Sunday, 22 May 2011

Richard Peppiatt is a f***ing legend

Though I mention it very rarely, one of the defining things about me is my deep contempt for the right-wing tabloids in this country - not for their political viewpoint, but for their hypocrisy, lies and distortion of the truth. If you're not aware of this then I suggest you go and have a brief skim read of this.

To put it bluntly, the right wing tabloids in this country mislead and lie to the public in order to push their own narratives. Now, that wouldn't be so much of an issue were it not for the fact that people die as a result. For example, when the Daily Mail and other tabloid rags claim that the cervical cancer jab is "as deadly as cancer itself" then they're not just being distasteful, they're putting people's lives at risk because some people who read the headline will believe it and then won't get vaccinated and some of them will then die as a result. Of course, you have to remember that this isn't through any ideological, deep-seated belief on behalf of the tabloids - if it was, then why would the Daily Mail in Ireland have been campaigning for the jab to be introduced over there?

Anyway, the point of this blog post is to draw attention to Richard Peppiatti, a former journalist at the Daily Star who eventually quit in disgust at the narrative he was contributing to. But that's not all, when he quit, he also wrote the following letter to Richard Desmond, porn magnate and owned of OK magazine, the Daily Star and the Daily Express.

Here's an extract:
But what brings me here today is those times you dispense with those skewed news values entirely by printing stories which couldn't stand up to a gnat's fart. 
It's those times when you morph from being a newspaper owner into the inventor of a handy product for lining rabbit hutches. While the Daily Star isn't the only paper with a case to answer, I reckon it's certainly the ugliest duckling of an unsightly flock. 
Its endemic lack of self-perception really is something to behold. It only takes a comedian to make an ironic gag about racism and your red top is on hand to whip up a storm, demanding the culprit commit hara-kiri beside Stephen Lawrence's shrine. 
Yet turn the page and Muslims are branded "beardies" or "fanatics", and black-on-black killings ("Bob-slayings", as I've cringingly heard them called in your newsroom) can be resigned to a handful of words, shoehorned beneath a garish advert. 
Outraged, we brand other celebrities sexist, demanding such dinosaurs be castrated on the steps of the Natural History Museum. 
Then with our anger sated it's back to task, arranging the day's news based on the size of the subjects' breasts.
I strongly suggest you go and read the full letter here.

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