Post promotes “vandal thug”

June 12, 2009

The fucking hypocrisy! Today, Bristol’s own Banksy opens his massive new show at the City Museum. As part of the PR hype the artist has given an “exclusive” to the Evening Post.

Although it isn’t really that exclusive. Internet rumours of a Banksy summer show in Bristol have been flying around for ages; Venue magazine reported the rumours weeks ago. Last night Twitter was burning up with Tweets revealing the venue to be the City Museum and a local blogger actually managed to get a sneak a picture through a gap in a door. Even Radio 4’s Today programme had reported from the Banksy V Bristol Museum show before the Post revealed its “exclusive” online at 0930 (presumably to meet the PR’s embargo instructions).

And what a load of gush the story is; someone at the Post this morning must have very wet undercrackers:

The world’s most famous living artist is coming home. Banksy has sneaked his biggest ever UK exhibition into Bristol.

The Bristol Evening Post can exclusively reveal that the mysterious artist, best known for his subversive stencil graffiti work, has taken over much of Bristol’s City Museum and Art Gallery.

We even have a world exclusive in publishing a picture of the outlandish installation that will greet the hundreds of thousands of art lovers who are likely to descend on the city through the summer from around the world.

. . .

Speaking exclusively to the Bristol Evening Post, Banksy said: “The people of Bristol have always been very good to me – I decided the best way to show my appreciation was by putting a bunch of old toilets and some live chicken nuggets in their museum.

. . .

Many of his most iconic pieces of graffiti have become landmarks in Bristol – from the distinctive Mild, Mild West mural in Stokes Croft, to the naked adulterer apparently hanging from a window on the wall of a sexual health clinic in Park Street.

But this exhibition will be the greatest gift he could have presented to his home city . . .

Banksy personally requested that news of his latest show should be revealed in his home city’s local newspaper.

We have also been offered an exclusive sneak preview of the show today, ahead of its opening. There will be more pictures to follow, and don’t miss your copy of the Bristol Evening Post tomorrow.

[. . . pukes]

But can this really be the same Evening Post which in 2004 ran an “exclusive” photo which “unmasked” Banksy along with this accompanying comment:

So the graffiti artist Banksy is unmasked.

After years of hiding behind a full-face balaclava his identity is revealed.

With his loss of anonymity has gone much of his mystique.

For he thrived on the majority of us not knowing who he was.

Perhaps now we have seen his face we can focus upon whether he is an artist or a common vandal with a talent for using a spray can.

. . .

Raising an aerosol in the name of art may be a way of celebrating free speech but it has a damaging impact on the environment.

For graffiti spawns graffiti and there is no guarantee of its calibre.

. . .

And as Bristol South MP Dawn Primarolo rightly remarked the other day, it scars communities.

If we tolerate graffiti then it will occur everywhere. And that means on walls, buildings, shops, pavements and bridges.

It doesn’t bring colour and interest to an area – it desecrates that area.

And as graffiti grows so people’s pride in the area dwindles.

Someone like Banksy has to understand that and take responsibility for it.

And the same Evening Post which in 2007 said:

Bristol City Council deserves great credit for its plans to tackle graffiti.
It spoils and devalues the look of the city in which we live. And the people responsible for it are nothing more than vandals.
So the city council’s plans for undercover surveillance of the most frequently targeted places is exactly the right approach.
Graffiti artists operate by stealth, so let’s catch them by using the same tactics.
Don’t be fooled by people who bleat about graffiti being a form of self-expression. Nor by those who hold up the likes of Banksy and claim him as a great artist.
Talented he may be and some are willing to pay ludicrous prices for his work but by his own definition he is a vandal.
So let us not make any exceptions. Let’s tar all of those who daub graffiti on buildings, walls, bridges and trains with the same brush.
They are breaking the law and they should be prosecuted.
The city council’s surveillance plans must be the first step. When they have identified the people responsible then it is crucial that they are prosecuted. And it is equally important that if convicted they receive a harsh sentence – whether it’s a fine or a jail term.
No one should shy away from coming down hard on these people. They deface the world around them, they make our environment a poorer place, not a better one.
They are not artists, they are just thugs with spray cans who have found a way to put two-fingers up to society and it is about time society hit back.

Of course, as Banksy has become more popular, famous, rich and establishment, the Post have gradually come around to appreciating his art.

This is obviously philistine bollocks; defining art by its cash value or its celebrity endorsements. It leads to the ludicrous debates we see regularly in the Post about whether a particular piece of graffiti is or is not “a real Banksy”: a paternity test to divine its value and decide whether it is art to be praised or vandalism to be scrubbed away by the council, trashed and forgotten like yesterday’s Evening Post.

‘Ridiculously out of control’ party didn’t disturb anyone

June 11, 2009

That would be a truer headline for this story from today’s Post: ‘Teenager’s party got ‘ridiculously out of control’.

Despite the Post’s faux horror at teenagers drinking booze at at a party:

Two black sacks full of alcohol were seized from the property, including bottles of wine and cider and bottles of beer and alcopops after the party in Wrington got out of hand.

