Fakestinian social media b.s.

via BBC

Graphic images are being shared on social media to show how people have been affected by the renewed tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.

Over the past week the hashtag #GazaUnderAttack has been used hundreds of thousands of times, often to distribute pictures claiming to show the effects of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.

A #BBCtrending investigation has found that while some accurate images are being shared, many #GazaUnderAttack images are not from the latest conflict and often not even from Gaza. Some date as far back as 2009 and others are from conflicts in Syria and Iraq.


Google’s demise starts here, ctd

Not only are Google changing history, they are effectively censoring you, and me, and journalism too.

This morning the BBC received the following notification from Google:

Notice of removal from Google Search: we regret to inform you that we are no longer able to show the following pages from your website in response to certain searches on European versions of Google:

What it means is that a blog I wrote in 2007 will no longer be findable when searching on Google in Europe.

Which means that to all intents and purposes the article has been removed from the public record, given that Google is the route to information and stories for most people.

So why has Google killed this example of my journalism?

Well it has responded to someone exercising his or her new “right to be forgotten”, following a ruling in May by the European Court of Justice that Google must delete “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” data from its results when a member of the public requests it.

Let’s pretend, 8 years from now, Len Brown petitions Google to have all of Whaleoil’s articles on him suppressed.  After all, it’s no longer relevant, he’s no longer  mayor, and it is definitely out of date.

This is insidious stuff.   Read more »

Sex predator or another victim of the great celeb witchhunt?


Oh man…. not him too?

Leonard Rossiter died in his dressing room at the Lyric Theatre in London where he was starring in Joe Orton’s black comedy Loot.

The squash-playing, keep-fit enthusiast had a heart attack that was sudden and unexpected.

A unique aspect of the tributes to the much-loved actor and TV sitcom star was the paucity of wicked anecdotes about him. There were none of those villainous tales that are normally whispered back-stage about major stars.

As his biographer Guy Adams observes, Rossiter approached acting ‘as a job, as solid and practical as book-keeping or car mechanics’.

Now, 30 years after the actor’s death in 1984 at the age of just 57, an anecdote of unique wickedness has finally emerged.

What’s more, it is as potentially destructive to the memory of the star of TV’s Rising Damp and The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin as an unexploded bomb discovered under the floorboards — and just as distressing to his 87-year-old widow Gillian Raine

The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin is a brilliant piece of comedy.  So what’s Rossiter being accused of?  

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Sick: New evidence revealed that Savile abused the dead and stole their glass eyes and turned them into rings like these pictured on his hands. His victims were aged between five and 75

Sick: New evidence revealed that Savile abused the dead and stole their glass eyes and turned them into rings like these pictured on his hands. His victims were aged between five and 75

Savile’s Trophies

Read more »

Graphene – the future


The BBC is smug, wasteful and unfair says Jeremy Paxman

James Delingpole examines Jeremy Paxman’s belief that the BBC is smug, wasteful and unfair.

The BBC is a smug and wasteful “closed corporate culture” whose special, licence-fee-subsidised status “hugely distorts the marketplace.”

Well we knew all this already of course but it’s interesting to hear it from the mouth of one of the BBC’s starriest presenters, Jeremy Paxman.

Interviewed in the Guardian, he talks about his love-hate relationship with his employer.

“It is smug. I love the BBC in many ways, but at the same time it has made me loathe aspects of it, and that’s a very odd state of affairs. When I see people being given £1m merely for walking out of the door, when I see £100m being blown on that DMI [digital media initiative] thing, a stupid technical initiative like that, I start wondering: how much longer are we going to test the public’s patience?”

He goes on: Read more »

Dogs know when you have cancer


Nigel Farage reads the BBC weather forecast

Straight talking UKIP leader Nigel Farage reads the BBC weather forecast. Never one to hold back or worry about causing offence, Farage tells it like it is:

Egg Cam

BBC covered up secret ‘green propaganda’ training


One of those pesky bloggers has busted the chops of the BBC that is now mired in a scandal of its own making, attempting to coverup ‘green propaganda’ training for its top executives that would shape programming for years.

On top of that it was government funded at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds.

The BBC has spent tens of thousands of pounds over six years trying to keep secret an extraordinary ‘eco’ conference which has shaped its coverage of global warming,  The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The controversial seminar was run by a body set up by the BBC’s own environment analyst Roger Harrabin and funded via a £67,000 grant from the then Labour government, which hoped to see its ‘line’ on climate change and other Third World issues promoted in BBC reporting.

At the event, in 2006, green activists and scientists – one of whom believes climate change is a bigger danger than global nuclear war  – lectured 28 of the Corporation’s most senior executives.

Then director of television Jana Bennett opened the seminar by telling the executives to ask themselves: ‘How do you plan and run a city that is going to be submerged?’ And she asked them to consider if climate change laboratories might offer material for a thriller.

A lobby group with close links to green campaigners, the International Broadcasting Trust (IBT), helped to arrange government funding for both the climate seminar  and other BBC seminars run by  Mr Harrabin – one of which was attended by then Labour Cabinet Minister Hilary Benn.

Applying for money from Mr Benn’s Department for International Development (DFID), the IBT promised Ministers the seminars would influence programme content for years to come.

The BBC began its long legal battle to keep details of the conference secret after an amateur climate blogger spotted a passing reference to it in an official report.  Read more »