Sunday, 4 October 2009

The Mail's running commentary on Strictly

The news that Strictly Come Dancing hoofer and Brucie-wannabe Anton du Beke described his partner Laila Rouass as a 'Paki' in a woefully misjudged 'joke' about her spray tan, leaves the Mail and its readers in a predicament.

They inevitably want to criticise the BBC and anyone who works for it.

But at the same time, they believe that everyone should be free to use words as offensive as 'Paki', and to stop their usage is political correctness gone mad.

What to say? Well, this apparently:

Incredible. For the record, Rouass has an Indian mother and Moroccan father.

But they all look the same, don't they?

In other Strictly news, the Mail claims that one of the dancing couples, Ali Bastian and Brian Fortuna, are in a relationship. Two single people start dating - hold the front pages! And follow them with long-lens cameras when they go for a walk.

Of course, the Mail does seem peculiarly obsessed with stalking Strictly contestants.

But what is interesting about the Ali and Brian story (yes, there is one thing) is the presentation. The headline is:

Ali does a Kristina: Yet another Strictly couple are getting closer in training...

The Kristina in question is Ms Rihanoff, who has apparently struck up a relationship with her dance partner, boxer Joe Calzaghe. If you search for their names on the Mail site, you get 30 results, charting exactly whether or not they are in fact a couple.

But notice how it is the women who are the subject. Why would the headline not be 'Brian does a Joe'? Or 'Ali does a Joe' if you are sticking to the celeb angle?

Not for the Mail - the women are always to blame.

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