This is why journalists can’t have nice things

14 Jul

I’d quite like to be a journalist. Sometimes I might knock some words out in a journalistic style, and whilst sometimes it’s good, most of the time it’s like trying to read words made of white bread dipped in cold rice pudding. Hopefully that gives you an idea of what I mean.

Still, it’s comforting to know that whatever I write, even if it was a 4,000 page epic detailing how Robert Mugabe is right, it will never, ever be as bad as this NME review of Seasick Steve.

Seasick Steve, not looking particularly seasick .

To be fair it’s a few months old, but the point is: I’ve never listened to Seasick Steve for more than a song or two, several years ago. I don’t know how good or bad he is. But that review is premeditated visual rape without lube. A mere twelve words actually describe the music rather than bashing it’s crusty creator, and four of those aren’t until the last line. If bad journalism was a crime, James McMahon would be getting waterboarded. Among his charges include the phrase “Fact is…” (but it’s a review! No James, stop!) and something which bothers me even outside the realm of literature: totally making up what you think is the opinion of the majority.

“Waaaah, everyone thinks I only liked the Dark Knight because Heath Ledger died!”
“Waaaah, I’m the only person who isn’t offended by Jonathan Ross!”
“Waaaah, why does no-one offer anything other than unswerving praise (ie: lies) about Seasick Steve?”

Like I said, I haven’t heard much of Seasick Steve but I remember his voice was a bit grating. Oh balls, that wasn’t unswerving praise!

There are times when I see a particularly whingey minority throwing accusations of unethical journalism like yellow snowballs at the unfortunate bloke who, say, gives a good review of a game in a magazine or website where said game is advertised, and I don’t want to work in that industry anymore. That feeling subsides when I see genuinely awful pieces like this, and I immediately think: even if I never get past ‘mediocre’, if I get an entertainment journalism job, it’ll be one less for the McMahon-alikes.

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