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Home > Media

Recent Stories In Media
Ask-a-Man: Really Not That Loathsome. Apparently.
March 16, 2007
A couple of months ago, we wrote a fairly scathing piece about a new online service called Ask-a-man, a business based around the very flimsy idea that women could learn a lot about the men in their lives from other men...
The TFT Guide to... 'Blue Peter' Lies
March 16, 2007
This week 'Blue Peter' was in trouble when it was revealed that a phone-in quiz had been fixed, leading to a ludicrous amount of media attention and apologetic grovelling by the BBC... As is well-known, Petra the 'Blue Peter' dog died after just one appearance and was quietly replaced with another puppy. So what other lies has 'Blue Peter' told us over the years?...
1970s Bloke: Missing, Feared Made-up
February 16, 2007
As 'Life on Mars' returned to our screens this week, so did one of the media's favourite topics: 'Whatever happened to 1970s blokes?' You know the types: Carter and Regan, Bodie and Doyle, Rod Stewart, Robin 'Confessions of a Wank Fantasist' Askwith. Fred West, Andreas Baader and The Black Panther went strangely unmentioned...
Journojism: Supersize Zero Me
February 11, 2007
Ever since the success of 'Supersize Me', journalists and documentary makers have been eager to subject themselves to weird diets, regardless of whether or not there is any actual point. It's surely only a matter of time before someone decides to drink eight cans of Special Brew a day for a month...
The TFT Guide to... Avoiding Being Typecast
February 4, 2007
Any successful actor runs the risk of being typecast, and so many make a conscious effort to appear in roles that challenge the public’s perception of them. This is precisely what Daniel ‘Harry Potter’ Radcliffe is currently doing, by appearing in Peter Schaffer’s ‘controversial’ play 'Equus'...
'Party Animals': The Politics of Youth
February 4, 2007
As if we needed another, it looks like BBC2’s new ‘political’ ‘drama’, ‘Party Animals’, is one more harbinger of the new Dark Age that’s poised to flatten all in its path in a tsunami of twattery. With Chris Moyles riding at the forefront like a doughnut-stuffed horseman of the apocalypse, obviously...
The Future's Bright, The Future's Mentos and Diet Coke
February 4, 2007
This week Google announced that it’s planning to pay contributors to its new acquisition, YouTube. It’s a sad indictment of the journalism profession that no one appeared to ask ‘Is this just a publicity stunt?’, for the simple reason that the first question in anyone’s mind should have been: ‘Who the fuck is going to pay money...'
Paul Dacre: Marx My Words
January 26, 2007
If you were labouring under the delusion that The Daily Mail and its staff were in some way not totally barking mad, a comment this week by editor Paul Dacre would have disabused you. In an article in The Guardian about his favourite bugbear, the BBC, Dacre commented: 'I for one would pay the licence fee just for Radio 4.'...
TVJism: Bring Back 'Robin of Sherwood'! Oh, You Have...
November 3, 2006
This week there was yet another minor TV furore as Christians accused a show of anti-Christian bias. What was this show? A blistering attack on organised religion by Richard Dawkins? An expose of extremist Christian fundamentalism by 'Dispatches'?... No...
Christ de Burgh
October 27, 2006
It's been a wonderful week for Chris de Burgh. He has been likened to a Scottish rapist, a paedophile and to Jesus Christ Himself, and yet still the blandest man in music is smiling. Last Thursday on his website, de Burgh felt the need to clear the air: '...I am NOT a Faith Healer'... We know. Only the true Messiah would deny His divinity...
October 27, 2006
...OJ Simpson is about to cash in, again, on the most pooh-poohed acquittal in murder trial history. The National Enquirer claimed last week that Simpson was to be paid $3.5 million for a book entitled 'If I Did It'. The book would describe, fully, frankly, graphically and incredibly tastelessly, how OJ Simpson might have killed his wife Nicole and Ronald Goldman... *if* he had actually done it...
Torchwood: Who's The Daddy
October 27, 2006
Torchwood, BBC4's 'adult' 'Doctor Who' spin-off was launched to a record UK digital television audience on Sunday. If you weren't able to tune in and watch the television event of the year then - *please* - pity those of us who did. Oh God, where to start...
Journojism: Cocker And Morley's Middle East Peace Plan
October 20, 2006
The solemnity of pop musicians is a joy to behold. Arguably the worst offender is Bono, who has never shied away from Big Issues in his music and pronouncements, whether it's apartheid, Bloody Sunday, or the entire history and culture of America. However, most, if not all, pop musicians have a tendency to go all serious...
Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, But Memes Will Never Hurt Me
October 15, 2006
It was a heckuva week for Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. The two twenty-something-year-old founders of YouTube woke up on Tuesday morning and found themselves multi-millionaires after their plucky video site was bought by Google for $1.65bn. That's one point six five billion dollars. Or about eight pounds fifty...
Sad and Sadr
October 6, 2006
One of the least funny and most disappointing comedy films of the last ten years was this week brought galumphing back into the collective consciousness when an image from it turned up in Baghdad. Of all places. The film is 'Dogma' and the image is that of 'Buddy Christ', the smiling damned saviour with His one Muslim-baiting thumb held offensively aloft...
TVJism: Down With The Kids
October 6, 2006
Throughout history, youth has been treasured and often deified, whether it was the ancient Greeks' actual youth worship or modern society's attempts to avert the inevitable passage of time with plastic surgery. But neither the Greeks nor the biggest plastic surgery addict come close to the obsession with youth of TV types...
Journojism: Middle Class Woes
September 24, 2006
We've commented before on the embourgoisement of newspapers, particularly the Sunday supplements, with their aspirational lifestyle crap, their plugs for modernist kitchen gadgets and yummy mummy journalists endlessly relating the minutiae of their lives. But it's reached such staggering proportions that we've come to the conclusion that some sharp-witted publisher should make a few bucks by collecting all this crap in one tiresome volume: 'Middle Class Woes' magazine...
TVJism: The Walford Downs
September 17, 2006
This week 'EastEnders' was criticised by the Royal College of Midwives for a storyline about a Down's Syndrome baby, the progeny of Billy and Honey Mitchell. Poor kid - it's bad enough being born with Down's Syndrome, but a bit of mental retardation pales into insignificance with the horrors that await anyone living in Albert Square...
A Load of Old Canniballs
September 17, 2006
'For 10 years, we in the Tory party have became used to Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing; and so it is with a happy amazement that we watch as the madness engulfs the Labour Party.' So quoth everyone's favourite disgraced strawberry blonde Etonian Tory fop (tm), Lord Sir Boris of Johnson on his blog the other day...
WAWIBF... Panic on the Streets of London
September 8, 2006
'Perverts with hidden digital cameras are allegedly filming women and children in Trafalgar Square.' So sensationalised London's newest dumbed-down Sun, The London Paper on Wednesday. One word stands out in that sentence. This one too: 'The twisted sex pests are suspected of using the trick to take pictures up women's skirts and later share them with other perverts on the internet.'...
WAWIBF... Toilet Paper
September 8, 2006
Lucky old Londoners have been bombarded with free reading material recently, with two new freesheets launched in the last two weeks. The downside - or at least the most glaring downside - is that both papers are unremittingly stuffed with absolute garbage...
PC, the BBC and Littlejohn's Delight
August 30, 2006
'Political correctness' has long been a gift to right-wingers, allowing them to have a dig at liberals and lefties by citing apocryphal examples, or things they've just made up on the spot, as though it constitutes a genuine point. What Littlejohn column would be complete without some comment like: 'What next? Will we be forced to call paedophiles “sexually-preferentially-challenged”?'
TVjism: Jurassic Arse
August 30, 2006
Occasionally a TV programme really makes you sit up and admire the audacity of the person who was prepared to risk being laughed out of an ideas meeting by coming up with something so derivative. A worthy challenger to the BBC's 'Urban Chef' featuring Oliver Rowe, which shamelessly copied 'Jamie's Kitchen', has popped up on ITV primetime: 'Prehistoric Park'...
The TFT Guide To... The Return of Noel Edmonds
August 30, 2006
In a career trajectory that's beginning to resemble that of Alan Partridge, Noel Edmonds is to return to the BBC for the first time in seven years for ‘National Lottery Day’. BBC1 controller Peter Fincham commented: 'It is great to have him back. This marks the beginning of a new chapter between Noel and the channel.' Fincham then denied rumours that Edmonds will be hosting a new show called 'Monkey Tennis'. But what will Noel's exciting new light entertainment projects consist of? TFT speculates...
The First Rule of Google Is: You Do Not Google About Google
August 18, 2006
This week the Indie reported, with tears of joy in its terror-plot-clogged eyes, on the latest legal foofawraw Google have to their funny name. Having cottoned onto the fact that many individuals now use said name as a verb, with its proud capital G brought low, they've been forced into action. (The people who invented 'cotton' gave up years ago.)...
Journojism: Jones and Dhaliwal - Who's The Boss?
August 11, 2006
Recently the likes of Janet Street-Porter have been heartily bitching about blogs, which to her constitute a lake of online 'verbal diarrhoea'... it's hard to imagine however, any blog being more poorly written, more clangingly solipsistic, more of an embarrassing knitting-class of tangled neurosis than the witterings of highly-paid madwoman Liz Jones...
The Big Big Brother Phone Vote Con: Boo Fucking Hoo
August 11, 2006
In a dazzling feat of Machiavellian telly-twistage/an increasingly desperate attempt to keep slack-jawed viewers interested and/or riled (delete as applicable), 'Big Brother' has given agog viewers the chance to vote some of the bastards we hoped we'd never hear of again back into the house. This, far from being a nifty move...
Vox Popular: Heaven and Hell
August 3, 2006
...Sadly, the entry criteria for the Kingdom of Heaven are is quite strict. You can't do any killing, for example, or maiming, or coveting of your neighbour's wife. You can't even covet your neighbour's ox, for Christ's sake. All of which makes you wonder, just who will be allowed beyond the pearly gates, come the time, and who will be cast into a fiery pit of eternal suffering?...
Blog Envy
July 31, 2006
There's been a bit of a flap of late about the rise to prominence of a handful of British bloggers. Some in the old school media worlds have had their ivory towers, not to mention their future career prospects and inflated salaries, shaken by the thought that there are legions of web-savvy people out there willing to put intelligent, well-researched articles in the public domain for nothing...
