Friday, 23 October 2009

Jan Moir makes her position clear - she's an unrepentant bigot

So after a week of prevarication, Jan Moir has used her (advertising free) column today to clarify what she wrote about Stephen Gately last week.

Well, not clarify, exactly. Repeat all the same baseless, innuendo-heavy stuff for a second time. Claim she was entirely misrepresented, the victim of an orchestrated campaign (by who?) and complained about by people who hadn't read the article (proof?).

One of the most dismal aspects of this piece is the apology she gives to the Gately family:

I would like to say sorry if I have caused distress by the insensitive timing of the column, published so close to the funeral.

Right, so she's not sorry for what she actually said, just when she said it. Charming. She just doesn't get it.

To everyone else, there is no apology. She only says:

I regret any affront caused.

In other words: stuff you. Because if she really regretted causing affront, she wouldn't repeat many of the same allegations for a second time. She writes:

if drugs were somehow involved in his death, as news reports suggested, should that not be a matter of public interest?

We were told that Stephen died of 'natural causes' even before toxicology results had been released. This struck me as bizarre, given the circumstances.

Circumstances of course which Moir didn't really know, apart from some newspaper reports. Toxicology results which she didn't know either. But rather than wait, she decided she knew best - and clearly she still does. Better than the coroner, in fact. Sadly she didn't explain how the drugs she seems to know he took caused the fluid on his lungs which killed him.

She then claims she never said something which she did say:

I have never thought, or suggested, that what happened that night represented a so-called gay lifestyle; this is not how most gay people live.

Odd, given she said this:

Gay activists are always calling for tolerance and understanding about same-sex relationships, arguing that they are just the same as heterosexual marriages. Not everyone, they say, is like George Michael.

Of course, in many cases this may be true. Yet the recent death of Kevin McGee, the former husband of Little Britain star Matt Lucas, and now the dubious events of Gately's last night raise troubling questions about what happened.

Now assuming she picked the example of George Michael because of his antics in public toilets, then she is saying not everyone is like him in 'many cases'. Not most.

She fails to clarify why the death of Kevin McGee was in any way relevant to Gately. Probably because she knows it isn't. She pretends that her vile observation that Gately's death:

strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships

was that:

there was a 'happy ever after myth' surrounding such unions was that they can be just as problematic as heterosexual marriages.

But this was a myth she seemed to invent for her column. Whoever said that no civil partnership would ever end in separation? Who claimed there were never going to be unhappy civil partners?

Indeed, when she writes:

If he had been a heterosexual member of a boy band, I would have written exactly the same article

it's a blatant lie. She would not have written about the myth of happy-ever-after heterosexual marriage. She would not have mentioned whoever she thinks the straight version of George Michale might be, or suggested they were representative. She wouldn't have referred to 'straight activists'. And she almost certainly wouldn't have referred to a:

very different and more dangerous lifestyle.

She lies:

Absolutely none of this had anything to do with his sexuality.

Anyone who knows me will vouch that I have never held such poisonous views.

Well, the article last week was poisonous, and if she really thinks people will believe her saying his sexuality had nothing to do with it, she's totally deluded.

She writes:

To be the focus of such depth of feeling has been an interesting experience, but I do not complain.

Followed by:

This brings me back to the bile, the fury, the inflammatory hate mail and the repeated posting of my home address on the internet.


To say it was a hysterical overreaction would be putting it mildly


I can't help wondering: is there a compulsion today to see bigotry and social intolerance where none exists by people who are determined to be outraged?

All of which sounds a lot like her complaining.

And a 'hysterical overreaction'? Clearly she's so repentant she's calling everyone who was offended 'hysterical'. Not in the least like the Mail-orchestrated Sachsgate affair, of course, in which Moir played her miserable role.

That applies to her point about people 'determined to be outraged'. The default position of the Daily Mail is to be 'determined to be outraged' day in, day out.

The fact is, people saw bigotry and social intolerance because it did exist in her sorry little rant.

And there are other contradictions. Last week she described Gately as a:

founder member of Ireland's first boy band, he was the group's co-lead singer, even though he could barely carry a tune in a Louis Vuitton trunk...popular but largely decorous.

Whereas this week, he was:

a talented young man

And of her claim that there was 'nothing natural' about his death, she says:

My assertion that there was 'nothing natural' about Stephen's death has been wildly misinterpreted.

What I meant by 'nothing natural' was that the natural duration of his life had been tragically shortened in a way that was shocking and out of the ordinary. Certainly, his death was unusual enough for a coroner to become involved.

When any 33-year old dies suddenly, a coroner would almost certainly be involved. This does not make it 'not natural', nor does it support her original claim.

And her attempts to explain 'nothing natural' is just bizarre. Here's what she said:

Healthy and fit 33-year-old men do not just climb into their pyjamas and go to sleep on the sofa, never to wake up again.

Whatever the cause of death is, it is not, by any yardstick, a natural one. Let us be absolutely clear about this.

In her original response, she backtracked, saying:

Anyone can die at anytime of anything

But now she seems to be suggesting they can't, again.

She claims she was showered with support too:

I also had thousands of supportive emails from readers and well-wishers, many of whom described themselves as 'the silent majority'. The outcry was not as one-sided as many imagine.

