|Blast from the past|
It's so common in comedy shows that it's a cliche - major disaster happens in foreign country, UK news agencies only take notice if British people are involved. Submit a script with that situation in and someone's bound to say, "Do we need to include that tired joke? It's been done about eight-million times before."Yes, it's a tired gag, but one that's so accurate. Today's tabloids show this brilliantly. Most papers have included news of Libya and Gadaffi's speech yesterday on their front pages - it is a little bit relevant to the UK, people in countries across the Middle East in revolt against the largely UK-backed oppressive regimes that rule them, with one of the most infamous despots vowing to fight against a revolt that has already killed quite a number of his citizens - but the tabloids have splashed with the headlines that count.
Here's the Mail's view of what's most important:
There are British people there! Won't somebody think of the British?
And the Express:
Won't somebody think of the UK petrol prices?
And the Sun, which goes with a natural disaster elsewhere in the world:
The 'disater down under' (is it me, or is that just the teensiest bit tacky?) is that 10 British people died.
Finally, the other tabloids' less gifted cousin, the formerly EDL supporting Star:
Ah, the shame of Benefit Britain is that a person on benefits has said exactly what I think about work. How can we live with the embarrassment? I'm sure the world's eyes are on us now. Screw earthquakes and upheaval in the Middle East. Someone on the dole thinks work's boring! If only ritual seppuku were allowed for the whole country, we could take proper action to atone for such disgrace.
Interestingly, there is a little bit there on the Star's front page about the earthquake in New Zealand, it goes with 'Brits' hell as quake kills 300'.
Hey, it was only 10 in the Sun. What gives?
What gives is that there's another 'it's a cliche because it's true' thing that's going on with both papers - tabloids fudge information on their front page to trick you out of your money. The Sun follows its ''10 Brits' dead' headline with '300 missing as frantic response goes on' which could easily be interpreted as meaning 300 Brits are missing. The Star is much worse, managing to imply that 300 Brits are dead while making an outright claim that 300 people have died.
In reality, 300 people in total are missing. 75 are confirmed to have died. The opening couple of sentences in the Sun's story reveal that:
TEN Britons were last night feared to have been killed in New Zealand's devastating earthquake.So, ten Britons feared dead with one actual dead Briton becomes 10 dead Brits on the front page of the Sun and 300 in the Star. Neither manages to include the actual current death toll.
One British citizen was confirmed dead this morning...
To be fair, why would you want to? 74 of them are foreign. The Star had much more important news about a person on the dole not much liking work to splash with.
To finish with another clichéed gag - how do you confuse a tabloid journalist? Tell them the Brits involved in an international incident are on benefits.