Tuesday, May 11, 2010

General Election - Hack Of The Month Award

And there we have it - ten months of bellowing, Nosferatuan Tory rage in the post, as the new coalition tries to reconcile itself to its not-so-mutual interests in bombing Brussels and bulk-buying bulgar wheat.

For smartarses like myself who basically gave up on the whole black farce years ago, the election fiasco has offered rich pickings from start to finish.

The Tories seem pretty chipper for a party who have just watched their leadership re-enact the most explicit scenes from Kneepad Nymphos Nine upon Nick Clegg, previously known as Parliament's most comical cuddly toy.

After spending all week alternating between mewling self-pity and bellowing fake outrage over "totalitarianism", I'm anticipating a campaign of toe-curling cringeworthiness as the Tories and Lib Dems go all gooey-eyed at each other to the tune of Lovin' You (Is Easy 'Cos You're Beautiful).

Then there's Labour, clinging by a fingernail to the hope that, with all this horseshit, there must be a pony in there somewhere. Their eulogies to their own record of barely restrained grovelling to the super-rich and enthusiastic warmaking were hilarious. Now, we get their supporters' sudden fondness for pointing at their estranged voters and calling them idiots and twats. That'll work, guys.

Still, if this whole sorry affair has left the nation's senior politicians looking like puzzled seaside donkeys, spare a thought for the press - forced to fill endless airtime and stuff column inches with similes for I don't know, 24/7 for a month. It's been a hard and thankless task, so let's give a little back by recognising their endeavours with a little Hack Of The Month contest.

Marina Hyde, The Guardian

A woeful effort at hackery by the Graun's premier poison pen. While older and wiser hacks fell hook, line and sinker for the televised debates - Oh, the democraticity! - Hyde saw straight through to the glorified media suck-fests they were. Being a blogger, I'm free to call them a stitch-up of epic proportions, aimed at filling pages with vacuous blah; a puddle-deep exercise in feel-good waffle, or even a pornographic meeting of journalistic tongue and political anus. Hyde, to her credit, found more eloquent methods of conveying the same message.

With a dreadful, rock-bottom 1/10, Hyde is therefore disqualified from HotM for relating some reality to her readers. Unforgiveable.

Alex Massie, The Spectator

As a Conservative in the sense of individual freedoms and financial prudence rather than squealing about fascism and foreigners, Massie was always going to struggle in HotM. So it proved, as he was forced to point out that Gordon Brown wasn't a Stalinist dictator and that the Scots haven't crushed British democracy under their tartan jackboot. For employing arcane and outmoded techniques such as reason and logic, Massie bombs out of HotM with a feeble 2/10.

Stephen Pollard, Jewish Chronicle

Shocked and horrified absolutely nobody by suddenly announcing he was turning Tory, while apparently under the impression that people who weren't suffering from inflammation of the brain had ever believed he was anything else.

Instantly leapt to the most ludicrous extreme of entirely mainstream Conservative thought by wailing about the unfairness of everything and claiming to be afraid that Labour were crushing democracy etc. etc. while also being fully aware that he was talking shite. If awards were presented for enthusiasm, he'd be a shoo-in, but pro-forma wingnut boo-hoo is ten a penny. 4/10, must try harder.

Martin Bright, The Spectator

Here's where things get interesting - fresh from a three-year campaign of beating his chest and howling at anyone who would listen that the Labour Party were corrupt, lying, incompetent, venal bullies, Bright performed an acrobatic reverse ferret at the last moment, endorsing Labour while telling everyone how bloody awful he felt doing it.

This back-breaking manoeuvre completed, Bright began guilt-tripping ex-Labour voters, thus leaving him with all the dignity and gravitas of a man with a square dick trying to fuck a row of donuts. Oh, you so Hacky, Martin! You bullshit us long time! 6/10

Polly Toynbee, The Guardian

Polly agrees with what Gordon said. In those areas where she doesn't, she'll find out what Gordon thinks then agree with that. Is boned for columns from now on, will likely wait until Labour has a new leader, then agree with him instead, unless the party starts smoking crack and absent-mindedly elects Harriet Harman. 7/10

Adam Boulton, Sky News

No need for an in-depth review here - Sky's hacktacular fraud was repeatedly and brutally exposed as a craven suck-up to power, uncontrollably spouting the most ludicrous soundbites of the Murdoch press like his career depended on it. It did.

In just one fifty second explosion, Boulton managed the inconceivable achievement of making Alistair Campbell look reasonable and well-mannered. It was like watching Penfold politely rebuffing the furious sexual advances of a priapic Baron Greenback.

9/10: Don't worry, Adam - nobody thinks you're a Tory. We just think you like getting paid and wish that you'd sod off.

Nick Robinson, BBC

Can you tell us what's happening where you are, Nick? Two minutes of bewildering, wholly-invented telepathic gibberish later, viewers are no further forward than a vague feeling that, whatever it is, it's good news for David Cameron.

Like the God particle of content-free news, scientists have long speculated that it is theoretically possible for a journalist to communicate using only half-true, poorly-sourced or wholly invented rubbish that some party handler has fed him mere seconds before. Previously unproven, it's been suggested that such a journalist would produce an amazing phenomenon known as anti-news - that is, information broadcasting that actually leaves the viewer more ignorant than they were before they began watching.

I assume that the BBC crossed their fingers and hoped for the best when they fired up the Large Baldy Collider on election night, but Nick Robinson delivered in spades - reporting every scrap of political chickenfeed cast at his feet for days on end, without even catching a whisper of coalition talks between Labour and the Lib Dems.

10/10 for tenacity, vacuity and sheer pointlessness, and thus Nick Robinson wins Hack of the Month.

Tune in next month for coverage of the first major Tory backbench revolt...

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