In a piece of timing that can only be called 'fortuitous', two papers today have both managed to cover the same story... but somehow managed to write two completely and utterly different ones.
Why is this fortuitous, you say? Well, over at Enemies of Reason, the Author has managed to get in trouble with a couple of stick-up-the-arse NUJ members who came bursting into a recent comments thread of his, flashing their press cards and then practically throwing mud in the eyes of anyone who dare try and report news without one - Next time my Nana asks me how my girlfriend's job is going, I must remember to get 'Anne' round to tell her, lest I say anything legally dubious:- Because we all know that the newspapers never print anything as fact when it isn't, don't we?
KATIE: I Will Marry Alex (The Star)
Katie Price turns down Alex Reid after cagefighter begs her to take him back (The Mail)
Gosh darn it, wrong again.
See, according to "TV Insiders" and "Sources" (Which I'm fairly certain means "My mate John read the Radio Times, and he reckons..."), Jordan and her fella Alex Reid are getting married. Or they're not, depending on which one of these anonymous bullshit merchants you talk to.
Now, I first saw this story on the front of the Star, which as we know, is probably the most truth-free zone in Britain, and therefore I was slightly loathe to believe it - But the paper carrying the counter-story is the Daily Mail, and I'd believe a flying pig telling me I'd won the lottery before I believed anything that hateful rag has to say.
Each paper has even managed to find itself a named source to report their version of the story - The Star picking Alex Reid's management, while The Mail have used Michelle Heaton (Albeit copied and pasted from another paper) as their font of knowledge.
So, it's a good thing that Journalists check their facts before they fling ink at the page isn't it? I mean, if they didn't bother to get something provable or first hand, God knows, we could end up with conflicting stories, couldn't we?
Events like this only serve to prove that the papers don't provide news anymore, just hearsay and Chinese whispers, gleaned from any number of weasly, made up, discreditable sources - The Star, for example, stated that Jordan was seen giggling while reading messages "thought" to be from Reid. Now, is there any way in the world that could mean anything other than "Jordan was looking at her phone, and after a quick ask round the office, we reckon she was laughing at texts sent from Alex?" No, I don't think there is.
Furthermore, The Star claims that the whole thing was "secretly filmed" for Jordan's new series, whereas the Mail state that Reid would have had to have given his consent, and would have been paid - So unless they were secretly slipping fivers into his bumbag while they were talking, someone's telling porkies again.
Interestingly, both stories mention the fact that Reid is a crossdresser - Now call me naive, but what the ruddy hell does that have to do with the story in hand? Nothing, I think it's fair to say - It's a completely unrelated fact that has no bearing on the story. To be fair, both papers have proved before that they aren't above slipping in an unneeded mention to race or sexual preference before now, so maybe clothes are their newest interest. Next week, there'll be stories on Gordon Brown reading "Brown - Who admitted he likes blue ties"... I'm telling you, it's going to happen.
I admit, this is not world changing news - Neither the story, nor the fact that two papers have contradicted each other - But it does make me laugh that shortly after reading somebody say that journalists do so much work to clarify and correctly source their facts and work to reporting restrictions, two of the country's biggest papers have managed to run stories that go directly against each other, written by journalists who so obviously couldn't give two wet fucks about whether their source was reliable, what was the truth and wasn't, just so long as they get the opportunity to fling a little bit more shit at the fan that is the British public, in the hope that it sticks.
Seriously Anton, I can see why you wouldn't want a press card - They only seem to be for cunts.
And as a last thought: When is the Mail just going to face facts and change it's logo to red and white?