Monday, January 17, 2011

Spent literally seconds trying to think of a witty reaction to this locally themed piece from The Paper That Supported Hitler. But since this blog is already blocked in my place of work (for "profanity") I decided to go with my first instinct:

You utter shit. 

Unbelievable. Literally unbelievable.

21 comments:

The Quizzical Observer said...

I agree, rather wearily. For many years I've been quite unable to comprehend why even the Daily Fail employs Liz Jones. It may be some small consolation to note that the reader comments appear to be very negative.

Mario NC said...

What the hell? I mean really, WHAT THE HELL? It's amazing that a real newspaper would publish such an unsensitive, banal and ofensive article. That's modern journalism for you!

Greg G said...

Have you seen this marvelous thing?

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/opinion/columnists/is-lovely-liz-becoming-just-another-thumbnail-on-the-daily-mail-website?-201101173437/

Mike Taylor said...

I don't get it. Heaven knows I am no fan of the Daily Mail, but as I read this I kept waiting for the stupid and/or offensive part, and it didn't come.

I am sorry to be so dense, but could you please explain what is so terrible about this piece?

Kevin Cowtan said...

What Mike said.

It's a piece of creative writing themed around a murder. Tasteless, insensitive, utterly pointless, but not fundamentally different from a lot of popular journalism.

Until I read Mike's comment I assumed I'd missed something. I was trying to work out if it was an autism thing.

guy.jackson said...

I agree with Mike and Kevin. Yes, the article's dull and pointless, but calling the writer an "utter shit" seems a bit over-the-top.

(Also, can we assume that for consistency's sake the Guardian will be referred to as "The Paper That Supported Slavery" whenever it's mentioned on your blog, in memory of its support for the CSA?)

Andrew Rilstone said...

I just don't understand how a human being could get into such a degenerate frame of mind that they think: "A person has been murdered. I know, I'll use it as a pretext to write a sneery, snobby, about class, making the point that I'm richer than you. Because, you know, I am so important that I ought to be let across toll bridges for free, because I try to use buttons off expensive jumpers rather than cheap ones. I wouldn't mind if my daughter was murdered, provided she spent the night before drinking in a posh pub, not a common one. It's much sadder for someone to die after buying expensive frozen pizza than after buying cheap frozen pizza. Murders are slightly less horrible when they don't result in replacing pretty lamposts with less pretty lamp posts. We wouldn't even be writing about this murder if the victim had been poor. Or, I suspect, black."

Mike Taylor said...

Hmm, I see. Well, all I can say is that I didn't get any of that out of the article, which seemed to me to be about the shocking juxtaposition of normal life with sudden senseless murder. I'm not saying it should win a Pulitzer or anything, but I didn't read in it the attitude that you did; or maybe you read the attitude inTO it, because of what paper it was published in?

culfy said...

I don't actually see how any rational person could not find it offensive, especially lines like

"The theory is the killer took the long route from the flat to where he dumped the body to avoid the CCTV cameras. Perhaps he also wanted to avoid the 50p toll. "

is Liz really trying to make a joke about this tragedy here?

Andrew Rilstone said...

reposted from Facebook

CLARRIE O'CALLAGHAN

It left me genuinely slightly shaken yesterday when I read it. Angry and upset, feeling real disgust and ending up dwelling on the local innacuracies because I couldn't really take the whole of it in.

A possible overeaction, but there you g...o. It's just so lacking in basic humanity. Disgusting.

Andrew Rilstone said...

(Also, can we assume that for consistency's sake the Guardian will be referred to as "The Paper That Supported Slavery" whenever it's mentioned on your blog, in memory of its support for the CSA?)

Probably not, for the same reason I am unlikely to start referring to "The Sun" as "The paper that supported Harold Wilson."

Cambrensis said...

Surely you're not implying the Daily Mail still supports Hitler after all these years?

Or maybe modern-day Mail employees suffer from a kind of inherited collective guilt for the misdeeds of their journalistic forebears.

Andrew Rilstone said...

There's a continuity between Rothmere's Daily Mail and the present Daily Mail, which there really isn't between the Daily Herald and Murdoch's Sun. The relationshp between The Manchester Guardian and the present Guardian is more interesting: the present owneres are certainly keen to associate themselves with C.P Scott (their online section is called "Comment is Free", isn't it?), but he didn't take over the paper until well after the American civil war was over. He championed liberal causes, even if his predecesors hadn't thought much of Abraham Lincoln. (I don't actually know very much about that: why would a UK bourgeois paper have been sympathetic to the South? Did that necessarily imply "support" for slavery? Would we necessarily describe a pro-American UK paper today as one which "supports legalized handguns" or one which "supports the death penalty"? How many seas must a white dove sail before it rests on the sand?)

Now, calling the Guardian "The paper that wasn't quite as ringing in its condemnation of the Soviet Union as it ought to have been" might be fairer bit of mud to throw, because that arguably relates to their political stance right now.

