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Paper Monitor

12:41 UK time, Tuesday, 12 January 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Is there a Guardian supplement less likely to be read during work time? "SEXUAL HEALTH - Beat the stigma" (sorry, no online link available). The newsprint practically combusts as it's discarded. Is it the photo of the needle on the cover? The mere thought of needles and parts down there aren't conducive to a happy office. One would assume.

Meanwhile, let's play - drum roll, please - How Long For The Guardian's Top 50 TV Dramas List to Mention The Wire? (Note to self: must find snappier title.)

In the front page promotion box? No, that has photos of Tony Soprano and Sebastian Flyte, rather than, say, Omar and/or McNaulty. Nor is it number one - the gong goes to The Sopranos. The Wire only just squeaks into the top 15, ranking 14th behind the likes of Brideshead Revisited (2), A Very Peculiar Practice (5), Twin Peaks (12) and Queer As Folk (13). (Corrie is the highest-placed soap at 26, followed by Brookside (38) and EastEnders (48). The only kids' TV to make the cut is Grange Hill, which seems rather unfair on CBBC's Ooglies, in which all life and death is played out by household items with googly eyes.)

Oh look, here's its consolation prize - it gets a mention in the intro:

"Killer TV
When the Guardian's television critics sat down to rank the 50 greatest dramas ever made, The Wire might have seemed a shoo-in to win."

In other news, the Times runs a fascinating extract from a new book on how Sarah Palin was brought up to speed on foreign policy, history, current events and, you know, stuff.

"Early on, she told her team she absorbed information best on five-by-seven index cards. She became obsessive, wanting to put every pertinent piece of information on separate cards...
The index cards were piling up by the hundreds, but Palin wasn't absorbing the material written on them. When her aides tried to quiz her, she would routinely shut down - chin on her chest, arms folded, eyes cast to the floor, speechless and motionless, lost in what those around her described as a kind of catatonic stupor."

Speaking of unhappy politicians, both the Guardian and Times use Nick Clegg's criticism of baby guru Gina Ford to apply her let-'em-cry methods to MPs.

G2 runs Gina Ford's Contented Little Politician:

"6.45am Wake up. MP should have something to drink that fulfils all his/her ­nutritional needs (Old ­Labour: stout; New ­Labour: pinot grigio; Lib Dems: tea, weak, one sugar, no - two, no - one; Tories: swan juice). When MP dramatically splutters it out by being incensed by John Humphrys/Polly Toynbee/ ­Melanie Phillips, patiently give your MP their drink again.
7am Toilet MP. Try to ­remove as much matter from the ­bottom end as possible to stop it accidentally coming out of MP's mouth later, in front of a journalist."

And a Times leader also imagines a strict Westminster regime:

"6am-8am Having spent the night sleeping like a baby (ie, waking up screaming every 38 minutes), your MP must adopt a morning routine of listening to the Today programme on Radio 4, during which she may weep violently on hearing a clumsy colleague give John Humphrys a reply that rewrites her party's policy. It is important to let the MP cry. Offering comfort will only give her false reassurance that somebody actually cares."

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