Monthly Archives: October 2009

What is worse than the tabloid press?

The fuckwits that repeat their lies. Yesterday’s short post on the ‘parents banned from playing with children’ story in the Daily Mail tried to point out that the story was absolute bollocks and the council had tried to make this as clear as possible in a clear statement. However, the factual accuracy of a story doesn’t matter as long as you have a collection of idiotic bloggers who will pick up the story and run without without the slightest hint of research being carried out: step forward Iain Dale to repeat the above story.

You can always rely on Iain Dale to spout utter bollocks – especially if it allows him a dig at a political party that isn’t his beloved Tory party. Today he posted the following blogpost: ‘How Very Illiberal of a LibDem Mayor‘ after conducting the thorough research of… reading the Metro. If you think the Daily Mail is a shoddy newspaper, imagine if the same group that prints the Daily Mail released a free newspaper, well that is exactly what the Metro is.

However, that trusted source is clearly good enough for Iain Dale to have a jab at the Liberal Democrats for such a ‘PC gone mad’ decision (he even writes like a Mail hack), even though if he had bothered to do even the slightest Google search he would know that the story is just another Daily Mail fabrication. Iain Dale isn’t supposed to be just another blogger, he is supposed to be one of the top political bloggers in the country, yet he is happy to practice churnalism to have a cheap dig at another political party.

And you wonder why political apathy is so prevelent in recent times.

Iain Dale has updated his post twice this afternoon and on both occasions he has ignored those commenters on his blog pointing out that the story is utter cack, he instead spends both updates making more digs at the Liberal Democrats.

Contrary to Media Reports…

Hat tip to the Mailwatch forum for the truth about this story in the Daily Mail: ‘Parents banned from watching their children in playgrounds… in case they are paedophiles‘. The article states that:

Parents are being banned from playing with their children in council recreation areas because they have not been vetted by police.

Mothers and fathers are being forced to watch their children from outside perimeter fences because of fears they could be paedophiles.

Watford Council was branded a ‘disgrace’ yesterday after excluding parents from two fenced-off adventure playgrounds unless they first undergo criminal record checks.

Watford council have issued the following statement to correct the media reports that are completely misleading:

Contrary to reports in the media, Watford Borough Council has not banned parents from public parks and playgrounds in the town!

We have simply reiterated that the fully supervised play sessions we run at our adventure playgrounds – Harebreaks and Harwoods – are for children aged 5 -15 years old, and that parents/carers of children and young people who visit these play sessions are not able to stay on site with their children during play sessions. This reduces any potential risks to children and ensures they are able to play freely.

The adventure playground play sessions are fully supervised and we employ CRB checked staff to run the facilities in the best way they see fit.

This is no different to other fully supervised facilities, like schools, playgroups or nurseries – where adults are not allowed to stay.

Parents and carers are, of course, welcome to bring their children safely into the sites and settle them in, but only aged children aged 5 – 15 year olds are permitted to stay for the sessions .

We are aware that there may be circumstances where there is a need for a parent/carer to stay on site, if this is the case please feel free to contact us to discuss so we can consider your needs before making a final decision.

If parents aren’t happy leaving their children – there are lots of other options open to them. In the town, there are 4 community centres, 5 children’s centres, over 40 areas of park and playgrounds, as well as a museum, two libraries… These are also free to attend and open to everyone.

Which kind of makes the Daily Mail look like a bunch of lying twats, and makes the 381 commenters on the story look particularly gullible and stupid. Still, any excuse to shout ‘PC gone mad’ etc.

The Make-Believe World of Tabloid Journalism

Another day, another story twisted out of all recognition by a tabloid press dissatisfied with merely reporting facts. Today’s story is covered by the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror; the Daily Mail goes with: ‘Pub regular banned from drinking Stella died after downing six pints of water in protest‘; whilst the Daily Mirror decides on: ‘Boozer banned from drinking Stella downs six pints of water and dies‘. From those two headlines you’d imagine that a person has directly protested a drinking ban by consuming 6 pints of water consecutively – after all, that is what we understand the word ‘downing’ means.

However, brace yourself not to be shocked, the truth is something entirely different. The BBC and Teletext confirm the important detail that the water was consumed over a 3 hour period – not ‘downed’ as stated by the Tabloids – and they do not mention it being in any sort of protest. The implication that it was ‘downing’ 6 pints of water in protest that killed Tony Holtam is also shown by the local press to be only a contributory factor in his death:

An inquest in Aberdare today heard he suffered from cirrhosis and hyponatraemia – or low blood sodium levels – as a result of years of heavy drinking.

Pathologist Alun Rees said it was “highly likely” this – combined with excess water consumption – had caused Mr Holtam’s death, although he admitted he could not prove his theory.

The article contains detailed comments from the Landlady who states that she refused to serve him strong lager because of his behaviour after consuming large amounts of it, he was not banned from drinking lager, merely the stronger lagers – like Stella. The Landlady makes no mention of any sort of protest. Furthermore it is claimed by the Daily Mail that he was able to ‘down’ 5 pints of strong lager an hour, which puts the 6 pints of water over 3 hours slightly into perspective – he certainly didn’t need to ‘down’ the water to get through it in that time.

I am unable to find any other news report apart from those in the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror that supports the idea that he was drinking water ‘in protest’ at the strong lager ban. Furthermore, I cannot see any other newspapers making reference to Tony Holtam ‘downing’ any of the pints of water that he consumed over the 6 hour period. It almost seems that the tabloid press has invented those two things just to make the story a bit more newsworthy or palatable for readers.

Daily Mail show you the meaning of ‘bare-faced hypocrisy’

I often ask myself why I bother writing this blog. Every now and again the futility of it all strikes me and I just can’t think of any reason to keep plugging away at the Daily Mail for the horrific and dishonest worldview that it feeds its readers. Today for example Suzanne Moore has written a really intelligent, coherent and well-argued piece on the BNP and Jan Moir and her only reward is to be told by Mail readers that she is writing ‘liberal clap-trap’. How is anyone supposed to get through to some Daily Mail readers when the very thought of not judging your fellow human beings by their race or sexuality is dismissed as ‘liberal clap-trap’ and worse?

The Daily Mail has been a constant attacker of the BBC in recent years and Paul Dacre views the BBC in almost exactly the same way as Nick Griffin – as some kind of ultra-left propaganda machine destroying the truth and over-running the main-stream media with its many tentacles of social media. If you wanted to compare Paul Dacre and Nick Griffin you’d actually find a lot of common ground: the rabid hatred of the BBC based on their own right-wing worldview (when you’re as right-wing as Dacre and Griffin of course the relatively neutral BBC are going to seem ‘ultra-leftist’); the profession of traditional family and cultural values by both is also mirrored by how both entirely fail to uphold such values – Dacre for his paper’s homophobia, misogyny and overtly sexual content (in a ‘family values’ newspaper) and Griffin for his Nazi ideals which are the completely at odds with the ‘throwback to 1950s Britain’ that he wants and not to mention both of their concerted campaigns of hate and lies against immigrants.

In light of Dacre’s hatred of the BBC the BBC was never going to be able to avoid criticism over the Griffin Question Time appearance whatever action it took. If the BBC had not let Griffin appear then the Daily Mail would accuse the BBC of being inherently left-wing and making a political choice to exclude the far-right. The Daily Mail would then no doubt have played the angle that the BBC was unwilling to tackle the issue of immigration because it isn’t politically neutral. In the end the BBC let Griffin appear and make a fool of himself. Many people have concluded that Griffin was set-up by a biased audience, but I fail to see the validity of this argument. Yes, Griffin picked up 1 million votes, but there are around 45 million people of voting age in the UK meaning that the BNP has roughly the support of only 1 in 45 people. Throughout the program I clearly heard spatterings of applause for Griffin when he was given the opportunity to say something, and this applause was about right considering his share of the national vote.

One of the most important reassurances to come from Question Time was just how liberal and progressive we are as a society; the BNP really are a minority and they really do not represent what it means to be British. Likewise, the Daily Mail must be acutely aware that they are also out of line with the majority of British opinion. The BBC is not ultra-left or politically biased, it is simply a media broadcaster funded by a public that is overwhelmingly tolerant, respectful and decent. As the Enemies of Reason points out the tabloid press are being extremely hypocritical in daring to criticise the BNP when their rhetoric are so similar. The Daily Mail can sling mud towards migrants (and the BBC’s supposed viewpoint on the topic of immigration) all it likes for causing the rise of the BNP, but Dacre is intelligent enough to realise that the Daily Mail’s skewering the population figures and facts about migration and immigration and constant publication of the very lies that the BNP link to on their website and use as justification for their views will eventually be clearly exposed to its readership.