Andrew Rilstone said...

Apparently, I wasn't the only one who was freaked out by this piece.

http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/73843,people,news,twitter-turns-on-liz-jones-of-the-daily-mail-over-jo-yeates

Greg G said...

Andrew, I am as appalled as you. If anything, "utter shit" is being kind.

Andrew Rilstone said...

And here, as well:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2011/jan/19/dailymail-joanna-yeates?CMP=twt_fd

although, obviously, it's biassed by the writer's dislike of Abraham Lincoln and the tactics of the suffragettes.





What?

Kevin Cowtan said...

OK, there is something interesting going on here. We've got a division between people who find this very offensive and those who find it rather less offensive.

The obvious blog solution is a bit of scapegoating and ingroup/outgroup distinction - label each other as biased, insensitive, irrational, or so on.

But I don't think that's very interesting. Can we dig a bit deeper and find out what is going on?

Why am I not very offended? Well, the fact that I'm mildly autistic may play a part. The article affects my feelings not at all. The only negative effect it has is to raise an intellectual sympathy for any of Jo's relatives who might be hurt by it. But even that is hypothetical, and as absolutely typical of the tabloid treatment of any kind of victim. So I can't raise much original outrage about it.

Some things in the tabloids do enrage me. Easily provable falsehoods - for example pretty most coverage of climate change in the Mail or Telegraph. Scapegoating, expecially based on falsehoods - for example much of the current debate about immigration.

Thinking through those and a few others, I guess I'm strongly offended by things which affect or potentially affect large numbers of people, and I'm also a little defensive when it comes to science. I struggle to raise any outrage when only a few people are affected, when those people are hypothetical, and when there is outrage fatigue - exactly the same treatment that the tabloids dealt out last time.

That's my initial attempt to honestly understand how I react to different tabloid stories, offered in a hope of opening discussion. But if you want to use it to judge me instead, then I guess that's OK too.

Sam Dodsworth said...

I'm not actively offended, but I do find the utter self-absorption and bathos of the article very funny. I thought the #lizjonesreports tweets were a bit mean-spirited until I actually read it.

Phil Masters said...

There's a continuity between Rothmere's Daily Mail and the present Daily Mail, which there really isn't between the Daily Herald and Murdoch's Sun.

The Sun's position seems to be more opportunistic mass-market populism than deeply engrained Toryism. Small--c rather than large-C conservatism, perhaps. Didn't they support Tony Blair for a few years, when that meant that the Murdochs could tell the person running the country that the Murdoch papers were on his side?

Dunno whether the Herald's support for Wilson was something like that, or sincere, or whatever. Just sayin'.

He championed liberal causes, even if his predecesors hadn't thought much of Abraham Lincoln. (I don't actually know very much about that: why would a UK bourgeois paper have been sympathetic to the South?

Cotton.

It was possibly the UK upper classes rather than the bourgeoisie who really waved flags for the Confederacy - possibly because the UK upper classes will always approve, sentimentally, of rural reactionary conservatism with a racist tint. But in a country, and especially a city, whose economy was built on cotton mills - that is, on reliable supplies of cheap raw materials from the Southern states - the surprise is not that the CSA had its supporters; it's that Lincoln had so many fervent admirers among the Manchester working classes. There's reasons why there's a monument to the man in Manchester today.

One imagines Marx and Engels having a little trouble squaring that with an economic interpretation of class history, actually.

("The Manchester Proletariat: The Class Who Supported a Republican President in Wartime." Ahem.)

Andrew Rilstone said...

Dunno whether the Herald's support for Wilson was something like that, or sincere, or whatever. Just sayin'.

My understanding was that the Herald, which became the Sun, was an independent, left-leaning and therefore mostly Labour paper, which was bought out by Murdoch and immediately became a tabloid, both literally and ideoloically. But, yes, the Sun fervantly supports which ever party it thinks will win, so it can claim that its support swung the election -- while continuing to espouse the policies of the Murdoch Empire (anti-Europe, anti-redulation, anti-monarchy, Rupert should own everything, doesn't matter who runs the country so long as she's got big tits, etc.)

Cotton

Er...yes. I am a total duh-brain.

Andrew Rilstone said...

KEVIN

Some time ago, after "Rise of the Silver Surfer" came out, I leant Brian, who had quite liked the movie, some comic books. He didn't think that much of them. Sitting in a coffee shop, he said "So, explain to me: what's so great about Jack Kirby?"

You recall the bit in Lord of the Rings when Theoden asks Pippin about his family history, and Gandalf says "King, you do not know your peril..."

A similar thing happened when Jonathan happened to say "So, Andrew, which of the Narnia books do you like best."

I'm not ignoring you. But when someone effectively asks "In your opinion, what's wrong with the Daily Mail" I find that brevity somehow stops being the soul of wit...