The G2 section of yesterday’s Guardian led with a very well written piece about the 24 hour news coverage of the war in Iraq: “And now over to Fairford where there is nothing to see“. The front cover of G2 featured a mock-up of a Sky News style screen with the caption along the lines of: “Poorly sourced rumour elevated to status of major news event”.
A ticker running along the bottom of the screen said: “insignificant development presented out of context”.
All very biting and onion-esque, you might say. Unfortunately, the fact that the front page of the main paper contained both these things somewhat detracted from the point (the “3AM news” story about a “massive convoy” breaking away from Basra, that later turned out to consist of 3 tanks).
In other developments, I was having a quick look through the log files for the Paste website yesterday, and I noticed something interesting… in the list of domains from which people have been accessing the website is one particularly intriguing domain: usmc.mil (that’s the US Marine Corps by the way). Somehow, I suspect that this is not a marine with a penchant for creative writing (although if it is, why don’t you get in touch; maybe there’s something you’d like to submit to the magazine?). Anyway, I had a look back through the old logs to see where this domain first appears, and it’s in the logs for February and March this year, but not before. Maybe I’m being paranoid, but I suspect there is some echelon-style system at work here, crawling the web for keywords and flagging certain sites for further investigation. So what changed on the site in February that started ringing alarm bells on the US military computer systems? Me slagging off the Brit awards? Linking to the Guardian? Or could it perhaps be the entries for the 17th and 13th February, where I refer in passing to the “security measures” at Heathrow. Should I expect the Feds to turn up on my doorstep tomorrow? (If so, lads, could you leave it till after 10:30? I’d like a bit of a lie-in. It is Saturday, after all…)
Oh well, if Big Brother really is watching, why don’t we give them something to do. Altogether now, in a “Father Jack” style: GUNS! TANKS! BOMBS!
Oh, and here’s a link you might be interested in: