First off, a furore surrounding the enlightened conversation of Sky Sports couple Richard Keys and Andy Gray about female assistant ref Sian Massey. I'm no great follower of football, so I'm grateful to SGS's in-house tabloid editor for introducing me to Yahoo football blogger Early Doors, who had an interesting take on the issue of a female linesman:
As it happened there was a big offside decision, for Liverpool's opening goal, which Massey got right - a call described as "wonderful" by Jamie Redknapp (the tone quickly switched from insulting to patronising once Sky went on air). That moment led Early Doors to conclude that every match official at every Premier League game should be female. Not because of the decision, which was good but unremarkable, but because of the aftermath. The Wolves reaction was typical. Even though Ronald Zubar had played Raul Meireles the best part of a yard onside, the defenders angrily turned as one to berate the linesman. Then something odd happened - they saw the lino in question was a young woman, and instantly their protests fizzled out.
Fantastic. Just to show that sexism works both ways I guess. Early Doors' not unreasonable conclusion:
ED realises that employing female officials simply to ensure players do not shout that them hardly represents the pinnacle of enlightenment, but can you honestly say it wouldn't work?
Second off, the Twittersphere's vigorous assertion of its liberalness, as it rounds on one Daily Mail columnist after another. To be honest, rounding on Daily Mail columnists is probably a fundamentally healthy thing to do, just as the recent activities of a former SGS student and tabloid editor in rounding personally on a News of the World reporter was also uplifting.
In the Twitter instance, Melanie Phillips and Liz Jones have both become trending topics on the web's most concise social network for different topics, but a common style of uniquely offensive writing. Phillips for her 'gay people are now setting the agenda in Britain, soon we'll all be expected to become one' type comments in a recent column; Jones for re-treading the last few hours of murdered architect Jo Yeats' life as if it were some sort of quaint travelogue. Quite why anyone thinks the Mail is going to waste perfectly good newspaper space on rational views when it can get so much more publicity for bonkers ones beats me anyway.
Oh, and that NoTW exchange was something along the lines of:
Desperate Reporter: Do you know anything about people who met Jo Yeats and thus might be her murderer? Preferably men living alone?
Ex-SGS Student, MM: That's right, go around destroying everyone before they're even brought to trial; and yours isn't even a proper newspaper.
Reporter: What's your name and do you live alone?
Student [suddenly seeing his name in headline type]: Er........gotta go.
UPDATE: This tweet, re. the Sian Massey story, is a treat!
UPDATE II: For a forensic examination of how a very tentative Education Dept. statement about 'non-compulsory' lessons becomes an outrageous certainty, go to this piece on the Tabloid Watch blog. Then do the Media Blog's Melanie Phillips Quiz!