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Saturday 4 December 2010

Lazy Hacks Fail On Simple Sums

The cold snap has relented – but not by much, and probably not for long. Warning of a return to cold conditions was given out after the main evening news on BBC1 last night, with a further caution that the wintry weather could continue into January.

Just in case anyone wanted that information, and had not caught the Beeb weather forecast, it could be found on the Met Office website (predictions for the next thirty days can be checked out at lower right of the linked page).

For some at the cheaper end of the Fourth Estate, this has not been too difficult to take on board: even the Daily Express has got the message. So, considering the less than generous budget awarded the paper by the supposedly non-interfering Richard “Dirty” Desmond, it might be thought that the competition would do at least as well on keeping readers up to date.

Sadly not: Rupe’s downmarket troops at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun could only managetemperatures could plummet much lower for ten days”, which is strangely cautious for a paper which, usually, not only makes its mind up very quickly on issues of the day, but also expends plenty of column inches ramming its opinion down readers’ throats.

Likewise at the Daily Mail, where the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre tell thatBig Freeze will go on for another TEN days”. If there was a genuine doubt about the next month’s weather, a little caution would be understandable. But with a high pressure area stretching south from Greenland and blocking the usual west to east flow of weather systems, there is little chance of significant change soon.

Of course, if there were a change in conditions, the Murdoch and Rothermere press would have the opportunity to kick both Met Office and Beeb, which both enjoy. But that’s no excuse for not giving their readers the same story that anyone watching the BBC has already heard.

Unless the hacks really don’t know how to distinguish between the numbers “10” and “30”. Which would not be a significant surprise.

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