And despite the Post’s accompanying stock-photo which makes it look like someone was actually murdered,

This “out-of-control” party seems to have pissed off no one other than the party-girl’s fogeyish brother. The twenty year-old called the cops and had the poor hung-over 15 year-old girl knocking up the neighbours to apologise.

The neighbours’ response to the Post?

Peter Patch, 70, said: "The first I heard about this party was when this young girl came round to apologise.

"I must admit I hadn’t heard anything and this party hadn’t disturbed me, so I didn’t complain.

Neighbour Helen Paynton, 41, said she saw lots of young people coming out of the house but was also not disturbed by the party and did not make a complaint.

The mum-of-one said: . . .  It did not disturb me and I went to bed as normal.

Another resident, who did not want to be named, said: . . .  I heard a bit of noise, but it didn’t concern me.

"After all, we all have to remember that we were all young once."

Who contacted the paper with this story?

Is this news or is the Post getting a bit too involved in a little sibling bust-up?

It does help to reinforce the Post’s reactionary view of young people as thugs, drunks and yobs, though doesn’t it.

Oxford Bristol Evening Post

June 2, 2009

From BBC:

Newspapers’ print tradition ends

Frontage of Bristol Evening Post

Two Bristol newspapers will no longer be printed in the West after the firm which owns both publications moved its printing operation to cut costs.

The Bristol Evening Post and Western Daily Press (WDP) newspapers have been printed in the region for 300 years.

Northcliffe Media has taken the decision to move to Oxfordshire.

Former deputy news editor of the WDP Steve Eggington said: "It’s sad but inevitable. It’s difficult to see what future there is for local papers."

Editions of both papers are now being brought into the region on a daily basis.

Love Music Hate Racism – RACISTS HAVE NO MUSIC

May 29, 2009

Use your votes on June 4th to stop the fascist BNP.

www.lovemusichateracism.com www.uaf.org.uk

Broken News ++ Broken News ++ Broken News ++

May 29, 2009

The Post today reports on the fascist BNP’s dumbass blunder when it used a photo of a World War 2 Spitfire which was part of a Polish Squadron. Doh.

Hello Evening Post, and welcome to the bash-the-fash party. Thing is, though, you’re a little late, aren’t you?

This story was being reported in the mainstream press at least as far back as March 4th, including by the Post’s parent title, the Daily Mail.

Well done, those intrepid Post hacks.

 

British National Party chairman Nick Griffin

Greasy BNP Furer

Economy stupid

May 26, 2009

You’d think that during the worst economic crisis since at least the 1930s, a news organisation would make sure it had someone who had a basic grasp of economics, wouldn’t you.

Not so, the Evening Post, if this editorial and the related ‘news report’ are anything to go by:

 

In praise of: Optimism about the economy

Thursday, May 21, 2009,

DEL Brett has gone where many fear to tread. The boss of the new Future Inn hotel at Cabot Circus says the worst of the recession is over and Bristol will be unscathed.

His forecast is not shared by everyone. However, there is a view that utterances such as this can help the economy pick up in the same way that pessimistic talk brought us to the situation we find ourselves in today.

Confidence is a key factor in economic wellbeing and can be the catalyst for getting things moving again. Mr Brett may or may not be proved to be right, but it is hard to avoid the feeling that a few more positive voices could be just the thing we need to kick-start the economy.

 

This nonsense was written in response to a woeful piece of press-release cut-n-paste churnalism plugging the opening of that cheap, tatty looking hotel next to Carboot Circus. The hotel’s owner claims that the worst of the recession is over: Hooray! He does actually say, "I’m not saying the recession is over but I believe we’ve got through the worst of it." but doesn’t stop the Post telling a massive porky in the headline: “Bristol hotel boss: ‘Recession is over’”.

The problem is that nowhere in either the article or the editorial is any evidence or justification whatsoever offered to back up this economic insight. And so, without any facts, the Post falls back on some kind of mysticism, suggesting that the recession was caused by “pessimistic talk” and that positive thinking could get the economy out of trouble. But this isn’t positive thinking, it’s fucking wishful thinking by some businessman who’s just opened a crappy hotel in the middle of a recession. We expect to read this kind of mumbo-jumbo bullshit on the horoscope page; but to see it in the news and editorial pages when covering such a serious subject really does make you wonder who the fuck is running this paper, what planet they live on and what the fuck they’ve been smoking.

More worrying even than the Post’s believe in hippinomics, is this line:  “. . . says the worst of the recession is over and Bristol will be unscathed.”

Bristol will be unscathed? Which fucking Bristol is that, then? The same Bristol where unemployment has doubled in 12 months (with little more than a passing mention by the Post)? The same Bristol that’s suffering a massive housing crisis which is being completely ignored by the Post?

I know they are quoting some idiot, self-interested businessman here, but if journalists are willing unthinkingly to print this drivel without examining or challenging it, then that amounts to promoting it.

