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Rolling news

July 2nd, 2007 · Posted by Skuds in Life/Technology · 37 Comments · Life, Technology

Saturday’s ram-raiding of Glasgow Airport might seem like just the sort of thing which 24-hour news stations were invented for, but having watched BBC News 24‘s coverage I think they are at their best when there is nothing happening.

I had the TV on and tuned into the news when the first reports came in and all they knew was that something had happened and their reporter was on the way to find out more. Meanwhile, there was no shortage of material from the public, phoning in, sending photos from their mobiles and so on.

You have to question the value of all this ‘citizen reporting’ when a stream of so-called eye-witnesses come on the telephone and all describe events differently. One said that the jeep was on fire as it came into the building, another said that it came into the building and then caught fire, another said that the jeep wasn’t on fire but the driver was.

The best ting would have been to just say that something had happened and more details would be available when they were known, then continue reporting on things which they do know about while they wait, but 24-hour news channels can’t do that. If something has happened which they know to be important but which they know nothing about they can’t go to anything else as it will look like they either have their news priorities screwed up or are admitting ignorance – and they know the other news channel will be showing something.

What we end up with is the equivalent of an embarrassing silence at a dinner party where someone says something extremely stupid out of the blue just to fill the space.

The highlight of the BBC’s report was when the anchor spoke to someone on the phone from Glasgow Airport and said “thank you for that eye-witness report. Although he didn’t actually see anything, but his friend who he trusts told him all about it.”

Having said that, the BBC tend to be a bit better than Sky News in such situations. If someone phones up Sky News and says they are on the spot then whatever they say seems to get plastered across the bottom of the screen as gospel truth. At least the BBC try to qualify these reports a bit.

I wish I had the self-control to turn away from this sort of reporting and wait until the evening news or the next day’s paper to get something which has been verified a bit more – let’s face it I am not materially affected if I have to wait a few hours for a proper story unless I have family or friends working at or travelling through the airport – but even knowing that the reporters hardly have more information than I do I get sucked into it all, which only encourages them doesn’t it?

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37 Comments so far ↓

  • Richard

    There’s a ‘Billingsgate Aroma’ about this hyped story – I’m extremely sceptical about the whole thing.

  • Skuds

    I am confused now. Are you saying that it was faked? Or that it is not worth reporting?

    Why is it hyped? Living next door to an international airport I am quite interested in knowing that this sort of thing can happen. It is much more likely to have an impact on me than individual murder or missing persons cases.

  • Richard

    OK guys, this is an opinion – I can’t prove it – it’s just a gut instinct which might, or might not, be wrong :

    As part of the ‘propaganda war on terror’ – and to keep our hearts & minds in fear – I believe both the Haymarket and Glasgow incident have been ‘manufactured’ by both the American and British Security & Intelligences Services.

    Both the Government and Media are ‘hyping’ it for all its worth.

    People like Danivon will tell me (& others) that I’m just a paranoid conspiracy freak – or whatever.

    Ponder this…

    Throughout the 1970/80’s, the main headline news – pretty well every other day – was about Northern Ireland – and any ‘incident’ was often attributed to the IRA.

    Now, we hear nothing of Northern Ireland or the IRA – headline news is about ‘Terrorism’ – and any ‘incident’ is now attributed to ‘Terrorists’ (usually Muslim).

    Sorry, I don’t ‘buy’ this propaganda crap.

    The BBC – and other media – are simply being fed by the so-called ‘Security & Intelligence Services’ – and other powers-that-be who operate beyond national governments.

    I ‘bought’ the 45 minute WMD warning in 2003 – and it was a pack of lies.

    I won’t get fooled again.

  • Rob Glover

    It must be fun to live a life in which everything is a huge conspiracy by the big bad gubmint, and nothing can be blamed on simple nutjobs placing bombs to kill people.

  • Richard

    Like the “simple nutjobs placing bombs to kill people” from 30,000 feet…

    Wake up, wise up and grow up.

