Wednesday 21 April 2010

The desperate, dishonest Daily Star

The Daily Star - the fourth best-selling national daily 'newspaper' - appears to have boosted its sales through three tactics:

  1. Putting Jordan on the front page almost every day.
  2. Lying, especially with totally misleading front page headlines.
  3. Costing only 20p.

The front page on 15 April relied on all of the above.

Jordan holiday boobs horror, it screamed. 'Breast implants 'explode' on Red Sea scuba dive,' said the sub-head.

Have her implants really exploded during a scuba dive? No, of course not:

Jordan has been warned her giant boobs could blow up or drown her on her Egyptian diving holiday.

The glamour babe is desperate to take the plunge in the Red Sea with dive-mad husband Alex Reid.

But she has been told her 32DD treasure chest could drag her beneath the waves as her silicone implants are heavier than water.

So the front page 'exclusive' is actually: woman with fake boobs wants to scuba dive on holiday. It's not quite clear where the 'horror' is in that.

Two days later they claimed that Jordan was to replace Simon Cowell as a judge on Britain's Got Talent - despite having absolutely no evidence at all to suggest that is the case.

The day after, she was the focus of their 'volcanic ash cloud' coverage. The next day, there was more tedious speculation about her marriage.

On 20 April, they ran a front page headline Jordan baby's bruised face and body which was based on an article 'by' Peter Andre in New! magazine. At the end it said:

Read Pete’s full column in new! magazine, out now.

But it doesn't say that New! just happens to be owned by Daily Star owner Richard Desmond. Funny that.

So Jordan has been on the front page for five out of the last seven days. This daily diet of lies about a totally uninteresting celeb is obviously in the paper's interests as its circulation is increasing. And no doubt the publicity hungry subject isn't too bothered either.

But how can it continue to get away with it? Why does the PCC let them print such inaccuracies day in, day out?

The real concern is that when the Star tries to turn to a serious subject, it makes a complete mockery of that too.

So today's front page is:

Note the use of 'terror' - like the earlier use of 'horror' - to grab the attention, but as with the Express' obsesssion with 'chaos' and 'fury', it ends up reducing the impact and meaning of the word. If you call a slight concern about a fake tit 'horror', what do you call the genocide in Rwanda?

The start of Emma Wall's article continues the charade:

A stricken British Airways jumbo jet is engulfed by "flames" after flying into a deadly cloud of volcanic ash.

These dramatic pictures of a stricken passenger jet show the horrifying reason why flights were grounded for five days.

For anyone who has relatives flying back to the UK this could be frightening - assuming they take the Star seriously, which is a big assumption.

But then the Star reveals the truth:

The images are part of a gripping TV reconstruction tonight of a near disaster when BA flight 009 flew into volcanic dust in 1982.

So the story is: here's some pictures from a TV reconstruction about a thirty-year-old event.

To try and imply with their front page 'terror' headline that this actually happened, when people are flying for the first time in nearly a week is exploitative, dishonest and desperate.

So much like any other edition of the Daily Star, then.

UPDATE (1.30pm): The Guardian is reporting that today's Star has been removed from newsagent shelves at Gatwick and Manchester airports because of this 'plane terror' front page. Gatwick airport's director of communications, Andrew McCallum, said:

'We thought it was inappropriate at this point in time after six days of disruption and as people were anxious to get to their holiday destination or to return home to have these sort of computer-generated images on the front page.

'We had a discussion with other airports having seen the Daily Star's front page today and decided to remove it. It was in our view not appropriate.'


  1. Jordan is the Star's Princess Diana.

    I loved the 'Jordan holiday boobs horror' headline. It's just random words mashed together.

    Surely we can set up a Star headline generator.

    'Terror Peter Andre Chipstick Septic Tank'
    'Now Big Brother Mammary Chaos'
    'Jordan Stickle Brick Fury'

  2. Not only a reconstruction - but a programme that aired some time ago on National Geographic, now opportunistically scheduled for Channel 5 with a line or two about current events. Still, "exclusive", eh?

  3. They repeated it on NatGeo at 10pm last night, just as the papers were setting their front pages...

  4. Media Guardian is reporting that UK airports have withdrawn this edition of the Star from sale:

  5. If you call a slight concern about a fake tit 'horror', what do you call the genocide in Rwanda?

    Spot on.

  6. The Star clearly believe they can serve up any old dross and not only maintain but increase their readership by so doing. Sadly, this would appear to be correct. What's the quote - no-one ever went broke by underestimating the intelligence of the American public? Seems the same applies to the readership of the Daily Star.

  7. I saw the airplane on the front cover whilst at a petrol station, and was deeply concerned as my wife is cabin crew.

    What a bunch of total tw*ts to make headline news out of a 30 year old documentary!
    The editor should be reprimanded

  8. And it's funny the way the sub headline says that 'jets get OK to defy volcano'.
    The use of the word defy is just ridiculous.
    It makes it sound like the volcano is some sort of monster with red eyes deliberately trying to swat planes out of the air.
    'We are British! No Johnny Foreigner Volcano is going to decide whether we fly or not! We defy You!!'
    When actually it should be more - 'Jets get OK when a side effect of a volcano eruption has dispersed somewhat'

  9. Dropping the price of the STAR to just 20p was not their only tactic. They cut the profit margin twice in 6 months for the newsagents. Many newsagents are removing the STAR from the shelves since every item in a shop has to earn a place. At just 4.8 pence a copy profit - it is no longer a viable stock item. All are welcome to join my facebook campaign in support of the Newsagent!/group.php?gid=146989755311743


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