The British media is a drug and every day is a bad trip

You’d be better off injecting heroin into your aching eyeballs. For legal reasons I’m required to tell you not to do that.

“I don't do drugs anymore... than, say, the average touring funk band.”

That’s a Bill Hicks line that was smoothly reshaped in the mouth of Andy Falkous during his time leading Mclusky to become “we take more drugs than a touring funk band” in the song ‘To Hell With Good Intentions’.

I don’t take any drugs that would be recognised by a nosy policeman looking for an easy bust. My biggest drug habit is consuming the British media and I take what Hicks would have called a “prodigious dose” on a daily basis.

I’ll say this: Having had a bigger than average exposure to addicts during my life, I’m starting to consider taking three newspapers a day to be as dangerous as a fairly committed smack habit.

The British media is a psychotropic substance and you practically always have a bad trip.

From broadsheets to wankrags — to lift a quote from The Thick of It — the British media (with the smallest handful of exceptions) is high-handed, hypocritical, racist, narrow-minded, egotistical, misogynist, myopic, and money-obsessed.

Whether it’s the explicitly racist endeavours like The Sun and The Times or the pissed bed pseudo-leftism of The Guardian and its warlike sibling The Observer, the British media is no longer interested in truly challenging power or undertaking investigations that break down injustice.

Oh yes, it still throws around awards for investigative journalism and such projects are still given symbolic funding and small amounts of space but getting anything changed has become almost impossible. The days of Sir Harold Evans being given the time, space and money to battle the government, the pharmaceutical companies and big business in general are gone. Even the newspapers mortal enemies, the rapacious tech companies, have managed to neuter them with small advertising contracts and derisory grants, like a bank robber trying to compensate for the theft by offering the victim a lollipop, all while they’re still tied up.

Day after day, I consume newspapers which give lifetime gigs as columnists to people you wouldn’t want to sit next to on the bus, even before the pandemic made bus journeys into Nemesis At Alton Towers-style thrill rides.

The hypocritical, freebie guzzling, credit-stealing, dog whistle blowing, elite-protecting battalion of fuckheads which dominates the editorial pages of the British media treat readers with contempt and are handsomely rewarded for it. What’s worse is that they then bring their children into the business almost guaranteeing multi-generational fuckery. Add to that the trend for rehabilitating politicians into journalists — be it George Osborne crashing the Evening Standard into a dung heap, Amber Rudd who bears the shame of Windrush like a tattoo on her forehead being reborn as a lifestyle luvvie with her sex-obsessed daughter Flora on Times Radio, or Michael Portillo being given documentary after documentary to shag trains — and the British media is a nightmare world.

In a tweet yesterday, another Times Radio fixture, the unctuous Matt Chorley, claimed that it’s hard to create a diverse set of political journalists in the UK. It’s not; it’s only difficult if you choose to keep hiring people who look the same, who think the same, who went to the same schools and universities, and — too often — are related to people already working in the business.

People like Chorley — who admittedly worked his way up through the local press — do a lot of hand-waving about fixing the broken media but in truth, they’re actually happy that the ladder has so many missing rungs and seems to have been buttered. It’s in the interest of the incumbents that nothing much changes.

Now, about that funk-band-sized stash of drugs…