The good, the bad and the ugly via tabloid journalism

It will probably come as no surprise to any of you that I spend quite a lot of time online. And that a good chunk of that online time is spent lurking about on news websites seeing what the competition is up to.

This is a pastime that can be enlightening, frustrating and cringe-worthy all at the same time. A bit like shopping for shoes and/or getting married.

But I digress. Back to the news websites. One I visit occasionally (usually by following links from Google’s news section) is UK online tabloidy thingamajig the Mail. This is the site that causes me the most consternation: there you’ll find quirky stories about the cutsie red squirrel’s comeback efforts and the incredibly productive shagging abilities of one little bunny alongside the worst in trashy sheila’s magazine-style celeb “stories” about the latest “famous” wee chicky-babe to become a stick insect (think Tori Spelling and her xylophone chest) and the ins and outs (pun fully intended) on who’s playing hide the sausage (or bumping uglies, doing the horizontal tango or whatever euphemism you prefer for the act of bonking).

A week or so ago I was on the site when it struck me that apart from the god-awful design that seems to go with the “chuck it all on the front page, and chuck it on there more than once” school of thought and incredible s-l-0-w-n-e-s-s of the site, it was quite simply full of poos with just the occasional wee gem (like the aforementioned squirrel and bunny). This was highlighted by two stories, the headline-photo-intro paragraph preview packages one directly after another on the site: the first tut-tutting about Hugh Hefner’s ex-bimbette still having some “baby fat” to lose after giving birth to her little munchkin 7 months ago. Hell, my son was born 21 years ago and I’m still cultivating the baby fat. But, once again, I digress. The second story was about another quasi-celeb (can’t remember who, possibly one of the Kardashian). This headline was commenting on how she’d lost her baby weight too quickly.

In a moment of clarity (yes, I have those sometimes) I decided I would no longer waste my time trawling through the seemingly endless array dross, it just wasn’t worth it. Sure, I’ll still read stories linked from Google, but once on the Mail site I won’t then trawl through it reading the rest of the headlines. I wonder if I can subscribe to just the squirrel stories?

So, there’s another on added to my small but growing list of sites I used to visit but have given up on, along with Perez Hilton and what used to be a great wee blog about Spongebob Squarepants that was later hijacked by some nasty little online vandal.

Now, what will I do with that extra 12 minutes of time I’ll have each morning?



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