There are two stunt/spin stories from the past weeks that deserve cursory consideration. First, Black Rod: there’s nothing to say that hasn’t been said about the main event. An interesting damage limitation sideline, though, was the way Tony wheeled the legal big gun (aka Lord Irvine) onto Today, to push the criminal prosecution system up the agenda to the detriment of matters funereal.
Second: Angus Deayton. The scriptwriters down at Have I Got News For You? have created a suave, sophisticated and knowing Deayton persona: here’s a man in a sexy suit who’s got the media sussed. Unfortunately – and this is what gives the story such spicy relish – the real Deayton hasn’t. When the gag men pack up their laptops and head for home, we’re actually left with a anchor who thinks that spending a fortune to secure an injunction will cause the media to back off his case in panic and terror.
As my kids would say, what a dur. They’re young enough to know that preventing somebody from doing something only makes it more of an interesting challenge to do it anyway, particularly if it involves shafting someone who’s seen as too smug for his own good. This is basic playground psychology, and the media is nothing if not infantile.
My (too late) advice to Angus? (1) Square it up as far as you can at home with your nearest and dearest (please, God, don’t do another of those “I hurt you so much, can you ever forgive me?” confessional exclusives – they only make you look really really sad and stupid); (2) Tell the press to publish and be damned (it’s cheaper that way, and the public prefers it); (3) Make up and circulate a load of truly extreme and ridiculous stories about your sexual behaviour: in the end, people won’t be able to differentiate fact from fiction, so nobody will bother that much.
Rather more interesting than the wriggling Angus is a Blair Witch web heist currently doing the rounds. They said a Blair Witch web PR campaign couldn’t be replicated. Now comes proof that they were right, or wrong, depending on your point of view.
If you haven’t received it already, some credulous soul in your immediate circle will doubtless forward you a copy of a pseudo-academic email fromone Steven M Greer, MD of an organisation called The Disclosure Project. From the tone of the text, this is an impressively heavyweight operation. On a cautionary note, observe that it operates not from the hi-tech dreaming spires of an institution such as the MIT, but from a PO Box in Charlottesville VA.
To cut seven pages of purest, cleverly evasive hogwash back to basics: Mr Greer presents us with a terrifying thesis, based on convincing illogic, which cynically exploits 9/11 to prove that – let’s be frank – someone’s scamming up a movie.
Stripped down, Mr Greer’s belief is that UFOs do exist; some are flown by genuine ETs,but others are operated by a “shadowy, para-governmental transnational entity”; this entity is spreading disinformation about dangerous UFOs (which it is in fact making itself) and how they are equipped to attack global assets, thus ensuring that governments cough up for multitrillion dollar space defence systems, keeping arms manufacturers in business and the peoples of the world in thrall to media manipulated terror. Perfectly reasonable.
Just a note on some of the usual UFOlogy bollocks incorporated here. There are random, semi-credible academic reference points. There’s a nice “They saw 9/11 coming, but didn’t tell you” routine. And of course, the naughty boys (“they”) ensure that you don’t get to hear about “real” ET events.
After all, “a man” came to “brief members of Congress about the plan” in 1997, but “before he could testify, his handlers spirited him away to a secret location in Virginia”.
Ooh! This is absolute proof – if proof were needed – of the verisimilitude of the charges: if an anonymous non-existent man didn’t have a chance to voice an opinion to an unknown group of Congressmen at an unidentified meeting, this whole thesis must be true.
If you wanted any clearer indication that someone’s messing around, read the following: “I write this now because I have recently been contacted by several highly placed media and intelligence sources…” (oh yeah?) “…that have made it clear to me that hoaxed events and storylines are imminent that will attempt to ramp up the fear machine regarding UFOs and ETs”.
Hoaxed events and story lines? That’s a step too far, into vanity and self-congratulation, but let’s not quibble. Finally, there’s a load of save-the-earth blah designed to recruit the tree-hugging community and that’s about it.
A top level industry insider hidden in the boot of a car in a dark garage has revealed to me, at considerable risk to his own life, that a paragovernmental group of international media moguls has been meeting secretly, over a period of years, to disseminate the rumour that the success of The Blair Witch Project’s pre-release web PR campaign could never be repeated. Then they set up a concerned, independent, citizens’ group – so that they could repeat it and promote a movie called The Disclosure Project.
Which I have now publicised. Oh well. If the plot is as good as the email, place the movie on your must-miss list, immediately.