...the 5cc tabloid bullshit of the month award.
This has been a short month for me since I've been away for half of it, but I've been paying attention to blogs and keeping my eye out for particularly good bullshit. I considered breaking the rules for the first award and presenting it to MigrationWatch for being particularly rubbish this month, but rules is rules so MigrationWatch just get a raspberry blown in their direction.
Actual tabloid contenders included:
- Most of the tabloids and the Telegraph pretending an extractor fan had to be removed because of Muslims
- Most of the tabloids pretending Aldi had banned poppies
- Most of the tabloids blarting on about BBC presenters wearing their poppies too early
- The Mail for it's head poppingly stupid attempt to link Ed Miliband and Joe Stalin
- The Daily Star for every front page headline they've ever printed, ever
It's the 'the Muslims are invading and Mohammed is the most popular name and they're trying to keep it a secret' nonsense.
The tough part is choosing which of the many, many versions should win. Runner up is the Telegraph, which nearly sneaked a win for laughably trying to pretend that Mohammed is secretly the most popular boy's name. But the winner of the 5cc tabloid bullshit of the month award, for the reasons outlined in the email below, is:
Mohammed is now the most popular name for baby boys ahead of Jack and Harry, by Daily Mail hack, Jack Doyle.
Here's the email:
Dear Mr Doyle,
I am very pleased, not to mention proud, to announce that your story 'Mohammed is now the most popular name for baby boys ahead of Jack and Harry' is the recipient of journalism's newest prize. Break out the party poppers!
Your story, chosen for being such an excellent example of tabloid reporting prowess, is the winner of the first ever 5cc tabloid bullshit of the month award, presented by me at Five Chinese Crackers. In such a crowded field with all the crap tabloids and the Telegraph covering the same thing it was a tough choice, but your version beat even the Telegraph's, which pretended not only that Mohammed was the most popular boy's name, but that it was a secret.
Here's why your version won:
- It's a crap trick. Adding together 12 variations of a name and saying the official list has Mohammed at number 16 without pointing out that the official list doesn't add any variations of names together is just a bit dishonest.
- As is not bothering to mention exactly how popular a name Mohammed is among Muslims.
- Or that altogether, boys named every variation of Mohammed made up around just 2% of all boys. Actually, the number of boys named all variations of Mohammed actually took a slight drop since last year, but you didn't mention that either.
- It's an old crap trick. I was mentioning it on my blog back in 2007, when the trick made it look as though Mohammed was the second most popular boy's name.
- It scaremongers unnecessarily about Muslims.
- The Mail was probably the first paper to pull the trick this year. Blogs were already calling bullshit on the story a day before any other paper has dated its version. Yours is dated the 28th too, but that could just be when you rewrote the copy originally provided by someone else. That would be more tragic when you think about it, your name on an embarassingly crap scaremongering trick that you didn't even pull yourself.
- Even the Sun managed to report this story properly.
The prize is essentially a crap drawing of an award, but you will now be in contention for the 5cc tabloid bullshitter of the year award 2011. You've got 14 months to get as many monthly prizes as possible to be a winner, so keep up the good work!So, there we go. That's it for this month. If you spot any really choice bullshit in the coming month, email a link or DM one on twitter, and I'll consider it.
Various bloggers pointed out how crap your old trick was. These include: TabloidWatch, Enemies of Reason, No Sleep 'Til Brooklands and Primly Stable (twice).
If you'd like to make an acceptance comment, reply to this email and I'll publish it at Five Chinese Crackers. In the meantime, you might want to look at this post I published on my blog a while back. You might also want to add 'scaremonger about the number of ethnic minority babies being born like I did earlier this year' to the list of stuff I mention there.
Anyway, well done. Give yourself a lolly.