Thursday 29 April 2004

You couldn't make it up

I had an advance online look today at the latest copy of The Spectator. (Registration required) I am one of those who still purchase the dead-tree version despite the Speccie's extraordinary political contortions of the last few months. Indeed, I immediately started by looking at the letters to the editor to see if he was publishing complaints from readers both outraged and perplexed.

And there it was - a letter guaranteed to infuriate loyal readers even more:

Our broadcast media — i.e. the BBC — is the envy of the world. Our tabloid-dominated press is by contrast a laughing-stock and a scandal. The solution is obvious: we need a British Press Corporation, an equivalent of the BBC for print media. The ‘Beep’ could run a small stable of publications from tabloids to broadsheets (and even perhaps weeklies too).
Er, haven't the letter's authors heard of the Guardian or the Independent? As for a BBC weekly, what about the Gilliganised and Liddleised Spectator itself?

Then I saw the date of publication: 1st May. Obviously this was a misprint and I was really reading the issue of 1st April. But no, for then I noticed that the letter had been sent from a British university and was therefore all too frighteningly genuine.