Archive for the ‘Telegraph’ Category

Hitler’s son and Chaplin: The sordid truth revealed!

February 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Today’s Daily Telegraph – rapidly stitching into its hair-weave the jester’s crown of Britain’s silliest paper – has not one, but two exciting historical revelations:

First up: Charlie Chaplin may have been …French!

Charlie - or should that be "Charlot"?

Second: Hitler had a son, Jean-Marie Loret, by a Frenchwoman he met while moseying round the Maginot Line during WWI:

Hitler only had un fils

I can’t see why the Telegraph doesn’t have the nous to put 2 and 2 together to get the real answer:

Charlie Chaplin was really the Frenchman Jean-Marie Loret – the son of Adolf Hitler!
It explains so much! Those who might quibble about discrepancies in dates of birth in my marvellous new conspiracy theory can, I feel, safely be denigrated as “birthers”, “deniers” etc etc.
Now I must go off and write a book, put together a viral YouTube video, get the backing of Al Gore, George Monbiot and the BBC, and I’ll be rich, rich, I tell you!!!

Keep Calm and Womble On

December 15, 2011 Leave a comment

The Leveson hearing continues to Bore On for Britain, with live coverage on both BBC News 24 and Sky News, for heaven’s sake. As if anyone apart from Guido Fawkes and the usual politico-journo junkie suspects are really interested in watching minute-by-minute coverage from that sweaty oak-panelled room in the Royal Courts of Justice, where the testimony can hardly be heard above the ticking of the lawyers’ taximeters.

I’ve taken up watching Russia Today and Al-Jazeera to get my afternoon’s news fix. At least you get an idea that something important is happening outside in the real world.

It’s not as though we haven’t been here before. Whatever Leveson decides, we know what’s going to happen. Indeed, I’ve tried to interest Laurence Rees in a blockbuster TV series, tentatively titled The Calcutt Committee: A Lesson From History, but so far he’s not answered a single one of my emails. Maybe it’s because I couldn’t bring Nazis into it in a meaningful way.

Still, it’s good to see Fleet Street’s Finest have got their heads down and are still digging up the Stories That Really Matter:

W T Stead, eat yer heart out. Now this is a scoop!

Full story here.

When good subbing is essential, Part 96…

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

When you’re writing a scoop about educational standards…, 08/12/11

Life imitates Peter Simple – again

October 17, 2011 Leave a comment
Baker and her sculptures

Sharon Baker: The hype also rises

From today’s preposterous column by the Telegraph’s resident arty-farter, Rupert Christiansen:

Sharon Baker lives up to her surname. She cooks up marvels in her kitchen in suburban Epsom, sculpting dough like wet plaster. For the Experimental Food Society’s banquet next week, she will produce hundreds of bread rolls, cast from the hand of the survivalist television presenter Ray Mears.

Christiansen murmers approvingly: “Sharon showed me the prototype: the impression of wrinkled skin on the crust is quite uncanny.”

Of course, as with most “artists” these days, Baker  intends to follow her muse into unexpected, unexplored quarters, beyond mere loafing around with bread:

I don’t want to make art out of things that will last for ever. I prefer materials which, like human beings, have their life and then degenerate and die. And if I get bored with bread, I’m going to move on to jelly, icing sugar and toffee.

Well, unexplored except by Michael Wharton. This from his brilliant Peter Simple column Way of the World column, also published in the Daily Telegraph, in 1965 (!):

Over the cultural horizon of Britain, now the cynosure of the world, rises a new star (writes art-critic Neville Dreadberg). He is bearded, stocky, 27-year-old Neville Dreadberg, who has exploded into success – personal, social and financial – as current rave of the pop art “scenes” with his show of “structural” stale confectionery sculpture at the Kevin Blatsch Gallery.

The first artist to explore the inwardness – and the essential anguish, loneliness and non-communication – of cream buns, eclairs, custard tarts, liquorice all-sorts, chocolate caramels and similar artefacts, Dreadberg is a man of the avant garde with fingers deep in many different pies.

