(Above: the last refuge of scoundrels?)
Peace, perhaps a peace beyond understanding, has come to the Sunday tabloids this weekend.
The slurring snail has a child on the tree killer front page, the Sunday Terror has a child with weight problems, and the Solar Feral features a boy wonder.
It was as if a fever had passed, and it's impossible not to suspect it had something to do with the news that the 800 cops or so deployed in a fine flurry of hysteria had produced ... a toy sword ...
It was one of the most frightening, powerful images to emerge from counter-terrorism raids across Sydney last month.
As one man was charged with conspiring to behead a random person in Sydney's CBD, police removed a sword in an evidence bag from a Marsfield home.
But the owner of the menacing item has revealed that it is actually a plastic decoration common in almost every Shiite Muslim household. (Sword removed in counter-terrorism raids a common plastic decoration, owner reveals)
And so on. No need to replicate the rest of Rachel Olding's story.
Was there any sheepishness arising?
In the wake of the raids, it was widely reported that AFP officers had confiscated a sword for forensic testing, with some stories picturing the ceremonial sword sealed inside a federal police evidence bag. In the context of an alleged plot to "behead" a random victim, ordered by one of the most senior Australians serving with Islamic State forces, Mohammad Ali Baryalei, the sword appeared to be a weapon.
The Daily Mail Australia linked it directly to the beheading plot under the headline: "Was this the lethal sword terror cell planned to use to behead an innocent victim on a Sydney street?"
The Daily Telegraph set the beheading plot claim beside the discovery of the sword.
Many articles by Fairfax Media described the sword as large and curved with a gold handle and engraved with Arabic writing. Police did not explain to the media at the time that the sword was plastic.
In the article "Sword taken from duplex", News Corp's Courier-Mail directly linked the object with the threat of beheadings:
"More than 1m long, the sword was carried from the home in a federal police evidence bag (right). Police believe its owner was one of at least 15 men plotting to kidnap an Australian from the streets and decapitate them."
What's interesting is that Olding doesn't provide a link to the Currish Wail's story, and yet if you google the text (or a part of the text) the only references that turn up are to Olding's story, and various Fairfax outlets that picked it up, like Farm Weekly.
Did Olding get the quote wrong?
Did the Currish Fail quietly and surreptitiously delete the story, and remove it from the record?
What's going on with the mainstream media?
Eventually there was some sort of kick back, as in Birmingham's Call that a sword? This is a joke.
But here's the kicker in that piece:
...absolutely nobody anywhere was giving as much prominence to the truth of the plastic sword as they had to its original, scarier manifestation ...
Uh huh. To the point where now an interested observer can't even locate on the full to overflowing intertubes one of those original scarier manifestations ...
The Snail has been much in the wars of late, its behaviour ranging from the despicable to the pathetic:
As noted by Crikey, here, the epic Fail came out with a mealy mouthed, half-baked, half-arsed apology for its despicable behaviour in the matter of a front page, previously recorded by the pond:
What reprobates, what hypocrites, what reptiles ...
Now the pond's not going to recycle that wretched, ill-considered front page again, but in the past few weeks, the plods and the tabloid media have done themselves no favours, and curiously also done Tony Abbott no favours as he pretends he's not about fear mongering and Islamophobia and red cards and red flags and it's fear, fear, fear for Australia ...
After the binge comes the hangover, and what a binge it was ...
Now the pond has no doubt that there are fundamentalist Islamics who would like to make a point about Australia's current intervention in foreign lands, but the ostentatious display of police power, for - to date - very little reward, is only likely to increase the contempt in which the plods, the media, the Abbott government, and the rabid right wing ratbags urging them on are held ...
We've all been through the various stages of a project, and we seem to have zoomed through enthusiasm to panic and search for the guilty, only to reach shock and horror.
What do you know, here's what's top of the digital page today:
Faux indignation, shock and horror from rags who only recently went feral about a toy sword ...
Time to catch up on a couple of Moirs, and more Moir here, with his latest effort rewarding the click.