Journojism: Oxford - Just Do It
July 31, 2006
Along with the fact that cancer victims always struggle 'bravely' against their illness, one of the immutable laws of journalism is surely that anything to do with Oxford University is newsworthy. We can only speculate as to why, but it may be because so many broadsheet editors went to Oxford, or have children there. Meanwhile, forelock-tugging, class-addled rags like the Mail and Express know that their readers fervently wish that they or their children had gone to Oxford...
TVJism: 'Top Gear'
July 31, 2006
A question! Which television programme, we ask you, is the most illegally downloaded in the world? 'Lost'? 'CSI'? 'The Jade's Salon Tin Bath Full of Quicklime Special'? Wrong, wrong and wrong. It is, in fact, the BBC's paragon of geezer, 'Top Gear'. Hugely popular amongst petrolheads and lovers of shouty-bloke-type comedy the planet over, and without a regular slot in some of the world's largest gas-guzzling nations, it is passed round YouTube and torrent sites like Fiesta Readers' Wives around the school bike shed. The mind boggles...
The TFT Guide to... THe Demise of 'Top of the Pops'
July 31, 2006
This week the last ever edition of 'Top of the Pops' was recorded, marking the end of an era for people who measure historical periods in terms of rather cheesy TV programmes about pop music (see also 'The Chart Show' Era and the 'Snub TV' Era). But why exactly did the BBC axe the UK's most famous music show?...
Journojism: The Bourgeoisie Are At the Gates
July 22, 2006
Increasingly, and particularly in the Saturday edition, articles in The Guardian appear that you initially think might be a pisstake of the worst kind of middle-class 'Jocasta was despairing of ever finding a Fair Trade pashmina' twaddle. But it never is. Step forward Charlotte Raven...
Surveyjism: A Nation of Domestic Cleaners
July 22, 2006
Here's a question: who the fuck does 142 minutes of housework a day, apart from a full-time (if rather lazy) cleaner? Because this is the amount of time that the average Brit spends doing housework, according to a new survey. Maybe we're missing something, but 142 minutes is almost *two-and-a-half hours*. How long does it take to do the washing up, push the Hoover round a bit, stick some bleach in the toilet and take the rubbish out?...
Blessed Relief
July 15, 2006
Forgive us, if you please, for having the mind of a twelve year old, sniggering along to the latest Finbarr Saunders but we've got a bit of a problem with Sport Relief. In fact, we find we can't handle any concept with the word 'relief' in the title, but especially not when there's partially famous people involved...
'Doctor Who': Guest Appearances All Round
July 15, 2006
'Doctor Who' has probably gone through the biggest transformation of any programme in TV history, with the possible exception of 'Battlestar Galactica', which started out as a ropey Glen A. Larson 'Star Wars' rip-off in 1978, degenerated into sub-'Macgyver' 1980s toss, then came back in 2003 as a big-budget epic with proper actors and drama and everything. And no invisible hover-bikes...
Journojism: Just Because You're Paranoid...
July 7, 2006
'A third of the population regularly suffer paranoid or suspicious fears that others intend to harm them, say researchers,' reported the Daily Mail this week. Apparently psychologists at King's College London have found that a worryingly large proportion of people believe others intend to do them harm or are criticising them behind their backs...
July 7, 2006
The observant amongst you, i.e. the small percentage of our readership that switches their PC off every now and then for an evening of hellish boredom in front of the idiot box, may have noticed that British commercial television is in crisis. A crisis they'd rather not talk about, pointing gamely to huge soap ratings, claiming that everything is peachy...
The TFT Guide to... Being a Blue Peter Presenter
July 2, 2006
This week 'Blue Peter' recruited its latest presenter, Andy Akinwolere. But it's a daunting prospect to step into the shoes of such titans of children's TV as Valerie Singleton, John Noakes, Peter Purves, Sarah Greene, Janet Ellis and the one off 'Seaview' who hangs around with that Scouse twat who thinks he can talk to ghosts. So what does it take to become one of the greats of 'Blue Peter' presenting?...
The CBE Jeebies
June 24, 2006
Poor Rolf Harris. A life-time spent painting the Queen, tying kangaroos down and breaking new ground with songs about little boys, and what does he get to show for it? A CBE and the thanks of a grateful nation, that's what. How gutted, then, must he be feeling to hear that the Met's Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman...
TFT Film: 'Thank You For Smoking'
June 24, 2006
It's a bit of a gift for a filmmaker to find a story, in a rather loose sense, about the semiotics of bullshit. Christopher Buckley's now 12-year-old book 'Thank You For Smoking' is one of those enduring tales of spin, counter-spin and unabashed moral slime that will probably always be relevant...
June 23, 2006
'They think it's all over... it is now!' ...will not feature at all in this article. And so, we see the end of 'Top of the Pops' after a long, terminal illness; finally put out of its misery by the BBC who spent much of the last decade unable to press a pillow onto its comatose face...
WAWIBF... Character Assassination
June 12, 2006
We must admit, our opinion of Russell Crowe has changed. We used to think he was a boorish, quick-fisted child, a cerebral baboon and single-cell control freak who would think nothing of using his considerable if baffling influence in his ceaseless quest for good PR. Now we think he might also be mentally ill. Not as mad as Cruise perhaps, but certainly madder than Peter Andre...
Giles Coren Vs Fat People: Where's the Beef?
June 12, 2006
This week a show called 'Tax the Fat' appeared on the More 4 channel. It was one of those programmes that can get away with floating bizarre ideas because, hey, it's only TV at the end of the day, and it's ironic and iconoclastic, yah? Somewhere in the development pipeline there's no doubt a show called 'Kill the Poor', but we digress...
TFT Film: United 93
June 3, 2006
On Tuesday evening President Bush sat in a White House screening room and watched Paul Greengrass' film, 'United 93'. This is the film of the events aboard the fourth plane hijacked on September 11th. The one that didn't quite reach its designated target... He watched the film in the company of some of the relatives of the 40 innocent people killed on the flight. Eep...
WAWIBF... Ladies In The Media
June 3, 2006
Never work with children or animals. Or, let's face it, women. More trouble than they're worth frankly. If they're not bending your ear with their incessant affronts to reason, they're smearing their breast-milk or menses all over your face like it's nothing to be ashamed of. Otherwise they'll just sit there, ovulating...
Big Brother: It's Hell In There
May 26, 2006
Shahbaz Chaudry, 37-year-old gay Glaswegian Pakistani 'Big Brother' housemate, left the house on Wednesday having been completely ostracised from the group. 'The pain is too much', he said in the privacy of the diary room, and wept, his uncommonly youthful face streaked with tears. It was obvious to anyone watching that this was a particularly disturbed and unstable individual...
WAWIBF... Guy Goma
May 26, 2006
The BBC have a lot to answer for. It was bad enough that they managed to mistake a jocular, Malteser-headed African for a pasty-faced, lozenge-headed ginger white man... What makes the whole thing something of a tragedy however, is the fact that Guy Goma may now face deportation as a direct result of the Beeb's startling incompetence...
WAWIBF... Chris Moyles
May 26, 2006
There were concerns this week when oily heap of pointless, braying excrement Chris Moyles failed to show up for work on Monday morning. Moyles was due to galumph into the Radio 1 studio at 7am and, very much in the manner of a spoilt and overbearing infant who's been told and who clearly believes that he is special, bray pointlessly at full volume, to the delight of doltish schoolchildren and vacuous office workers alike. But he wasn't there...
Free As A Bird (In A Cage)
May 7, 2006
This Wednesday saw World Press Freedom Day, a UN-backed initiative raising awareness of censorship, hate media and the denial of free speech to half the world's population. For one day a year, we remember the 125 journalists in prison around the world, and the twelve media workers killed in the pursuit of their jobs so far in 2006. For the other 364, it's up to you...
The Death of the British Family: Coming Very Soon
May 5, 2006
Hedonism has a lot to answer for. If, some time later this century, you find yourself languishing on an MRSA-ridden geriatric ward, with a solitary overworked Filipino nurse giving you the evil eye after you've spent the past few decades parasitically siphoning off her meagre wages into your pension packet, you know who to blame...
Pea is for Psycho
March 27, 2006
This week came the news that Louise Arnold is so absolutely terrified of peas that she runs out of restaurants if she catches even the slightest glimpse of one on someone else's plate. Now, we here at The Friday Thing have a lot of time, patience, tolerance and understanding for people with senseless phobias... However, peas? Fucking *peas*?...
Journojism: The Pun's The Thing
March 17, 2006
This week it was reported by the Daily Mirror that Abu Hamza is slimming down and buffing up inside. He's lost three stone apparently, because he doesn't like the prison food, but he's also been working out, and is well on his way to a six-pack. Hence the really quite brilliant headline 'ABS HAMZA'. Right, yeah. We reckon the news meeting ran pretty much along these lines....
War on Trollers
January 13, 2006
This week someone has winkled out a hidden clauselet in the US Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act, which bans everyone from being annoying on the Internet...
Monkey PC, Monkey Do
January 12, 2006
This week The Sun came steaming out of the traps with a little piece that was precisely, perfectly engineered as the ultimate Sun article. Maybe there's a 1% error margin in that it was, offputtingly, a book review of sorts, but otherwise it's like a pure shot of Wade to the brain. How much more Sun could it be? The answer is none. None more Sun. 'They're taking the PC', says the headline...
Respecting the Authoritaah: South Park vs The Catholic Church
January 12, 2006
There is something manifestly, monolithically humourless about Roman Catholicism, even among other awesomely po-faced organised religions. Something stern and fearsome and unbending. You don't trifle with Roman Catholics. They've been around longer than you have, chum, and they've got the Pope on their side. South Park on the other hand, has been around for nearly eight years, so roughly 1992 years less than Roman Catholicism...
All The Nipples and Blogs That Are Fit to Print
December 24, 2005
This week we learned that 'Janet Jackson' was the most searched-for term on Google in 2005. Somehow we can't believe that this was the result of her recent musical output and instead just a rather pathetic mass desire to see *that* nipple. It doesn't show Internet users in a very flattering light...
A Few Bad Santas
December 24, 2005
On Saturday afternoon in Auckland, New Zealand, 50 drunken men all dressed as Santa Claus went on a tasteless bastard rampage through the centre of town, leaving pools of urine, broken bottles, bleeding security guards and severely shaken shop assistants in their wake. 'It's just a pack of clowns,' said Auckland's Senior Sergeant, a rather confused Matt Rogers. It wasn't clowns. It was Santas...