Perhaps the owners of the Telegraph, the mysterious Barclay Twins, may care to reflect – while stroking their equally mysterious twin white persian cats in their mysterious Channel Island castle hideaway, Brecqhou – that their no doubt highly-paid arts correspondent is merely recycling stuff that appeared in one of the papers they own 45 years ago.

They could alert the Telegraph’s editor, Tony Gallagher, but I would warn them that such action is bootless. The man’s a boofhead (© Nick Farr-Jones).

What the Telegraph hides behind its coy dashes to spare its readers’ blushes

October 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Graham Henry outrages the Telegraph's sensibilities

An odd bit of censorship in the Telegraph’s round-up of the New Zealand-Argentina Rugby World Cup quarter-final yesterday.

Quoting All Black coach Graham Henry at the post-match press conference, the Telegraph’s Mick Cleary quotes him thusly:

We’re through to the semi-final, [I’ve] never been there before, it feels – – – – – – amazing.

Note the coy use of dashes there. What naughty word could Henry have used there? Hmmm, let’s see…six dashes…could it be the Brits’ favourite Anglo-Saxon epithet, minus the missing “g”? You know, the f-word?

Of course not. Anyone who has been to the Land of the Long White Cloud knows that the Kiwis’ swear word of choice, particularly in mixed company, is “bloody”. Indeed, it’s probably one of the few countries in the world where you also commonly hear “blimin'”. *

And ‘bloody” was of course the word Henry used – check him out here.

Quite why the Telegraph feels it needs to shelter its readers – particularly its rugby-following readers – from “bloody” in this day and age is I suppose a matter between editor Tony Gallagher and Outraged Colonel of Tunbridge Wells. But to hide it behind dashes seems akin to those Victorian matrons who (perhaps apocryphally) hid curvaceous piano legs under frilly dresses, lest the sight of them stirred unseemly lust.

* Kiwis seem to have a fondness for b-words. As well as “bastard”, the other one you’re more likely to hear there than over here is “bugger”, usually used without any sexual connotation. The online debate continues whether Edmund Hillary, on returning from the top of Everest said “We knocked the bastard off” (what was reported by Jan (née James) Morris at the time) or “We knocked the bugger off” (how teammates remembered it). Hillary himself remembers it as “bastard” in his memoirs; most Kiwis remember it as “bugger”.

Joss Stone and shaping the 24/7 news agenda

June 15, 2011 Leave a comment
Joss Stone

Joss Stone: Arresting new single

Currently, both the BBC baby farm – sorry, BBC News – and Sky News are featuring heavily and tweeting louder than an evening chorus the news about blue-eyed soul singer Joss Stone and arrests surrounding an alleged “murder plot”. Both the BBC and Sky seem to rely heavily on that increasingly deranged and hysterical font of breaking “news”, the Daily Twittergraph. Even to the extent of  sharing the same phraseology and “spokespersons”.

Hmmm. Stone of course was the artist who attracted widespread opprobrium from the bien pesantry in the UK media in 2007 by affecting an American accent at the Brit awards. How dare she sound something like George Dubleya! Boo! Hiss! Gerrer orf!

But in these days of Hopey-Changey, that’s OK now, so it seems she has been rehabilitated by the North London chattering classes. Huzzah!

What none of these news reports thought fit to mention is that she has just this week released a new single, Somehow, taken from a new album, LP1, due for release on July 26. I’d have thought these facts might have relevance to the story. But obviously they were unaccountably not included in the original press release. Or, if they were, the journalists for some reason thought fit not to include them, despite finding a lot of other superfluous rubbish to include, including the telling details of  – to quote the BBC – “swords, plans of the singer’s home and” – a real gothic, Burke and Hare detail this – “a body bag”. Surely there was a phosphorescent-fire breathing hound somewhere in there? We are talking about Devon, after all.

