Saturday, 17 October 2009

Will the Mail react to Moir as it expected the BBC to react over 'Sachsgate'?

The obnoxious way in which the Mail tried to occupy the moral high ground over the Sachsgate affair should come back to haunt them in the wake of the Jan Moir article about Stephen Gately.

Take this quote from a Mail on Sunday editorial on 25 October 2008:

It is astonishing to discover that this torrent of verbal sewage was pre-recorded, approved by a nameless 'senior executive' and then deliberately allowed to go out on the air.

Quite so. So would the Mail like to name the 'senior execuitve' who gave the go-ahead to Moir's torrent of written sewage?

Moir, of course, has issued a feeble 'response' but there was no hint of an apology from her. Or from the paper. Surely the Mail wouldn't accept a failure to apologise if others caused offence?

Many of us would much enjoy the sight of Mr Ross and Mr Brand offering a five-star grovelling apology, with BBC Director General Mark Thompson at their side.

Change the names for Moir and Paul Dacre, the Mail Editor, and yes, we'd very much enjoy that sight, thanks.

Mail columnist Stephen Glover was also up in arms, asking:

How could a man of such high morals preside over the BBC's descent into the gutter

Is he equally worried about the Mail's descent into the gutter under Dacre who regards himself as highly moral, despite the filth his newspaper all too often spews out?

Of the BBC DG, Glover added:

His statement was certainly everything one might have wished for, referring as it did to 'a gross lapse of taste that has angered licence payers', but it had to be wrung out of him.

Obviously there will be no such trouble extracting such an admission from Paul Dacre over Moir's 'gross lapse of taste that has angered readers', or Glover will surely be the first to complain. Won't he?

He also wrote:

The BBC still pumps out many programmes that offend against decency and taste, and are often particularly offensive to women.

Now who could quibble with this slight change to that sentence:

The Mail still pumps out many articles that offend against decency and taste, and are often particularly offensive to women.

Anyone? No, thought not. No doubt Glover will be taking exactly the same line in his media column in the Independent on Monday...

Of course Richard Littlejohn also weighed in:

This was the week decent people stood up and cried, like Peter Finch in the movie Network: 'We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it any more.'

We don't have to take it lying down. This has been a stunning victory for common decency over the self-appointed, self-obsessed, metropolitan narcissists who control so much of our public life.

At last, the secret people of England have spoken.

We will wait with baited breath to see if he thinks the same thing happened yesterday.

On 30 October, a Mail editorial gloated:

It's been a painfully slow business, but yesterday the BBC finally woke up to the huge offence it has caused by broadcasting the puerile obscenities of Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand.

The long-overdue decision to suspend the pair, followed by Brand's resignation, was a small victory for decency - and for licence-fee payers whose feelings the Corporation has insulted for far too long.

So how long before the Mail - which aside from the Moir statement has said nothing - finally wakes up to the huge offence it caused? Will it suspend Moir, who so many people think has insulted common decency?

This is, after all, reportedly the most complained about article in British newspaper history. That's some achievement and not one to be brushed off lightly.

In those circumstances, how can Dacre continue to Chair the Editor's Code Committee, which oversees the Code of Practice policed (ahem) by the PCC. He must be made to consider his position there, or it makes the PCC an even bigger joke than it already is.

The same editorial suggested:

Now he has finally broken off his holiday, Director-General Mark Thompson must address these questions with all urgency.

To which we ask - where is Paul Dacre and when is he going to address the questions raised by Moir's column?

The Mail also claimed:

when grotesque mistakes are made, nobody takes responsibility.

Moir certainly didn't take responsibility, choosing instead to lash out at mischievous gay activists who hadn't read her hateful article in full. So who at the Mail will?

The following day, another Mail editorial delighted in action taken by the BBC Trust:

After a week of prevarication, the BBC faced up to its responsibilities yesterday.

Well, that's one day of prevarication from the Mail, and counting...

The Mail added:

Lesley Douglas, the Radio 2 controller who recruited Brand and was ultimately responsible for the broadcast, rightly resigned.

So the person who was ultimately responsible did the right thing and resigned? Over to you then, Mr Dacre...


  1. Great article. There always seems to be one law for the press and one for the BBC. The papers seem to be free to make crap up entirely, which if the Beeb did they'd get hammered for by Dacre and Co. I blogged a response to Moir and Dacre's comments about an orchestrated campaign: which I hope you find interesting.

  2. Fantastic. Will be re-tweeting this to bring it to as many peoples attention as possible. Great stuff.

  3. Of course not. There really is one law for the press and one for the BBC. The Mail will get away with this. No-one will lose their job, it'll be forgotten in a month's time, and Jan Moir will probably get a slot on The One Show (because if the BBC turned her down there would be a massive outcry from the Mail). They'll win, just watch.

  4. Very good. I did read her article in full, and I'm not a gay activist (mischievious or otherwise); I thought it was in the poorest possible taste, as well as filled with snide suggestions in an area of which the writer knows next to nothing.

    Shabby work at best, and my true thoughts are unprintable.

  5. Bated breath. Not expecting anything from the Mail, by the way, I think they'll be delighted by the increased traffic. I don't suppose this kind of article (Moir's nasty piece) will lose them a single one of their readers, it plays to their prejudices.

  6. Great piece. Have tweeted it @CandyKID
    Can't let this debacle rest.

  7. Excellent article, which reflects exactly what I was thinking. Not holding my breath for the Mail's response, to all this, mind you.

  8. Great post. Retweeted and facebooked.

  9. The final paragraph where she tries to imply that Gateley's and Matt's Lucas ex-partner's deaths and civil partnerships are somehow interconnected beggared belief.

    As thee article states, who the hell approved this blatant homophobia and then allowed to respond by saying it was all an 'Orchestrated Responce' (on Twitter??) and the claim people where 'mischievously' claiming homophobic 'undertones' .... Undertones??

    It does offer an in sight into the thinking going on inside this insidious paper that both the author and editorial staff 'don't see what the fuss is about'

  10. Those in glass houses should not throw stones.....

  11. Great article - I expect nothing more than abject hypocrisy from them but it's good to have them called on it.

    @Robin - you'd be amazed at the number of former DM readers who have said they're going to stop buying it after this. She crossed a line which even Middle England has objected to.

  12. Mail's Editor is head of the PCC. most unlikely.


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