The Daily Mail’s attacks on the BNP and the BBC have been utterly outrageous considering the position it has taken over the years on the very issues it is commenting on. The Daily Mail is a racist and homophobic newspaper, employing racist and homophobic writers that it does not even censure after record complaints. The Daily Mail has spawned numerous websites committed to exposing its lies on immigration amongst other topics and the online archives of these websites provide a rich catalogue of just how dishonest the Daily Mail is in its reporting of ‘news’ and ‘facts’.

Friday’s Mail Comment on ‘the bare-faced BBC’ would be deeply funny if it wasn’t entirely serious. It starts with the line ‘Talk about bare-faced hypocrisy’ which sums up the Daily Mail in one succinct line, just a shame that the Mail is actually talking about the BBC:

Amidst the furore over the BBC’s decision to invite Nick Griffin on to Question Time, its director general, Mark Thompson, claims that he had no choice because of the Corporation’s ‘central principle of political impartiality’.

What a pity that the BBC for years has comprehensively trampled this so-called ‘central principle’ into the dirt.

This is an organisation that’s utterly in thrall to the left-wing agenda of the majority of its staff.

Until very recently, the BBC systematically censored any debate about immigration into Britain, a nation which, as was revealed yesterday, is on its way to a population of 70million.

Like Littlejohn the Comment section borrows lies from the newspaper to support its dishonest worldview. The ’70million’ population figure caused by immigrants argument is a complete lie and has been exposed many times before by bloggers (see Enemies of Reason and 5CC), so in a comment criticising the BBC for putting the odious BNP on prime-time TV the Daily Mail is repeating a tabloid lie of their making about immigration that the BNP will be certain to use in future campaigns – and they have the cheek to use the phrase ‘bare-faced hypocrisy’ about the BBC at the start of the article.

One day people with realise that the ‘real, honest debate’ on immigration that is constantly being called for by the right-wing will actually take place and then they’ll realise that immigration was never the issue causing all the problems that the UK is said to be suffering from, it was merely a smokescreen to hide those really responsible for the world being a pretty unfair place. People are looking for a scapegoat to blame for the recession, for the fact they might be unemployed or for whatever reason they want and the Daily Mail (as well as the other tabloids) are happy to serve up immigrants as the group responsible.

As for the rest of the Mail Comment, I think you’ll find it is exactly the sort of bollocks that Nick Griffin would spout – showing once again that Griffin and Dacre really are two cheeks of the same arse:

[the BBC] also treats global warming with the fervour of a religion, and is so pro-Brussels that even a report commissioned by the BBC itself found that it was hopelessly biased against the Eurosceptic position.

It’s an institution that by its very nature promotes alternative lifestyles and minority groups at the expense of traditional values, and it doesn’t have much time for Christianity, capitalism, or the countryside either.

The Daily Mail: showing you what ‘bare-faced hypocrisy’ really looks like. As for getting through to Daily Mail readers, I don’t think I have to. What Thursday night made clear is that they’re a dying breed being replaced by a more tolerant, respectful and accepting society – one that will not buy or read hateful rags like the Daily Mail. If, for one, will certainly raise a glass the day the Daily Mail is forced to stop printing and i’m sure that day will come.

Carlsberg Don’t Make Idiots…

But if they did, they’d probably make Daily Mail readers. To lure the idiots into making a comment the Daily Mail just needs a pointless story like: ‘Schoolboy banned from buying pack of Wine Gums… for being too young to drink‘. You don’t need to worry if the story makes it clear that it was simply a computer glitch at a new store – it seems the word ‘Wine’ in the title of the sweets triggered the software to ask if the customer was 18 – the Daily Mail commenter can still work up a good foaming rant:

Face Palm

A computer system has a glitch that the store fixes, they apologise to the customer and offer him 9 free purchases at the store and someone the government is to blame for a non-existent law that somehow wants to ban selling wine gums to minors?

Face Palm

The person serving isn’t paid to think, they are paid to obey company policy. If the computer flags up that something shouldn’t be sold, they have to follow it. Perhaps they could have questioned it, or talked to a manager, or perhaps they just couldn’t be bothered because they didn’t really care or it was too busy? Who gives a shit, it says nothing about the stupidity of the guy serving but a lot about the mentality of morons who want to stick the boot into someone even though they have no idea what motivated them to take the action they did.

