Smugly wrecking lives for money and power – the British tabloids continue to occupy the bottom rung of humanity.
In the race to the bottom that British tabloid newspapers engage in, it’s usually The Sun or The Daily Mail that is singled out as the worst offender, but I’d like to suggest that the worst of the pack is actually The Daily Mirror. Like its rivals, the Mirror continually panders to the lowest common demoninator, stokes up moral panics and bullshits its way through news stories that have only a passing relationship with the truth, but it does so while claiming some moral high ground. As the only left-wing tabloid, the Mirror pulls a holier-than-thou attitude towards its rivals, neatly sidestepping its own ignoble history of phone tapping and incitement of mob justice and hastily enacted laws. We might remember that the Mirror was at the forefront of the ‘burn your Video Nasty‘ hysteria in both the 1980s and 1990s. And if we can condemn the Daily Mail over its then-proprietor’s support of the Nazis before World War 2 (and social media says we can), then we might also judge the Mirror for the fact that it was, for many years, owned by wildly corrupt criminal – and father of Ghislaine – Robert Maxwell.
You might think that, with such an ignoble history, the Mirror might now think twice about trying to ruin lives for sales or clicks, but that would be to credit the people working for it with a sense of morality and decency that is entirely lacking from the UK tabloids. Even so, the fact the newspaper has seen fit to run it – about a man urinating against the back of his lorry beggars belief.
The non-story (which we’re not going to link to – you can find it easily enough, but we discourage you from giving them the links they crave) goes as follows: a 60-year-old woman named Jenny Anderson had pulled into a layby to order medical supplies for her horse, when… no, let’s pause there for a moment. Already there are so many questions, like what sort of medical horse emergency causes someone to pull their car over mid-journey to phone for supplies, rather than make the call at home. And whether this qualifies as an essential journey. But let’s carry on.
Anderson was shocked to see two John Lewis delivery men urinating against the back of the lorry, in plain view of anyone who might suddenly park up just behind them. To quote the Mirror report:
“I’d just got off the phone and put my seat belt on when this lorry pulled up in front of me. I thought ‘what’s he doing?
“He put it in reverse and then left it at a strange angle for what is a country lane. I thought ‘what a stupid place to leave a lorry’.
“I thought it was a bit odd, but when him and the co-driver started walking towards me, I thought they wanted directions so I locked my door because I was a woman on my own and there is the risk of Covid too, but then the guy just undid his trousers and started peeing by the back of the lorry.”
Well, a lot to unpack here once again. We might question why her seatbelt needed to be unlocked to make a phone call, or why two men walking to the back of a lorry has been unquestioningly translated as “walking towards me” – but some people are paranoid I guess. To continue:
Apparently, the two men looked back at her, but carried on pissing regardless. Well, yes – urinating is not like turning a tap on and off – once you start, you generally have to finish.
“I couldn’t go past without getting an eye-full so I had to wait for them to finish.
“I thought ‘this is a long pee’ – it took absolutely ages.
“The guy eventually finished, gave it a shake and then looked back at me. Then they just drove off.
“If there were children or an old lady in the car, that would have been totally unacceptable. They might have seen his you-know-what.”
His you-know-what indeed. And perhaps, if the driver was hung like John Holmes and was waving it around excitedly, then perhaps the occupants of a car driving past might just have caught a glimpse of the offending organ, but otherwise, I suspect that you’d have to try very hard to see anything.
All of this was first reported on Plymouth Live, the sort of desperate-for-clicks local news source that we are constantly told is a vital resource, even though they just ape tabloid sensationalism while scraping the bottom of the barrel for anything happening in their area. The Mirror report is essentially the same piece, lifted verbatim and then tinkered with – because national newspapers are now staffed with hacks who think that journalism is just trawling the internet for stories. You might ask why the Mirror version is so much worse than the original – but the Plymouth Live story would’ve been read by five men and a dog, while the Mirror piece appears in one of the country’s most popular national newspapers. Its reach and impact is therefore all the greater. Of course, given their notorious history of faked images that put back investigations of real war crimes back years, you’d hope that the Mirror would shy away from stories about urination, but seemingly not.
If you read the Mirror report now, you might be fooled into thinking that the entire report is a defence of the poor blokes who are out doing deliveries all day in the middle of a virulent pandemic and have few options like cafes and public toilets – all currently closed – to relieve themselves in. But don’t be fooled: the report, originally posted on January 14th was updated on the 16th after the piece caused social media outrage – and not the sort of outrage that the Mirror presumably anticipated when they excitedly picked up on this story. The original piece was very much an attack on the poor blokes who had waited until they were on a quiet country lane before emptying their presumably full-to-bursting-point bladders (hence it taking “absolutely ages”). The motive, even in the sneakily reworked piece, is obvious: stoke public fury at the supposedly indecent exposure, perhaps getting these two men fired by their employers (who, of course, are ‘investigating the incident’), and for what? To make some busy-body feel important? To get a few clicks? To keep lazy-as-fuck hacks from actually having to do some real journalism?
In the grand scheme of things, none of this story really matters to anyone apart from the poor cunts now worried that they might be disciplined or sacked. But it’s somewhat indicative of the sociopathic urges of the tabloid press in Britain, which has a shameful record. For profit and power, they have ruined careers and livelihoods, destroyed relationships and driven people to suicide, often for no more reason than because they can, and then howled like spoiled brats when there is even the suggestion that they be subjected to a small amount of the legislation that they scream to be imposed on other media. This isn’t journalism, it’s mean-spirited bullying, and we would be a better country if they were all pushed out of business.
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