Saturday, 30 October 2010

The 'downmarket' Mail

The Daily Star is at it again: putting headlines on its front page which aren't really truthful.

Today's is 'Rooney gets a good kicking - Holidaying player attacked'.

The clear implication is that Wayne Rooney has been physically 'attacked' while on holiday in Dubai.

When the story begins - under the Star's worthless 'exclusive' banner - it makes clear that isn't the case.

At all:

Crocked Wayne Rooney has had a good kicking from Sir Alex Ferguson as he angers fans by lording it in Dubai.

Fiery Fergie showed the star who is boss after his contract strop by putting his comeback on hold.

So it is, at best, a verbal kicking. But was it even that?

The article by Jerry Lawton - of 'Grand Theft Auto: Rothbury' fame - says:

Boss Sir Alex Ferguson, 68, yesterday revealed the star, currently living it up with wife Coleen in the world’s poshest hotel in Dubai, will not play for another month.

He said Rooney’s injured ankle had not improved because United’s medics had not been able to treat it while he has been soaking up the sunshine...

Club insiders believe fiery Fergie’s decision to put Roo’s comeback on ice is his way of showing the petulant star who is the real star at the club.

Ah, the anonymous 'insiders'. It must be true then.

Except, over in the Mail, there's a report on Ferguson's press conference yesterday that says:

...he is not therefore rushing Rooney back after another setback with his ankle in training. Ferguson told Rooney to take a family holiday...

The Guardian has more of this vicious 'kicking':

The initial diagnosis was that he would be out for three weeks, but the striker has been allowed to go on holiday with his wife, Coleen, to Dubai this week rather than having treatment.

"I think it will be a bit longer," Ferguson said. "He's away at the moment so there's no recovery. He's having a rest. He did his remedial work before he went. Thereafter rest is what he needs and we're quite happy with that."

The saga of a footballer going on holiday with his wife has taken up more column inches than you might have thought possible.

They've been on the front of the Star for four of the last five days. The Sun made them front page 'news' on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The Express (twice) and the Mail (once) have also put them on the front page.

But today, the Mail have done their usual thing - pretending to be shocked at the Rooneys' behaviour, while at the same time dispatching a reporter to Dubai to report on their every move. David Jones' article - which appears on pages 14-15 of today's print edition - is a work of staggering inanity:

At 11am, almost to the minute, Coleen would arrive by the pool, take off one of several ­expensive beach blouses and lay face down on her sun-lounger - always the same one.

Quite what Wayne was doing for the next hour and a quarter or so, we cannot know. At 12.15pm, ­however, he would trudge down to join his wife, and there they would remain for the next five hours...

Gripping stuff, isn't it?

Having spent the week fending off obsequious butlers proffering every imaginable extravagance, however, it’s easy to imagine how ­soccer’s most stinking-rich couple might begin another day in paradise.

‘Morning Wayne,’ chirps Coleen, admiring her ample new curves in the gold-framed mirror above a bed whose mattress has been specially adjusted to a softness of their liking.

Ah yes, her 'ample new curves'. The headline claims she has a 'suspiciously enhanced cleavage'. At one point, Jones says Coleen:

must surely have had her own breasts enlarged judging by before-and-after ­photos published this week

But later he's not so sure:

perhaps even a boob job

With a remarkable lack of self-awareness, he sneers:

If we believe one downmarket tabloid, they have even decided to renew the marriage vows.

'One downmarket tabloid' - not like the Mail, which is obviously above all this drivel. The Mail's website has 'only' 11 articles in five days about two young people sunbathing for five hours a day.

And the Mail would never take anything from such a 'downmarket tabloid' would it? Obviously, there's no link between the Star's front page on Wednesday:

And this Mail website article:

Back to Jones' scintillating prose:

Last Wednesday, I ­happened (by genuine coincidence) to be directed to a sun-lounger near a rock-shaded corner of the pool where the Rooneys were taking a dip, and couldn’t help but notice their discord.

Coleen ordered a pint of draught beer and a vodka and lemonade for Wayne, and they chatted sporadically. Or rather, she did - wrinkling her nose at him to make her point, as is her habit.

He just grunted and wallowed around on a waterproof striped cushion. Not once did they kiss or hug, or even drape an arm around one another.

So he was 'coincidentally' directed to a sun-lounger near the Rooneys, but didn't bother moving. He just stayed there. Watching them talk. Making notes about the food and drinks they ordered. Staring as they sunbathed for five hours.

He must be so proud he doesn't work for one of those 'downmarket' papers.

(Hat-tips to @couragerequired and @RopesToInfinity)


  1. Well, for goodness sake. This is a young couple whose marriage has, much to the delight of said tabloids, been through what anyone would class as rough times recently. They're hardly going to be carrying on like love's young dream, are they? Anyway, as far as I'm aware Wayne has never been famed for his lively conversation.

    Wouldn't it be nice if these two young people - who are generally unremarkable, after all, were it not for Wayne's day job - could just be, y'know, left alone for a while?

  2. 'But today, the Mail have done their usual thing - pretending to be shocked at the Rooneys' behaviour' - um... but where is the Mail pretending to be shocked?

    and um... for goodness sake what's wrong with a bit of pointless celebrity gossip - the Rooney's were happy enough to have the press around; Coleen makes a very nice living out of her celebrity profile (the last thing she wants is to be left alone by the press); and some of us quite enjoy reading it.

  3. Anonymous (14:15) - If you read all the articles the Mail have written about this holiday you will see them pretending to be shocked and appalled by the cost etc while wallowing in every detail.

    You seem to have missed the point. I'm not defending the Rooney's and I'm not saying people can't read mind-numbing drivel like Jones' article if they want. It's the Mail's hypocrisy that I'm commenting on.

  4. The tabloids are stiring up outrage against Wayne Rooney who they claim is insulting ordinary people with his huge wages whilst people are worrying about the cuts.
    Of course they have no problem with the bosses and boardroom fat cats they are chums with earning millions out of the exploitaiton of their employees.
    But Rooney apparently is a disgrace? Pah!

  5. Another fabulous decontstruction of this story can be found at the always excellent's Mediawatch page,17033,8749,00.html


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