Space: The Final Nadir
December 12, 2005
The concept is simple, and must have sounded pretty sexy at the pitch stage: select a bunch of wide-eyed members of the public, and fool them into thinking they're going into space. The actual execution of this feat is rather more convoluted, but the intricate gag set-up is part of the show itself...
The TFT Guide to... Targeting Christians
December 12, 2005
This week the Disney Corporation was revealed to be capitalising on the religious themes of its latest film, 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe', by hiring Christian marketing groups to promote the film to a ready-made Christian audience. But what existing blockbusters could be reworked for a Christian audience?
This Was An Awfully Strange Marine
December 3, 2005
At the weekend, The News of the World got its sticky paws on some lurid video of Royal Marine recruits and proceeded to wave it around in one hand while clamping the other to its horrified mouth. The video shows what looks like 'Opportunity Knocks' in one circle or other of hell - men with rubbery gym mats wrapped around their arms walloping twenty bells out of each other in the stark naked nude...
Skin Deep
November 25, 2005
BeautifulPeople.net describes itself as 'an elite online members' club, which introduces beautiful people to truly beautiful people. It is a meeting place which is reserved for people, who because of their attractive appearance and personal qualities, stand out from the majority.' Apparently SuperficialSmugCunt.net was already taken...
A Festival of Lies
November 21, 2005
Yesterday the Sun launched its annual campaign to save Christmas. Every year, as regular as clockwork, Christmas rolls around, and every year, regular as clockwork, the Sun sets out to save it. Ironically, in indulging in this specious campaign, the Sun brings to mind the story of Mulla Nasreddin, the Muslim cleric who scattered bread crumbs in his house to ward off non-existent tigers, then boasted that his futile ritual was directly responsible for the apparent tigerlessness. The only difference being that Mulla Nasreddin was in actual fact a gifted teacher and fearless satirist, and the Sun are a bunch of mendacious self-serving cretins...
Fisting the Mitchells
November 7, 2005
It is an extraordinarily rare thing for something as ugly as domestic violence to raise a smile. The last time we can remember it happening was back in 2003, when meringue-faced berserker Liza Minnelli was sued by her badly bruised plum of a husband, David Gest, for ten million dollars. But there was something so alien about Gest and Minnelli that we couldn't really empathise on any human level. However, this week, two of our most down-to-earth home-grown TV stars were set upon by the women in their lives, and few it seems can keep from revelling in their anguish.
TFT Telly: Six Feet Under
November 7, 2005
Channel 4 started to show the HBO drama 'Six Feet Under' in 2000. It trundled along quite happily for three seasons in a regular 10pm slot on a Thursday or Friday, the show garnering gushing praise from critics, who basked in the 1% of American television that kicks the tush of 99% of British television. Then the four year itch kicked in. Channel 4 started to lose interest...
Citizenship Tests: How New Labour Are You?
November 7, 2005
This week finally saw the introduction of the long-planned UK citizenship tests. But what gives the whole thing away as yet another piece of tokenism is the fact that the test has no actual consequences. If a wannabe citizen fails the test, they're not going to be deported. And rightly so - it would be a Kafkaesque world in which you get sent back to Rwanda to get your arms macheted off because you thought Rowan Williams was the head of the Church of England. (It's the Queen. Or Christ or someone.)...
Sweaty Flap: Dick's Downfall
October 28, 2005
In the Sunday Mirror this week an escort agency call girl by the name of Lucy Ashton revealed how children's TV star Richard 'Dick' McCourt 'pestered her for kinky sex before bedding her in a top hotel'. McCourt of course is half of Dick and Dom, famous primarily for peddling smut to pre-teens on Saturday morning telly. Smut such as 'Creamy Muck Muck' and 'What a Sweaty Flap'...
What Would Jesus Chew?
October 21, 2005
God bless Cosmopolitan, the unthinking woman's style and self-esteem bible which this month features a new(ish) diet craze from the US. 'What Would Jesus Eat?' lays out a cunning programme of righteous self-denial for every woman who genuinely believes that each éclair she eats brings her one step closer to eternal damnation...
TFT Film: Wolf Creek
October 21, 2005
It is the sort of film that makes you wonder why you watch horror films, even as it entirely justifies the genre. It's beautifully shot, stylish even in its naturalism, and intelligent enough to shake off accusations of exploitation - but still, watching it makes you feel implicated, guilty. How is this enjoyment?
Embankment: An Art Student Writes
October 14, 2005
What Whiteread has created - and indeed crated - is a psycho-semantic subspace in which what you think you think you know becomes what you actually are; a meta-space where positive and negative copulate in a spiral of ineffable beauty, and the beholder simply is. The truth is, I have probably spent more time in Rachel Whiteread's eyes this week than I have in my own...
The TFT Guide to... The Forgotten Aardman Features
October 14, 2005
This week a large part of the UK's cultural heritage was lost forever when a fire destroyed a warehouse belonging to Nick Park's animation company... But deep in the vaults of Aardman Animations, what other projects had been rightly forgotten?... 'More Twee Northern Clichés, Gromit?': Least successful of Wallace and Gromit's outings, with the pliable duo investigating a robbery in a black pudding factory. Who is the mysterious pigeon wearing a pit helmet and a Davey lamp? Who planted the stolen oatcakes on Gromit? Can that really be Sean Bean doing the voice of a pie-eating whippet in a flat cap?
Adverjism: The Future is Shite
October 11, 2005
Everyone living has a mobile phone. Some people even keep the same mobile for more than six months, the capricious bastards. How to reel them in like the dead-eyed rotting fish-in-a-barrel they are? Make like 3, find a new universe in your own arse, and vanish therein to the bemusement of all who watch...
Some Comfort Gained From The Acceptance Of The Inherent Rubbishness Of Landlords*
October 4, 2005
The Saatchi Gallery is upping sticks. When we read that this was due to a landlord dispute, we assumed that it was one of those South Bank premium real-estate money things - dreary old financial squabblings, like the ones over the London Eye's rent, no more scintillating than a snotty letter from the bank. But it transpires that poor Mr Nigella has in fact been beseiged by some sort of Japanese Rigsby on crack.
Bad Faith: Another Evening Standard Update
September 17, 2005
Sadly, the story of the Evening Standard's odious and wildly inaccurate article about the Dar Al Taqwa bookshop seems set to run and run. This week we have received a couple of updates featuring correspondences with the Standard Managing Editor Doug Wills. We would like to share them with you.
The TFT Guide To... Making Make Poverty History History
September 17, 2005
This week, the most arresting television advertising campaign of recent times was kiboshed by watchdog Ofcom. The Make Poverty History ads, replete with sombre-faced (yet, on occasion, slyly pouting) celebrities clicking their fingers to represent the unremarked deaths of children in poverty, have snapped their last... What can else can we expect in the wake of Ofcom's decision?...
Robert Mendick: When Journalism Ruins LIves
September 9, 2005
Before we begin, we should point out that it is not our intention to persecute or harass Evening Standard journalist Robert Mendick in any way. It’s just that, like everyone else who has heard the story of his mendacious, nasty little article, we are horrified at the idea of no one being held accountable...
Dear John
September 9, 2005
Fending off criticism of his after-dinner speaking style this week, John Humphrys claimed that 'Nobody has ever complained about the sorts of things I say because it is done with affection and is obviously light-hearted.' This will come as news to Gordon Brown, 'easily the most boring political interviewee I have ever had in my whole bloody life'. Humphrys also makes an unpleasant jibe about Brown winking at him with 'his one good eye'. (Brown lost the sight in his left eye after being kicked in a school rugby game.) Yes, there's nothing funnier than a light-hearted reference to losing your sight in one eye.
Spaghetti Monster Flies Again
September 9, 2005
If there's one thing that makes us want to saw off our own heads with a spoon, it's people who claim not to be religious, but still believe there's 'got to be something out there'. For them, traditional religion is a bit of a bore, but an unspecified controlling intelligence or New Age gloop is perfectly fine. Maybe there is cosmic intelligence somehow embedded in the fabric of reality. Or perhaps it's a big blob of pure spirituality, orbiting the moon...
Adverjism: 97% More Nothing
September 9, 2005
It goes a bit like this – a split screen shows one sleepy, tousled-haired kid and one bright little spark full of beans stopping just short of chronic ADHD. Sleepy kid slouches over the table, tries to eat a pencil, looks bewildered, pulling up just shy of early-onset juvenile depression. Sparky kid munches through a bowl of Corn Flakes – for it is they – and beetles off to face the challenges of the new school year.
Accountability: An Evening Standard Update
September 2, 2005
After our article about the Evening Standard last week, and their appalling treatment of the Dar Al Taqwa bookshop, we wrote to the author of the original piece, Robert Mendick, to give him the opportunity to defend his article. He didn't reply. One of our readers, George Mackie, also wrote to Mendick...
The Sign That Says You're Out of Touch
September 2, 2005
If only McDonalds' advertising agency had had the wherewithal to consulting urbandictionary.com before parroting a bit of overheard street-speak in a cynical attempt to appeal to America's urban youth. Doing so, they'd have discovered that 'I'd hit it' isn't actually a general 'street' expression of approval. Rather it's a very specific euphemism for 'I'd fuck it'. As in 'Katie Holmes? I'd hit it.'
Journojism: All the Eyeties, They Speak-a Like Theeeeeeeeeeees
September 2, 2005
‘I like a man who’s gotta beeg instrument! When Toni’s fingers start-a flying in Barbados, my heart-a-pound with excitement anna my knees-a go weak.’ - The Daily Mail
Fuck Off, Mr Chips
September 2, 2005
Kids love swearing. They always have and they always will. You can tell them it isn’t big and isn’t clever till you’re blue in the face and the chances are they’ll tell you to fuck off. Then they’ll laugh and high-five one another, feeling both big *and* clever. Knowing this, and also knowing that prohibition is futile, Alan Large – headmaster of Weavers School in Northamptonshire – has introduced a new policy on profanity. Starting next week when the new term begins, pupils are allowed to cuss in class. But there is a catch. They’re only allowed five f-words per lesson...
The Evening Standard: The Paper That Hates London
August 26, 2005
Might we suggest that Charles Clarke extend his new, improved hate laws to British citizens, and for the crimes of fomenting serious criminal activity and fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence, the entire staff of the Evening Standard is sent as far away from London as is humanly possible.
