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Archive for the ‘media’


Agents of fear 288

Posted on November 08, 2020 by

No explanation is given for why “writer at large” Neil Mackay has suddenly conducted a “wide-ranging, exclusive interview” with “one of Britain’s most senior spy chiefs” for today’s Herald On Sunday.

As far as we’re aware absolutely nothing has happened in respect of the UK’s nuclear “deterrent” to make the subject topical. Maybe Mackay just coincidentally bumped into Sir David Omand down the pub or something.

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The telescope’s eye 88

Posted on October 26, 2020 by

Unlike the Hulk, this site very much prefers Andrew Tickell (previously Lallands Peat Worrier) when he’s angry, as opposed to his rather more customary appearance these days as a hearty and affable chronicler of life from the cosy perspective of someone embarking on a lifelong career in Scotland’s well-fed academic/media/legal elite.

He’s on fine fettle as the former in The National today:

The paragraph above is unfailingly true. But if Tories don’t even care about being seen to starve hungry children – just about the most monstrous, inhuman thing imaginable, as Tickell notes in cold, eloquent fury – it completely escapes our understanding why a substantial proportion of people still appear to believe they’ll give Scotland a second referendum out of some sense of morality and decency, just because they’ll have lost yet another election in a country that hasn’t voted Tory in the best part of 70 years.

We’re running out of time. We need a better plan.

Auntie’s Twilight 217

Posted on October 20, 2020 by

Television’s transforming before our eyes, as both what we watch and how we watch it changes. An ever-greater number of programmes shown through increasing mediums. But that doesn’t equate to balanced political coverage being provided, quality product displayed, or distinct countries reflected.

The United States, despite the great wealth and talent available to it in Hollywood and elsewhere, is the worse for the absence of a properly funded and high quality public broadcasting service. Its society is the poorer and its democracy badly distorted by its absence. It’s why Scotland needs a properly funded public broadcaster.

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Services rendered 129

Posted on October 05, 2020 by

Readers, we can’t tell you how much we want to get back to just dissecting Scotland’s hopeless Unionist media for a living. It’s a lot more fun than what the current political circumstances are obliging us to do, so you can hardly imagine our excitement when we spotted what looked like an open goal in yesterday’s Mail On Sunday.

Our ears pricked up immediately at the sight of the words “up to”, which is invariably a sign of dodgy doings on the way, and so it proved. The article contained no solid data at all about the size of Scottish Government special advisers’ pay rises, only how many SpAds there were and which general pay bands they were in, each of which spans a wide range of between £14,000 and £23,000.

But while the Mail had spooned the sitter six feet over the crossbar – because the crude spin they’d put on it was total rubbish – there was still a loose ball just waiting to be knocked into the back of the net.

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Bonfire of the ironies 158

Posted on September 27, 2020 by

Some days it’s not even worth trying to get your jaw off the floor.

Yeah, THAT Neil Mackay.

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Weir’s No Way 119

Posted on September 23, 2020 by

The Electoral Commission appears to have missed yet another deadline for publishing the SNP’s 2019 accounts (we’re waiting on them to return our phone call), so we’ve got a moment to talk about something else relating to the party’s finances.

[EDIT 12.56pm: the Commission now “hopes” to have the accounts published “in the next three weeks” along with those of the other main Westminster parties.]

The Scottish press covered itself in as much disgrace over the publication of the will of lottery winner Colin Weir after his tragic death last year as it had done during his life. Pretty much every paper in the country ran lurid headlines about how he’d “blown” or “burned” (translation: spent) half of his £80m share of the 2011 jackpot in nine years.

Weirdly, the Scottish Sun and the Daily Mail stood out for (mainly) respectful coverage focused on the fact that Colin Weir had in fact used most of the money on good causes and generous support for friends, family and strangers.

(Also, both of the Weirs were fairly old and already in quite poor health when they won the money, so why wouldn’t they spend it? You famously can’t take it with you.)

But the Mail was almost unique in the fact that its headline mentioned something that seemed to stand out as the most obviously newsworthy aspect of the will.

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Liars gonna lie 117

Posted on September 20, 2020 by

Last night on social media a few people raised a semi-interested eyebrow at Scotland On Sunday’s front page, and wondered if the suspiciously unattributed lead story might be something balanced and worthwhile, or if it’d be by Dani Garavelli again.

We have sad news to relate.

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Cracks in the fog 320

Posted on September 17, 2020 by

Over the last year or so, this site’s commentary on matters surrounding the attempted imprisonment of Alex Salmond over false allegations of sexual abuse has attracted a considerable amount of ire from a section of the readership, demanding “proof” of the involvement of the current First Minister.

Such proof has been impossible to provide for legal reasons. But it’s always been the case that the truth could only be suppressed for so long, and events in recent days have brought the first chinks of light through the wall of smoke and mirrors the Scottish Government has been attempting to surround the matter with.

So in our very lightest and softest shoes, let’s tiptoe through what is both a labyrinth and a minefield and see if we can make some of it a little easier to understand.

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By gaslight 200

Posted on August 29, 2020 by

The distant choir 257

Posted on August 27, 2020 by

During the 2014 indyref, the astonishingly vast imbalance of the mainstream Scottish media was partly compensated by a huge rise in new media, with dozens and dozens of sites filling the gaping chasms where printed and broadcast media would have been in any country with a press worthy of the name at such an exciting time.

The subsequent shrivelling of that presence has been one of the least observed and explored phenomena of the six years since the referendum, and especially since the SNP’s election victory in 2016. The incredibly wide-ranging, mutually-supportive pro-Yes new media is now down to a tiny handful of outlets, most of which are barely read (and most of which would celebrate if the others burned down in a chemical fire).

There are many and varied reasons for this worrying situation, but before we get into those let’s have a quick look at who’s still who and what’s still what.

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The second opinion 149

Posted on August 22, 2020 by

The Vanished 138

Posted on August 19, 2020 by

An alert viewer noticed this evening that after being broadcast twice in two days, “The Trial Of Alex Salmond” has tonight disappeared from BBC iPlayer.

We have no information as to why, although we do know it committed contempt of court by providing so-called “jigsaw identification” of one of the complainers in the case. If that’s the reason for the show being pulled, it’s going to be VERY interesting in terms of our ongoing enquiries with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service about why a number of Scottish newspapers and websites critical of Salmond haven’t been acted against for publishing exactly the same information, while pro-Salmond blogger Craig Murray faces a trial and a potential two years in prison for doing less.

We’ll keep you posted with anything we find out.

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