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Paper Monitor

11:21 UK time, Thursday, 22 November 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

As regular readers might know, Paper Monitor usually keeps its mind on higher things than mere sport (and certainly mere Daily Sport). But judging by today's Sun, things must be bad. It's done what's known (here at least) as an "Indy", replacing its traditional front page with just a single photo. In this case it's a punctured football, discarded forlornly in a gutter.

Given that England's failure was only certain shortly before 10pm, Sun photographers must have stunted up the daytime shot some time before - ie yesterday afternoon at the latest. Paper Monitor is not one to invoke superstition lightly, but given yesterday's Sun front page promised "We've got everything crossed", could England's fate have been preordained by the bad karma at Sun HQ?

Talking about the Independent, it contains the most unlikely of features. What unites Churchill, Tom Wolfe, Richard Gere, Marlene Dietrich, the Beatles and Cary Grant? Obviously that they all wore "suits that shook the world". It's not for Paper Monitor to say that this whole thing is beneath contempt. But the list includes Mao Tse-Tung and one wonders when it became OK to laud someone's dress sense even when they were responsible for the deaths of millions?

Anyway, it's all a welcome distraction from the mental image still burned into Paper Monitor's head by yesterday's Times story (don't ask). Though no thanks to the Guardian's G2 for going over the whole sorry tale again.

The row about the loss of the Child Benefit CDs goes on, but Paper Monitor's residual issues don't seem to have been addressed, namely:

1. Wow, isn't it amazing that names and address of half the entire country can fit on to two CDs when Paper Monitor has trouble squeezing more than a few songs on one (though only for back-up purposes)
2. Where does all the lost mail go?
3. Paper Monitor knew Paper Monitor was right to use a pseudonym.

There's lots else tackled, including a rather bizarre illustration in the Financial Times of a man with massive hands, tiny body, holding up a pair of binoculars, the lenses of which are covered by two CDs marked "Revenue and Customs Strictly Confidential". It's a very strange sight, but don't be alarmed, at the bottom of the image are the words "FT MONTAGE" (which sounds a bit like the name of a car).

These words are added just so that everyone can know that the missing CDs have not - contrary to what one might think - been stuck to the Revenue's official binoculars. In any case, who in their right mind would look for lost CDs with binoculars, unless they had been lost at sea? But the FT is usually impeccably sourced, and if its implicit allegation that they are using binoculars is true, someone needs to tell the government urgently to switch to some sort of magnifying glass instead.

Another national emergency solved by the Magazine.

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