In a strange sequel to the Saga of Drown, who is still at large, the new owner of Channel Sniff has sacked several of their pretty young things for incompetence.
“Their frequent use of ‘indescribable’, ‘unimaginable”, ‘beyond belief’ and similar words and phrases, as well as the frequent use of the related syntagem “I can’t begin to tell you/describe what’s happening here” are public confessions of professional incompetence and therefore we have sacked them. “
At the press conference, the new owner outlined her guidelines for reporting. There would be no editorializing. Facts would be checked. Only eye witnesses who had seen something relevant would be included. Reports about murder, rape and other violent crime would no longer pander to the prurient interest of the public but would spare the feeling of victims, survivors and their relatives. The use of adjectives and adverbs, clichés, euphemisms and stock epithets would be avoided. When a senior Sniff editor asked “at all costs” he too was immediately fired for his inability to understand English.
An insider at Sniff said she was concerned, deeply concerned, for her future, which she said is now under a cloud. a dark cloud When asked if she thought she might be sacked for her trademark use of “horrific” to describe everything from a hair style to acts of genocide she said, off the record: “No, Who’s going to watch a news that is factual? The station will go broke in weeks.”
The owners of the Journalism cliché generator (who continue to deny the existence of the service) are not concerned. “Look, if sniff, in their wisdom, decide to ditch us and from this moment on, go straight, the bottom line, in this day and age, in the here and now, is something along the lines of who in their right mind is going to understand what’s terrible and what’s not if reporters don’t spell it out for them in black and white. Do you honestly think your average Joe Soap can tell if the death of a young person is sad or not? And of course punters want the gory details. Believe you me, my lad, Sniff will be out of business in a matter of months, quick as a flash, no time at all. Believe me mate, the bottom line is that there’s no escaping the cliché generator. Just listen to the pollies..where would they be without us to do their thinking for them?”
And then I woke up and it was St. Patrick's day and we were being arrested for playing The Concerto at an indecent speed....