Societal FAIL of the week? or more tabloid tales

by Jake Quinn

From Cactus Cate:

“Last night brazen baby machine Theresa Winters, 36, vowed to carry on having children until social workers let her and jobless partner Toney Housden, 36, keep ONE.

Defiant Theresa, who lives on benefits in Luton, Beds, declared: “We’re not giving up. For every child they take away from me, I’m going to have another one.”

Original Sun story here.

Of course, the interesting thing about stories like this one in the Sun is why they’re run in the first place.

Dr Joe Atkinson who lectures in journalism, media and politics at The University of Auckland suggests that more than 90 percent of the content in newspaper tabloids is literally made up.  It is made up to entertain you and to secure the all important sale.  He would argue that this couple do not even exist and he might well be right.

I see a number of interesting subtexts to this particular story.  They are, that it’s a dog-whistling to the latent thoughts many have about the worth of mass sterilisation, the need for providing permits and licences to be able to have children, and the propensity some ‘PC madness’ type folk may have for ‘disabled people hating’ – which could well, ironically, be rife within tabloid readership.

I’m interested though, does this story make you sorry for the “couple” or does it make you angry at them?

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