Face palm

How stupid have some people become when they cannot even read a tabloid article well-enough to realise it was a computer that made the mistake, not the shop assistant. As I said above, the shop assistant is being paid to obey, simple as that. Considering shop assistants are personally liable for selling alcohol to minors I can see why they would just want to refuse to sell the item rather than make a fuss.

It’s a complete non-story, yet Mail readers react as if it is another compelling piece of evidence that Britain is broken, best summed-up by this muppet:

Face Palm

Australia, you have my sympathies.

The inevitable result of believing the lies of the tabloid press

All thanks to tabloid lies
This is currently the highest rated comment under an article on the BNP on the Daily Mail website. You’ll immediately recognise lies from the Daily Express, Daily Mail and others in his post. Support for the BNP is the inevitable result of concerted tabloid lies about Muslims and immigrants in general.

Update:

The article on the Daily Mail website is: ‘Thank you for being so stupid': BNP leader Nick Griffin hails BBC for boost to his party. The lies that the commenter is referring to are as follows:

1, Fairness (to the immigrant) – refers to the notion that Immigrants get massive handouts and social housing whilst the ‘white indigenious’ population are left with nothing. See here for how the Daily Mail only report the myth about social housing and not the facts.

2, Justice (no thanks we just want Shariah Law) – this refers to the frankly disgusting Daily Express headline that stated ALL Muslims want Shariah Law to be adopted in the UK. The truth is that a few frothing loonies want such a thing to happen, which is entirely insignificant to the general Muslim population. See TabloidWatch and The Enemies of reason for more on this.

3, equality (you will shut your schools…) refers to an article in the Daily Mail (amongst others) this week about schools being shut for certain religious holidays. As Tabloidwatch points out: a, this has been happening since the 80s, so it is hardly news; b, it is under review due to criticism and c, it is only by 3 councils – so not really something being imposed on the whole of the education system as the Mail would want you to believe.

The point I have been trying to make recently is that the Daily Mail and other tabloids can write all the bitchy articles they want about how terrible the BNP are, but they cannot escape they fact their reporting is inherently racist. The tabloid agenda is designed to spread fear of minorities and it does this through perpetuating the same old myths all of the time.

For the tabloid press to then turn around and blame other myths – mass immigration, open borders, putting immigrants ahead of the indigenous population – for the rise of the BNP is not acceptable. A BBC article today spoke to people in London – including a BNP Councillor Bob Bailey – about their views of the BNP and those who supported the BNP churned out tabloid myths as reasons for supporting the BNP. Take June, a middle-aged woman:

“Good luck to Nick,” says June. “I voted for the BNP because England is ruined, completely. They’ve let too many immigrants in. Full stop. Their housing comes before ours, before the English people. This area has changed for the worse, I think it’s a terrible area because there are too many foreigners, sorry about that, but it’s my opinion.”

The housing myth has been put to bed by a lengthy report, the Mail simply failed to report this and instead still peddles the myth every chance it gets. I’m not sure who is really to blame, the tabloids for reporting myths, or a percentage of the public for being too stupid, bigoted or ignorant to see through them?

We’re not supporting the BNP, honest

I’m sure most people are aware that Nick Griffin is set to appear on BBC’s Question Time tomorrow night and I’m sure it is far to say that opinion has been somewhat divided over the BBC allowing him to appear. From my point of view I have no real argument to make against him appearing and I only hope that the others attending are up the job of pointing out the hatred and holes in his rhetoric. However, it is interesting to see a series of journalists scrabbling to distance themselves from the BNP, as if they wouldn’t be seen dead talking to them and definitely are not responsible for creating popular support for a fascist party. Step forward two principle Daily Mail writers: Melanie Phillips and Richard Littlejohn.

It has been pointed out in the past that Melanie Phillips seems to be officially endorsed by the BNP and that her incessant rambling about the ‘Islamification’ of every aspect of Britain is there for everyone to see on her blog and on the Daily Mail website. Yet this week she has been trying to make out that the BNP are racist, but some of the things that they stand for – and she calls for – are not, such as standing up against ‘mass immigration, Islamisation and the loss of sovereignty to the EU’. However, one could easily argue that having such viewpoints demonstrates at least an ignorance of reality and at most demonstrate that the person raising those points is racist. Melanie Phillips constantly flogs the ‘open-border, uncontrolled immigration’ myth which the BNP feeds on, so it is no wonder that now that Nick Griffin – the demon child partly raised by the tabloid press – is about to go very public certain writers who peddle such myths are worried that Nick Griffin being shot down rightly is a blow to their credibility to.

