Corona Virus - Stay Safe

  • I had my first BioNTech Pfizer shot today. The second one will be given in three weeks. No side effects. I am quite relieved. The world looks slightly brighter again.

    First we learned to walk on water.

    Then we tried something harder.

    - Red Seven -

  • I'm going to get my second Pfizer shot on Wednesday. I hear the second shot's side effects are more pronounced. Had some muscle aches for 2 days after the first shot, so not sure what to expect after the second.

  • Things begin to look better in Europe, so let's hope for some normal life towards the summer.

    Had by first jab early last week as well and I am very pleased and thankful!

  • I see the beloved BBC is at it again over hyping the Super Covid Indian model. Apparently no scientific evidence it's more harmful, no scientific evidence it affects people other than the usual "vulnerables", no scientific argument people are dropping like flies from it, but loads of air time and column inches being given to the doomsayers who, presumably, have become a tad pissed off with the success and speed of the vaccination program.



    Some people it seems will never be happy unless they have something to whinge or panic about.

  • I see the beloved BBC is at it again over hyping the Super Covid Indian model. Apparently no scientific evidence it's more harmful, no scientific evidence it affects people other than the usual "vulnerables", no scientific argument people are dropping like flies from it, but loads of air time and column inches being given to the doomsayers who, presumably, have become a tad pissed off with the success and speed of the vaccination program.



    Some people it seems will never be happy unless they have something to whinge or panic about.

    Jeez. Not sure where to start unpacking this. So, tell you what - I won't bother.

    Abandon all reason

  • Out here whenever there is a case of clotting linked to AstraZeneca the media go hysterical over it. I had my first AstraZeneca shot and I'm fine. I suppose they are obliged to report these cases but it seems to me they make people more reluctant to get the vaccine.

  • Out here whenever there is a case of clotting linked to AstraZeneca the media go hystericall over it. I had my first AstraZeneca shot and I'm fine. I suppose they are obliged to report these cases but it seems to me they make people more reluctant to get the vaccine.

    They should still report the truth though, we deserve to know that.

  • They should still report the truth though, we deserve to know that.

    They should report the cases, absolutely. To not do so would be a shameful breach of trust and cause faith in the program to plummet. That said, I think risk is a very difficult thing to communicate well. Having a large headline about rare events is all well and good, but a great effort must be invested in putting the events in context.

  • And report the truth appears to be what they are doing. This morning they spoke to a professor who said the hothouse of the India variant in the UK, Bolton, has most cases in the under 45 group, ie/ those not yet vaccinated. Seems logical and what you'd expect, and as he said, cause for hope.


    I find it amusing that the BBC are being hauled over the coals, when they, in World Service guise, have been held up as a beacon for decades. I used to be in a Shortwave Enthusiasts forum, back in the very late 90's/noughties, and most Americans tuned to the Beeb for the news rather than their own VOA.

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • I find it amusing that the BBC are being hauled over the coals, when they, in World Service guise, have been held up as a beacon for decades. I used to be in a Shortwave Enthusiasts forum, back in the very late 90's/noughties, and most Americans tuned to the Beeb for the news rather than their own VOA.

    What is VOA?


    I live in the US and regularly check BBC and the Irish Times for news. There are probably good outlets here, but I wouldn't have a clue where to look, or how to know whether to trust them. CNN and Fox are pretty much on an equal footing for uselessness. They offer little besides shrieking deeply biased opinions aimed at satisfying their congregation. It's interesting based on your observation that this has been the case for over twenty years now. I thought it was a more recent phenomenon. I wonder if they ever had integrity or were they always just mouthpieces?


    Good news on the Covid front all round I think, with the vaccines proving effective against variants so far.

  • What is VOA?

    He'll answer I'm sure but I think it's Voice of America, kind of the equivalent of the BBC World Service. I can never hear the name Voice of America without immediately thinking of Revolt Into Style by Red Noise, still a favourite track of mine 40+ years on.


