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Thursday 2 December 2010

Daily Mail Snow Coverage Blankets Reality

If there is one thing as certain as night following day, it is the appearance of whining why-oh-why knocking copy in the Daily Mail following right behind any weather event that gets in the way of the assembled hackery. And today is no exception: the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre’s finest (for some value of finest) are railing against the response to the snow and ice.

Typifying the bleating from Dacreland is a tedious piece by David Jones, suggesting that the UK alone is unprepared for wintry weather. The inference of his article is that the rest of Europe is not suffering significant disruption, but it is, and all Jones and the rest of Dacre’s lazy hacks need have done to confirm this was to search a few websites.

Take the situation in Germany: Jones asserts that “according to a friend in Berlin, the trains are running ... the autobahns are clear”. Really? No, not really: a check with Der Spiegel (in English, so no excuse) reveals 2,000 traffic accidents, 250 flight cancellations at Frankfurt/Main alone, motorways impassable, and 200 passengers having to be evacuated from an ICE train.

If spelling “Der Spiegel” is too taxing for Jones, he can always check out the BBC: after all, as the Mail spends so much time putting the boot into the Beeb, one might think they would be able to locate their website. And there it can be seen that airport closures have not just affected Gatwick, but also France and Switzerland, the latter where everything supposedly runs like clockwork and in far better order than the UK. Except that it isn’t immune to the wintry conditions.

Flight delays are also affecting Vienna and Prague. The Beeb report also notes road closures in France, and confirms them in Germany (maybe the Beeb have heard of Der Spiegel). This is not on Jones’ radar, but what is clear is the reason for his clueless rant: his kids were late getting home.

So facts can be set aside. No surprise there, then.

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