  • Rob Glover

    I’m used to seeing that kind of response on Moonlanding hoax pages.
    Someone needs to grow up, definitely.

  • Danivon

    >People like Danivon will tell me (& others) that I’m just a paranoid conspiracy freak – or whatever.

    Looks like I don’t need to…

    >I ‘bought’ the 45 minute WMD warning in 2003 – and it was a pack of lies.

    Hmm. I didn’t buy it, and yet I think it was less a’pack of lies’ than a case of faulty intelligence and wishful thinking. By the way, the 45 minute claim came out in 2002.

  • Richard

    “It was less a ‘pack of lies’ than a case of faulty intelligence and wishful thinking”

    Mr Richards, did you manage to keep a straight face when you wrote that.

    Mr Glover, I stand by my statement to “wake up, wise up and grow up” because you have singularly failed to answer the point which gave rise to that statement.

    Both of you can mock all you like – I have an amused contempt for your arrogant ignorance.

    Just to repeat : I am less a Conspiracy Theorist and more a Cock Up & Cover Up Theorist…and if you are unable to find examples of the latter, then you are beyond help in terms of childish naivete.

    If I said that corporate decisions are based on profit maximisation and increase in market share, I suppose you are going to accuse me of being a corporate conspiracy theorist.


  • Skuds

    And no doubt it was a government plot which resulted in Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood being chosen to present the Brit awards in 1989 in an attempt to destabilise the music business?

    Actually… thats the best explanation for it now I think about it.

  • Richard

    Nah, definitely a ‘Cock-up Theory’ to explain that one…especially when thinking about Sam Fox. Whoops, sorry, my ‘double-entendre’ is getting the better of me…down boy !

  • Rob Glover

    Mr Glover, I stand by my statement to “wake up, wise up and grow up” because you have singularly failed to answer the point which gave rise to that statement.

    Both of you can mock all you like – I have an amused contempt for your arrogant ignorance.

    You haven’t got any, err… like… actual evidence, have you? That the US/UK security services are planting these bombs and arresting random muslims to account for it? Or that it was the British security services that planted bombs in Birmingham, Manchester, London and Northern Ireland in the 1970s and 1980s?

    Then I stand by my mockery of your opinion.

  • Richard

    So, everything emanating from the media/government/security services about this “plot” is objective, impartial and fair – with no underlying political agenda ?

    Yeah right, and fairies live at the bottom of my garden.

  • Danivon

    So, does that mean that you don’t have any evidence then Richard?

    The likelihood of flaws in the case you oppose does not affect the chances that your own case is true itself. Without any actual evidence other than a ‘Billinsgate Aroma’ (a pretty pompous way to say ‘fishy’ if you ask me), how can anyone be expected to take what you say seriously?

  • Richard

    You have no “evidence” either, Owen – except what is churned out in Newspapers, TV, Radio etc…and a trusting belief that what you are told by ‘authority’ is true.

  • Richard

    You haven’t got any, err…like…actual evidence have you, Mr Glover ?

  • Danivon

    Richard, even second / third hand evidence trumps zero evidence.

  • Rob Glover


  • Rob Glover

    Linking to the same rant on your own blog does not constitute evidence. Wake me up when you have anything concrete to offer.

  • Richard

    There are some extremely unshallow people out there who have much the same view – but you were probably asleep.

    But I sense it would make little difference whether you were awake or asleep – people ‘hear what they want to hear and disregard the rest’.

  • Michael

    Let’s be honest, anything is possible. Our Government, just like the American one, lost credibility on the so called “war on terror” years ago. it’s based on lies right from the start. It’s quite possible that Muslims in this country feel strong enough about what has happened in the last 20 years or more to actually take this kind of action. It appears that these Iraqi doctors, originally described as Iranian interestingly enough, felt quite justified in taken this action, although I do hope they were more competent as doctors than suicide bombers.
    But let’s face facts, it’s called “blow back”, you can’t conspire with the most distrusted nation on earth causing the deaths of at least 2.3 MILLION Iraqis since 1991 and expect that there’s no retaliation. You reap what you sow.
    On the other hand,
    BNP men planned bombs for ‘race war’,,2118215,00.html

    Martin Wainwright
    Wednesday July 4, 2007

  • jeff wallder

    Building construction experts have confirmed that the collapse of the twin towers could only be as the result of controlled explosions, not the result of when the planes hit the towers.

