1/ Today the WM managed to run a front page story (continued inside) on what the rest of the media knows as the Swansea measles epidemic (even making an international disaster alert site!) . . . but the Mule managed to cover the story without mentioning Swansea! Instead, the writer, Julia McWatt, wrote the report in terms of health board areas, which would have meant nothing to most people. Suggesting the story may have been written up from press releases by someone not familiar with the area involved. Though I’ve noticed over the years that the Mule is rather good at not mentioning Swansea, even in stories that obviously concern the city. Either that, or it gives a clunky reference that betrays the source of the story as being outside of Wales, as with the next example.
2/ For also in today’s issue (‘Business in Wales’ section) was a piece about house prices in UK cities – what is it with the Mule and property values? (Click to enlarge.) There was absolutely nothing of Welsh interest in the story, no Welsh references whatsoever, until the final paragraph, which said, Swansea in South Wales came in 11th place on the “most affordable list”, with prices at 4.43 times average local earnings. Though as it wasn’t in quotation marks, I assumed that the last paragraph was written by the claimed author, Siôn Barry. Almost certainly this piece was lifted from some external source, but Siôn Barry is Welsh so why would he think it necessary to tell his readers that Swansea is in “South Wales”!
And while most of us would regard Swansea’s relatively low house prices as a good thing, knowing how the Mule sees these matters – forever eulogising over property prices soaring beyond the dreams of locals in places like Solfa and Abersoch – this piece may have been an attempt to portray Swansea unfavourably. Moving on, and saving the best for last . . .
3/ Yesterday ‘The National Newspaper of Wales’, in a desperate attempt to fill pages, used up nearly two of them trying to identify who might be surprise selections for the British & Irish Lions on their tour of Australia in June. According to Simon Thomas the “ultimate wild-card for selection” could be exciting young Ospreys wing, Eli Walker. We were even given a pic of the boy in full flight, with a would-be tackler sprawling in his wake. (Click to enlarge.)
Unfortunately, this piece turned out to be one of the worst timed articles in journalistic history, for on the very day it was published, young Eli Walker was undergoing scheduled surgery, which means he won’t be playing for anyone for around three months. Now if there’s one thing I thought we could depend on it was the Wasting Mule’s rugby coverage. You know, more spies inside the Welsh game than the KGB used to have at Oxbridge. But if the Wasting Mule no longer has its finger on the pulse of Welsh rugby then what is there left to believe in? Oh! the anomie!
28.03.2013: They just keep coming!: Today’s issue gave us another gem, this time in the Letters pages. A writer warns of the damage done to peat bogs by wind turbines and makes a reference to Mynydd y Gwair, on the northern outskirts of Swansea. (Dealt with here, here and here.) Yet it was reproduced by the Mule as “Mynyddy Gwais”! How the hell can a rag calling itself ‘the National Newspaper of Wales’ allow such an obvious mistake to appear?