And the photographers, their cameras, and, now that I think about it, the morons who came up with the idea in the first place. That would certainly be one of the most satisfying, and constructive, uses of the flood waters that have deluged the country in the past weeks. Certainly more useful than using a village cut off by floods, while insulting the plight of its residents, for a publicity stunt for a certain well known tabloid newspaper. These seem like pretty low depths to be plummeting to, in order to sell newspapers, but it's hardly a surprise. Though, if you are to believe the paper in question, this was all a well intentioned visit to cheer the residents up.
The small village of Muchelney, on the Somerset Levels, has been isolated from vital supplies, for almost two weeks, since the recent floods surrounded them with water, and cut off all access roads, meaning they are reliant on boats to bring in provisions until the water recedes. So, with all the finesse and style of an ice skating elephant, The Sun took it upon themselves to provide necessities for the villagers, in the form of a busty young woman, in a tight red t-shirt emblazoned with the newspaper's logo, carrying cans of Fosters and some copies of the paper, complete with unwelcome photographers in tow. What more could the residents of a small, rural, affluent village in crisis possibly want?
It is no surprise that the inhabitants, and much of Twitter, were up in arms at the audacity of such an act. As if it was not enough that they were enraged at the lack of protection their village received, courtesy of the Environment Agency, resulting in their current situation, they have had to deal with money driven media types who want to exploit their circumstances in the hopes of making a quick buck. This is just another prime example of a tabloid sensationalising a story, and milking it for all it is worth, purely to further its own means. There is certainly no way that The Sun was partaking in such a stunt in order to highlight the plight of the village, or to rally help for those stranded. If that had been the case, they would have turned up with useful supplies, and a half intelligent journalist to be the people's voice. That'll be the day!
As someone who doesn't read the newspaper in question, I am unaware as to whether the outcry, and backlash, that followed this story becoming known was enough to persuade the paper from printing this charade, or whether they simply blundered on in their usual fashion. I suspect the latter. And while it is inevitable that this particular brand of stupidity will undoubtedly occur again, as it has done countless times before, perhaps it is worth cautioning those marketing types on the dangers of taking advantage of small, close knit communities in times of trouble. You won't win and you'll end up looking stupid.