widely applauded, for instance. The fact is that the British public are fairly tolerant and rather few hold extreme views, so no successful British newspaper could survive without reflecting that to some degree.
Upto here even if I don't necessarily agree with you, I can't be bothered to quibble. Page 3 titillation and advice on lifestyle choices are relatively innocuous. I find Mail pieces interesting from time to time.
We have a fairly rubbish press, but it does do a job of holding governmental and judicial excess to account.


It's here that we seriously part ways. All of Murdoch's 100+ papers, for example, were in support of the invasion of Iraq (despite Murdoch's claim that he exercises no editorial oversight). It's the media's role in policy formulation, and it's related role in shaping public perception, that is the nub of the problem. The government and mass media have a mutual interest in not holding each other to account. Their interests are intertwined. Public deception, disinformation, propaganda, and diverting titillation are state instruments in creating and implementing military, foreign, and domestic policy. The state and privately owned media have a symbiotic relationship with each other. Murdoch is the epitome of this, it's egregious example.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: News of the World

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:30 am

"the Mail identifies social groups which do not fit its readership profile and then blames them for all that is wrong in our society"

True - a friend rang recently and said an article in the Mail had identified the reason for the plague of bed bugs in England. "Asylum seekers?", I said. The caller then accused me of reading the paper, but I explained it was a lucky guess. Apparently, if you map all the bed bug sightings, they draw noriceable lines between Heathrow/Gatwick and central London, and Dover to London!

I was amused on BBC News the other day, when the closure of NOTW had just been announced and a presenter started saying "the News of the S, er, World". Presumably he was about to use its well-known nickname.
"Kevin was the arbiter and was very patient. " Nick Grey

Arshad Ali
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Re: News of the World

Post by Arshad Ali » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:46 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote:I was amused on BBC News the other day, when the closure of NOTW had just been announced and a presenter started saying "the News of the S, er, World". Presumably he was about to use its well-known nickname.
The News of the Screws, or The Nudes of the World. Take your pick.

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John Clarke
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Re: News of the World

Post by John Clarke » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:35 pm

Arshad Ali wrote:
Kevin Thurlow wrote:I was amused on BBC News the other day, when the closure of NOTW had just been announced and a presenter started saying "the News of the S, er, World". Presumably he was about to use its well-known nickname.
The News of the Screws, or The Nudes of the World. Take your pick.
Always preferred the late Auberon Waugh's occasional nickname for it: the W*nkers' Weekly.
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

Arshad Ali
Posts: 704
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Re: News of the World

Post by Arshad Ali » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:30 pm

John Clarke wrote:Always preferred the late Auberon Waugh's occasional nickname for it: the W*nkers' Weekly.
Still, suppose mustn't be too harsh on the proles. They will have their fags, booze, and tabloids. And Murdoch has precursors in Lord Northcliffe and (in the USA) William Randolph Hearst.

Paul Cooksey

Re: News of the World

Post by Paul Cooksey » Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:53 pm


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