Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A letter to Norman Kember

Dear Mr Kember,

We hope this letter finds you in good health, although realistically we doubt it.

Don’t know if you’re aware, but you’ve been in captivity at the hands of an Iraq based insurgency group ‘The Swords of Truth’ for more than six weeks now.

I would imagine that if you are still alive that it feels like a lifetime to you. (Mind you saying that, at 74 perhaps not – and also well done on being 74 btw).

I also hope that the others you are with Canadians James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32, and US citizen Tom Fox, 54, are also well, although again, it seems unlikely.

Sadly, I have to use this letter to report some bad news.

Your story of abduction at the hands of extremists (who took you captive after you travelled to Iraq to ‘shine the light’ on torture, hostage-taking and abuse of detainees in an ongoing effort to expose the shadowy scourge of war and end the U.S. occupation of Iraq) has pretty much fallen off our reporting radar.

Yes, the light did shine brightly for a bit, but most of that was on the hostage taking, and seeing as how it was you taken hostage it was a bit of an own-goal.

We are quite sorry.

We did keep you at the top of our headlines for almost 5 days when you were first snatched.

That’s not to say that we don’t think “Well done, Norm” for getting that World Wide coalition of multi-faith leaders to campaign diligently alongside your friends and family on your behalf to have you released. Thus highlighting your belief that it is indeed possible to get those with opposing views and faiths to work together.

That did take you back to the top of our News items for an extra day or two.

But then Elton John got married to a fella and then Chrimbo came up and we needed to give day by day reports on how everyone was spending every single penny they have, giving it all to our lovely retailers ensuring they were making enough profit so they could avoid laying off thousands of their low paid workers to make sure they could still afford a big ol'shareholder payout at the end of the financial year.

That and the fact that we kinda ran out of angles and updates on your story.

The fact is how many times in a week can you use sound bytes from your friends, family and religious bods, all saying that you are/were ‘a decent man’ and a ‘man of conscience’ blah blah blah…?
Not many we can tell you. And it’s especially not appropriate to hear that kind of thing at Christmas.

Don’t get us wrong, the video put together by The Swords of Truth was great publicity, but your guys there really need to be putting those out weekly at the very least for us to continue with your story.

Let’s face it, one or two really isn’t enough, especially with such a weak and unoriginal narrative. “Meet our unrealistic demands or our Prisoners die for our noble cause”. etc etc... boring.

Most damaging of all to your story was the recent abduction in Gaza of a nice middleclass family, the Burtons from Newbury.

And although they were released unharmed after a couple of days we almost had a far nastier and much more copy selling story on our hands, the death of a photogenic young middleclass woman (and her folks).

We of course had to prepare for such an eventuality. Many fingers were crossed that if the unspeakable happened and 24 year old ‘human rights worker’ Kate Burton was executed by her captors, it would at least be video tapped and sent to Al Jazeera or similar foreign sounding so-it-must-be-dodgy news network, despite the BBC actually being far more biased and prone to liberal self-censorship.

There is a slight ray of good news following this though Norman.

This committed young woman, whom will likely stay in the Gaza strip until she meets an equally earnest and compassionate young, good looking, and above all, educated middle class man, to whom she will marry and move with to the home counties where they will get ‘proper’ jobs, probably in the so-called liberal media, and have a couple of lovely children called Jamima and Toby, all the while dining off their ‘experiences’ in the Middle East until they die happy and fulfilled...well, she has got you a tiny bit of coverage in the press again – unfortunately only under the by-line ‘Whatever happened to….?’

Still, better than nothing eh?

Anyway Norman, got to wrap this up, the Government have just come up with another silly idea about tagging non-law breaking but slow to cough up absent parents. And then tomorrow we can get on with the big news of month - Celebrity Big Brother. Tsk, those naughty and distracting celebrities…

Take care,

The British News Media.

P.S. If you do get a video sorted out, maybe lose the orange jump suit yeah? It’s a tad passé now mate.


frobisher said...

Do you think Barrymore will do it? And is it Pete Burns or Boy George who will be appearing? I think we should be told beforehand, etc. etc. etc.

Aginoth said...

Remeber the daily reports on teh news in the 80's on teh beirut hostage, Terry Waite et al...

surely a few seconds could be spared on the news to keep the thoughts of all focused on teh plight of these poor folk today.

Ship Creak said...

How did you get your hands on this? Was it leaked by an unnamed official, or do you have a contact?

I actually don't mind BB, it's a good time to start blogging while my better half is sat watching it.

Sniffy said...

Do you think the Swords of Truth are the ones who kidnapped Toga the penguin too?

Andi said...

This is one funny fucking letter......

Sorry. It deserved swearing......