The TFT Guide To... Celebrity Love Weirdness
August 26, 2005
A-ha! The very idea of Kurt Cobain’s widow getting it on with Alan Partridge is so totally bizarre it made us question the very nature of reality. So what other celebrity love weirdness can we expect in the future?
Journojism: Piano Man
August 26, 2005
This week Piano Man turned out to be Andreas Grassl, 20, from Prosdorf, Germany. Not much is known about Grassl, except that he can’t play the piano. Well done the UK press! In fact, the whole story of Piano Man was little more than the media jumping to conclusions. The idea that he played piano came from a doodle he drew while in hospital in Kent, nothing more.
Adverjism: The Immutable Laws Of Advertising
August 26, 2005
Michael Buerk might find some succour in a new book, The Future of Men, which says that men are tiring of their portrayal in adverts. You know the sort of thing: James Nesbitt buys a load of computer kit but it takes a small girl to point out that you have to turn it on. Sadly, this level of ineptitude does not make you adorably hopeless. It just makes you a useless cunt.
Journojism: The Playboy rabbit
August 20, 2005
Marketing 'gurus' (ie. 'arseholes') are always banging on aboutthe importance of 'the brand'. Of course, what they really mean is 'the way thick people will buy any old shit if it's got an easily recognisable symbol on it.'
Who built the moon?
August 20, 2005
The answer to this question - which we've all surely asked ourselves at some time or another - is: Us.
You've been famed
August 20, 2005
32-year-old Nektarios Voutas is 'very sorry, very sorry'. He is also silly, very silly. But he's slightly famous, at least.
Buerking nine to five
August 20, 2005
Many enlightened people of both sexes opened their mouths this week in outrage at the preposterously retrogressive utterances of Michael Buerk. So manifestly daft were they that they're almost not worth dissecting and refuting. But given that we live now and not thirty years ago, when companies were allowed to advertise for a 'pretty secretary', and given that idiocy is so much worse when it comes from a prominent and highly-respected idiot, a good stab is indeed necessary.
Catholic gilt
August 20, 2005
Filmmakers can be the bravest bastards you could hope to find. Documentary makers have died for their art, for a story they felt had to be told; writers, directors and actors have pushed boundaries every which way; even at the lowest level, people have mortgaged their entire lives and vital organs to gamble on a measly distribution deal.
Upmarket Agony
August 5, 2005
Poppy and Quentin have been together for six years. Although they love each dearly, Quentin is troubled by Poppy's reluctance to discuss having children, and her habit of bringing complete strangers home to have sex with while he is forced to watch, weeping. That and her 17 attempts to stab him with a kitchen knife. Now Quentin has struck up a close friendship with someone at work. Unfortunately Quentin is a psychiatrist at HM Broadmoor Prison, and that person is Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper. Should Quentin try to come to terms with Poppy's compulsive promiscuity and murderous tendencies, or overcome his heterosexual feelings and embark on a gay relationship with Britain's most notorious serial killer?
Littlejohn's Twisted Legacy: The Reverend Cherie Blair
August 5, 2005
There was a queer irony in the timing of al-Qaeda's fresh warning to London yesterday, coinciding as it did with the sudden death of conservative columnist Richard Littlejohn. At first glance, it's hard to draw any concrete comparisons between Richard Littlejohn, author of 'To Hell in a Handcart' and Ayman al- Zawahri, Bin Laden's 'second in command' who declared that 'Blair has brought you destruction to the heart of London, and he will bring more destruction, God willing.'
You're a loser, baby
July 24, 2005
Advertisers seem to be taking the hint from Dove’s daring and only slightly dubious ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’ angle and starting to toe the fatty line. Women are openly sobbing in the streets with gratitude that their natural, unsculpted shapes are now Officially OK according to a bunch of loud-mouthed bleeders in suits. Still, much as it’s all driven by market forces and economic targets and oh-so-icky things of that ilk, it’s a step towards that mythic Truth in Advertising and the day we can all eat a pie without wanting to turn ourselves in. Nothing to get your Dworkins in a twist over.
Harry Potter: Hocus pocus, mediocus
July 15, 2005
Leaving aside Harry Potter’s obvious potential to drag you into the clutches of Satan, we can’t say we’re exactly thrilled at the next installment being published. Partly because of the endless, mind-numbing hype, but mainly because of the sheer mediocrity of Harry Potter. (Mediocrity which, it must be said, we wish we’d thought of.) Like the new Star Wars films and Terry Pratchett, there comes a point where you could make people buy a turd on a string if the marketing is right and people remain largely undiscerning about how they fill their oh-so-finite lives. Which is all the more reason to get cracking on a shit children’s book. TFT presents the first installment of our own mediocre novel...
Journojism: Guardian magazine disappears up self
July 10, 2005
What is it with the back end of the Guardian Magazine? Who actually subscribes to its weird mix of intellectualism-lite, bourgeois twattery and artsy waffle? Take this article by pop philosopher Alain De Botton, giving his two cents on a photo by Hannah Starkey, depicting a woman staring out of a café window: 'A few years ago , I fell in love with a girl in a photo, even though I couldn't see her face, only her hair, which was a promise of happiness...' To which we say: no you didn't, you twat.
Journojism: Eat your greens or the Martians will get you
July 3, 2005
Professor Kevin Browne, director of the forensic and family psychology department at Birmingham University, and once an advisor to the British Board of Film Classification: ‘For eight to 12 months after watching a violent film, children will become more likely to be violent and aggressive themselves.’ Bloody hell! War of the Worlds is going to do for the psychological wellbeing of an entire generation what the Great War did for our great grandparents! The streets will be clogged with traumatised kiddies wandering around wild-eyed, hysterically shouting ‘The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one! But still they come!’
Chavs: MPs' best friends
July 3, 2005
The difference between being a nice middle class chappie who happens to support Fulham and the actual charvers is so vast it’s actually offensive. Stephen Pound isn’t a chav, not even an aspirant chav, unless he clocks off from the House of Commons and heads straight for the nearest corner shop to abuse the staff and do a bit of shoplifting. Equally vile is the way MPs always use football to give themselves working class credentials, as though they’d be just as at home with the Chelsea Headhunters as they are in the House of Commons bar.
TVJism: The new British code of conduct
June 29, 2005
This week the BBC published a comprehensive overhaul of its editorial guidelines, on the grounds that there are new demands being placed on its journalists, thanks to 24 hour news and breaking stories on the Internet. The main theme will be 'accuracy is more important than speed', ie. don't run stories saying we've all been implanted with mind control chips because you read it on David Icke's website.
Journojism: Beating the bullies
June 29, 2005
Tom Cruise gave a perfect example this week of how to cope with bullying, when he stood up to that idiot with the water pistol and repeatedly used the word 'jerk'. But obviously it is easier for Cruise than for your average timid, uncosseted, non-Hollywood superstar schoolchild. Thankfully, the Daily Mirror was on hand on Wednesday to provide a handy 12-point guide to how to beat bullies in the real world.
TVJism: Balls of shit
June 29, 2005
The show is called Balls of Steel. Enough said really. It is made by a company called Objective Productions, who have previously specialised in entertainment clip-shows such as 'Movie Mistakes Uncovered Uncut' and 'Best Unseen Ads', as well as magic shows such as 'Extreme Magic, Extreme Danger' and anything with Derren Brown in it. Not forgetting 'Hypnosex' and 'Psychic!'. A wide range then, of almost wholly unmitigated trash. But if it survives humiliation by Cruise and makes it to air, 'Balls of Steel' promises to be the worst so far.
Paris snatch
June 29, 2005
What could be more American than a big car, a girl in her undies and a coronary patty between two sesame seed buns? Possibly only the Parents' Television Council, whose doomy slogan is 'because your children are watching', and whose mission is currently to stiffen the nation's resolve against soft porn being used to sell burgers.
Journojism: When Simon left Polly
June 17, 2005
Since the break-up of her marriage to one-time Today editor Rod Liddle, Rachel Royce hasn't so much been washing her dirty laundry in public as dragging people in off the street and refusing to let them leave until they've taken a good long sniff of a pile of soiled undies.
Journojism: Bashing Bashir
June 17, 2005
As Michael Jackson walks free, so is the can of legal whoop-ass reopened in the face of journalist Martin Bashir. Legal action against Bashir and Granada Television for breach of confidence was suspended during the trial, but may now be taken up again. As well as this, Bashir may be facing contempt of court charges for being so utterly useless and taciturn when called to give evidence. No stranger to the journalist-becomes-the-story scenario, he may soon have to lie back and think of the book deal.
TVJism: Reality apocalypse
June 15, 2005
You can only wonder what other TV horrors have been inching along the sewer which is ITV programme development. The remarkable thing about ITV is that just when you think the lowest depths of rubbish have been reached, the network pulls something even more tacky and inane out the hat. We suspect that serious consideration has been given to the following ideas...
Live 8: Is St. Bob a racist? (No.)
June 4, 2005
The Live 8 concert, due to take place at Hyde Park next month, has been accused of having a line-up that is ‘hideously white'. The only performer from a minority ethnic background is Mariah Carey, who may be a superstar, but hardly embodies black consciousness in the way that, say, Malcolm X did. There again, Malcolm X didn't release million-selling albums of shite ballads and forgettable R'n'B. As far as we know.
Janet Street-Porter: Makes us puke
June 4, 2005
Street-Porter, like many of us, doubts the sincerity of charity-hugging pop stars. With the exception of Elton John, she loathes them all. Mariah Carey she condemns as 'the nightmare diva to end them all', a living embodiment of 'conspicuous consumption'; Geri Halliwell is 'shallow and self-seeking'; Chris Martin 'uses private jets to meet up with Gwynnie and the baby'; Radiohead, the Rolling Stones and Atomic Kitten also use private jets. They gad about in them like pop stars. What really riles Street-Porter however, is that these self-same stars then have the bare-arsed audacity to perform for free in the possibly-self-serving pursuit of putting an end to world poverty; and they have the nerve to use their public profile as a platform to preach what they consider worthwhile views. What on earth is going on with the world? Bob Dylan will be blathering on about farmers soon.