Richard Littlejohn has written a similar article this week arguing that he wouldn’t want to debate with Nick Griffin because ‘Once you’ve said he’s a racist, where else is there to go?’ and makes some valid points in his article about why the BNP are unsavoury and racist. However, Richard Littlejohn is being extremely hypocritical when criticising the BNP because he is one of journalists most responsible for repeating myths about immigrants and other minority groups. Nick Griffin once said that Littlejohn was his favourite writer and judging by the comments underneath his column today an awful lot of BNP supporters are very upset that Littlejohn of all people should be sticking the boot into the organisation that he is usually so reliably providing ammunition for.

As if to prove just how Littlejohn’s inherent racism supports the BNP agenda he finds himself inserting an anti-immigrant story right next to his piece on the nasty BNP, is he really that thick? Yes, he is, in a column when Littlejohn is trying to distance himself from the BNP he supplies them with some more made-up fodder. The title of the piece quickly dismisses the notion that Littlejohn is not racist: ‘Hey diddle diddle, they are all on the fiddle’. The ‘they’ that Littlejohn refers to is of course immigrants, he is stating, in an article that tries to argue against the overt racism of the BNP that all immigrants are on the fiddle. Just who is Littlejohn trying to kid when he claims not to support what the BNP stand for? This is exactly the kind of shit that the BNP and Nick Griffin love him for.

Naturally the content of the article is completely ficiticious and Tabloid Watch had taken it apart the day before Littlejohn regurgitated it – and he predicted that Littlejohn wouldn’t be able to resist sticking it in his column. Littlejohn isn’t just a racist, he’s a predictable racist that is incapable of doing even the most basic piece of research. As Johann Hari pointed out during an TV encounter with Littlejohn and a BNP member a few years back:

For him to present himself as a neutral arbiter between the BNP and non-fascists was so absurd (and typical of Rupert Murdoch’s empire) that I thought I could have a chance to expose that too. After all, BNP leader Nick Griffin has described Littlejohn as his favourite writer… The BNP fool was very easily dispensed with… So I asked Richard how much a single asylum seeker is given in benefits each week. You’d think that a journalist who writes about asylum twice a week would, of course, know something so incredibly basic. His response was clear. He snapped: “I have no idea”.

No idea. I pointed out that he refers constantly to asylum-seekers being “hosed down” with benefits… He began to howl: “It’s people like you who help the BNP!” He declined to talk me through the mysterious process by which people who peddle urban myths, exaggerations and prejudice about asylum-seekers are really stopping the BNP, and people who correct those distortions are helping them… Littlejohn’s response was to accuse me of staging “a student prank”.

Likewise, Littlejohn offering criticism today of the BNP is utterly absurd when his ‘journalism’ does so much to champion their cause. As No Sleep ‘Til Brooklands argues:

Let me make myself clear; the BNP are much worse than Phillips and Littlejohn, and I’m not trying to suggest their views are identical. But when Mail columnists like them constantly bang on about political correctness stifling debate, and depict accusations of racism as underhand tricks to create ‘thought crimes’, when you repeatedly say, as Phillips does, that “The hallmark of a liberal society is the toleration of offensive views”, can they then realistically simply dismiss the BNP as racists? As Five Chinese Crackers wrote, these extremist groups seem to be at least partly fuelled by the relentlessly negative stories about Muslims and immigration and overbearing political correctness that the Mail churns out. I can’t help but feel that when Mail writers lash out at the BNP, maybe somewhere in there should be a little twinge of guilt. There won’t be, of course, they simply blame it on the left.

I’m inclined to be less generous to Littlejohn here, I think as a very highly-paid journalist we should expect more from him, we should expect him to engage with facts and stop publishing unfounded hate stories against minority groups. I’d like him to stop saying that every immigrant arriving in the UK is ‘on the fiddle’ and only here to milk a generous benefits system that ‘indigenous whites’ don’t have access to. I’d like him to stop referring to the absurd notion that the UK has ‘uncontrolled immigration’ and ‘no border controls’. I’d like him to stop mocking gays and other minority groups that the BNP hate simply because he thinks it is so hilarious to pander to the prejudices of his moronic readership. I’m not overly inclined to criticise Melanie Phillips because I genuinely believe her to be mentally ill – and I do not say this flippantly or lightly, I have just simply come to that conclusion because her articles are so detached from reality.