    Funnily enough, re your seeking unbiased news from BBC and Irish Times, I've occasionally read the Herald Trib and other US papers as I found their coverage of UK stories refreshingly unfiltered - print media in the UK are particularly subject to skewed, prejudiced "reporting" and are largely mouthpieces for billionaire non-domiciled owners.


    For me, BBC broadcast news coverage has declined in quality over the last 10 years or so, partly in line with overall trends in the tone and nature of factual broadcasting generally - I can barely watch documentaries now for example, due to their infuriating identikit style involving whooshy effects, constant intrusive music, elongated "we're going to take you on a JOURNEY" introductions, "still to come" interjections (= "PLEASE DON'T SWITCH OVER") and presenters who all sound like they're addressing 5-year-olds.

    Abandon all reason

    Edited once, last by Backdrifter ().

  • ^ foot note to the above - a brilliant summing-up by Charlie Brooker of identikit news coverage. This is so pin-sharp accurate it's both funny and dispiriting.

    I got a proper good laugh out of that, thanks for sharing!


    I think 24 hour news has something to do with what we're talking about. When I grew up, the news was a half hour or so at 1pm and 6pm. There wasn't much need for padding. Now the news is 1 - 2% news, and 98 - 99% opinion about the news. I think. Or at least that's my impression. And most of the opinion is just waffle from uninteresting, poorly qualified people. Taken to it's most egregious extreme, the outlet will make a news article out of the opinion (something like "CNN's Jake Tapper calls out GOP secretary's hypocrisy"), like a plant trying to make sunlight so it can feed itself. Actually turns my stomach.


    I do hear the BBC coming in for more flak recently like you said. I don't know the journalistic landscape very well but maybe Reuters or AP would be more factual? Or do they just provide content for other news outlets to run with?

  • I got a proper good laugh out of that, thanks for sharing!


    I think 24 hour news has something to do with what we're talking about. When I grew up, the news was a half hour or so at 1pm and 6pm. There wasn't much need for padding. Now the news is 1 - 2% news, and 98 - 99% opinion about the news. I think. Or at least that's my impression. And most of the opinion is just waffle from uninteresting, poorly qualified people. Taken to it's most egregious extreme, the outlet will make a news article out of the opinion (something like "CNN's Jake Tapper calls out GOP secretary's hypocrisy"), like a plant trying to make sunlight so it can feed itself. Actually turns my stomach.


    I do hear the BBC coming in for more flak recently like you said. I don't know the journalistic landscape very well but maybe Reuters or AP would be more factual? Or do they just provide content for other news outlets to run with?

    I think you've got it pretty much spot on there. Not only do news outlets make items from opinions and the like, they ask viewers to send in theirs, and then MAYBE read out one or two if they have time. Another annoyance, reporters on the scene. Last night there was a regional reporter on the BBC reporting on Covid variant news in Bolton, and she could hardly stand still due to the wind and rain, and her umbrella being tugged about. Would've been so much easier in the studio, and less distracting. A few days ago, a reporter outside the Houses of Parliament was talking about something, while some dickhead rode back and forth on a bike with the Palestinian flag.


    The BBC, unfortunately, have had to bow to pressure from competitive "news" outlets (Fox, for example) to be more flashy and sensationalist. Welcome to the modern world! And yet another annoyance, common on World News Platforms, ie/ the ones you get on TV in hotel rooms, is the promo for "Important news presenters" who we are supposed to think are more likely to get to the heart of the matter. Fact is, such people, like Tom Bradby on ITN, usually just embellish the news with their opinion. My response? Switch over as soon as I see him.


    The Beeb came in for a whipping last night on their own channel, for the Diana/Bashir interview, and rightly so. Not only did it turn out Bashir was totally manipulative, but questions raised at the time by the man who forged the documents at his request were not taken seriously, particularly by Tony Hall, who left as DG last year, presumably as he knew what was coming!


    I still think the historically news outlets like the BBC, ITN, DW, ROI, RCI, VOA are your best bets, if you bear in mind their controlling bodies, (eg/ VOA is an "independent agent" of the US government!). There is some co-operation between them, of course. You occasionally see a BBC news report from Austria, and the reporter is often Bethany Bell. She's ROI staff.


