Warning: swearing ahead

I fancied a change, so here’s the new design for your perusal…

I took that header pic of the Daily Planet sign last year in Vancouver when I stumbled upon the filming of an episode of Smallville. (I snapped the picture from the steps of Luthorcorp!) I thought it was too cool to leave neglected in a folder on my desktop, so I’m happy to put it to good use here!

To continue my theme from yesterday: I’m still fuming about Jan Moir’s Daily Mail article and I note that not only has the newspaper STILL not issued a decent apology – only the one in which Moir seemed to blame everybody except herself – but they’ve also left the article up, despite the fact it has now become the most-complained-about piece in British newspaper history (or so I hear; I haven’t been able to confirm that story yet).

Which just goes to prove, and I very, VERY much apologise for my language here, that the Daily Mail are a bunch of utter cunts.

At least more people know that today than knew it yesterday morning. Progress of a sort.

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “Warning: swearing ahead

  1. Questions for you:

    How many of the Twitterati who complained yesterday are regular, or even semi-regular, readers of the Daily Mail?

    How many were people who don’t read the Mail, except when directed to through a campaign or links from other web users?

    How many of those who complained to the PCC even read the piece, rather than just following the links and suggestions in tweets from Brooker, Fry et al?

    And how does that number – which will be a reasonable proportion – differ in any way from the thousands who phoned and emailed OFCOM over the Andrew Sachs row after being stirred into action by the Mail?

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m not defending the legitimate criticism of Jan Moir’s column. But if none of its own readers, nobody from Gately’s family or whoever has made a formal complaint to Martin Clarke, James Bromley or Paul Dacre… who do they apologise to?

    • jaynenelson

      The newspaper should apologise to the gay community for offending them – in the same way a ‘reasonable’ newspaper would apologise for offending black people, or the Welsh, or Britain’s Pakistani community, if they’d been slighted in the same way.

      Sadly, though, because the Daily Mail is NOT a ‘reasonable’ newspaper, they’ll never issue a general apology like that. Because then they’d also have to apologise to single mothers, asylum seekers, people under the age of 22 who wear hoodies and about a billion others they’ve slandered and snapped at in their years of vitriolic newspaper reporting.

      You’re right – they can’t and won’t apologise, unless there’s a complaint from the family. Who, thankfully, aren’t even going to read the article. But at least Jan Moir’s realised there’s a world outside her bitter, twisted little sleazeview, and that’s a good thing – Paul Dacre and his miserable cohorts aside.

  2. You’ve not answered my question, Jayne.

    The mass, almost mob-mentality campaigning against the Mail. How’s that any different to the Mail-inspired campaign against the BBC over Sachsgate?

    Or is it acceptable if such a campaign is criticising the Mail, because you don’t agree with its views on single mums/asylum seekers/working mothers/gays etc etc?

    I’m not sure why you’re inverted comma-ing reasonable? Show me a reasonable newspaper – the Guardian? The Independent? Neither of those are particularly reasonable if you’re conservatively affiliated, the same way the Mail isn’t ‘reasonable’ if you’re of a socialist mindset.

    In fact, the Guardian’s not even that now – it’s as centrist as they come.

    Jan Moir was a Guardian columnist until the turn of the year. So was she ‘reasonable’ until January? Boris Johnston used to regularly write for the Guardian. Does he now become ‘reasonable’?

    • jaynenelson

      I seem to recall having an argument with you about the Mail before (or was it heat magazine? I can’t remember – it was ages ago when we were having a drink on the South Bank, anyway). So I feel like we’ve already gone through this, only with slight variations! And it’s getting late now, so I can’t really write what I want to write without this stretching on and on.

      So – next time I see you in person, we shall continue! Face-to-face is always better anyway… and if I get REALLY worked up and we’re anywhere near the Mail, I might even bring a flaming torch.

  3. jaynenelson

    That’s an interesting argument put forth by Damian Thompson – who, can I just add, rather ironically seems to have fallen for the hoax Jan Moir Twitter account that said she was going to appear on Channel 4 news on Friday night to apologise (well, I assume that’s where he says he’s going to see her squirm, and she most certainly didn’t).

    I’m totally for free speech, but I’m also for common sense, morality and, hell, EMPATHY. Printing an article theorising that a young man’s death was ‘sordid’ mere hours before his burial was offensive on so many levels it’s hard to count them. Even putting the homophobia aside, the fact nobody at the Mail thought her article crossed the boundaries of common respect and decency with regards to Gately’s family and his upcoming funeral shows how little they care for anybody’s feelings – gay, straight or otherwise. THAT’S what I object to the most. The astonishing lack of empathy at the Mail extends far beyond this event, too.

    However, I do have to agree with both Damian’s article and Iain that the response was massively out of control in some quarters. As angry as I was with Moir, when I said I wanted to ‘punch her on the nose’ I was clearly joking: that’s just daft. Printing her home address, though, which apparently happened on Twitter on Friday night – man, that’s seriously out of order. And I tweeted that myself when I heard. I can joke all I want about flaming torches and hating Moir and wanting to slap her, but in reality our issue is with what she wrote and the paper that published it without thinking of how many people it would hurt. It’s not to nip round to Moir’s gaffe in real life – THAT’S where all of this gets really, really disturbing.

    I’m a big fan of Twitter and I’m amazed at the way people seem to be getting their point across when something annoys them (to which I must add, incidentally, that people complained to the PCC because they had no other way of venting – I think the majority of them realised as the day went on that it wouldn’t achieve anything, but venting is venting). I do wonder, though – as I’m sure you guys do – how long it will be before the Twitter mob latches onto a cause that’s woefully ill-conceived and ends up hurting someone innocent in return…

    • jaynenelson

      Jeez, apparently someone reported Moir to the police? WTF?