I’d also point out that often people try to argue that members of the BNP learn their hatred and maintain through a lack of education and ignorance. The tabloid press is responsible for creating and repeating myths about minority groups, so are they as guilty or even more guilty than those who believe such myths? It is far too easy to trust the content of a newspaper and to really believe that Littlejohn ‘couldn’t make it up’, which lays more guilt at the hands of Littlejohn than the morons that follow the BNP. This isn’t to lessen the burden of responsibility that should be felt by those who follow the BNP, because at some point they have chosen the path of hatred and paranoia and they must take ownership of this choice.

Nonetheless I cannot help but feel that the tabloid press is behaving incredibly hypocritically when it runs any criticism of the BNP when it publishes vile racism every single day. Take today’s article by Leo McKinstry in the Daily Express, it is every bit as abhorrent as Jan Moir’s article on Stephen Gately yet it passes by with hardy a ripple. Racism is the staple diet of the tabloid press and outside of certain blogs it is very rarely commented on, until this changes and the tabloids banish their own inherently racist tendencies they should play no part in criticising the emergence of the BNP as a faintly credible political party – especially you Littlejohn.

Impotent Anger

Thanks to Google putting a previous article I wrote on Jan Moir on the first page of search results for ‘Jan Moir’ this website has received a lot of traffic regarding Jan Moir’s article on Stephen Gately. Because I do not in the first instance moderate comments it has also led to some angry comments, some wishing death to Jan Moir and others disgusted at such a sentiment. I want to address both sets of comments to try and reason as to why people have reacted in the way that they have.

Firstly, as some commenters have pointed out, the Mail moderates comments on controversial stories, or blocks them entirely if they do not agree with the writer or the editorial line. This leads to a great deal of frustration because people who disagree with the Daily Mail or any of its writers are not given a platform to engage with them. Instead the majority of the time readers of the Mail website are subjected to a comments section that is as ignorant, biased and misinformed as the article or editorial line.

This causes a great deal of anger, in particular with the Jan Moir article because it demonstrates the complete lack of accountability that journalists or columnists have. It is a one-way process, they feed us their opinion – no matter how disgusting – and we have to lump it, without even being able to leave a comment underneath the offending article. I can completely understand people searching to find more about Jan Moir, finding my article pointing out another occasion when her staggering judgemental ignorance is attacking the family of a recently murdered young girl and writing something that perhaps they don’t mean.

I don’t really think that the commenters underneath that article on this blog really want Jan Moir killed, I just think it sums up a level of impotent disgust that has been reached by certain sections of the public. The truth is that tabloid newspapers have considerable influence, with politicians slithering up to tabloid editors to please them and avoid being regularly attacked by them. All the while the general public has to be subjected to the terrible racism, homophobia and general fear-mongering of the tabloid newspapers without even being able to post their disgust on the offending websites.

The latest comment on my article says the following:

What hate filled postings below, shame on you where is your famous tolerance for free speech. The loony left realy has taken over.

Whilst I agree that ‘hate filled postings’ are not doing anyone any good, I would wonder what action the ‘loony left’ should take? After all, freedom of speech is not granted on tabloid websites – even though that is the defence that they use to publish whatever they like – and the only other option is to complain to the PCC. This second option is utterly pointless when only someone directly involved in the article can have a complaint investigated by the PCC. The tabloid press know that they only have to worry about those involved complaining (so it helps newspapers if the victim of an attack is dead, like Stephen Gately) and even if those directly involved do complain, the PCC is only likely to impose the sentence of forcing the newspaper to offer an apology, in tiny print, buried somewhere deep in the paper.

In the light of the record 21,000 complaints received about Jan Moir’s article, the PCC has asked the Daily Mail for a letter of explanation. Doesn’t that sound like a regulatory body that lacks any real power; or perhaps is worried about upsetting Paul Dacre (Daily Mail editor) who just happens to hold an important position within the PCC.

Little wonder that if a regulatory system is not fit for purpose people harbor vigilante thoughts and impotent anger. After all, violence is a last resort, taken on when a person or people feel that they have no other option to make their opinion heard. Jan Moir’s complete lack of an apology shows that she isn’t going to give anyone the satisfaction of answering the criticism she has received, and the shrugged shoulders from the Daily Mail shows that they certainly aren’t prepared to take any action to punish Moir.