And then, this news broke on the same day: UK moved a slight notch closer to bust”, as the UK’s credit rating was downgraded to ‘negative’ for the first time and the country moved closer to bankruptcy. This news almost guarantees a worsening of the crisis as creditors rush to claw back their cash and the government further tightens the screws on us.

And then this news broke on the same day: “Daily Mail raises job cuts amid 47% profit fall”, as Post owner DMGT announced yet more job cuts and profit loses, blaming the recession. Perhaps bosses at the Post have been thinking too many negative thoughts recently.

But hey, here’s me being a Negative Nelly and wrecking the economy; let’s all just close our eyes and think nice, happy thoughts of fluffy clouds and cute kittens and we’ll all be alright . . .

Post plays with fascist fire

May 20, 2009

Local elections launch

You may not have realised, but there are local elections in Bristol on June 4th.

This is the Post’s coverage of the announcement of the list of candidates from May 13th.

You’ll notice that of 14 paragraphs the Post feels it necessary to dedicate seven to the fascist BNP: A party which has 0 seats in the city and is fielding eight candidates out of a possible 23 seats and who’s highest share of the vote at the last election was less 20% in St George East with 560 votes.

The article’s top headline “BNP fields more candidates than ever” is an interesting choice, too. Why not “Greens field more candidates than ever before” and report how the Greens (who already hold one seat and may pick up another this time) are standing in all seats for the first time. Or, “Respect party fields more candidates than ever”?

And why does Ian Onions feel it necessary to give us four paragraphs of detail from the fascists’ manifesto and no mention of any other party’s policies?

Are the Post actually trying to big-up the fascists’ chance of doing well in the election by giving them disproportionate coverage?

If they are going to give the BNP disproportionate publicity why not mention their links to terrorism and Nazi-criminals? Why not point out the recent revelations about their links with the KKK and a South African racist murder? Why not mention the fascist ideology of the BNP and it’s lineage through the National Front to the British Union of Fascists? Why not quote the BNP’s founder that “Mein Kampf is our Bible”?

In fact, the Post seem pathetically scared of upsetting the BNP. We’ve recently seen a copy of a letter sent to the Post’s editors by a local antifascist campaigner asking why the Post refuses to print letters or statements from ant-racists which expose the BNP’s fascist heritage and ideology. The campaigner claims that the Post regularly edits out of letters any mention of the criminal convictions of the BNP’s leaders and those Nazi quotes that Nick Griffin wants us all to forget about. What’s the matter, Post? Have you fallen for the BNP’s propaganda that they are a normal, respectable political party? Are you scared of upsetting those BNP supporting readers?

It certainly seems from recent coverage that the Post is almost hoping for success for the BNP; not because the Post’s journos and editors support the fascists, I’m sure they don’t. But rather, because it makes an interesting story; a bit of controversy and conflict, a bit of reader reaction to fill the letters pages and comments section of the website.

There is a problem with a local corporate rag which is focussed primarily on sales and profits. Their political ‘neutrality’ actually hides the contradictory forces at play: the desire not to upset the status quo, their powerful friends and contacts; and the desire for conflict and disruption to give them something to report, something to provoke a reaction from their readers and shift papers.

The result of this fake-neutrality is that the paper isn’t on the side of ordinary Bristolians, at all. Political neutrality actually translates into a partisanship on the side of sales and profits, and fuck the consequences for the rest of us.

Bath Chronicle Watch

May 20, 2009

You’d think that now that the (Post’s sister title) Bath Chronicle has gone from daily to weekly publication they’d have less need for non-news drivel to fill space. Apparently not.

This is from their Thisisbath.co.uk website today:

Bus shelter is erected close to shops

A new bus shelter has been installed in Southdown . . .

Yaaaawn.

“Lazy, incurious and ­uncritical money-making machines”

May 20, 2009

Former senior BBC journalist, James Cox, is quoted in today’s Guardian Diary:

“Local papers might like to portray themselves as ‘the last bastion of democratic accountability’, but my reaction is ‘phooey!’ Most of them are lazy, incurious and ­uncritical. Their version of reporting is a bald recital of facts, and any criticism, even of the local dramatic ­society, is frowned upon for fear of ­upsetting the cosy local ­consensus. Most modern local papers are mere money-making machines run by remote accountants and staffed by poorly paid and underperforming hacks.”

Does he live in Bristol, by any chance?

Holocaust Balls

May 20, 2009

EP - S Savile - Holocaust ballls

She didn’t just . . . did she? Did she really just . . .

I’m really not sure what the fuck point Suzanne Savill is struggling to make in this column from last Wednesday (May 14th).

Because it seems to me like Suzanne is trying to compare: a scuffle in the street between a couple of members of the Stokes Croft great-unwashed and the effect it had on her precious sprogs with the murder of 6 million Jews in the Nazi Holocaust.

But, she can’t really be saying that because that would be stupid as fuck and disgustingly offensive, wouldn’t it. So what the fuck is she on about?


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