    • Lerxst

      “the paper …published it without thinking of how many people it would hurt”

      To be honest, I don’t believe that’s a reason for not publishing – if they believed what they were saying was true. If we want to have an honest debate – on any topic – in an open and adult society, then people have to be free to express their views and we have to accept that others might be upset.

      As Dr Johnson put it, ‘Every man has the right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it”. And boy, has Moir got knocked down.

      I’m also not sure your ‘think of the family!’ line goes very far. It’s difficult commenting on the Gately story as, until the Twitter storm broke I hadn’t really paid much attention (‘boy band member dies’ doesn’t really register on my news radar..). But from what I’ve read elsewhere, there appears to be a suggestion he spent his final hours on the razz, smoking pot and, with his partner, pulling a student. Nothing wrong with that, doesn’t harm anyone else. It’s not much of a story, but at the same time, I can’t say I’ve really got a problem with a journo putting their hand up in the midst of the saccharin eulogising and pointing out the truth – IF it is the truth. The problem with the Moir article was the insinuations it then went on to make.

      You could argue that for common decency and the family, these things should be left unsaid. Hell, I imagine most of us has aspects of our lives we’re happier our family – or our parents at least – don’t know about. But personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of pretending to be nice about people just because they’ve died – it smacks of hypocrisy to me – and where do you draw the line? I can think of plenty of celebs where I definitely wouldn’t want aspects of their lives glossed over (Michael Jackson, Roman Polanski, for starters…). Not that that justifies the Gately coverage, but just that I think the ‘don’t hurt/offend the family’ is a weak argument.

      • jaynenelson

        Fly-by post, as I’m in the middle of something, but just wanted to say three things:

        1) That Doctor Johnson quote is excellent!

        2) I actually thought Gately had died two years ago, so I was understandably rather shocked that he died again last week. Huh.

        3) “I think the ‘don’t hurt/offend the family’ is a weak argument.” – I don’t. It shouldn’t matter who the person is or what they’ve done (well, within reason – clearly mass-murderering despots don’t count); causing offence to a grieving family is unforgivable. What right does ANYBODY have to do something like that? Particularly in the press, where the person writing may never have met the deceased. It’s a hideous, hideous type of journalism, and it happens over and over again in all newspapers (and on TV and online). The lack of respect for the family of a deceased loved one is rife in our culture, and it saddens me immensely. I don’t care whether it’s Michael Jackson or Mother Teresa: don’t stick the boot in. If you really, really have to, at least give it a reasonable amount of time first.

        I think we may have to agree to disagree on this one though, because otherwise this argument could run for weeks…

  4. Lerxst

    Well, agree to disagree but why “clearly mass-murderering despots don’t count”? It’s not their families who are at fault, and it’s the family you’re worrying about.

    Have you ever seen the Not the Nine O’Clock News sketch where one politician dies mid-tv debate, and his opponent goes from hurling insults to praising him as a great statesman without pausing for breath? We get a bit too much of that in real life.

    Mother Teresa? Don’t get me started….. let’s just say I’m with Christopher Hitchins on this one.
    http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/hitchens_16_4.html

    (Anyway, sounds like it’s lucky I didn’t post a link before to the Frankie Boyle ‘Diana’ gag…..)

  5. lizwc

    Admittedly I’m not a fan of the Daily Mail. But then nor am I a fan of eulogising dead celebrities. But what bothers me about the Jan Moir article isn’t that it came out so soon after Gateley’s death, that’s how journalism works. What I find offensive and unpleasant about it is firstly that it is largely based on insinuations rather than facts and secondly that it generalises from two isolated and unconnected incidents to a large community.

    Gateley died, he had been out having a good time the night before. The coroner said these two facts were unconnected. Moir uses insinuation (conveniently a lot less libellous than outright statements) to imply that the coroner was wrong, and that these facts were connected.
    Gateley died. Matt Lucas’ ex died. From these unrelated facts she generalises to the entire gay community. That’s not a justifiable connection to make.
    And frankly, I think the “don’t hurt the family” line does apply. Moir didn’t just limit her comments to Gateley, she implied that his mother was either stupid or attempting a cover-up and she implied that the rest of the family were in on that cover-up. Again, this is entirely based on connecting two facts that the coroner – a trained professional with full access to the medical evidence- had stated were unconnected .

    Freedom of the press does not extend to freedom to print lies about people. That’s why it is constrained by our libel laws. Moir is clearly running as close to that line as she can.

    • Lerxst

      Liz

      Just a quick comment as I’m not sure if some of that was a response to me.

      I’d agree completely with the first bit. That’s why I said ‘the problem with the Moir article was the insinuations it then went on to make’.

      On the second part, I don’t think the problem is the potential hurt to the family. It is, as you set out, that the insinuations Moir makes about an ‘unnatural death’ are just that – insinuations with no basis in fact. If she’d actually had evidence that the coroner and family were covering something up, then I’d say there was a story there that was fair game.

      Makes little difference in assessing the Moir article as a piece of garbage, but I would draw the distinction in terms of the wider question of what the press should consider legitimately ‘in scope’ of comment.

  6. lizwc

    Oh and love the new easier-to-read design and love the header picture too. Please keep them!!

  7. Fact is, she breaches the PCC code of conduct, and so the article should be apologised for. Maybe not removed, as it should serve as evidence for why the DM are (as you say Jayne) c*nts. All for freedom of the press, but the fact her column has absolutely no basis in fact and comes from a place of prejudice is clearly wrong and I don’t see why she should still have a job if she’s going to turn in badly researched, lazy writing like this. Even for the DM…

    Love the new look btw (although I fear I’ve chosen the same template for mine – how embarrassing!

    x

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