Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RANTS!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 12/11/04

Not Write

Standards of journalism aren't what they used to be. If they ever were, of course.

Take itv.com's report of the funeral of John Peel, for example.

Here's a quote from the piece:

"It [the order of service] contained a quote from the character Misty in the book Roots:
"The music of our hearts is roots music, music which recalls history, because without the knowledge of your history, you cannot turn in your destiny: the music about the present, because if you are not conscious about the present, you're like a cabbage in this society."

No, no, NO!! In the words of Ford Prefect, "You stupid Ghent!"

This is a quote from the Rasta band Misty In Roots. It is part of the spoken introduction to a song called Mankind, recorded at the Counter-Eurovision Festival in Belgium in 1979. The track was a particular favourite of Peelie's, and he often said that the sentiments contained in the quote came closest to describing the philosophy behind what he did.

Not only had the poor hack who wrote the report never heard of the band, (s)he had obviously never read Alex Haley, although presumably someone must have told him/her about the book, or perhaps even read it to them.

(Half Man Half Biscuit, another of John's favourites, tried once to claim that Haley was adopted, which would have made for an interesting conclusion to the book).

Research? Wot's dat?