Richard Littlejohn: Cunt
May 29, 2005
Richard Littlejohn is a cunt. Actually, no. We take that back. Richard Littlejohn is a CUNT. A loathsome, nauseating, uppercase CUNT. And if you think this is ill-conceived, infantile ranting, you should at least be happy that we're not being paid £800,000 a year to make it up. Furthermore, if you disagree, and think he is anything less than a CUNT, you are wrong, and probably Nick Griffin. If you think however, that he is so *obviously* a CUNT that it really doesn't need spelling out, you may have a point. But this week he is in the news, so we felt obliged.
The TFT Guide To Spoof Videos
May 22, 2005
This week the Ministry of Defence had its server brought down by squaddies trying to download a spoof video clip of Is This The Way To Amarillo, created by British troops in Iraq. The MoD took the incident in good humour (or rather good 'news management'), calling the video clip 'brilliant'. In the same spirit of cynicism we wondered what other pop videos could be reworked...
Linkin Park: Show me the money (even more of it)
May 11, 2005
This week the nearest thing we got to a moment of light relief from the election was the amusing news that 'alternative' rap-rockers Linkin Park aren't making enough money.
Paul Riddell: Playing it by the book
April 26, 2005
When students of Stirling University move into their halls of residence, one of the essentials they can expect to find waiting for them is a copy of the Good Book. That may however, be about to change.
Lucasjism: Revenge of the Sith
April 26, 2005
We can't help but think that despite the possibility of some much-needed gore in ROTS, George Lucas will manage to screw up again. We've got a nasty feeling the latest Star Wars script may be as follows...
Are you thinking...?
April 26, 2005
The Daily Telegraph had a good old guffaw at the modern world gone mad again on Monday, poking sneers at one Pat Kane, and his appointment this week as the city of Bristol's official 'Thinker in Residence'.
The TFT Guide To Remakes
April 26, 2005
Yet another remake, this time of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, premiered this week. But it all seems a bit pointless; the success of the original radio and TV series lay in the fact that they were funny and rather clever (especially if you're 13), not that the Vogon demolition fleet was chillingly realistic. However, the trend for remaking things - including dross like Ask the Family - looks set to continue unabated, so what can we expect in the future?
TVJism: Playing it straight
April 20, 2005
TV is routinely criticised for being shallow. At one level this is demonstrably true, but as the saying goes, 99 per cent of everything is crap. It's that other one per cent that makes everything worthwhile, whether it's The Singing Detective or Peep Show. This concept seems a little lost on Channel 4 and Lion Television, whose show Playing It Straight suggests they prefer to sit firmly in the 'crap 99 per cent' camp.
Celery Monster
April 20, 2005
It was revealed this week that Sesame Street's resident googly-eyed gut-bucket and all-round wild thing Cookie Monster is set to learn - ugh - moderation. In the programme's 36th season, which begins on Monday, Cookie Monster's trademark biscuit-centred avarice is to be dramatically toned down. Not exactly a diet, claim the show's Research and Education people, but moderation. Knowing when to say 'no'. Ugh.
TFT Film: Downfall - All too human
April 5, 2005
For the majority of Downfall's 2½ hours' screen time, theaudience is trapped, trailing through the claustrophobic and increasingly surreal confines of the Fuhrerbunker in Berlin. It's April, 1945, and Hitler's dream of a world purified by National Socialism is on its last legs. A stark, documentary- style dramatisation of the last twelve days of the Third Reich, Oliver Hirschbiegel's Downfall is, as you might expect, fascinating and repulsive in equal measure. Based on two separate accounts of the final days - Joachim Fest's 'Inside Hitler's Bunker: The Last Days of the Third Reich', and Traudl Junge and Melissa Müller's 'Until the Final Hour: Hitler's Last Secretary' - many of the film's events are seen through the eyes of 22-year-old Junge, the Fuhrer's unquestioningly loyal, apparently quite simple-minded PA.
Gangsta bap
April 5, 2005
It seems the world is not quite stale, flat and profitable enough for those vicious grasping bastards over at McDonald's. There is still a modicum of artistry out there, still a scintilla of creativity, and Maccy D's want to clog it up for all eternity with their filthy poisonous shit and slime.
King Hell
April 5, 2005
Jonathan King is a law unto himself. Excepting perhaps a few of history's top drawer totalitarians, no other public figure has exhibited such indomitable narcissism in the face of such widespread loathing. Jonathan King is one of the most hated 'personalities' in the country. And yet his self-love is legendary. He's like Kilroy-Silk multiplied by Clarkson to the power of Bono.
Mark Thompson: Insane, quite clearly
March 26, 2005
Jeremy Paxman - who, as far as we can tell, is incapable of being wrong - was in the news this week for launching what has been described as 'a scathing attack' on Mark Thompson, the director-general of the BBC. This is particularly amusing considering that just a handful of days ago, following Paxman's last scathing attack - the one where he described Health Secretary John Reid as the Labour 'attack dog' and went on to declare that there is 'a sort of Scottish Raj' ruling the country - which of course there must be, if Paxman says so - it was none other than Mark Thompson who stepped in to defend him. That was last week.
Toyota: Built by robots, driven by selfish wankers
March 7, 2005
The Toyota Verso advert offers a genuinely depressing snapshot of contemporary life. A car arrives at a windswept beach under a concrete sky. This scene alone was enough to leave us shuddering at painful childhood memories of rain-lashed holidays in Llandudno, but the misery doesn't end here.
Tragic Relief: TFT goes to Dad
February 28, 2005
As you're almost certainly already aware, two weeks from today is Comic Relief's 10th Red Nose Day. Now you may very well be one of those people who actually physically shudder at the thought of Red Nose Day, as well as Children In Need and any other such interminable charity telethons where, simply because we know that lives will be saved and suffering alleviated as a result, we have to pretend for an evening not to want to strangle the likes of Lenny Henry, Terry Wogan and Anthea Turner. Particularly Lenny Henry.
Hunter S. Thompson: the weird gets going
February 21, 2005
Just over a month ago, The Friday Thing's Associate Editor penned a review of Hunter S. Thompson's autobiography, 'Kingdom of Fear'. He didn't like it. In fact he hated it so much that he said it was 'a shame [Thompson] didn't die before he got round to it.' Following today's news of Dr. Thompson's death, Graham Pond thinks long and hard about what he's done.
Musicjism: It's not actually that deep shocker
February 18, 2005
The record industry comes in for a lot of flak, but maybe we get the record industry we deserve. If your mind explodes with fresh new ideas when you listen to Snow Patrol, then maybe it's time to go and buy some books.
Manufacturing content
February 18, 2005
This week saw the publication of the results of a survey of around 112,000 Americans - predominantly high school students, but also some principals and teachers. The survey was designed to gauge the sample's views on the First Amendment, which guarantees certain freedoms in America, namely, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion and Freedom of the Press. The results were at first surprising, and then, after a moment's refection, not surprising at all.
Ken Livingstone: Enough already
February 18, 2005
So Ken Livingstone took the Holocaust's name in vain in the process? Hey, we've all done it. It may be crass and boorish, and it certainly isn't what they teach you at politician's school, but should we really condemn him for that? He was pissed, and pissed off, and he tossed a spirited, hyperbolic pop at someone he loathes. Fuck it. Good for him.
TVJism: Teachers' TV
February 11, 2005
Once upon a time, the only TV that teachers needed was Words & Pictures, and ropey dramas like The Man on the Motorbike or The King's Dragon, which amply occupied half an hour thanks to the low expectations of 1970s children. A bottle of icy milk, a bag of Space Raiders and some sub-Tomorrow People twaddle about a 'cloud bursting' machine and we were happy. Well, not happy, but we were certainly quiet. But times change, and now a television station entirely devoted to teachers has been launched.
The TFT Guide To... Replacing The Dead
February 11, 2005
The band INXS is currently trying to find a replacement Michael Hutchence by taking part in a reality TV show that will hold auditions for a new frontman. Understandably, many people assume this to be a cheap publicity exercise, while others claim it somehow offends the memory of Michael Hutchence, although it's hard to see how the memory 'drugged-up sexual pervert' could be much more tarnished. But what other dead people could we replace?
Brad and Jen: Not much sympathy, frankly
January 30, 2005
It's conceivable that one A-list shag after another could turn into a bit of treadmill, but we doubt it. What's remarkable is that Brad and Jen stayed together this long, not that they split up. Imagine if you were them. You'd probably be finding excuses to have arguments so you could storm out and shag another star just for the hell of it...
Journojism: The nanny state on your plate
January 23, 2005
Hold the front page! PizzaExpress's D'Autunno salad, made with salad, chicken, aubergine, almonds and dressing, has been found to contain 54.7g of fat, compared with 21.9g in a Big Mac and fries! Christ, it's the new Watergate! This is what you become a journalist for!
The TFT TV Hall of Hell
January 23, 2005
Combat 18 House: Who goes? The blacks.
Journojism: Diet tips of the rich and the famished
January 13, 2005
Recently Heat magazine ran yet another article that could have been a parody. It makes you wonder if one day a bored Heat writer will file an article called 'Beat Clinical Depression with the Signs of the Zodiac!' as a joke, and noone will notice.
Go, Jerry
January 7, 2005
Sticks and stones, as Rodney King or any disobedient Muslim woman will tell you, can break your bones. But words, or so the expression goes, cause permanent damage. No wonder then that so many complaints have tsunamied into the BBC following their decision to air the rocking shock opera Jerry Springer tomorrow night on BBC 2.
Tough Love
December 24, 2004
Obviously there is nothing remotely amusing about a grown woman falling 20 feet, fracturing her skull, breaking a collar-bone and a rib and consequently spending the rest of the festive season in hospital, in agony. Perhaps however, if that woman were the world's weirdest showbiz midget transvestite and she'd fallen from a giant telescopic beanstalk which had then in turn fallen on top of her and crushed her, it might be fair to describe it as a tad tragicomical.
Journojism: Little Britain, single mums and Stanley Baxter
December 18, 2004
The problem with Little Britain isn't that it's inciting hatred against anyone (and you'd have to be a bit strange to commit hate crimes after watching a comedy show. 'The only gay in the village? He's a sick pervert who needs to be put down like a mad dog. But very funny'), it's that any show that relies on tired comedy standbys rapidly starts to grate.
Infidelity: Very bad when women do it
December 18, 2004
This is not an article about infidelity at all: this is an article earnestly beseeching women not to be unfaithful, but to stay at home, maintain a strong family unit and give regular blow jobs to their spouse or lifetime partner, even if their hearts are not in it.
