03 September 2006

The Sunday Papers

One of the things that originally attracted me to England and will make it difficult to leave is the quality (and quantity) of the newspapers. Yes, some of them are even more sensational and trashy equivalents of the New York Post, and yes, even the quality broadsheets indulge in levels of invective and tendentiousness that would never be tolerated in sober, august journals like the New York Times, but for me, at least, that's part of the appeal.

I used to have a neighbour who I'd see Sunday mornings staggering home under the weight of no less than 13 papers, everything from the weighty Times, Telegraph and Observer to the tawdry tittle-tattle of the Sun, Mirror, People, Star, and that acme of all scandal-mongering, the News Of The World (aka News Of The Screws). Although I must admit that the Star is offering some stiff competition, with cover stories about how "Wild Child" Peaches Geldof wants to join a cult of swinging lesbian porn stars."

On a slightly more serious note, Nirpal Dhaliwal socks it to Mayor Ken "K Diddy" Livingstone's race-pandering, Melanie Phillips sounds the alarm about homegrown Islamic terrorism (believe it or not, this woman used to write for the Guardian and look like one of Joan Baez's soul sisters from Carmel or Mill Valley, and Christopher Hitchens's grumpy brother inveighs against, well, just about everything. However, I just discovered that they want £2 to read Hitchens's column. Not worth it. Click the link to read his blog instead. And while you're at it, try Richard Littlejohn, who mines some of the same territory with less nuance, aplomb or inhibition.

Don't mean to overload you with right wing tosh this week, but the left wing version seems a bit thin on the ground for a change; even the normally reliably batty Mary Riddell has devoted this week's moanings to some pious blather about the Queen instead of her usual explanations about how we wouldn't have problems with those essentially well-meaning but misguided suicide bombers if only we'd make burqa-wearing mandatory and stopped being so horrible and patriarchal and white. Or if we'd just furnish all prospective Islamofascists with a complimentary subscriptions to the News Of The Screws...

No comments: