Now there’s no reason why people shouldn’t voice their concerns of the Daily Mail in large numbers. We’ve all seen the good that can stem from a mass movement against life’s unpleasantries, and a publication that’s been overly unkind to transsexual teachers, cast shadows on the life of a gay man and launched a scathing attack on the dead dad of a Politician, is as good a target as any. Let’s do it. But before you go for their readers, consider this…
Whether the Tedious Intellect Show-Off (TISO) likes it or not, the Daily Mail does trumpet a number of concerns of the struggling. And in the cases they do, they are the only ones doing so.
Amongst the targeted and stereotypical Daily Mail reader (i.e. suburban curtain twitchers), there are also people who are generally affected by the things that the DM tends to cover. Take my mate Jamie in the building trade who’s genuinely concerned with how the influx of cheaper labour from the EU will affect his standard of living. If he voices his concerns, should we all scoff and snigger at the ignorant racist Daily Mail reader? The same people who claim to champion fair living wages, are who the most likely to scoff.
Owen Jones, ironically enough the author of Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class, is always quick to ridicule this segment of society (he recently went on a protest against the paper). Now I’m not entirely sure how he defines ‘working class’; somebody who has too much ketchup on their chips? Who’s reduced to substituting “fuck” in place of an adverb in common parlance? Essentially to scoff and sneer at a hugely successful newspaper (2 million in circulation and 9 million website visitors daily) that goes someway of examining issues that affect Jones’ playthings the most, shouldn’t go unreported.
I often imagine left-wing Guardian readers being the main conspirators against the DM, and they mainly do make the most impressive TISOs. But all ends of the spectrum can be guilty of looking down their noses at somebody for the paper they read. But on day of writing this, The Guardian’s job listing page is filled with local council roles with attractive salaries of between £65k-100k a year. Intended for an audience who tend to be outside the sphere of problems that the DM covers, but are often at the heart of their polemic. Think prospectives of frugal councils and those who walk away from the BBC on big payoffs.
Below are a few tweets from those who evidently think they’re better than DM-readers.
I’m often taken back to the school playground when I hear and see the above points of view expressed in word or tweet. I’m back overhearing the resident Goths sneering from the sidelines at everybody else for being “shallow”, “commercial” and “judgmental”.
If you’ve read this far, thank you. I’ve tried to keep this relatively light-hearted while trying to address some serious issues here. Things are going to get a bit hairy in the next paragraph, where I’m about to have a ganders at the nation’s most desirable dinner-party guest and the panal host show we love to love; Stephen Fry.
In a recent rebuttal to a reply of his open letter to boycott Sochi 2014 from Conservative academic Adrian Hilton, Mr. Fry fails to attack a single question posed to him (i.e. why we shouldn’t boycott the Russian arts he has a hand in) but instead attacks the paper personally for it’s support of the Nazis. Here’s a dare, make a joke about the role the Germans played in supporting Hitler and see if you can escape the wrath of being labeled “another Jeremy Clarkson”.
But back to Fry, and it was his comment “The only good thing to be said about his [Paul Dacre, editor] Mail is that no one decent or educated believes in it” that startled me. Unless you’re troubled about breaking LadBible Rule #207, you’ve got to ask yourself if this is consistent with his fair, tolerant and liberal values.
It’s the intellectual equivalent of criticizing somebody’s spelling rather than their content. Or going in with a two-footed challenge after your opponent has nutmegged you, getting just enough of the ball for your own fans to applaud. Still thankfully, he’ll remain our national treasure and the one our Children will dream of writing their GCSE essays.
Along with the snobbery and the hypocrisy of it all, I’m also slightly irked about the sense of righteousness that comes with bashing the DM. People who are most frequent attackers of the paper aren’t anymore likely to give up their seat on a crowded bus, nor are they any less likely to dance on the streets to commemorate the death of a dementia-suffering former Prime Minister.
She no doubt believes she’s a force for good. But in this reality, attacking a national newspaper of it’s readers for their views will not make you resemble a “Goodie” from a Disney animation anymore than Hitchens or Littlejohn.
NEXT… 2.3 The INTOLERANCE of it all