Well, call me a cynic, but isn’t the coincidence of a singer coming back in from the media cold with a just-released single and an upcoming album, with a red-hot, hold-the-front-page story of possible kidnap and murder which might have been ripped straight from the pages of a Victorian penny dreadful enough to make even the Twittergraph’s fearless investigator of “quirky internet stories”, Andrew Hough, pause for thought? Maybe not.*

For the record, I enjoy Joss Stone’s singing. You can hear some tracks from the new album at her website. She sounds as good as ever.

Personally, I don’t give a monkey’s what she talks like at some arse-licking industry award show like the Brits. There, she could moo like a cow or honk like a flatulent goose for all I care. She certainly wouldn’t sound any worse than the journalists at the bleeding-edge of our shiny new 24/7 news cycle.

* UPDATE: Or maybe so. I notice at 1.16am this morning, the Telegraph website had taken down Hough’s original story, plus some other “related” stories.

The Indy’s magical monarchist moment

May 18, 2011 1 comment

Her Maj’s historic (© all newspapers, airwaves, bandwidth) to Ireland dominates the front pages of the heavies today, but one particularly stood out from the newspaper rack I passed this morning.

Most went for the traditional “beautiful handbag and smiling hat” pictures. The Times:

Front page The Times

The Guardian:

Queen in Ireland The Guardian

The Torygruff takes another tack, going for a deep, tightly cropped headshot, but none too successfully:

Queen in Ireland The Telegraph

(Instead of looking out of the page, if she had been facing the other way, toward the lead story on les travails de Huhne, it might explain what she’s laughing at.)

But best of all for its unusual, striking treatment and its witty pairing one historic event with another is The Independent:

The Queen in Ireland The Independent
Excellent treatment, though maybe the headline should have read ‘One small step for a Ma’am’
I’m not sure how this will play with the Indy’s kneejerk anti-monarchist readers, but from a purely page design point of view, its the equivalent of the Crown Jewels.
The tabs mostly ignored the event, apart from the Mirror, which had this laboured and baffling sidebar pun:
The Queen in Ireland Daily Mirror

Yer wot?

Heff leaves Torygraph ‘to pursue journalism’

May 12, 2011 Leave a comment
Simon Heffer to leave Telegraph

Heff decides to leave it, not lump it

His words, apparently. Well, according to the Guardian, anyway:

Simon Heffer, the formidable Daily Telegraph columnist and ever vigilant scourge of style guide transgressions, is leaving the paper to “pursue a role in journalism and broadcasting”.

So he leaves a national broadsheet daily to “pursue journalism”. Fascinating, and perhaps careful,  choice of words. But he expects to find that  in…broadcasting?!?!?

Say it ain’t so, Heff.

UPDATE: Actually, I think I espy a job opportunity here. I’m going to email Tony Gallagher and offer my services as the Toryguff’s new style guide guru. “Last week we referred to a baronet as a ‘peer of the realm’. Please note that baronets are not peers, but gentry, as are knights”…yeah, I’m pretty damned hot on that sort of stuff. I think I can include about 200-odd references from my last employment who would back my application.

Steven Davies: Place your bets

February 28, 2011 1 comment

With England wicketkeeper Steven Davies coming out as gay in today’s Telegraph, bookies have announced the following odds on well-known media pundits reviving the old Oscar Wilde gag about never playing cricket because “it requires one to assume such indecent postures”:

  • Jan Moir 1-1
  • Jeremy Clarkson 7-2
  • Andy Gray and/or Richard Keys 6-4
  • David Aaronovitch 9-2
  • Melanie Phillips 11-4
  • Johann Hari 20-1
  • William Rees-Mogg 2/1
  • Stephen Fry 1-1000

I’ll get my coat…



Telegraph’s Aussie subs strike again

August 15, 2010 Leave a comment
Telegraph website headline

Errr, no....

Well, I suppose one has to admire the exactitude of their wrongness.