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Paper Monitor

11:35 UK time, Wednesday, 29 August 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

You might remember Paper Monitor mentioning film-maker Nick Angel spending a month reading nothing but the Daily Mail. In that spirit, your humble servant this morning decided to undertake a similar project - to read nothing but the FT for a month.

It might be a bit daunting - all that talk of companies and markets and stuff which one is, on the whole, content to leave to our friends Peston and Davis. But on the other hand, this is a world class newspaper, which covers many bases and gives a hinterland to many of the country's brightest and best (and richest). And look, the front page offers an article by US Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama, which should be good.

Ahhh naive hopes. The promise remains unfulfilled... There's no bitching about his opponents, no breathless campaign whispers, no sense of building excitement, just this: "While predatory lenders were driving low-income families into financial ruin, 10 of the country's largest mortgage lenders were spending more than $185m (€136m, £92m) lobbying Washington to let them get away with it." Give us something to go on, Barack!

To be fair, along the way through the Pink Un, we do learn some interesting facts which might or might not make the cut for 10 Things this weekend. They include the existence of a French word for their new Arab middle class - it's beurgeoisie, deriving from the French "beur" meaning child of Arab immigrants.

We also learn that the Islamic revolution in Iran was equivocal about the role of music, and that to this day, music can be heard on state television but instruments are not shown.

But where oh where is the light relief? Perhaps, like the Guardian, it will be in the Corrections column?

Perhaps not. "Profits per equity partner achieve by the law firm Ashurst in 2006-7 were £956,000, a rise of 35% on the previous year, not £352,000 as wrongly stated in a table accompanying an article on law firm activity on August 28." A hilarious collection of FT Corrections and Clarifications is some way off.

How about the diary column? Well, if your idea of light relief is a discussion of why select committees rarely use their powers to put their witnesses on oath, then you're in luck. If not, you're not.

There is a cartoon, in which one youth says to another: "My new mobile phone has a gun." Didn't exactly raise a smile, whatever the acuity of its observation.

No, friends, Paper Monitor has to admit defeat. The month-long diet ends after one day. It even drove your servant into grabbing a copy of Metro, where important news about Amy Winehouse and Andrea Corr was topped off with an utterly charming picture of Myleene Klass and baby. Beautiful. And, in tiny print, a statement: "At Myleene's request, Metro has given a donation to the National Children's Home in return for this photograph."

Tabloid agenda, all is forgiven.

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