    The amateurish ‘car bombs’ of the weekend are a small conspiracy compared to what happened in New York. But with the same end – to drive a wedge between the European and Arab people. In whose interest is this? Israel and the U.S. oil barons.

    Richard is absolutely right!

  • Richard

    Wake up, Mr Glover…

  • Danivon

    Umm Richard, that article is what we call ‘conjecture’. It contains no actual evidence about your assertions.

    Keep trying, and don’t worry that some of the people jumping to agree with you are in or support the BNP.

  • Richard

    Owen, I know you are a philosophy buff – so you will know Karl Popper’s ‘Conjectures and Refuations”.

    In the absence of knowing the “truth”, everything is inevitably “conjecture”…so I will keep trying…

  • jeff wallder

    Actually, the BNP’s policy is pro-Israel and extremely hostile to all Islamic people. So they do not support ‘conspiracy’ theories about the Twin Towers atrocity as it would run counter to their policy of demonising all Arab and Islamic people.

  • Danivon

    Richard – that’s brilliant! Referring to Popper to back up outlandish speculation. What next, I wonder?

    Any like, evidence?

    Thought not.

  • Richard

    You obviously haven’t understood what Popper was trying to say…”outlandish speculation” is a conjecture…

    Anyway, more ‘outlandish speculation’ to take the p… out of :

  • Rob Glover

    Still referring to your own blog and other conspiracist websites to ‘back-up’ your conspiracy. Still precicely fuck-all evidence. Get a life, Richard, you twat.

    Back to sleep.

  • Richard

    Mr Glover, resorting to personal insult does little to promote the “official” explanation of events, to which you appear to blindly accept without thinking.

    I do not accept the “official” explanation, and have attempted to provide an alternative.

    I can’t provide “evidence”, just as you can’t provide “evidence” either… except “official” explanations which are, of course, “fuck-all evidence” as well…especially in the light of the 45 minute WMD warning in 2002, which was proved to be a pack of “official” lies).

    Perhaps “Michael” (Post 23) is more balanced than either of us : “Let’s be honest, anything is possible…”.

  • Richard

    I do not put this forward as “evidence” – but to show a wider, different perspective on this so-called ‘War on Terror’ :

  • Danivon

    It’s not a ‘different perspective’ though is it? In the past 4 years we’ve seen very similar screeds from zmag and other sources which read very similarly. It’s the whole ‘Imperialism’ thing. Very 19th century, along with the endless references to bleedin’ Chomsky (and, like yourself, Richard, to his own earlier pieces).

    Look, we get it – it’s not just you, but a lot of other fools who believe that it’s all a conspiracy, and that they aren’t conspiracy theorists but ‘seekers after truth’.

    The evidence for THAT is clear. Now, unless you have any evidence to back up your assertions, they are just assertions.

  • Richard

    Oh, for crying out loud !

    A “different perspective” from the official version, which we’ve been fed for the last 4 years.

    “Imperialism”…very 19th century”. Crap.
    Greek, Roman, British, and now American Empires. Very 21st century.

    I stand by my assertions.

  • jeff wallder

    Richard, do not be put off by people with closed minds. Let us remember that the belief that Weapons of Mass Destruction did NOT exist was once a conspiracy theory.

    Conspiracy theories are very seductive, we know. You are not claiming that these terrorist acts were staged by the American Government or MI5 or Mossad. But we do know that there are major inconsistencies that need to be addressed. The person who resorts to words like ‘twat’ in the course of this persuit for truth only insults himself, nobody else.

    Keep digging away, Richard.

  • Richard

    This might not scare you, but it sure scares the s### out of me :