If I cared enough, I would despair of the Bristol Post. Nowadays, it is an apology of a newspaper with no direction, no future and virtually no readers. Today there is a good illustration as to why.
“ISIS planning eight terrorists attacks worldwide today, it is claimed” leads today’s online edition, including a rock concert in Milan and a WWE wrestling event in America. Quoting the website “Anonymous” (no, I’ve never heard of it either), the Post reports a quote from ISIS which reads “This is a warning to anyone going to any of the events listed below or going to any event with a lot of people, church services included – but the risk of any churches outside Paris/France being targeted is low. There will be big events worldwide on the 22nd, go at your own risk.”
Not only is there no reference whatsoever to anything Bristol related, this “story” does not appear in any other newspaper other than the one from which it was lifted: the Daily Express. Uh oh.
This is the same Express newspaper that regularly reports on revolutionary cures for Alzheimers, rising house prices cause cancer (I think I read it right) and Jeremy Corbyn eats live babies. At least one of these topics appears on its front page. I’ll let you work out which one.
To be fair to the Post – and that’s not something I particularly want to be – they do acknowledge the source for the story. “According to the Express”, says the remnants of our local organ, but that just makes it worse. People believe this rubbish, or at least they did. The Post once had a reputation for excellent, hard-hitting journalism but that disappeared quite rapidly a decade or so. Now it’s not even used to wrap chips. Things are bad enough in the world, what with the Paris atrocities and the ongoing state of alert in Brussels, without hysterical non-stories seemingly based on rumour, speculation or – my choice – being completely made up.
None of this is to suggest that ISIS is not planning worldwide attacks. They’ve committed a good few in recent months and no one would be surprised if tomorrow, or the day after, we were once again shocked by their barbarism.
The Post, however, has sunk to the levels of the red tops who, reacting to plunging circulations, will print just about anything to get anyone to buy the damn things. We know that soon the Post will go the same way as other local papers, becoming a weekly publication with all the quality journalism you have come to expect from a free sheet, which is to say next to nothing at all.
If nicking crap non stories from the Express is the best you can do, best call it a day.