I must run out and buy a copy of the Radio Times. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa has an interview in the latest edition containing revelations so explosive that they have been reported in all the broadsheets. I’m sure they all did this spontaneously, and unaided by a PR company.

What’s extraordinary, though, is that each newspaper has used the same set of quotes to construct an entirely different story:

According to the Telegraph, she doesn’t think the X Factor qualifies for conservatoire status, and is concerned for young singers who feel under pressure to diet unhealthily.

That sounds perfectly sensible, but then the folks at the Telegraph missed the real story, spotted by the Guardian: Dame Kiri questions the value of TV talent shows. While promoting the BBC Cardiff Singer of the Year. Yup. You read that right.

Perhaps the pinkos at the Guardian can’t see past their lefty bias, but luckily the Independent* is on the case, adding the subtitle “Why do all female classical musicians have to be thin and sexy?” as if it’s a quote and not a rhetorical question. The piece is somewhat unhelpfully illustrated with a picture of Anna Netrebko looking quite lovely but no less beefy than Dame Kiri.

Opera stars need beef

The Times uses the word “bemoaned,” which is almost, but not quite, enough to get me seriously wondering what other delights are hiding behind their paywall. Luckily, The Australian has syndicated the whole thing, closing with the bizarre revelation that some of the “less fleshy young opera singers” include Renee Fleming (54) and Natalie Dessay (48).

Less fleshy

I can only assume the Daily Mail** couldn’t find any pictures of Dame Kiri in a bikini on her Facebook page, but they still manage to achieve an astonishingly sexist tone. The headline and collection of bullet points (helpfully provided for the benefit of anybody too lazy to read the story) give the general idea:


Yup. She admitted to eating.

I’d say “you couldn’t make it up” but, apparently, you could, and they all did.

Save yourself the trouble of reading any of this crap, and let Google News summarise the situation for you:

not hugely big

* “It is important to us that we get things right”

** Not a broadsheet. Or even, really, a newspaper.



Post a comment
  1. June 12, 2013

    I don’t think BBC Cardiff Singer of the World is a “TV Talent Show”. It’s more like a talent show (or competition) that happens to be broadcast on TV. The viewers don’t get to vote for the winner, in the way that they do for competitions like The X Factor. In shows like that, the whole show is really for the viewers at home.

    • June 12, 2013

      So the kettle is a slightly darker shade of black than the pot?

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