A couple of days ago,here in Yu-Kay (northwestern maritme province of the EUssr)the Daily Mail carried a report from the US media to the effect that persons from the Amish religious community in rural Kentucky had,according to the DM’s paragraph heading,been jailed for failing to display mandatory orange triangular warning signs at the back of their horse-drawn buggies. A couple of sentences into the factual substance of their report established that,they had been sentenced to a brief period of incarceration for having been found guilty of Contempt of Court.Having admitted to failing to display the orange hazard triangles,they were fined.The Amish men then refused to pay the fine imposed upon them by the Court,therefore,as stated in the substance of the report,they were then found guilty of contempt and jailed.But,that was not what the DM’s sub-editor had construed by headlining their jailing as being for failing to display hazard stickers. The actual facts of this otherwise quotidian and unremarkable case,would have required a different and infinitely better thought-out and competently composed paragraph heading.Which the aggregated,professional journalistic and editorial competences at the DM wholly failed to deliver. it reminded me of the eponymous Michael Moore,scourge of the Corporations,some years ago on a BBC2 program,asserted that the UK was the only country in the world where you can be imprisoned for not having a valid TV licence…Wrong.No-one goes to prison for lack of a TV licence,they go because having been fined by the Courts for not having one,said TV owner doesn’t pay the requisite fine and is thus guilty of contempt;etcetera.”Words” as the Queen of Hearts observed,mean exactly what she wants them to mean,and so does the Media,lock,stock and barrel.


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