Friday, 18 December 2009

A new low for the Greenwich News Shopper

Over on Twitter I have a fairly regular whinge about the choice of stories in my local freesheet the Greenwich News Shopper.

Normally if it bleeds, then it leads, even if the murder happened well outside of the borough, or even outside the continent.

Occasionally they do have a decent story, although they're invariably nicked from somewhere else.

However this week they've really outdone themselves. Take a look at this major scoop:


Spiritualist says bin Laden prediction was right

That's right, hold the press, a 'spiritualist' says that she was right about something.

A SPIRITUALIST’S claim she knew where Osama bin Laden was hiding in Afghanistan was not taken seriously when she made it eight years ago.

You don't say?

But now Angela Bayley says her prediction, exclusively reported in News Shopper in 2001, has been proved true in a US Senate report.

Now I wonder why your report was exclusive? Any ideas?

Miss Bayley added eight years of fear, dogma and terrorist attacks could have been prevented if she had been listened to.

In the first and only time she has entered the world of predicting major events, the Hither Green resident claimed al-Qaeda boss bin Laden was planning to flee across the border to Pakistan as soon as possible.

Osama would flee? Who could have guessed ?

Miss Bayley spoke out eight years ago after being guided by spirits after holding a newspaper cutting from September 11, 1974, which had been found hidden in a kitchen wall at a home in Mottingham.

The Daily Express story cutting, headlined This is America, referred to pilots, New York and “nuts”.

It had to be the Express.

Miss Bayley dangled an Islamic charm over a map of Afghanistan to find bin Laden and felt a strong pull to Waza Khwa, in the south-east of the country.

She said: “I was only doing my work. I was a channel for the spirits like a telephone, the spirits never get it wrong.”

Okay I've had enough. Let's just skip to the quote from the Ministry of Defence (yes they actually bothered to waste their time with this bilge)

"A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “We cannot comment on the matter at all.”

Well what did you expect?

Did you really think the Ministry of Defence would jump up and say "Oh well if we'd only listened to Angela Bayley from Hither Green then we'd never have got into this mess. Sorry Ange."

I'll leave the last word to one of my fellow sufferers:

Come on News Shopper. Sort it out before we all give up on you.


Appealing of Ealing said...

I know how you feel. Look at this for example.

AdamB said...

Ha ha, they'll talk to any old crank then?

It was a tasty hamster though.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Nearly as bad as the Evening Standard...

Appealing of Ealing said...

To be serious (for a second), I think this is the problem with the freesheet industry -- when you don't ask people to pay, it promotes a culture in which producers feel immune to criticism from readership -- and standards don't matter nearly as much as they otherwise would. This is why I think the Standard's move was a terrible faux pas.

AdamB said...

Well the News Shopper is certainly treating its readers like a captive audience. We get it through the letter box once a week no matter what, so they probably think they can print what they like.

The problem is that if they carry on like this, more and more people will just take their copy straight to the bin, and their advertisers will continue to drift away as well.

The other local free sheet, which I don't get in this part of the borough, is apparently doing a better job but even there things are on the wane. Not that long ago they moved out to an office at Streathham. Not especially local.

Appealing of Ealing said...

Interesting. It's not as if there's nothing to write about in and around Greenwich.

I know your part of the world very well. I've had many a boozy lunch at the Cutty Sark Tavern.

AdamB said...

The Cutty Sark's one of my favourites too. Much better than the more well known Trafalgar Tavern further up the river. Most of the best Greenwich pubs are outside the centre really.

white rabbit said...

That's gloriously bonkers.

You couldn't make it up to borrow a phrase.

Ermmmm - let me re-phrase that...