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Tuesday, July 31, 2007 

Scum-watch: Wade found floating off St. Ives.

Has such tedious, idiotic, hyperbolic nonsense ever occupied a newspaper's front page for three days straight? No, I'm not talking about the Star's Big Brother obsession, or the Express' various fixations on Diana and Madeleine, although both could equally apply, but the Scum's continuing insistence that there really is a great white shark currently swimming off the coast of St. Ives. Oh, and it's female, and most likely has a mate nearby.

That's the latest stone tablet to be delivered by today's Scum, quoting this time
"Leading Aussie shark watcher Dave “Sharkman” Baxter":

“That’s definitely a Great White — probably an adult female about 12ft long. Her mate will be close by.”

Incidentally, this leading Aussie shark watcher is so famous that searching for him on Google only brings up the various news articles currently quoting him and his expert insight, oh and one forum post.

Quite why the Scum is continuing with this charade is difficult to fathom. Their original source for it possibly being a great white has decided that it isn't, as noted yesterday, and now David Sims, who leads the only scientific study of large sharks in the UK (and does appear on Google) has ridiculed the coverage by saying that the first film shows either dolphins or porpoises, while the second is a basking shark, as others from the start pointed out it was most likely to be.

God, writing this I feel like a vicious, humourless little pedant, so that must mean that I'm about the same as usual. Does the fact that it's not a serious news story though make any difference when the newspaper is quite possibly purposefully misleading the nation?

The paper is though asking for suggestions for what the shark should be called. How could it be known by any other moniker than "Rebekah"? It's phony, pretending to be something it isn't, and tends to lash out after spending all day drinking.

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