Waiting in an office for a meeting on Thursday, I noticed copies of The Daily Mail and The Times.
Having been in London the previous day, and having managed to avoid the protest marches, I was interested in how they’d turned out. Unsurprisingly, the focus was very much on the disruption and violence accompanying the marches, and the following photo and caption was on the front page of the Mail:
Interestingly, inside the Times, there was a similar picture, probably taken just a few seconds before or after. In fact, I might even guess that they were taken by the same photographer. In the Times picture, however, there are a couple of subtle differences. The protestor is backing off, and holding his arm up for protection. The second policemen from the left has his riot stick raised. And, well I never, it looks like the protestor is wearing a jacket, that’s been removed by the time the picture above is taken. Incidentally, I also read in the article that there was a lot of red paint being thrown about, which made everything much more dramatic.
Now, far be it from me to suggest compromise in the fourth estate, let alone go off on an anti Daily Mail rant. But I can’t help feeling that we’ve been a bit set up here.
And if we’re being set up on something as important as the right to protest against financial meltdown and climate change, that doesn’t feel terribly good. By the by, this also feeds into my blog which I really must write down, on Why Telling People What They Already Believe Is Bad. But that’s for another time.