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Filing charges

by Hugh Dudman

Josef Fritzl

Josef Fritzl has fired his PR team

I have to confess that I’m slightly confused about Josef Fritzl’s stationery antics. If you’ve been following the case, you will have noticed that he’s in court, and that the press seem incapable of saying anything about it apart from the fact that he’s been covering his face with a blue ring-binder on his walk to court to avoid being photographed. This is obviously news which deserves an equal footing with the murder, imprisonment and 3,000 counts of incestuous rape of which he’s accused.

What puzzles me the most, though, is why the Fritz wants to hide his face in the first place. The only image the British media seemed to have of him before the court case was this one—see right—and it’s hardly a flattering portrait. If you wanted to style yourself as an aged, deranged pervert, this should be your headshot. Mad, wonky eyes; untamed, asymmetric eyebrows; three-day stubble topped off with a frankly dodgy moustache; just-got-out-of-the-cellar hair; an ambiguous, satisfied half-smirk on the lips; and strange, droopy skin below the chin which looks like it might be a pouch where you could hide a dead baby.

Why cover your face? If you do that, they’re just going to keep re-printing the unkempt paedo photo, rather than one of you smartly turned out for court, and they will, because we all know that the only interest the morbidly voyeuristic public have in this is the human angle, which needs a fizzog attached to it. Mail-reading morons can’t feel self-righteous outrage at a blue ring-binder, even if it is made by a filthy foreign office supplier like Esselte.

Then, on Tuesday, the big news—he forgot momentarily to cover his face during the walk to court. Oh. My. Fucking. God. Stop press. No, really, I mean it, stop. I don’t give a shit about some Austrian weirdo not covering his face with a ring-binder.


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