Sunday, July 10, 2011
Further to my last blog about the misuse and misreporting of naval history, there's something of an awful inevitability about the fact that the very last issue of The News of the World should contain a classic example of the problem. Presenting HMS Liverpool's activities off Libya as the first time the Royal Navy has been in action since the Falklands is unbelievably crass on many levels. It both ignores the many occasions on which the RN has fired in anger or operated in war zones in the last 29 years (anybody remember two Gulf wars, for instance, or the actions of HMS Ocean and Triumph just a few weeks ago?) and sends out the message that the navy doesn't really do a lot, unlike an army which has its actions and casualties making headline news virtually every day - a message which will presumably be swallowed wholesale by large chunks of a red-top readership incapable of believing anything other than what they're told by such completely incompetent journalism. Maybe the NOTW would have done better by employing rather fewer phone-hacking crooks and defence editors who evidently know nothing about defence and hiring some journalists with sufficient brainpower to carry out a rudimentary Google search for what the navy might or might not have been doing for the last 29 years.