Perhaps it’s no more than one should expect from a magazine that boasts a feature called “I wish I’d never…The most embarrassing reader letters EVER!”
Helen Roberts, Real Life Editor [now there’s a job title] at More! magazine, seems to think Edward Behr’s classic take on journalism “Anyone Here Been Raped And Speaks English?” was a manual, not an expose.“Hi, I need more stories off you please!” she wrote recently to photo agencies. “Desperately in need of a REALLY STRONG picture-led piece or a story of a girl who was raped while she was on holiday — either traveling or a fortnight away in Ibiza.” Helen, who signs herself Hx [except when mailing close friends, when it’s Hxxx], continued breathlessly: “we’ll pay well and as usual the girl will look fab in one of our great photo shoots.”
Sadly no agent could oblige, but one helpfully forwarded Hx’s request to the Press Gazette: after all, the more people you ask the better. Apparently nobody on the Press Gazette has been raped in Ibiza recently, or at least doesn’t wish to talk about it, but they in turn had the wheeze of republishing Hx’s plea in their weekly Axegrinder column. After all dammit, somebody must have been raped on Ibiza and want to share: the more that read the mail the better Hx’s chances of success.
Now most people would simply let it go. That’s how it is in hackland: leak happens. But not Hx [how do you pronounce that anyway?] She didn’t get to edit real life by just letting it roll over her – she wanted more! So Hx, presumably a visitor to real life as practiced in British journalism, wrote to Axegrinder demanding to know the source of her embarrassment.
That’s right. She wrote asking them to snitch to her on the snitch that snitched on her to them.
Not, you understand, so she could pay the agency a visit with a twelve gauge or arrange a free package tour to Ibiza for the culprit, accompanied by three large men named Bubba. No, it was just that she “sends emails like that quite often” [yes, really!] and wanted to make sure she didn’t offend anyone in the future.
But – gosh darn it, wouldn’t you know – whoever took the original Axegrinder story wasn’t around. And their deputy seemed to be on holiday. And the secretary’s dog died and she’s at the funeral, the database just crashed and nobody knows who the source was. How to help Hx? Wait, that’s it – publish Hx’s latest mail as an appeal and the miscreant will just step forward.
Leaving Hx standing in the spotlight at Press Gazette two weeks running, not entirely covered in glory and worst of all…STILL nobody seems to have been raped. I mean, Ibiza in July – how hard can it be? Isn’t real life cruel?
More! – the magazine with the most embarrassing editors’ letters EVER!