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Paper Monitor

10:43 UK time, Friday, 15 August 2008

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

She has on occasion been deemed the greatest feminist writer of her generation. She has on other occasions been described as "a great big hard-boiled prat".

But it is hard to imagine that the two-page Madonna cuts job [an article miraculously constructed without the use of telephone, car, train or Shanks' pony] that Germaine Greer has knocked out for the Sun will ever sit among her career highlights.

Appearing under the extraordinary banner "WHEN FEMINIST PROFESSORS WRITE... THEY WRITE FOR THE SUN", it is not immediately obvious what the appeal of the subject matter is.

But she gets stuck in with her usual idiosyncratic gusto, dubbing Madonna a "streetwise midget" in the first par. It's a bit harsh as a quick googling of "Madonna" and "height" produces an average result of 5ft 4ins. One has to suppose that the Amazonian six-footer from Melbourne probably looks on many people as midgets, both physical and mental.

Anyway, Greer's analysis, that Madonna is a marketing expert always changing her image, is possibly the least surprising of the Australian's writing career.

Elsewhere on the same page there's more extraordinary Sun headlineage. Story about a Chinese-born man jailed for smuggling fake trainers? "Jail for Fu Man Shoe".

A passing mention must be made of the A-level results. There are usually only two stories in town the day after the results. One: they've got so easy it's now little more than multiple choice/scratch-and-sniff/fit-the-shape-in-the-hole. Two: look at all the pretty 18-year-old girls jumping for joy.

This year does not disappoint. And there's relief across all of the papers that Alex Griffiths - an A and two Bs, plus BB in two AS levels - turns out to be rather bonny. She's plastered across the front of the Times and Daily Telegraph. This is the girl who was kidnapped as a newborn baby from a hospital in 1990. Her mother selling her story for a reported six-figure sum helped pay for the girl's private education.

The successful 18-year-old says: "Strangely, I probably wouldn't have done as well as I did if I hadn't been kidnapped."

A touching tribute to chequebook journalism.

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