Friday, 23 January 2009

No Sleep 'Til Brooklands 'Sexiest Man Alive'

Just in time for Jonathan Ross' 'controversial' return to Friday night telly, the Mail are going after him with full force, tugging at our heartstrings with the devastating headline Andrew Sachs' family 'torn apart' by Jonathan Ross phone scandal. As an old-fashioned type of guy, I sometimes work on the outdated assumption that something that appears in quotes in a headline will be based on an actual quote from the article itself. Which I suppose it is in this case, except it's the Mail itself who says it:

Andrew Sachs has vowed never to watch Jonathan Ross again after tonight's comeback, as it emerged his family has been torn apart by the scandal.

The words 'torn' and 'apart' are never mentioned again, suggesting it might be an example of what Language Log terms mendacity quotes. So what's the nature of the devastation heaped on the Sachs family? Mr Sachs and his wife haven't spoken to their granddaughter since learning about her lifestyle:

'We haven't spoken since and I have no wish to speak to her,' she added.

'We didn't know any of this about the drugs, sex with Russell Brand and we had never heard the name Satanic Sluts before. She used to be a lovely girl and we spent a lot of money on her, educating her.'

Saddening stuff for sure, but you have to wonder first of all, how often did they speak to her? People's relationships with their grandparents are massively varied; some people live with them, whereas I see my grandparents roughly once a year, and as far as I know they're not deeply ashamed of me. There's little to suggest that they were particularly close, and indeed the fact her grandparents claim not to have known what she did for a job suggests that this may not have been a tight-knit bond which has been destroyed by Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand's inane chatter about how Brand once had sex with her. Is Ross really to blame for all this? Even if he were the reason they found out (and that's up for debate; much of the revelations about her drug use and status as a Satanic Slut came from the Mail itself), it does seem a touch hard to have sympathy if they're genuinely refusing to speak to their granddaughter now because of her lifestyle.

There's something incredibly nauseating about the Mail's conduct in this whole 'scandal'. Lest we forget, it was the Mail On Sunday that first made Sachs aware of the then entirely unremarked-upon comments on his answerphone, playing him a recording of it down the phone to his agent a full four days after it happened. Had the MoS not done that, Sachs might well have never known about it. Now the Mail is using the fact that Sachs and his wife found out and subsequently disowned their granddaughter as a stick to keep beating Ross and the BBC with, apparently oblivious to their pivotal role in 'tearing apart' this family. Despite the BBC sackings, suspensions, resignations and repeated grovelling apologies that have come from this media-driven scandal, the Mail still feels like it hasn't got enough, and continues to hassle the Sachs family for quotes every time Ross does anything. It started the scandal, it fuelled the complaints, it kept it burning way past the point most people stopped caring, and its clearly trying to ignite it again.

Meanwhile, the Mail has been busy carelessly flinging a massive pneumatic drill around the precarious patch of moral high ground it had been standing on when it derided Ross for being a 'bully', by repeatedly running headlines mocking his speech impediment and criticising his appearance. These include such sterling examples of tact and respect as Utterly unwepentant: Jonathan Ross blames others for his downfall and is plotting how to land a new big money BBC deal, Where's your pwide gone Wossy...? Chat show host goes out and about in a drab tracksuit (successfully taking the piss out the way he talks, the clothes he wears AND employing the type of pointless paparazzi-led non-news shite the Mail once promised to stop doing), and my personal favourite Jonathan Ross prepares for return to work... but BBC make-up are in for a shock when they see that double chin, which reveals that Jonathan Ross, never to my knowledge previously renowned for having a perfect jawline or the body of a Greek God, has a bit of a double chin from some angles, as if he's some kind of normal-looking 48-year-old man, the grotesque freak.

The Mail also tries to reignite the scandal today with the revelation that Ross made some oblique jokey references to the scandal while recording his show. The article is too tedious to go through (suffice it to say they spit outrage at him making a fart joke, and a joke where he self-deprecatingly implies he was an idiot), although it does have the decency to point out he did make an apology;

Recording his first chat show since his three-month suspension for his part in the obscene phone calls scandal, the 48-year-old began by issuing a formal apology.

That may have come as a surprise to anyone who read Monday's Ross will return 'without an apology' as £6milion-a-year host counts down to comeback show. Although perhaps they'd be too busy being surprised at the appearance of one-time 'Sexiest Man Alive'* Tom Cruise after the Mail's The Ross refuseniks: A-list stars 'snub' disgraced chat show host as he prepares for comeback, which quoted a 'source close to' Cruise as saying he didn't want to be involved in any controversy and may well not appear.

(*blog title thoroughly justified, I think you'll find; the quote is right fucking there in my main article now.)

1 comment:

  1. My favouritest bit ever in the whole Brand/Ross debacle was the Daily Mail showing sympathy and (dare I say?) respect to Georgina Bailey rather than their usual ''fat/ugly/whore/gets what's coming to her!'' attacks on any woman who dares to wander around breathing and such. I think it only took a few weeks before they reverted back to the norm but it amused me whilst it lasted.