Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Darkness at 3AM: It is always 3AM now

The desperate attempt by the Daily Mirror to spin the 3AM column into Britain's answer to TMZ has had its on switch flicked. Understandably, they've only soft-launched; there was no big fuss. It's not like this is the launch of a new computermybob for comparethemeerkat or anything.

So, what's it like? It's written by someone who speaks Imperial Period Smash Hits, but only as a second language:

Like duh, you need to log in.

It has all the veracity of those black-and-white movies from the late 60s where elderly scriptwriters tried to write in youth argot. Like having a section called "chinny reck-on", you can see what they're trying to do but in a bid to give the site a personality, they've fallen short. Instead they've given the site a comedy jumper and a repertoire of silly voices.

But what of the content?

A headline boldly announces this picture of Posh demands to be analysed to death. It's a picture of Posh with a hat, carrying a teddy bear and walking one of her kids through an airport.

The 3AM team then, indeed, does analyse the picture, working through seven possibilities, of which this is the least weak:
5. That's not a teddy bear, that's David. She bought a book of love spells and turned him into a toy so that he can never leave her.

To be fair, they do come up with this possibility:
3. She's just a mum, like any other mum, going about her mumsy business, and we should give the poor woman a break and stop tearing apart her every movement.

But they never got to point eight, which I'm betting would surely have been "as a newspaper site and thus working under the rules of the Press Complaint Commissions, this picture appears to feature a child simply because his parents are famous, and as such shouldn't have been published, so perhaps Victoria is trying to avoid drawing attention to herself in order to save ourselves from once again showing certain parts of the UK newspaper industry can't be trusted with the concept of self-regulation."

Elsewhere, there's this cheerful opening to a story:
Since we know that Peter Andre is a fan of our site, we think it's only fair that we write stories that will make him chuckle. The latest bad PR for his dear lady ex-wife is that she's been accused of threatening to run over a young fan with her ridiculous pink horse box.

Ah, yes, what could possibly be more chucklesome than the mother of your children being accused of threatening to run people over? Let's hope the 3AM team start writing a sitcom soon.

One last jarring note: the stories don't have links to "read the full story". It says "Care? Read on."


WE ARE said...

Heaven forbid I would ever defend the 3am 'girls', but most of the celebrity gossip magazines have been using a similar argot for some time now. This is just a natural, albeit unfortunate progression. The very readership they're trying to steer toward an online read would be more than used to such tripe by now. Yeah?

simon h b said...

Fair point, We Are. Though this is supposed to be an extension of the 3AM Brand and, however poor the newspaper column is, it's not written quite like that. If Trinity Mirror just wanted to do a new sub-Heat website, why would they do it under the 3AM banner?

(This might be a bit rhetorical.)

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