BBC cuts: Time for The Big Brush?
December 11, 2004
There must be some fine minds working in BBC management, because this week the corporation came up with a brilliant two-pronged strategy: Make better programmes / Don't employ people who aren't needed/
Journojism: All the celebrity publicity that's fit to print
December 4, 2004
The News of the World really should change its name to Celebrity Publicity Weekly, since the paper is increasingly just a vehicle for publicists to keep their celebrity client in the public eye.
The TFT Guide To: Ruining TV programmes
December 4, 2004
This week the BBC announced that Top of the Pops would be dropped from its BBC1 slot and relegated to BBC2, after attempts to modernise the programme proved to be a ratings disaster. So if you're a TV executive, what's the best way to go about screwing up a perfectly serviceable TV show?
The BBC at Christmas: why not just give up?
November 26, 2004
You've got to admire the sheer, brazen hypocrisy of the BBC. The corporation never tires of explaining how it loves quality programming, innovation and creativity. Senior executives talk about programming that connects with and affects the real world. Programmes are meant to be 'edgy', thinking takes place 'outside the box' and 'new talent' is constantly sought out.
Journojism: Reality-avoidance news
November 12, 2004
Sky got their hands on some extended - and quite exciting - footage of street fighting in Fallujah. In every bulletin they ran the grainy, panicky footage without a commentary, saying it was a chance to get 'a soldier's eye view' and that the viewer would be 'able to see for themselves' the situation without a voice over. What a fucking BRILLIANT idea! Someone at Sky is no doubt getting a hefty bonus for simultaneously inventing Dogme 95 news and saving Sky the cost of getting someone to explain what the hell was going on. But why stop with grunt's-eye-view footage of Iraq?
Dustin Hoffman: It's a dog's life
November 12, 2004
In the December issue of America's most socially acceptable jazz glossy, Playboy, the inestimably successful Dustin Hoffman holds forth on the perilous plight of humankind and just what can be done to ease our pain and suffering in these difficult times. He is optimistic. He envisions potential. He feels that we could move toward an idyllic existence, that we could create a paradise of peace and harmony, and that we could achieve that goal with ease. All we have to do is be a little more like dogs.
Make $$$s blackmailing on the Internet
October 29, 2004
There aren't many things that are good and bad in equal measures. The limited number of examples include the film Basic Instinct, KFC and building working scale models of HMS Belfast. (OK, you may have a fantastically accurate miniature destroyer with which to scare the ducks at your local pond, but was it REALLY worth four years of your life?)
The Corporation: fighting the power
October 29, 2004
The Corporation is a documentary film dedicated to 'today's most dominant institution'. At a post-screening panel-discussion at the Curzon in Soho on Monday, one of the film-makers and the man on whose book the film is based, Joel Bakan, admitted that it was 'a point of view film'. Having admitted that however, The Corporation comes across as surprisingly balanced. The talking heads in the film are from many different backgrounds. As well as the obviously anti-corporate big-shots such as Chomsky, Michael Moore and Naomi Klein, we also hear from CEOs, academics, Disney cogs, spies, writers, whistle-blowers and Nobel prize winning economists. And whoever happens to be speaking, and whoever is listening, the message is the same, and it is crystal clear: corporations really do suck.
TFT supercondensed celebrity news
October 29, 2004
If you're anything like us, you're probably sick of having to take at least one day a week off work (unpaid) to keep up with the latest important gossip about the ever-increasing celebrity population, as featured in Heat, Now, Closer, Hello!, OK! and other journals of record. It's a big chunk out of your life, it harms your career, and you end up with the same attention span as Axl Rose at a Proust festival. So, to save you wasting your lives, here is a supercondensed version of the week's celebrity news...
TVJism: Halloween
October 29, 2004
There's something touchingly pathetic about the way satellite and cable channels try to capitalise on events in the wider world. Anniversary of the Battle of Britain? Time to put on 'Deadly Aircraft: The Messerschmidt ME-109'. A new probe is sent to Mars to collect some bits of dirt? Time for 'Roswell: Hidden Secrets'. The new version of Alfie comes out? Fuck it, let's show 'African Apocalypse: The Zulu Wars'. It's perfectly logical if you think about it.
Generation X Factor
October 26, 2004
A whole generation is probably growing up thinking that The X Factor is the natural process by which music comes to exist, ie. you take a bunch of identical 17-year-old fashion victims and R'n'B wannabes with spiky hair and slightly flared hipsters, get them to sing old hits from the 70s and 80s, pick four of them and release a record composed of bland cover versions of yet more old hits. Or, if you're feeling daring, get a professional songwriter to knock up some R'n'B-style tunes for which the word 'generic' could have been invented.
Journojism: Operation Clark County
October 26, 2004
Recently the Guardian came up with 'Operation Clark County', possibly the most misguided idea since the cast of It Ain't Half Hot, Mum claimed to be the boys to entertain you.
Who actually reads the spectator? Not Boris
October 26, 2004
There are many good reasons for not reading The Spectator. The best is probably the way the articles start out with a reasonable premise, eg. there are too many people living in poverty in the UK in 2004, then somehow...
Journojism: Still no cure for gay
October 15, 2004
The discovery of the gay gene must come as something of a surprise to most scientists, since genetics is in its relative infancy, and proof of a gay gene remains as elusive as proof of the intelligence gene much beloved of white trash white supremacists who think that poor SATS from black kids in South Central makes whitey the superior species (despite the fact that Martin Luther King never set his own dog on fire for a laugh after drinking 16 Buds.)
Journojism: Film lists becoming wearisome shocker
October 8, 2004
Get Carter is the best British film ever made, according to film critics who compiled a top ten list for a film magazine. So now you know. Are you better off? Happier? Healthier? Wealthier?
The TFT Guide To... Smearing John Kerry
October 8, 2004
This week it was revealed that Fox News' chief political reporter invented strange comments which he then attributed to John Kerry, in an attempt to question Kerry's masculinity. The quotes included 'I'm a metro-sexual, [George Bush] is a cowboy' and '[Women] should like me! I do manicures!' But if senior reporters at major news networks can just make stuff up, what other lame accusations can Fox throw at Kerry?
Journojism: Murder UK?
October 1, 2004
This week the Daily Express ran the front-page headline 'MURDER UK'. The idea behind this distinctly non-alarmist headline is that murder rates have shot up in Britain. We can only feel sorry for regular Express readers. They're probably already hiding in makeshift bunkers waiting for a tidal wave of asylum seekers to rape and murder their families. Or, more terrifying still, the collapse of the housing market.
Dignity, what dignity?
October 1, 2004
Pitting one against the other, the article is written like a review in What Whore magazine. As well as assessing the women's 'performance' and 'bodywork', there is even mention of 'road-tests' and what's 'under the bonnet'. But of course there is nothing under the bonnet. And nothing in the boot. It's all shit.
Eastendorama: haz dumming down gon too far?
October 1, 2004
This week a leaked briefing document from the BBC revealed a plan to dumb down the corporation's most famous documentary, Panorama. The programme is described as being 'too distant, demanding, difficult and didactic', a set of criticisms that seem to have been chosen because they alliterate, rather than because they describe the show with any accuracy.
Madonna: Kabbalah and ker-ching
September 24, 2004
Spirituality invariably reveals the true nature of famous people: they're basically very ordinary people in an extraordinary situation, ie. insane levels of wealth and fame. Very few of them are smarter than the average bear, and even seem more prone than us mortals to flirting with weird religions - probably because noone dares criticise their latest fluff-for-brains attempt to 'get' spirituality.
TVJism: The Community Channel
September 17, 2004
The Community Channel is funded by a plethora of organisations including the Department for Education and Science and the Home Office. Also chipping in are God knows how many bodies with 'community' in their titles, plus a host of corporate and media sponsors, reinforcing their deep commitment to cost-effective PR.
Shit, actually
September 10, 2004
We haven't seen the new romantic comedy Wimbledon, but the dreaded words 'from the makers of Bridget Jones' Diary, Notting Hill and Love, Actually' give a reasonable idea of what the hapless viewer may be in for...
Eastenders: Keeping it real
September 3, 2004
It's a sad indictment of soap opera writers that they think lesbianism is the most controversial thing that can conceivably occur. What happens when they come across something genuinely shocking, like, say, September 11? Do their brains pop?
Write like Julie Burchill for pleasure and profit
August 27, 2004
Burchill's recent career has been based on flimsy stuff: contrivedly un-PC columns for newspapers, 'controversial' opinions, self-promotion (including publicising her slightly chaotic personal life), badly-written books (including a nothing-to-add Princess Di tome and the ironic 'bonkbuster' Ambition) and the odd TV appearance. Yet she's fabulously rich. So at TFT we began to wonder if we couldn't emulate Burchill's success in her various fields. So we got writing...
August 27, 2004
It's basically the Osbournes all over again. Lots and lots of carefully-chosen, partially-scripted footage of spoilt white morons getting on each other's nerves. Plus the special thrill of endless references to the Gotti claim to fame, as Victoria, with a glint in her eye, 'jokes' about having various people bumped off.
The TFT Guide To... Exploitation TV
August 27, 2004
Recently, the US reality TV show Win the Green, which enables would-be immigrants to 'win' a green card (actually just access to an immigration lawyer) by taking part in Fear Factor-style stunts, was criticised for being exploitative. So what other shows can we expect from this new sub-genre of reality TV?
Electric Blunkett: Taking the immoral high ground
August 20, 2004
On Sunday The News of the World took it upon itself to 'out' Home Secretary David Blunkett as an adulterer. Apparently for three years he has been carrying on an affair with Spectator publisher, Kimberley Fortier. Blunkett of course is divorced. Fortier however is married to Stephen Quinn (and has been for three years). She has a child with him. Oh, and she's five months pregnant. But the baby could be anybody's. It's a bit of a mess.
TVJism: Who killed television?
August 13, 2004
Big Brother came to its usual underwhelming conclusion last week, leaving the housemates considerably better-off as they begin their journey into the David Brent twilight world of personal appearances. 'Tonight we've got Big Brother's Jason. That's why you're drinking from plastic glasses.'
