Anton at Enemies of Reason has posted on the Mail's coverage of yesterday's anti-Islam march in Luton. He points out that the headline: Nine arrested after masked mob's march against Muslim extremists turns violent appears to be calling the wrong people extremists.
What is striking is the coverage in other papers too. Take The Sun, which manages to devote a massive 74 words to the event. The Express managed 271, the Star 223 words and the Mail 508.
Every one of these papers had the original protest by a dozen Muslims against British soldiers on the front page.
So Muslim protest by a small handful of loudmouths which includes shouting, banner waving and no violence is front page news.
A protest organised by right-wing groups like March for England, attended by 500 (mainly young white men) which descends into violence and nine arrests for 'public order offences, criminal damage and assault' deserves only a few lines. (Luton police state in the Express story that once CCTV footage is looked at, more arrests may follow.)
There is also weird sympathy for the organisers too. The Mail says 'March for England was said to have organised the rally as a peaceful protest.' It quotes an anonymous marcher saying churches in Luton are 'regularly being set fire to', without any evidence to back this up.
The Star allows an organiser and March for England spokesman to say he was '“disappointed” the trouble had flared. “That sort of thing couldn’t have been further from our minds,” he said.' Yes, obviously it was totally unexpected that it would turn violent. No one would ever have guessed that. Those protestors turned up with their balaclavas because they thought it would umm be cold.
At least The Sun, in the words it does manage to write, points out what happened. The 'mob of 500 left the route of the march...stoned cops and attacked a young Asian man. Banner-waving drunks, some disguised under balaclavas, trapped terrified Asian staff inside a restaurant.'
Even by the standards of the Islamophobic tabloids, the imbalance in the reporting of these two events is quite stark.