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The Friday Speed Read
This week, The Speed Read dives deep into both traditional and social media to recover only the purest pearls of wisdom for your reading pleasure.
I’m sure many of you loyal readers, like many of us, were suffering from the post-Bank Holiday blues. But don’t fret, the Ukraine has given us a news story to kick us back into life…quite literally! This week saw both the supposed murder and resurrection of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko, resulting in the tabloids focusing on James Bond punnery, from “You only live twice” to “Die another day”.
So how did it all unfold? On Tuesday it was reported that the Kremlin critic had been shot dead in Kiev; an act supposedly linked to threats which caused him to leave Russia last year. However, just 24 hours later he appeared alive and well at a press conference to reveal that it was a ploy to catch people who were trying to kill him. The question is, why didn’t Babchenko stay “dead” for another month or two so he could enjoy the World Cup and relish in the gossip of Love Island in peace?
This week’s edition of Trump Watch, which sadly isn’t narrated by David Attenborough, finally saw him meet with Kim, although maybe not the one you’re imagining. Instead of the North Korean leader, @POTUS hosted Kim Kardashian to discuss prison reform, a move akin to Tony Blair being awarded a Nobel Peace Prize…oh wait! Any political discourse that may have occurred has been swept under the rug however, as the tabloids focused on the size of Kardashian’s posterior instead – “Rumpy Trumpy” (Daily Mirror) and “Kim K plays rump card in White House” (The Sun). That sure hit a bum note with us.
Heading back to the UK, it’s not been a good week for the Tories…although it’s been a long time since it has been. This week saw the whistle blown on Tory Islamophobia following a Muslim party member feeling discriminated against after it was inferred he wasn’t British. At The Speed Read we feel his actual political views and the difference he could make to the country are much more important than his nationality, but what do we know. Baroness Warsi yesterday condemned such discrimination and called for Theresa May to publicly acknowledge Islamophobia within the party. Of course, if the PM took the time to acknowledge every gaffe since her reign started, she’d probably need to call a 48-hour press conference.
As this week’s Speed Read is being brought to you by a fully-fledged millennial, we’ve taken a deep dive into the Twittersphere – and what a week it’s been. US sitcom legend Roseanne Barr saw the Tory Islamophobia scandal and decided to one up it, likening Obama’s African American former-aide to an ape. Her excuse? That she’d taken an Ambien sedative pill prior to sharing the offensive message. Unsurprisingly, Ambien didn’t take kindly to being used as a scapegoat for such vulgarity and responded by confirming that “racism is not a known side effect.” Top marks for Ambien’s social team there!
Twitter proved itself as the gift that keeps on giving though as it played host to another high profile spat this week – this time between Thameslink and Poundland. Last week Thameslink released its new timetables with all the success you’d imagine. Delays, cancellations and a complete inability to function. This continued into its second week, with barely half of its trains on the upgraded central London route running to schedule. It’s safe to say customer service left a lot to be desired. First it wiped cancelled trains from departure boards and then a tweet was sent to one disgruntled passenger that caused an absolute storm.
“Appreciate at the moment the service is less Ferrero Rocher and more Poundland cooking chocolate”. That one tweet sealed the fate of Thameslink’s social team, with Poundland rightly being outraged at such a comparison. The retailer followed in Ambien’s footsteps and didn’t let such disparaging remarks lie and shared a strongly worded rebuttal, stating: “You have no right to use our name to describe poor service. We served 8 million shoppers last week and didn’t have to close any store due to leaves on the roof, the wrong kind of rain, or a shortage of managers.” It then left the rail company with one final parting shot – “If we ever fall short, perhaps we’ll describe ourselves as a bit Thameslink.” Bravo!
Now onto the two big events of the summer which will undoubtedly provide heated discussion in our office and yours over the coming months. First up…Love Island. This year’s contestants have been announced and although it’s unclear whether any couple will top last year’s blossoming bromance between Chris and Kem, the tabloid interviews have started. The highlight? Danny Dyer giving his daughter permission to have sex on TV while appearing on the show. How very 21st century of him.
Last but by no means least. We’re now less than two weeks until the FIFA World Cup and the press is already lunging in with studs showing. First Raheem Sterling felt the ire of the papers after being photographed with a leg tattoo depicting a gun in commemoration of his father who was a victim of gun violence during the England star’s childhood. Then the Daily Express exclaimed England will make it to the final due to the turf being manufactured in Cumbria. Today our minds have been blown following DNA test results that would make The Jeremy Kyle Show proud: England’s 1966 World Cup final hero has revealed he’s actually German. At least it spawned the headline of the week in the Daily Star – “Geoff Wurst”.
To close, The Speed Read wants to leave you with a song we hope played while Arkady Babchenko made his entrance at the Ukrainian press conference earlier this week…
The Speed Read, over and out.