TFT Goes To Edinburgh... Week Three
August 13, 2004
In the past week I have played a badger in a biscuit tin, an insomniac missionary, Aslan, an Italian circus owner and vampire slayer, the wife of Lord Caernarvon, a blind whaler, Ramases and Elvis. And for what? So some Scottish rag can insinuate that I've been doing it all from a pre-prepared script.
Journojism: Asbos and the global economy
August 6, 2004
It's well known that newspaper columnists use opinion and fact interchangeably. Kilroy has his fear of an Arab planet, Littlejohn has his fear of a gay planet, and Judy Rumbold has her fear of... actually we're not sure what Judy Rumbold lives in fear of because we've never made it to the end of her dreary column in the Guardian. She could be calling for a return to feudalism for all we know.
The TFT Guide To... Violent computer games
July 30, 2004
This week the parents of a teenager who killed another boy said he was mimicking a bloodthirsty computer game called Manhunt. So what should we do about violent computer games?
Journojism: James Whitaker
July 23, 2004
Some critics argue that the Daily Mirror began to go downhill when Paul Foot left in 1993. Others contend that it turned to excrement when it hired Tony Parsons or the 3am Girls. Others still lay the blame firmly at the well-heeled feet of James Whitaker. Then there are those who maintain that the Daily Mirror has always been shit, and while we have an awful lot of sympathy with this view, we'd like for a moment to concentrate our disdain on the ghastly journalistic barnacle that is James Whitaker.
The TFT Guide To... Surviving prison, the Martha Stewart way
July 23, 2004
Homemaker business woman extraordinaire Martha Stewart has just been sentenced to five months in prison for lying to a court. But how will the millionaire domestic goddess be putting her home decoration and hostess skills to use in the pen? Martha kindly sent TFT some tips...
The Liddle Riddle
July 16, 2004
The riddle wrapped in mystery inside an enigma which is 'celebrity' manifested itself in yet another curious way this week.
The TFT Guide To... BBC Cutbacks
July 9, 2004
This week it was announced that the BBC will try to save £100 million to balance its books - and avert any further nastiness from the government about that pesky licence fee. So how exactly will Auntie Beeb do it?
TVJism: Little Lady Fauntleroy
July 2, 2004
Let us not forget that Keith Allen is one of the great showbiz liggers: a terribly self-important actor who is best known for his mouthwash commercials, a bit part in Shallow Grave and getting pissed with Blur. Oh, sorry. We forgot. He was also in Beyond Bedlam.
In A Nutshell: Know The Truth by George Carey
July 2, 2004
Former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey has just published his autobiography. It's called Know the Truth and it's hard to imagine anyone taking the time to actually read the thing. So with this in mind, we at TFT have taken it upon ourselves to serialise the best bits, starting with chapter 79: the difficulties involved in knowing the truth.
Big Brother V: The conclusions
June 26, 2004
Older readers may recall that Big Brother was originally considered a 'social experiment'. This was overstating its value by about 98 per cent: if real scientists did experiments that were quite this pointless, then there'd be a laboratory at Cambridge University that had spent the last 20 years investigating the effects of electric blenders on frogs. As everyone knows, they've only just started building that lab, and it's in Oxford. However, if you look hard enough, there are some interesting conclusions to be drawn from the experiment which is BB5. Here, briefly, is the methodology and the findings...
WAWIBF... Tickboxing
June 18, 2004
All in all, Tickbox bring to mind Bill Hicks' rants against marketing. He was right. These people really are Satan's little helpers. There really is absolutely no rationalisation for what they do. They really do turn everything into a dollar sign and fill the world with bile and garbage. And they really ought to shut the fuck up and kill themselves. Research has shown.
Journojism: Cristina Odone's shiny happy people
June 18, 2004
Cristina Odone has invented a distinct genre of journalism: stuff about successful people the writer knows. Hunter S Thompson invented Gonzo journalism, Cristina has given us Shiny Happy People journalism. It's such a fascinating idea we've decided to have a crack at it ourselves...
A bad week for comedy
June 12, 2004
Produced by Dirk Maggs, who in almost twenty years of radio has had the honour of working with such comedy legends as Roy Hudd, June Whitfield, Russ Abbot and Jasper Carrott, 'It's A Bad Week' can boast no-one anywhere near so hilarious. Instead it is hosted by Hale and Pace wannabes, Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis, the only comedy double act in history famed for comprising not one, but two straight men.
Big Brother: the D-Day Connection
June 12, 2004
D-Day and Big Brother are seemingly unrelated events: one was a massive air and sea invasion in 1944, the other is a bunch of divs in a house. And we can only fantasise about the Big Brother housemates being cut to ribbons by machine-guns on Omaha beach.
TVJism: Hell's Kitchen
June 5, 2004
Why, Belinda? Why? Did the Go-Gos get some really bad investment advice? Oh, we forgot: 'buy cocaine'.
Journojism: Child abortion Catholicism by stealth
May 27, 2004
Imagine you've got a friend with a problem. Perhaps a female friend's partner keeps having sex with local cats. What would you advise her to do? Most people would advise their friend to end the relationship. Having sex with cats is perverted, unsavoury and could even be considered a form of unfaithfulness, not to mention the risk of getting cat flu - or worse. All in all, you have to look pretty hard to find a positive side to cat rape.
Piers Morgan: Just a twat, really
May 27, 2004
After Piers Morgan, editor of the Mirror and author of Philip Schofield: To Dream a Dream (1992) was sacked, the great and good of British journalism, including Roy Greenslade and Harold Evans, offered their condolences. Evans, a former Times editor, commented: 'It's sad that such a great editor with such good enterprise has had to go.' Balls.
Piers Morgan: one day you're the tree, the next you're the lampost
May 27, 2004
Poor old Piers. Morgan but not forgotten. Forced out last week by the board of Trinity Mirror after his fake torture pictures turned out to be, well, fake. Like the BBC before them, the paper apologised "unreservedly for publishing the pictures and deeply regrets the damage done to the reputation of the QLA [the Queen's Lancashire Regiment] and the Army in Iraq."
Daily Mail Corner: What a great week
May 16, 2004
In the same way that creationists find an apple and incorrectly deduce that it was designed to be eaten because it fits in your hand and it's not poisonous, so too does the world sometimes look as though it's been designed for the Daily Mail.
The Friends are dead, long live Buddies
May 14, 2004
Introducing Buddies - TFT's Brand New Sitcom
Advertjism: Wanadoo
May 7, 2004
Freeserve is becoming Wanadoo. Wanadoo. Who the fuck thought of that? It's a play on the phrase 'wanna do', made even more illiterate for the 'cool stuff!' generation. Well, if what you 'wanna do' is download child porn and Star Trek trivia, it's reasonably descriptive. But you can't help but wonder why they didn't just stick with Freeserve, which at least doesn't sound like some rubbish kids' TV programme.
TVjism and filmjism: Knight Rider
April 30, 2004
The mid 70s to late 80s were the golden age of shit American TV. While the real world suffered from energy crises, a widening gap between rich and poor and the Cold War, the cocaine must have been flowing freely in Shit TV Land, as yet another series of Wonder Woman, with its baffling fixation with resurrecting Hitler, was commissioned.
Clip Shows: Stop the madness
April 24, 2004
How much self-congratulation does the BBC need? Before long the BBC schedules will consist of...
Mediajism: That twat Piers Morgan again
April 24, 2004
'The Americans have crossed a big line here. I think they should be severely castigated for it,' said the awful Piers Morgan yesterday, after US TV showed pictures of Princess Di's dying moments. He almost sounded as though he meant it.
WAWIBF... Michael J Tito
April 16, 2004
If you have heard of Michael J Tito, you certainly hadn't heard of him last week; and if he approached you in the street, there was little chance you'd recognise him. Jennifer Lopez however, is and was a different kettle of fish. If J-Lo danced up to you in the street, you'd know it was her. Maybe you'd fall at her feet; maybe you'd head-butt her. Either way, you'd know who she was.
The TFT Guide To... Hollywood historical biographies
April 9, 2004
The lastest trend in the copycat world of Hollywood is historical biographies, with no less than two films about the life of Napoleon going into production. So what other factually rigorous historical films can we expect from Hollywood?
All you need is hate
April 3, 2004
The tablods take over the asylum
The TFT Guide To... Remaking the time of your day
April 2, 2004
An academic has claimed that listening to personal stereos and i-Pods through headphones helps people create their own personal space, alter their moods and 're-make the time of their day' by transforming everyday experiences. So how else can we 'remake' our time with a personal soundtrack?
The TFT Guide To... Improving the English language
April 2, 2004
The Plain English Campaign has called for a clampdown on cliches, after a survey found 'At the end of the day' to be the most irritating phrase in the English language. ('At this moment in time' and 'like', used as a punctuation mark, came joint second.) So how can we improve the English language? TFT suggests:
The media's misguided bishop-bashing
April 2, 2004
On an average Wednesday night, the head of the Church of England, Rowan Williams, sets aside his copy of The Cloud of Unknowing with a sigh of contentment, gets up, stretches, shifts to the sofa, loosens his trousers, flicks on Footballers’ Wives, and lets out a wail of anguish at the spiritual paucity of the modern world.
Lights, camera, killing frenzy
March 19, 2004
There is a new and booming sector of the black-market film economy. The films may be grainy, the camerawork shaky, the faces often obscured, but that hasn’t stopped the explosion in made-for-terrorist videos. It seems you can’t arrest a single...
In the beginning, there was the word...
March 15, 2004
You’ve probably been wondering why the TFT site has been so long dormant. Well the answer is not, as many of you have suggested, sheer unadulterated laziness. Nor even laziness adulterated by alcohol, foreign cigarettes, and long, rowdy games of...
Squinty of Simpleton & Co.
February 20, 2004
She loved her son too much. Is that a crime? A poor German lady wanted the world to know how much she treasured her infant son, by naming him: Chenekwahow Tecumseh Migiskau Kioma Ernesto Inti Prithibi Pathar Chajara Majim Henriko...
Issue One of The Friday Thing
February 18, 2004
The talking is over. The muttering and grumbling is also over. The print edition of the London News Review is finally launching. Even now, the LNR offices are awash in champagne and curry. Today we celebrate. Tomorrow we wake up with hangovers and get on with making a newspaper. See you then.
Ham it up, Hamza!
February 10, 2004
The Daily Express have taken a well-deserved day off from screeching about gypsies to have a go at their favourite whipping boy: Abu Hamza, the ‘mad mullah’. Old hook-for-hands is such a niggling itch in the hide of the Express...
