Page last updated at 16:10 GMT, Friday, 12 February 2010

Emily Maitlis' Virtually There: Ad nauseam

Emily Maitlis

Each week Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis gives her slant on the interesting and amusing stories that have been circulating on the web.

Would you like to share a web story with us?


Has the FA lost its balls?

This week Newsnight was the first to show a short video of a man throwing around a lot of nasty gay insults. It was not, I might add, made by us. It was produced by the Football Association (FA) to raise the issue of homophobia on the football terraces. Except - bizarrely - the FA pulled the video at the last minute.

Watch our report on the withheld FA film

Why? Well they weren't clear, but it could be because too many people hate it. How on earth - some argued - does it fail to promote any positive message.

And why isn't there a single Premier League face endorsing it, when so many of these guys can't get dressed most days without sponsoring something?

Apparently, said the Indie, some players were approached and they refused. Then they are not fit to be role models argues the gay NBA basketball player, John Amaeichi. (Funny, the chant is becoming so familiar. I do wonder if anyone ever really wants to be a role model).

So is it the job of the straight to pave the way for the gay? Arguably, that crosses a line between pastoral care and privacy. But maybe the world of football badly needs that to - forgive this - kick start a process that simply has not happened.

Superbowl - the director's cut

Of course, the FA merely went to an ad agency for their campaign. What if the Superbowl were directed by the legendary filmmakers of our time? Tarantino, Lynch, Jean Luc Goddard and the rest. It is very funny.

But you don't have to be a film director or the FA to devise your own ad campaign, as the popularity of mydavidcameron.com has shown.

Was this what he meant by coming down hard on fat cats?

mydavidcameron.com

So, Mrs Palin, what do you like to read?

Oh. Your hand.

Let me take you back to the summer of 2008 when Sarah Palin and her 65 children first splashed onto the scene. The media blitz, you might remember, climaxed in a question by CBS's Katie Couric who floored the vice-presidential candidate simply by asking her what she read.

Well this week, the answer became clear - her hand.

Sarah Palin was addressing a Conservative convention in Tennessee when she lost her train of thought, and glanced down at her left palm - apparently for crib notes.

White House Robert Gibbs responds in kind to Palin's crib note episode

Her host - opposite - had his own notes clearly visible, so why did she have to opt for the flesh version? Conspiracy theorists will say it's part of her perfected "folksy" image. But I'm not convinced.

I was in the room for her maiden speech at the Republican convention in Minneapolis. Her autocue, just visible from the wings, had the word "new-clear" spelled out upon it.

You guessed it - she was talking about atomic energy.

Peaceniks worried about her becoming a White House hawk in 2012 should rest assured - she may not be able to read The Button.

The economics of dating

What happens if the number of men on a university campus fractionally goes down and the number of women goes up? The calibre of the dates - argues the New York Post - gets distorted.

Why? It is all to do with the marriage supermarket. It is the economics of why men can behave more badly if there are fewer of them.

Obvious, really, but brilliantly explained.

google search engine

But if you really want to get into the whole Mars Venus thing - perhaps you should do the Google search Virtually There reader Phil sent me last week.

Type in "How can I get my husband to...", then do a search for "How can I get my wife to..." And see what predictive searches appear.

It won't enormously surprise you to hear that the first came up with questions involving love and communication and the second came up with phrases involving swinging and troilism. Broadly.

Not fair - suggests one blog comment. Google caters to those thick enough to want their sentences finished for them and then we wonder why the sexes act so stereotypically upon it. I quite like that.

I have to say, I have often been irked by that rather odious smirk of a comment: "Did you mean (patronising italics) science museum", when I've just misspelled something rather elementary...

To which the answer, out of sheer bolshy pride has to be: "No, I really did mean to write 'siecence'. Now give me the darn search."

Emily


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