21 Aug: Cat Bin Lady, Internet Villain

CCTV footage captured middle-aged bank worker Mary Bale dropping friendly tabby cat Lola into a Coventry wheelie bin on 21st August, 2010. The video went viral, and Bale was disgraced on the front page of The Sun. 

Despite her initially nonchalant response, Bale faced the full force of internet mob mentality, not to mention a court trial for animal cruelty. One tantalising, unanswered question remained: WHY DID SHE PUT THE CAT IN THE BIN?

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly consider whether Bale’s behaviour was actually quietly condoned by millions of her contemporaries; uncover the classist dog whistles in the reporting of the event; and explain how ‘Cat Bin Lady’ became a rapid international sensation…

Further Reading:

• ‘Is Mary Bale the most evil woman in Britain?’ (The Independent, 2010): https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/is-mary-bale-the-most-evil-woman-in-britain-2064733.html

• ‘The trial of Mary Bale’ (Financial Times, 2011): https://www.ft.com/content/36396618-54ef-11e0-96f3-00144feab49a

• ‘Woman throws cat in wheelie bin’ (Daryl Mann, YouTube):

#Internet #Strange #2010s #UK #Animals