Journojism: the doomed angels
February 6, 2004
'Family Killings Tragedy of Doomed Angels and Baby Sister Who Survived' is how the Scotsman described it, in maybe the worst headline of the week. The 'family killings tragedy' in question was the ghastly killing of all but one of...
The price of freedom
February 4, 2004
The knives are out for the BBC. Knives of all races, colours and creeds. Today, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow has attacked the corporation for its "increasingly cavalier attitude" - and for fostering a "tabloid culture." And in a...
I'm All Right Jack
February 1, 2004
And so it goes… Up and down goes the drawbridge (whose terrible idea was that?) and boring night follows boring day follows boring night, and John says “fuck” at something and everyone looks a bit awkward and aren’t Peter Andre’s...
Plenty boob enough already
January 30, 2004
Zoo? Nuts! Whatever. The rise and rise of men's magazines (the ones about crocodile wrestling and Nell McAndrew, not the ones about trains and pipe smoking), and the sexing-up of media outlets that didn't start that way, has often been...
Hello - Rebekah? - can you hear me?
January 29, 2004
With Sun leaks so prominent in the news, we thought we'd get one of our own. Here's an email, from a supposed friend of Sun motoring correspondent, Emma Parker Bowles, sent to *everyone* at the Sun. (The PS at the...
Dyke Goes Down
January 29, 2004
Just a note on the resignation of Greg Dyke. That Andrew Gilligan didn't have the journalistic nous to ask Dr.Kelly whether his hunch about intelligence being doctored was based on evidence or hearsay is pretty shoddy. Very shoddy, in fact....
The Observer: why doth it irk us so?
January 29, 2004
What is it about The Observer that makes it niggle at my brain like a brain parasite? Perhaps it's because so much of its content is intellectual candyfloss: superficially appealing but fundamentally not very nourishing. And boy, is there a...
We interrupt this programme...
January 29, 2004
Following the resignations of Davies and Dyke, an emergency meeting of the board of governors has announced a change in tonight's schedule for BBC1: 5.30pm. Room for improvement. 6pm. Faking it. 7pm. Sorry. 7.30pm. How clean is your house? 8pm....
It's Political Incorrectness gone mad
January 20, 2004
Are the Daily Mail journalists being kept in inhumane conditions?
Warning: imaginary cynic on autopilot
January 19, 2004
How do you pep up an article with nothing to say? By making up some imaginary cultural commentators.
They're only journalists: they won't tell...
January 17, 2004
On Friday 2nd January, American soldiers arrested three Iraqi journalists who were covering the aftermath of a US helicopter crash for Reuters. The journalists were filming a checkpoint close to where the helicopter was shot down, near the town of...
ILTEOTS #239: Robert Kilroy-Silk vs Roger Myers
January 10, 2004
Robert Kilroy-Silk has called Arabs "limb amputators", upsetting amputators and non-amputators alike.
A New Dawn
January 3, 2004
The Guardian doesn't really deserve its reputation as the newspaper of tree-hugging, sandle-wearing, muesli-eating social workers and leftie teachers. While its letters page sometimes features readers who believe that sex offences are an ineluctable consequence of capitalism, or that the...
David Blair: Pro or Patsy?
December 19, 2003
Sean Walsh remembers the school days of the journalist whose 'lucky' find threatened to destroy George Galloway.
No such thing as a free IBM
December 19, 2003
Free computers? And they come with free obligatory advertisements? A double boon!
Going Underground: the Search For Saddam TV movie
December 14, 2003
That entirely speculative cast list, in full.
The New Black? Part Three
December 13, 2003
Learn how to tell your gwaans from your blings with Dr Keely Fisher's guide to Urban English.
Smooth Operator
December 12, 2003
Gillette: a global market-leader playing fast and loose with our lives.
TFT Meets... Jimmy Carr
December 9, 2003
You probably know him as the acerbic host of Channel 4's Distraction - his name is Jimmy Carr and he took time out from being Britain's Best Dressed Man 2005 to answer some questions...
The New Black? Part Two
December 5, 2003
An analysis of the lyics of Jamaican singer Sean Paul reveals that just like Blazin' Squad, he is tinkering with his language to sell more records, claims Dr Keely Fisher.
Yellow Alert
December 5, 2003
In September America’s Showtime network – a cable channel owned by the same company that owns CBS News and MTV – celebrated the second anniversary of T.T.E.O.S.E. with a ‘docudrama’ called DC 9/11:Time of Crisis. But reality TV it wasn't.
The New Black? Part One
December 4, 2003
Urban music is a hugely lucrative market for an artist to tap into – but with every other act claiming to be ‘from the streets’, how can you tell which are the genuine article and which are keeping it less than real? We asked Dr Keely Fisher, lecturer in English at Oxford University, to see if she could spot the impostors.
Lies and the Lying Liars
November 14, 2003
'Balance'. Something you really ought to have when you're a flamingo. Or a news broadcaster.
Is it cuz I is middle-class?
November 1, 2003
Mark E. Smith does a wee into a bucket. Micheal Bracewell thinks it's because he was a class warrior. But maybe he was just bored, writes Alan Connor.
October 31, 2003
Fire is pretty. Even when it's burning down your house...
Loverly Spam, Wonderful Spam
October 25, 2003
There are so many variants, so many subtleties of style, one might almost class the Nigerian fraud emails as a new sub-genre of literature, writes Charlie Skelton
All the world's a stage
October 20, 2003
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the chatroom...
Outside the box
October 20, 2003
Tune in, slop out.
Journojism: Have you got a tissue?
October 19, 2003
Could the stupid kids on Teen Big Brother behave any more like randy mastiffs, wonders Charlie Skelton
"Get that jigaboo up here and I will sort her out!"
October 17, 2003
Where would a Girl Aloud pick up such a term?
Telejism: Lizzie Bardsley
October 10, 2003
Her wife swap experiment may have only lasted 3 days, but still she managed to pull in 5 million viewers, and left them all thinking: what a revolting, pointless waste of space. Congratulations Lizzie. It took Carol Smillie years to achieve that.
Journojism: the Daily Mail letters page.
September 29, 2003
Daily Mail land. You don't have to be a retired bigot to live there, but it sure helps.
A letter to the viral movie makers
September 29, 2003
An open letter to 'creative agencies' who make 'viral' video clips that they expect us to download and forward on, and then wonder why we don't bother. By Paul Carr
Addicted to Hutton
September 19, 2003
In its guise as literature I've enjoyed the Hutton Inquiry much better than the last Will Self novel I read and I'm not sure I want it to stop, writes Robert Katz.
The TFT guide to... advice from the Internet
September 19, 2003
Relax: your current dental plan is probably fine.
Vogue: the advertiser's choice
September 9, 2003
Whether the latest look is 'Uzbekistan women on acid' or 'Cecil Beaton in rubber' - you can trust the people at Vogue to turn it into a hook to sell you something.
Out with the old, in with the ex-PR man
September 4, 2003
An ex-flack is taking over from an ex-hack to put an end to the spin at the heart of Government. Honestly.
Would someone please hurry up and kill Rebekah Wade?
August 29, 2003
Come on you loonies, get focused. Stop bumping off foreign students and prostitutes and hitchhikers. Put your death-rage to some good for a change...
The BBC Charter: What's their beef?
August 29, 2003
So... is it going to lose its charter? Is it failing in its obligation to be independent and unbiased? And isn't it about time someone gave the Tweenies a good hard kicking?
The BBC Creative Archive: what the Internet was invented for
August 25, 2003
Greg Dyke's announcement that the BBC is to make the "treasure trove of BBC content available to all" [ shortish report | longish speech ] is going to make a few businessmen very worried and everyone else very happy. old-skool...
Jack of all trades, master of none
August 9, 2003
Felix Dennis: Investor in person.
Berne baby, berne
August 1, 2003
We, the undersigned, while believing in the importance of copyright, also believe in the importance of the public domain. We believe the public domain is crucial to the spread of knowledge and culture, and crucial in assuring access to our past...
Trust In The Force, Luke
July 29, 2003
Just when you thought you'd run out of reasons to hate Chris Evans...
Believe In The Force Luke
July 29, 2003
Just when you thought you'd run out of reasons to hate Chris Evans.
Rolling Coverage Gathers No Moss
July 18, 2003
Exclusive: live debate: missing schoolgirl Shevaun Pennington owns mobile phone: is your child at risk from paedophile texters?
'For George'
July 18, 2003
The News of the World is on hand to watch and tut as George Best ruins his new liver.
Say cheese
July 18, 2003
Photographs: more easily abused than pit ponies.
Brian Reade attempts a Langdon
July 12, 2003
And succeeds in penning one of the most offensive jokes of the year.
Kommandant Hitchens and his armchair stormtroopers
July 11, 2003
The Peter Hitchens Discussion Forum: for all the latest news and views on repatriation.
Crisp white panties and made-up quotes
July 4, 2003
"Get a few glasses of champagne down their necks and those crisp white panties come down faster than Prince Harry’s polo mallet!" (News of the World)
Pop Magazine-O-Matic
April 16, 2003
Want to try out a new music magazine? Want to avoid a pig, in a poke? Let Alan Connor guide you in LNR's patented O-Matic format.
Shit-spewing Streatham junky strumpet
February 13, 2003
The woman once described by her manager and close friend as "a manipulative, scheming, rude and impossible little madam" this week shocked the High Court with revelations that she has long been (and will always be) a stuck-up shit-spewing Streatham junky strumpet.
Dumb Britain
December 6, 2002
This week's ban on British beef by France caused something of a problem for our nation's red-top tabloids, writes Paul Carr.
The Smoking Burrell
November 12, 2002
The revelation that Paul Burrell tried to seduce Michael Barrymore just days after the death of Princess Diana raises the serious question: is there a single major news story which Paul Burrell has not been involved in? Apparently not...
Web Of Deceit
November 2, 2002
While the web isn't killing newspaper journalism, it does seem to be helping certain newspaper journalists to commit suicide, writes Paul Carr
Ten things to do with the ITV Digital monkey...
March 13, 2002
...now that ITV Digital has gone bankrupt
One at a time, please
February 13, 2002
In the fascistic world of women's magazines, it's always been the case that models have to be thinner than normal people, but now even the human interest stories must be about thin and pretty people too.

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