This Isn’t What Newspapers Should be For

There’s a story on MailOnline today that is really bugging me. It shouldn’t bug me because it’s just another one of those bullshitty space fillers about reality TV that all newspapers use to get clicks. It doesn’t matter and it’s about nothing, except I can’t shake the feeling that it does matter and it’s actually about everything.

Don’t worry, I won’t make you read it. Here’s the headline, though…


It bothers me for a number of reasons, but I think it stayed in my head because it actually bothers me for all reasons. Everything about it is fuckugly-wrong; and the cynicism with which it’s presented, and the contempt it displays for the readership is perfectly indicative of the Mail’s ‘between the truth and legend, print the tits’ style of journalism.

Firstly, this isn’t even a real quote. In fact, it’s not just not a real quote, it’s a second-hand not real quote given by an ‘insider’ to a newspaper owned by the man who also owns the TV station that makes the programme, a programme which features a journalist for the Daily Mail…

CBB-dailystarSo this is where we’re at now. Journalists from the worlds most popular news website aren’t even watching the TV shows they’re reporting on – they’re copying PR quotes from other newspapers, and writing whole articles based on them.

Secondly, the whole ‘too blue for TV’ thing was shattered in the fucking 1990’s. This is Channel 5 we’re talking about here, the channel who would gladly screen 24 hour single feed shots of prostitute windows in Amsterdam if they thought they could pass it off as current affairs programming. If anything was left on the cutting room floor it will be the guttural word spunking of hand-painted-by-a-four-year-old micro twat Dappy as he attempts to stab a barely blinking woman in the back with his hilariously oversized penis.

Thirdly, yeah – the language offends me. Anyone who’s read my feed or blogs knows I like a good swear and explicit description once in a while, but do we really need to know that Dappy still uses the word “semi”?

I also object to the sheer hypocrisy of a newspaper that campaigns for a less overtly sexual world yet happy reports on someone having a “tight little ass” or, if you prefer, thinks “girl-on-girl” action is an appropriate sentence for a family newspaper.


The Daily Mail is currently running 10 stories about what happened on Celebrity Big Brother last night, filled with reports on explicit language, filthy flesh flashers, sex-talk and lesbian titlation. The tone is set just above breathless wanky excitement and just below moral judgement. ‘Look how awful (and sexy) these people are, and what awful (and sexy) things they are getting up to. Better watch tonight so I can be appalled (and aroused)…’

The really interesting thing, though – the really interesting thing – is where Liz Jones is in all of this. The answer…? Nowhere. Or, at least, nowhere near. The Mail have been unusually restrained in their promotion of her involvement, hardly featuring her at all unless they have to, and then only referring to her as a general journalist. I’d expect this is because they’re planning to announce, post TV show, that her involvement was some kind of sting article research and she will dutifully be awful about the other contestants to get more column inches. If she’s going to judge their lapsed morality, which she almost certainly will, alongside her commercially exploitable vulnerability then they can’t be having featuring her in too many nightvision horny catch-ups ahead of time.

The Daily Mail are hypocrites; pureblood, callous, cash-driven, hit-licking hypocrites. Their conviction that the blurred line between flirty-fun and all-out rape is the sight of a nipple actually hurts our society. Revel in the smut or cast out the sin – I honestly don’t care – but don’t warn of a forthcoming sex apocalypse with one hand and feverishly wank over primetime tit-peeks with the other. And especially don’t do it with second hand, PR quotes from newspaper with even lower morality than yours. At least the Daily Star is honest about being a red top version of the top shelf…

Incidentally, this story is still running on the Mail’s front page. Check out the final subheading. If these are the parameters for judging aggressive sexual behaviour, consider what’s more likely – a viewing of pornography, or living in a society in which excessive sexual imagery is presented as normal and to be commerically encouraged.


What’s that hashtag you use to get out of defending a slightly ignorant statement once you’ve made it? #justsaying?

Wait, no, it’s #newspaperoftheyear.


EDIT:  Updated shortly after publication after it was pointed our Dappy said “semi” and not “stiffie.” Can’t believe I just typed that sentence.