Investigative journalism, for the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, is nowadays all too often limited to trawling the world of social media in search of photos and comments that bulk out copy at no additional cost. And the favoured social media outlet which is the first port of call is inevitably Twitter. But the Mail also wants to play the other side of the field.
Who're you calling a f***ing hypocrite, c***?!?
So the Vagina Monologue has instructed Stephen “Miserable Git” Glover to expound on the shortcomings of the medium, knowing that this double edged sword can bring rich rewards when the Mail wants to stoke outrage, but can equally cause the paper’s house of credibility to fall in when pundits like Jan Moir overdo the hatchet jobs and unpleasantness.
“Trendy? No, using Twitter makes our leaders look more vacuous than they are already” pontificates Glover, setting the gloom ceiling low and then berating Young Dave, George Osborne and the Pope in turn. Then he rambles on about Rupe, before doing his Mail duty and castigating Stephen Fry, Wayne Rooney and Labour MP David Lammy (but not because he’s black, you understand).
Then the mood lightens, and Glover rows back a little, conceding that Twitter served a useful purpose during the Arab Spring uprisings, before taking an excursion round the Standard’s budget release howler yesterday and then once again snarking at Wayne Rooney (what the footballer has done to upset the Mail is not known, but there’s usually method to the madness).
Meanwhile, on that other side of the field, the Mail is celebrating seven years of, er, Twitter actually. “140 characters really DOES go a long way: Twitter turns seven with over 200 million users”. Advertising, politics and journalism are cited as three fields changed forever by this social media outlet. And Mark Prigg’s article even manages to quote The Bard in rather less than 140 characters.
“Brevity is the soul of wit” (25 characters) is the Shakespeare quotation in question, which for some reason neither appears in the outpourings of the Miserable Git, nor is apparent anywhere in his oeuvre. But good to see the Mail wanting to have its cake and eat it (that’s just 24 characters, by the way). What Glover’s rant really means is that Twitter is good when Dacre says so, but otherwise A Very Bad Thing.
This from a paper citing 1984 and calling others “Orwellian”. No change there, then.
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