Really? So homophobic Mail readers sent supportive emails. What a surprise. But as there were over 25,000 complaints, that's a lot of emails to receive if she is to justify the claim it wasn't one sided. How many thousands was it? Even the comments on the Mail website were hugely against her. That's how 'silent' they were.

Oh, and is she sure all those 'thousands' of supporters read the article? Because she repeats her claim that her piece was:

unread by many who complained.

Can she provide the slightest evidence for this? How can she possibly know that they didn't read it? What proof does she have?

It's also an odd claim for someone who spoke out about the BBC Sachsgate affair, where the tens of thousands of people who did complain only did so after reading about it in the Mail, not having heard the radio show live. Moir included. So add hypocrite to all the other charges.

She also tries to re-state her view that this was all:

an orchestrated campaign by pressure groups and those with agendas of their own.

In fact, as she isn't on Twitter, she wouldn't have a clue. What was noticeable was watching the sheer number of people taking an entirely natural reaction against her column. After having read it.

Who does she think is the conductor of this orchestra? What agenda does she think is behind it? Naturally, she doesn't explain. And, of course, she's not complaining about it.

And then she admits:

I accept that many people - on Twitter and elsewhere - were merely expressing their own personal and heartfelt opinions or grievances.

Oh right. So a cynical, orchestrated campaign by non-readers and mischievous gay activists was also heartfelt and personal grievances. Last week they were 'mischievous', now they are 'heartfelt'? What is she on about? Have the Mail executives been adding bits to try and take the heat off? Because it hasn't worked.

Towards the end she sets up a straw man to knock down:

Can it really be that we are becoming a society where no one can dare to question the circumstances or behaviour of a person who happens to be gay without being labelled a homophobe? If so, that is deeply troubling.

Who has suggested you can't question? She entirely misses the point of what people found so offensive.

And frankly, if you have to spend 890 words explaining what you really meant in a 917 word article, you clearly ain't much of a writer anyway.

No doubt the Mail - and Moir - will expect this to be the end of the matter. Unfortunately, they will be wrong. This is not an apology, but someone who is in a hole and continuing to dig. There is nothing in here that corrects the egregious errors of judgement in her homophobic rant last week.

In fact, by playing the victim, stating she has been entirely misunderstood (yes, over 25,000 people all misinterpreted the words in the same way), saying the complainers haven't read what she wrote and then repeating claims that there was something untoward about Gately's death means this will rumble on.

Jan Moir: Twitter trending topic, for a second consecutive Friday.


  1. I'm no fan of Moir but this article reads like something out of a tabloid.

  2. You've probably seen it, but this is Jan Moir last year talking about Ross & Brand:

  3. So, when she said "not natural" she really meant "unexpected" (in relation to his death).

    Well, I suppose it's a mistake anyone can make. Except, perhaps, for someone who makes their living from words, that is.

    She just doesn't get it. But, she's right on one thing: no-one should have published her address; that's just wrong.

  4. Can we expect another 25,000 compalints? i hope so.And i'm glad people have stopped advertising on her articles.And i wouldn't recommend jan watch the britisdh drift championship anytime soon because shane lynch competes and his car may experience a brake failure if he sees her....

  5. Well, having read so many blogs about the power of Twitter and what Twitter and the blogosphere achieved with regards to their campaign against Moir, I'm surprised she still has a job and that the Mail is still in circulation.
    So maybe the smugness can cease because here she is again....
    But why were non nazis reading the mail in the first place? That's what I don't understand, are people really trawling through the right wing press to find something to get outraged about?
    seems like it - but Daily Mail has homophobic, bigoted, racist agenda is hardly news is it?
    Grow up

  6. You don't get it do you? Part of the explanation why those lovely people at the BNP get so many votes are the 'stories' that get posted as fact in the Mail (and Express) mainly on immigration but any sort of intolerance. Countering those in any way possible is necessary for people to have the correct information and not just rabble-rousing junk passing as fact.

    Carry on Tabloidwatch - doing a good job here.

  7. You do write like a tabloid (or at least what a tabloid should be like), and I a mean that as a compliment. Your writing is clear, succinct, informative and accessible.

    I like that you don't allow your passionate dislike to consume your prose. Equally, your writing is witty, but not at the expense of brevity or intellectual rigour. I'm frankly astounded by your output at such a high quality.

    What 664 (not a regular reader I assume) seems to overlook is that, whilst a lot of people understand that The Daily Mail has a homophobic, bigoted, racist agenda, few people appreciate quite how bad it is. By possessing all the good qualities that a tabloid ought to have, your blog is accessible to those whom need to be convinced of the Daily Mail's pernicious agenda.

    Keep up the the good work - you are one of the best bloggers around.

  8. Thank you very much Kit and Uponnothing. Those words really are appreciated.

  9. seconding kit and uponnothing.

    664 - if people don't look at the lies in the tabloids and break them down and explain why they are lies than they will go on unquestioned and allowed to stand. it is childish to bury your head in the sand and pretend that non of this happens.


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

Comments are moderated - generally to filter out spam and comments wishing death on people - but other messages will be approved as quickly as possible.