When I started this intended-to-be-a-running-feature, I was envisaging exploding at least once a week and more often at the crap that populates the Guardian these days. But perhaps I’ve become much mellower, or maybe it’s because I nowadays really don’t have any interest in most of what they pass off as journalism.
To take a current example, there’s a piece on the website today about ‘Critic-proof TV’, listing various shows that are slaughtered by the critics but which people not only watch and enjoy but, in the case of Mrs Brown’s Boys, have actually voted Best Sitcom.
That’s the peg for the article, but among these critic-proof shows is my own favourite, The Big Bang Theory. And I simply don’t give a toss that the critics don’t like it. I have made up my own mind about this, and that is good enough for me. I do not need or find validation in people agreeing with me, nor feel any threat from those who disagree.
And it’s like that about so many things. So many features and articles that are completely unnecessary, or which are nothing more than fluff that pretends to an authority that would be spurious if it were at all relevant. Think that way if you want (or if you really do and aren’t merely maintaining an attitude in order to generate clickbait for the advertisers).
But today I’ve become conscious of a seemingly new feature. At the bottom of many articles on the website there is a new exhortation. If you’ve used this, it suggests, why not support it? And there are a list of links ranging from £25 to £250.
Yes, the Guardian is now so desperate for money that it’s resorted to asking its web-page audience to pay for what it reads.
Maybe that’s understandable, but what is unbelievable is that all manner of useless, badly-written, off-key, skewed and inconsequential pieces are being rated as worth £25 – at least – to be read. And the notion that this ludicrous piece of celebrity-lite smoke-blowing is worth £250 – yes, just consider that for a second, £250 – is the very definition of crap journalism.
The Guardian was once a worth-while and valid paper. It has turned into a pandering, increasingly right-wing piece of birdcage lining, where only the sports section, and the crossword are worth perusing. I resent the payment I make for having a crossword to plug away at at lunch, and I certainly wouldn’t pay £25 for anything the Guardian has published since Hugo Young passed on.
If I’m being asked to read Crap Journalism, then it’s they who should be paying me.