John Walker's Electronic House

Tag: jan moir

Twitter, The Daily Mail, And The Liberal Voices

by on Oct.16, 2009, under The Rest

Today’s explosive reaction to the Daily Mail’s crude and ignorant article about the death of Stephen Gately has once again demonstrated the extraordinary effect of Twitter and Facebook. An effect that will increasingly merit consideration.

Jan Moir’s spiteful piece (originally titled, “Why there was nothing ‘natural’ about Stephen Gately’s death”) combined that niggling thought that I would contend all must have had on hearing the news of the pop singer’s early death, “But surely something dodgy must have gone on for a 33 year old to just die?” with a second, insidiously unpleasant personal prejudice of hers, “I’ve never trusted those gays. And what they get up to.” An opinion that, of course, is speaking directly to the audience of the newspaper. The Daily Mail has, for the 114 years it’s existed, never been exactly offering a liberal slant on the news. It’s famously the paper that supported Hitler long after it began to seem perhaps a little inappropriate, and hasn’t really improved its attitudes since. The central thought to Moir’s piece, “I always knew those gays were up to no good, and look, it’s got another one of them killed,” addresses the potential homophobia in the paper’s readership. (Astonishingly his death manages to confirm to her that gay marriage is a sham, unlike the near 100% success rate enjoyed by heterosexual marriage.) She then takes this to a new depth by going on to heavily imply (well, even state) that there’s been a cover-up of the real reasons behind his death, and that those real reasons are bound to be something to do with penises and bottoms. (I’m not going to go through the piece picking it apart – that’s already been done splendidly by Charlie Brooker.)

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