Dont Believe A Word?
Remember the old subheading of our long departed Hot Gossip? We put it in there as an ironic comment because actually every word was true. This piece though is about the national media, the press and the TV news, and actually you cant believe a word they say.
Their current preoccupation is with setting hares running, feeding public paranoia and the imagination of already sick and puerile readers.
Remember the big police commando raids across the south of England and Slough in particular, helicopters, dogs, riot police, armed police, and more flashing lights than Blackpool? The tabloids screamed about a mass action involving more than 400 officers against Child Trafficking. The TV news showed scenes of the dawn raids, doors being bashed in black uniformed cops running about screaming and carrying away hapless little children at the dead of night into police vans and the waiting arms of social workers.
What was it all about? Although the police had actually got the journalists out of their beds to be present at these events, had sent them all invitations to film the dramatic rescues, they didnt actually tell anyone what the kids were trafficked for. The quality papers and the TV News suggested they were being brought here to beg or steal for Fagins. The Tabloids didnt think this was hard core enough and suggested it for sex abuse and prostitution. The heartless bastards, the heroic cops, the poor kids.
Actually they werent Trafficked kids at all, they had all been taken from their own parents from their own homes by the cops and actually nothing whatever to do with trafficking or child protection issues had taken place AT ALL. All of the kids were returned to their parents within 48 hours, with no charges whatever against anyone.
A couple of stolen phones were found during the raids, accidentally and incidentally.
The point is has anyone seen any screaming headlines Telling The Truth of the events? Has anyone seen any retractions or apologies on the TV? Na and we wont. But Millions of people around Britain will still be repeating the same false story.
There is much to believe the whole Trafficking story is largely a myth anyway. It is being promoted to fuel the governments agenda to make Prostitution in private and between adults a criminal offence. It hides a moralist backlash by the Christian right in Britain who dont like sex services even offered by consenting adults. A recent Sunday religious debate on TV however, revealed an investigation into 90% of the massage parlours in Britain and contrary to popular myth, none of the foreign girls employed there had been trafficked. All had come voluntarily and all were staying voluntarily and none of them were employed by pimps or gang masters. Its not that were keen on prostitution or dubious massage parlours, just that it isnt really anyones business except those engaged in it so long as its consensual.
Then we had the other big storming Headline Abuse Of Cannabis Puts 500 a week In Hospital. Wow, 500 A WEEK! Em well not really, 500 people being treated in any hospital for anything, or receiving any drug treatment of any sort, admitted to having at least once used cannabis. So an aspirin allergy, a hangover or a broken leg can be put down to having smoked pot twenty years ago. And actually they werent admitted to hospital at all the bulk of them were outpatients and people receiving outside hospital counselling.
Then the Drink Binge scares. Underage drinkers, boozing youngsters, despite the figures that LESS Young people are drinking today than ten years ago and in any case two cans of larger isnt a binge.
Why not just make the news up? Sorry thats what they are doing.
Dont Believe a Word, like we said first time.
(For more information on the myths see Guardian for Sat Feb 2nd 2008)
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