Posts Tagged The Sun

Bad News: How PR Came to Rule Modern Journalism – Full talk plus Q&A

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking to our lovely Skeptics in the Pub crowd, where I took about dissecting the media and generally picking out just how to spot PR bullshit in the press. For all of you who were sadly unable to make it, fret not! For we have the whole thing on video. Feel free to discuss in the comments below!

*Sorry for the random sound issues in the middle – apparently passing taxis were interfering with the radio mics. It was not – repeat NOT – any kind of nefarious hacking tactics from the tabloids…

, , , , , ,

2 Comments

Bad News: If Only The Sun Knew What ‘Hypocrisy’ Meant…

Occasionally, my searches for Bad PR / Bad News (rebranding, here!) take me places I wouldn’t otherwise go. Like, for example, to The Sun website, where I was alerted by @cathyby and @DrPetra to this odious piece of PR bullshit:

You’re the affair-er sex, girls!

WOMEN are now more likely to cheat than men, a survey reveals.One in five said they would “definitely” have an affair if they fell for another bloke.

In contrast, just nine per cent of fellas were certain they would betray their partner.

The study of 3,000 people has for the first time exposed girls as the bigger love rats.

Wildly-misogynistic with an undercurrent designed to promote the kind of sexual mistrust which can really damage a relationship? I’m sure I read something similar in the not-too-distant past… oh, yes, that’s right, in The Sun:

One in 10 trick dads

One in ten mums TRICKED their fella into getting them pregnant, a survey revealed yesterday.

Top ruses were lying about being on the pill or just not mentioning contraception.

A quarter of those who duped their man said he ‘would have given in one day anyway’, the survey of 3000 mums found.

But half said they were not even bothered if the father stuck around.

Back then it was a poll by my favourite bullshit-mining marketing team OnePoll on behalf of misguided parenting club Bounty, and caused some genuine controversy, more of which you can read here. Although I’ve not seen anything which confirms this, I’d say the angle and the structure of the story strongly reeks of OnePoll again, but that is of course just conjecture. So, back to this latest worthless PR guff (because I’m going somewhere with this) Read the rest of this entry »

, , , ,

3 Comments

Bad PR: The Huge Weekend That Never Was

Put aside those petty squabbles in the pub, lay to rest your arguments about tiny flags and sportswear bans and stop worrying about how it’s Political-Correctness-gone-mad-next-they’ll-have-us-all-speaking-bloody-Muslim-or-something, because it’s now officially official – England is the most ‘footie’ mad country in the world. It’s true, we’re number 1. We love the whole footie thing, we do. Can’t get enough of it. Mad for it. Footie and England, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G and all that. It’s official.

Well, The Sun says it’s official, anyway:

Official: England Is Footie Mad

ENGLAND is the most football-mad country in the world, a study has found.

Research revealed English blokes spend more time watching, playing, reading and talking about the beautiful game than anywhere else on the planet. – Source: The Sun

Yep, they’ve got research to back that up. Probably research done by boffins. Probably zany boffins, who have formulas for the perfect cup of tea, or the perfect shave, or the perfect cliché involving zany boffins.

The study found a typical soccer fan watches football — including highlights — for two hours and 22 minutes every week.

They also spend 28 minutes each day chin-wagging about the latest results, tackles, goals or transfer gossip.

In second place was Thailand, where men spend three hours talking about the sport, followed by three-time World Cup winners Brazil in third. - Source: The Sun

Now, I know you lot. You’re a skeptical lot. And this is BadPR, so I know what you’re thinking – who benefits from this? Well, damn you and your cynicism, I’ve no idea what you could possibly mean. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , ,

8 Comments

Amazing Easily-Identifyable-Flying-Objects Of 2009

2010 is almost upon us, and it’s around about this time of the year that people start doing niche retrospectives of the year. Top 10 twitterers of 2009. 15 of the best political balls-ups of the year. 2009 in animal dentistry: a retrospective. That kind of thing. Well, I never claimed to be particularly original, just as The Sun hasn’t ever claimed to be conduct truthful reporting of the story. With this in mind, and the end of the year fast approaching, I give you your-super-soaraway-whopping-Sun’s ‘Amazing UFO pics of 2009‘.

As anyone who keeps their eyes to the skies – or, more likely, to the news and the skeptical blogosphere – might imagine, this bumper UFO-tastic article follows on not only from the recent strange spirals over Norway (which turned out to be a stray Russian missile, rather than a stray alien emissary) but also from the news that the Ministry of Defense has latterly closed the UFO-hotline. I know recent Righteous Indignation guest Nick Pope was particularly interested in that latter story, which you can hear over on the RI Podcast site. Feel free to have a listen, I’ll wait if you like.

Actually, that’s a lie – I won’t wait at all: if the MoD have decreed alien sightings too unimportant to report to them, I best crack on through the story before the MoD’s lack of interest inevitably trickles down to your alien-believer on the street, and the whole UFO story goes cold. That’s how it works, right? Read the rest of this entry »

, , ,

4 Comments

The Most Unusual Creatures Under The Sun

Seam Monster of Lake Killerny

Sea Monster of Lake Killarny

Now, I must admit, cryptozoology does next to nothing for me. In the leagues of woo, it’s right down there at the bottom, just below Aliens and above Alectryomancy. I think the reason, largely, is that you’ve really got to try hard before you can get harmed by it. You’ve really got to right out there, on a limb, and fully invest before you can wind up getting hurt. It’s not like pseudomedicine, or psychics, or religion – it’s relatively harmless. Relatively.

However, that said, it’s also pretty prevalent in our media and culture, and for that reason alone it deserves attention. How many people would have heard of a certain large body of Scottish water unless there were a purported Beastie living in it? Not many I’d imagine. Which is why I wearily reached for the keyboard when I (foolishly) glanced through The Sun’s website and chanced upon the Lake Killarney Monster. Blahhhhh. But ok, here goes… Read the rest of this entry »

, , , ,

4 Comments