    Of course, if you really want good honest truth, there's always Alex Salmond on Russia Today! Available on Freeview.

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • I have my 2nd vaccine dose today. Hopefully not too many side effects.

    Had my 2nd a week and a half ago, Pfizer, same side effect as the first, felt a bit tired the following day, slightly less then the first though.

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • I saw that about Bashir and the BBC. I don't know if that's a systemic issue with them, or a case of bad apples being everywhere. Certainly gives pause for thought.


    Re: opinion as news thing. The current top headline, as in the biggest story right at the top of the CNN website, is an opinion piece (see below). They give it a whiff of legitimacy by calling it "analysis". BS. It's an opinion by a CNN employee. How the hell is that news?


    On a tangent, your comment about the person standing out in bad weather reminded me of a funny local story that went viral a few years ago. Teresa Mannion was giving a weather report from what appeared to be the end of time in my hometown. It justifiably caught on and generated a million memes and hilarious comments online (DON'T MAKE UNNECESSARY JOURNEYS!"):



  • I saw that about Bashir and the BBC. I don't know if that's a systemic issue with them, or a case of bad apples being everywhere. Certainly gives pause for thought.

    It is of course right they are taken to task for those actions but the righteous outrage from other media about it, who themselves have been guilty of absolutely disgraceful behaviour regarding Princess Diana and many others, is sickening to see.

    Abandon all reason

  • your comment about the person standing out in bad weather reminded me of a funny local story that went viral a few years ago. Teresa Mannion was giving a weather report from what appeared to be the end of time in my hometown. It justifiably caught on and generated a million memes and hilarious comments online (DON'T MAKE UNNECESSARY JOURNEYS!")

    I'd never seen that, it's hysterical. Her increasing desperation to hang on to the hat just adds to it. I'm now imagining a report with her in a hurricane, clinging to a lamp post, her torso and legs blown horizontal, cars and bins flying past, yelling "This storm is all about the wind".


    News coverage now measures its own value by amount of time devoted, and having reporters at the scene, both regardless of whether anything is actually happening. A story breaks and if it concerns an organisation or a person, the reporters have to be seen outside the company's building or the person's house. They think this is adding something and somehow making their coverage more effective and incisive, but of course it isn't - it's utterly lazy, superficial thinking.


    Typical feature: anchor in studio - "For the latest on this supposed story where nothing's actually happened, over to Sycamore Bleeg, our Special Correspondent who's there now - Sycamore, what's the latest?"

    (Sycamore, outside some building or other, stands looking fixedly at us and nodding silently for about 10 seconds). "Well Cadenza, the latest is that there are no new developments, but maybe that won't seem so unimpressive if I say it in this urgent sort of tone, so I'm going to maintain it for the rest of this redundant report, while occasionally putting in pointless emphasis and... slowing.... down... leaving... bizarre.... gaps.... while making chopping motions in the air... in the hope dumb viewers will think they've just heard something important. My voice is now going to dramatically go down in tone as I near the end... before springing back in a meaningless interrogative way, as if to suggest something might happen. Back to you in the studio".


    Then Cadenza tells us she has the Chief Nothing Editor with her in the studio, and indeed she does, turning to him to ask him to rake back over the nothingness we've just heard, which he does so using the same words slightly re-arranged.


    Put that together with Charlie Brooker's all-purpose feature above, and there you have news coverage as it is now.

    Abandon all reason

  • It is of course right they are taken to task for those actions but the righteous outrage from other media about it, who themselves have been guilty of absolutely disgraceful behaviour regarding Princess Diana and many others, is sickening to see.

    Very true. I think Bashir is a one off, though of course bad apples can turn up anywhere. He seems to have been up and coming, but not rising quickly enough in his own opinion. Turns out he is just bad. When this all kicked off in a Channel 4 docu last year, he claimed to be recovering from quad by-pass surgery, despite having been photographed coming out of a take-away..

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life