Dog watches dog 05.02.04

Anarchists impose law on press duo

Sunday Times radio columnist Paul Donovan and Western Morning News hack Martin Hesp have both fallen foul of a strange group called The Archers Anarchists after making allegedly “castist” comments.

Both were summoned to appear before a kangaroo court at the Anarchists’ Seventh Annual Cast-Free Convention over articles they wrote which referred to characters in Radio 4’s everyday story of farming folk as “actors”. This angered the Anarchists, whose slogan is “The Archers are real, there is no cast” and contemptuously dismiss members of the BBC soap’s official fan club as “anoraks”.

Donovan apparently told AA leader Ian Sanderson that he would try to appear to answer the charge. But Bristol-based Hesp just ignored the summons.

Both were finally found guilty in their absence and roundly condemned to some horrible, but undefined, punishment.

The Anarchists, while consuming rather a lot of “real ale”, then went on to pass a motion congratulating unscrupulous property developer Matt Crawford for shopping badgershooting hero David Archer to the RSPCA over “his Brockicide” and also “for his unstinting efforts to turn Ambridge into a rival to Milton Keynes”.

Robbin’ the legend

As the great Robin Hood debate rages between Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire, one man is caught in a tough position.

The inter-county rift, for those not fully up to speed, stems from a campaign led by Wakefield’s Tory MP to prove that the man in green tights was, in fact, born in Yorkshire.

Unsurprisingly, this has not gone down too well in Nottingham, whose denizens remain certain that any robbing of the rich to give to the poor happened on their doorstep, not anybody else’s.

The Yorkshire Post has lent its weight to the Wakefield campaign, but its deputy editor, Duncan Hamilton, is keeping strangely quiet on the matter.

Why? Because he’s only just moved from his previous job as assistant editor at the Nottingham Evening Post… where he was a staunch defender of the Hood legend’s Nottingham connection.

Colleagues reckon he’s finding it hard to bring himself to do such a U-turn.

Car park tarred with past mistake

The News at Portsmouth had part of its parking area resurfaced recently. The contractors were asked to paint “No vehicles past this point” in large letters on the Tarmac.

Instead they put “No vehicles passed this point”. The luckless gang were ordered back to burn off the wording and rectify their grammatical mistake.

Still, as Andrew Gilligan might have said, the gist of it was correct – it was just the wording that let them down slightly.

MEN’s Shipman fury… but who supplied pic?

“Shipman game fury” thundered the Manchester Evening News about a spoof piece in new men’s magazine Zoo Weekly, which focused on the late serial killer Harold Shipman.

“Families of victims rap callous quiz” the newspaper screeched in a sub headline.

The Zoo Weekly item in question featured a huge picture of Dr Death – who was found hanged in his prison cell – accompanied by an article which jokingly asked readers whether their GP was another Dr Shipman, Pop Idol’s Dr Fox or hip-hop legend Dr Dre.

In its knocking piece on Zoo Weekly, the MEN quoted a victim support counsellor involved in the Shipman case as saying: “I speak for all the families when I say we are deeply disturbed by the insensitive and callous nature of the [Zoo] article.

“Many families are still trying to come to terms with their loss and news of Shipman’s apparent suicide and will be horrified by this blatant disregard for their feelings. We can’t believe that anybody would be so senseless.”

But Zoo Weekly readers were left bemused when they took a closer look at the Shipman picture in the “senseless” magazine piece and discovered the supplier was, er, the Manchester Evening News.

Spelling error: poor journalism

Gilligan bows out in familiar style

From the “you really couldn’t make it up” files. Super-alert Dog fan Clive Booth, head of communications at Lewis PR, sends this screengrab from last Friday’s Newsnight – which carried news of Andrew Gilligan’s resignation. Given the statement’s content, and given that his entire troubles began with a bit of “loose wording”, Dog wonders whether someone at Newsnight might not have seen fit to run a quick spell check over it before broadcasting to the nation.

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