I do not condone wishing that someone would murder Jan Moir, but I can understand the sentiment when uttered in anger and impotent frustration that there is no more constructive route for the general public to take in this situation. I would also point out to to those readers disgusted with such sentiments being expressed on this website is that as pointed out by those posters: they posted them on this website because they couldn’t post them on the Daily Mail website. However, when you read the comments on the Daily Mail website absolutely full of hatred – as long as it suits the editorial line – it makes you realise that the Daily Mail isn’t against murderous sentiments, only against murderous sentiments that don’t target the right groups.


For a closer look at the utter uselessness of the PCC see The enemies of reason. For a look at how the Daily Mail exists to stir up racial hatred, read this post by Tabloid Watch.

I really hope a lot of people saw Panorama tonight, because that kind of racism is what the tabloid newspapers have fostered through their hate-filled and dishonest agenda. Like for example, another Richard Littlejohn column that lies about immigrants, basically telling readers that immigrants will use any ‘trick’ to stay in the UK.

Boycott the advertisers, Destroy the Tabloid Press

I’m sure everyone is now fully aware of Jan Moir’s hateful, ignorant and homophobic article about Stephen Gately. It was covered on this site and just about every other blogger I know so I will not go over old ground by repeating things that have been covered elsewhere. Instead I want to focus on what should happen next, in general, with the tabloid media. There are now many blogs that exist to point out the hatred, racism, homophobia, misogyny, made-up science and general ignorant fear-mongering that makes up most of the content of tabloid newspapers but Friday was a rare event in that such bloggers rode a wave of anger over one particular article and a tabloid newspaper was forced to respond.

What surprises me isn’t that such a vast number of people took a few minutes out of their day to register their disgust at Jan Moir, it’s that such people don’t do it more often.

Why was there not a similar uproar for example over the Daily Express headline this week that stated that all Muslims were calling for complete Sharia Law in the UK, when it is patently clear that it is only one small faction – statistically insignificant within the Muslim population. A number of blogs covered Amanda Platell’s racism and ignorance a while back when she bemoaned in an article about population rise that:

Sadly, though, it is not the indigenous middle-class, hard-working, tax-paying population that’s exploding.

According to statistics, our latest baby boom is partly down to high birth rates among immigrants, and partly due to rising numbers of younger mothers.

The Explosion that Amanda was referring to was the rise in migrant mothers from 23.2% in 2007 to 24.1% in 2008, so the ‘boom’ is actually an increase of 0.9%. Yes it appears lies, racism and general bigotry only starts to rile the population if it is aimed at a popular figure. In my opinion everyone should take time out to counter any instance of a tabloid newspaper behaving in such a way – although that is a big ask considering just how frequently tabloid newspapers behave in this way. However, if we don’t apply consistent pressure to the tabloid press then they’ll simply be able to brush aside the Jan Moir reaction and carry on just as they did before. This year Richard Littlejohn has been named Poison Pen: Polemicist of the Year by the Comment Awards run by Editorial Intelligence which gives out a clear signal that homophobic, racist writers who constantly skewer reality and fact to suit their own hate-filled agenda are to be rewarded rather than chastised.

Remember, Richard Littlejohn is the writer who said of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda: “Does anyone really give a monkey’s about what happens in Rwanda? If the Mbongo tribe wants to wipe out the Mbingo tribe then as far as I am concerned that is entirely a matter for them.” And wrote the following about the murder of 5 Ipswich women in 2006:

…in the scheme of things the deaths of these five women is no great loss.

They weren’t going to discover a cure for cancer or embark on missionary work in Darfur. The only kind of missionary position they undertook was in the back seat of a car…

Frankly, I’m tired of the lame excuses about how they all fell victim to ruthless pimps who plied them with drugs. These women were on the streets because they wanted to be.

In 1995 Littlejohn made an hilarious comment on South Yorkshire Police Force’s attempts to become more aware of the concerns of the gay community where he claimed to have contacted a “tyke friend of mine” who “reliably informed me there are no homosexuals in South Yorkshire. [The friend said,] ‘Not live ones, anyway. We send them all down to London.’” Week after week Littlejohn repeats lies about ethnic minorities and makes hilarious snide digs about homosexuals, his lies are picked up every week by bloggers who point out that Littlejohn never conducts any research – even when a simple Google search would have told him his ‘story’ was utter rubbish. He merely regurgitates the already badly skewered news agenda of the Daily Mail and adds a further of layer of lies and hatred to obscure any passing resemblance that the story might have to reality.

