Tuesday 13 September 2011 by Waylandsmithy

Equalities Commission: ‘Coverage of Somali pirates needs more focus on sea shanties’

Somali pirates

The Equalities Commission has launched a withering attack on the media, claiming their portrayal of Somali pirates is ‘outdated and biased’.

“People on the fringes of society are very vulnerable”, said Hillary Jones, a media advisor with the commission. “It’s all too easy for the papers to vilify them, using the flimsiest of violent kidnappings as an excuse.”

The commission believes the trend started with the gentle traveller community. “In reality, these complex and emotional people travel the countryside in beautiful, hand-painted wagons, towed by a lovely old horsey called Tess.”

“Their only income is from sharpening knives and selling pegs. But if you read the papers, you might think they’re a bunch of interbred thugs in gaudy caravans, who steal anything that is or isn’t nailed down.”

Pirate stereotypes could be better

The Commission is concerned that the press is lining up Somali pirates for their next broadside. “They can’t defend themselves. Some of these ‘sea travellers’ are just heavily armed children.”

“We’re urging editors to focus less on the murderous attacks on civilians, and spend more time promoting their delightful sea shanties and mischievous tales of buried treasure.”

Jones is keen to show the pirates as positive role models. “Johnny Depp has really helped expose the more cuddly side of piracy, but there’s still work to be done.”

“We’ve chartered a yacht to hand out eye patches and tame parrots to these people, and we’re going to show them how to grow coloured beards. That should help promote a more positive image.”

Jones is delighted with how the outreach programme is progressing. “They’re absolutely thrilled with the items we’ve sent them, although there’s a little misunderstanding about ownership of the yacht. And the crew. Does anyone know if I can send them £7 million from petty cash? I’m quite keen to stop them posting any more fingers.”

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