Tabloid scum

This entry was posted on
Wednesday, November 12th, 2008
10:37 am and is filed
under Old Media.

“Put another way, if mass-circulation newspapers, which also devote considerable space to reporting and analysis of public affairs, don’t have the freedom to write about scandal, I doubt whether they will retain their mass circulations with the obvious worrying implications for the democratic process.” – Paul Dacre (source)

David Osler – Paul Dacre on the morality of shag & tell journalism: Paul Dacre’s insistence that newspapers run with shag ‘n’ tell stories principally as a means to promote family values and uphold marital fidelity somehow – how can I put this? – fails completely to convince. Such limited moral rectitude on the matter as he may possess runs little deeper than the desire to sell tabloids by the truckload. Accordingly, the speech delivered by the editor of the Daily Mail to the Society of Editors on Sunday night, in which he actually does push this proposition, has to be dismissed as cant of the most breathtaking proportions.

Max Mosley – My sex life is of interest to no one but this squalid industry: So why this thoroughly disingenuous attack on a high court judge? During his speech, Dacre let the real reason slip. Without scandal, tabloid sales will decline. To keep this squalid industry afloat, an unrestricted right to publicise the sex lives of others is necessary, so the judiciary must be silenced.

Septicisle – The Daily Mail in the flesh: This is nothing more than blackmail covered with eye-watering cynicism. The same person who goes on to lionise the press and how wonderful it is is here suggesting that the gutter press needs scandal to survive. Nice little free press you’ve got here, be a shame if something was to happen to it. The proles need scandal, whilst we provide them with the finest news coverage in the world at the same time. What isn’t there to like?!

5cc – Dacre’s speech to the Society of Editors: Of course, what is being missed here is that every story is driven by scandal in tabloids. Dacre makes it sound as though there’s a little bit of scandal necessary to sell the real, scandal-free news coverage. But this kind of news is virtually non-existent. Almost everything the tabloids report – especially the Mail – is driven by faux outrage, and exaggerated to the point of being unrecognisable from the truth.

In case you haven’t already noticed, this is the game played by pseudo-blogger Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’), who deliberately pushes the more salacious nonsense in pursuit of a larger mob in the name of transparency and accountability. For some. On the left. And maybe any Tories he doesn’t personally care for. Certainly not for himself. That would be silly.

Skip forward to about 1:03:30 on this video to hear Paul Staines admit that he knowingly peddles the more crude/salacious material – and targets hate figures – on his ‘blog’ in order to boost his audience.

Do pause briefly on his use of hate figures, as it’s a startling admission; some charges in his ‘crusade’ are in no way earnest and exist only to rile the mob.

There’s nothing new or 2.0 about what Staines is doing with his ‘Guido Fawkes’ site; it’s primarily a tabloid with even less accountability, and even this he copied off Matt Drudge. His badgering of the ‘dead tree press’ is a nifty bit of web-friendly populism that handily disguises the fact that Staines is himself tabloid scum, right down to the ‘drunk most afternoons’ bit.

Of course, he’s (mostly) free to pursue this course, just as I’m (mostly) free to call him on it and point out that once you step onto that slippery slop*… whoops, too late; Paul’s already making his first none-too-subtle call for mob justice:

“You know in all truth, if ordinary decent criminals used these two as punch bags and they were to be found dead in a blood spattered cell, Guido would cheer. You can’t take the law into your own hands, but when the law fails to protect innocent children, many people including Guido, will say: justice can be a long time coming.” – Paul Staines

Wait, what? “You can’t take the law into your own hands”…? Hm. There’s a ‘nudge nudge, wink wink’ missing here. Oh, wait; here it comes…

“Is it really right that he faces a maximum sentence of only 14 years?” – Paul Staines

Much better.

All we have to do now is wait for someone in Paul’s mob to do the dirty work for him. As usual.

[Seriously, good on you for finally getting back to that Broon link, Paul. And do keep up with the ‘white supremacy’ angle; if you’re bold enough about it, your readers may forget about the alliance you tried to forge with the BNP all those years ago. Oh, sorry… did I just misrepresent what you assure us was a bold mission to infiltrate and discredit that group? My bad. How’s that mission coming along, BTW? Have you finished started it yet, or are you too busy making flaming torches right now? If so, I can understand that. Do take your time. Having some bloke beaten to death in a prison cell is the best way to preserve our democracy and ensure that no more children are exposed to abuse with “wounds of the intensity of a car crash”. Speaking which, I’m sure you’d never allow that sort of thing to happen on your patch; you even take the precaution of only drink driving in the wee small hours of the morning, when all the ickle babies are in bed. Hero!]

UPDATE – Phil Hendren, only one word short of “Hanging’s too good for ’em!”

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