Yet his reward is not to be mocked by his peers, but rewarded with a salary that is reported to be over £800,000 a year and awards from organisations that you’d hope would recognise what a sad joke of a writer he actually is. The tabloid media wallows in the reward of hateful, ignorant and base writers – as Tabloid Watch points out, just this week The News of the World has appointed Victoria Newton as its Deputy Editor; Editor Colin Myler commented:

‘I am delighted to welcome Victoria to the News of the World. She is one of the brightest journalists of her generation’.

Hmm. Really? Perhaps he should take a look at the wonderful Vickywatch blog, which proves what a hopeless, lazy and dishonest plagiarist she actually is.

Sadly, all too often tabloid writers get away with poisening the world with their ill-informed rants with only a ripple of discontent on blogs like this one. What Friday demonstrated is that with a bit more support change can happen, tabloid newspapers can be targeted because companies do not want their brand associated with any form of bigotry. Perhaps if certain brands advertising on the Daily Mail website were more consistantly reminded that the Daily Mail brand stands for racism, homophobia, dishonesty and functions as a detached mouthpiece for the BNP and other fascist organisations then they might look at removing their advertising revenue more permanently.

The tabloid media attempts to make everyone scared, hateful, paranoid and tries to always wedge lies and fear between communities. It feeds off of ignorance, paranoia and people who want someone to blame for whatever it is that gives them displeasure in life. The only way to defeat it is to make people like Jan Moir realise that the vast majority of people do not think or feel the way that she does, the Daily Mail and its readership need to realise that they are a minority, that their hate-filled vision of the world is not the norm. Advertisers need to realise that the vast majority of the UK marketplace abhors the values of the tabloid press; if people really want to stand up and destroy it then all we have to do is boycott any company that advertises through the tabloid media.

If we do not, Friday would have been for nothing.

Jan Moir in the Daily Mail: Sickening Homophobia

Hagley Road to Ladywood announced it last week: anti-gay propaganda is back at the top of the Mail agenda.

Since Stephen Gately’s death last week, the Daily Mail has been desperately trying to dig up some dirt.

In spite of official confirmations that the Boyzone star died of natural causes, the Mail has decided that the unfortunate death of an innocent 33-year-old man is fair game (see, for instance, Paul Scott’s unashamed hatchet job the day after Gately’s death).

The lowest point was hit today by Jan Moir with her article “Why there was nothing natural about Stephen Gately’s death”, where this overpaid munter spurts industrial amounts of venom and homophobia. Look at this bit here (our emphasis):

“Another real sadness about Gately’s death is that it strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships. Gay activists are always calling for tolerance and understanding about same-sex relationships, arguing that they are just the same as heterosexual marriages. Not everyone, they say, is like George Michael.

Of course, in many cases this may be true. Yet the recent death of Kevin McGee, the former husband of Little Britain star Matt Lucas, and now the dubious events of Gately’s last night raise troubling questions about what happened. It is important that the truth comes out about the exact circumstances of his strange and lonely death.

As a gay rights champion, I am sure he would want to set an example to any impressionable young men who may want to emulate what they might see as his glamorous routine. For once again, under the carapace of glittering, hedonistic celebrity, the ooze of a very different and more dangerous lifestyle has seeped out for all to see”.

How do you call that? This appalling vulture takes two tragic cases: a young man who died in his sleep and another who hanged himself, to give off the most homophobic shit ever written in about a decade. What the hell has their sexuality got to do with their “hedonistic lifestyle”, let alone their death?

How obnoxious would it be if, the day after Jan Moir finally pops her clogs, opinion columnists start pontificating about “the dangerous lifestyle” of eating too much and earning too much money for writing shit articles in tabloids?

Is Jan Moir really that thick not to register that scores of heterosexual celebrities engage in the same “hedonistic lifestyle” she stupidly assumes Stephen Gately and Kevin McGee were leading?

And yet she should know better. Half of what her newspaper is about is that sort of sordid stuff. The Kerry Katonas and the Jordans, the Amy Winehouses and the Russell Brands, the Ashley Coles and the Steve Joneses…Or how about the list of heterosexual celebs who killed themselves? What stuff are you on, Jan Moir, to be capable of writing such a low, vile, judgemental little story in the wake of a personal tragedy?

How can such levels of intolerance be printed on one of Britain’s most popular brands of arse paper a mere two days after the news of yet another homophobic murder in London?

Is there a limit to the shameful, distasteful, hate-soaked drivel the Daily Mail can put into print?


This post originally appeared here on Hagley Road to Ladywood.