Kay Burley - The Snow In The Summer or So-So

27 February 2008

Sometimes, we come across something so mind-bogglingly stupid that it has us worrying about humanity. What have we done to deserve this? Can anyone really be so utterly and completely brain-dead as to do that? And we find ourselves wondering, what would a god do? We paged The GOD Organisation, but they were having an away-day, Miles Kington was chairing a meeting of the United Deities in a hotel somewhere near Basingstoke.

So, we turn to the next best thing. The file marked Slightly dubious ideas pilfered from Marcus Brigstoke. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

What? Why? How? Who?

For those of you who haven't seen Marcus Brigstoke on BBC-4's The Late Edition, What? Why? How? Who? is a segment where the host attempts to explain a topical news story using these four question, plus a guest interrogative. For those of you who haven't seen The Late Edition, think The Now Show, only on telly, and without Mitch Benn. For those of you who haven't seen BBC-4, it's channel 107 on your cable system. You know, just between the one with the pink splodge in the corner and the one with the pink splodge all over the screen. The one you always pass over because it's showing something too erudite for your tastes, you SKY-watching morons.

What? What is causing us to spasm in paroxyms of despair, and building our rage up to unhealthy levels? Kay Burley, who apparently is the host of another news satire programme, this one exclusive to satellite television. She's got a long record of issuing alarmist, misleading and emotive statements live on television. In 2001, she went so far as to state, If you're just joining us, the entire eastern seaboard of the United States has been decimated by a terrorist attack. What, 10% of the Atlantic coast from New Brunswick down to that penis-shaped bit, reduced to rubble? Five million people dead? Er, no.

Now, we don't actually receive the comedy channel that Kay Burley works for, our cable provider threw them off their network a year ago for being impossibly shit. And for demanding unreasonably large amounts of money for their unreasonably rubbish programming, but mostly for being entirely mediocre. How poor are they? Suffice to say that Sky News does not realise that it's a comedy channel, it pretends to the world that it's actually a real news channel, telling real news. Trust us, we know a real news channel when we see one, and Sky News is no real news channel.

Why? Why are we getting worked up about this now? Last week, the Ipswich murder trial came to its conclusion. To the surprise of approximately no-one, possibly not even himself, Steven Wright, a mass murderer from Ipswich, was convicted of the mass murder of five women. Almost inevitably, Kay Burley was drafted in to front the fake news channel's coverage of this important event, and handled it with the huge amount of gravitas we've come to expect from her. Talking to Pamela Wright, the estranged (and, we presume, soon-to-be-former) wife of Steven Wright, Kay Burley asked,

Do you think if you'd had a better sex life, he wouldn't have done this?

How? How can any functioning human being possibly ask such an intrusive and prurient question? We don't know what drove Steven Wright to do what he did - was he mad? Bad? Pursuing his own inner demons? We don't know. We're not psychologists, we're not psychiatrists, we can't do anything other than guess at what drove him to commit these foul deeds. Guesswork and speculation have their place. The place for guesswork and speculation is down the pub, probably after a few glasses. Serious journalists won't speculate. They won't ask leading questions. They won't assume they know the answers.

But Kay Burley knows what drove Steven Wright to these lengths. Her incisive journalistic mind is telling her one thing, and one thing only. The deaths of five women were not caused by the man convicted for their murder, even though he killed them. No, their deaths were directly caused by the woman he was shagging, because she was shit in bed. Don't blame the man, says Kay Burley, blame the woman.

So, let us just take this a bit further. Take Alan Pascoe-Watson, a teenage scribbler for the Daily Tabloid, and a former romantic fling of Kay Burley. Suppose, just suppose, that he comes up with some corkingly rubbish non-story that he tries to pass off as an exclusive. Something utterly implausible, like Alan Johnson had won the Labour deputy leadership, a load of tosh that Sky spent over an hour loudly proclaiming until it emerged that, actually, he had been beaten by the eyebrow-fluttering Harriet Froglet Harman. Suppose that Pascoe-Watson had come up with that nonsense. Would he seriously say, Oh, it's that Kay Burley's fault, she wasn't giving me enough intellectual conversation, I had to make something up, and it all got a bit out of hand? Of course he wouldn't! Or if he did, he wouldn't be able to keep a straight face.

Who? Who the hell is she trying to impress here? Has Kay Burley got qualifications in psycotherapy and mental analysis that put the rest of the planet to shame? Did she give evidence as to Steven Wright's mental state at his recent trial? Did she even read the transcripts of the trial and attempt to draw her own opinions, or did she just rely on the lazy rip-and-read bullshit that Sky News relies upon? Does Kay Burley actually want to expose the myth that Sky News is to serious journalism as its stablemate the Daily Tabloid is to carefully-balanced and nuanced reportage? Does Kay Burley really want to encourage men to go around beating, raping, and killing, and then blaming it all on their ex-girlfriends because they once refused to put out?

And the guest interrogative! Hasn't she been sacked yet? Mitch Benn, the entire posting staff at The Yorksher Gob, and Inner Brat all think that Kay Burley should be sacked. So do we.

| Permanent link