Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Outrage, Nazis, immigrants and upskirts: welcome to the Mail

There are several articles on the Daily Mail website today that deserve a quick comment.

First, there's the Mail's second attempt in a few days to out-do the Daily Sport in publishing 'upskirt' pictures of young women in short skirts/dresses.

Generally speaking, there is very little news value in 'singer gets into limo', but a lack of news value has never stopped the Mail website before...

The paparazzi pictures they have used of Rihanna - the singer in the limo in this particular article - are really, really tacky.

She's lifting her leg up! She's bending over in front of the camera! You can see her pants! And there's this one, which may be one of the weirdest pictures the paper has ever run:

It's an incredibly cheap and crude attempt to boost website hits. And to slag someone off for their 'dimpled thighs' (what is it with the Mail and 'dimpled thighs'?)

Second, the Mail has decided that it is going to be outraged by another comedian who has had the audacity to tell a joke:

Here's what the Mail claims Elton said:

The novelist called The Queen 'a sad little old lady' and Prince Philip a 'mad old bigot who wishes it was still the war'. Elton claimed Prince Charles was 'a disillusioned ex-hippy,' Prince Andrew is 'a bit of a yob,' and suggested Prince Edward was gay.

It's not exactly funny, but how can the Mail possibly justify calling those remarks 'sick' and 'foul mouthed'?

And like the Frankie Boyle joke about Rebecca Adlington, if it's all so awful, why the need to repeat it? In detail.

As one of the comments says:

Quick everyone! Get outraged - the Daily Mail has spoken! - Delboy, georgeosborneland, 17/11/2009 14:09

Third, the murder of Geeta Aulakh which is currently top story on the Mail website. When it first appeared, the headline was:

Asian woman, 28, found dying in street with hand chopped off

Thankfully it has been changed to remove the pointless reference to the woman's race - perhaps because she was born in Britain.

Next is How Hitler's Nazi propaganda machine tried to take Christ out of Christmas, a shameless attempt by the Mail and the people leaving comments to suggest those mythical people who want to 'ban Christmas' are all Nazis. As 5CC noted, the stories have already begun this year, with the Times falsely claiming Dundee was banning Christmas despite plenty of very easily found evidence to the contrary.

The comments include lots of myth-based, fact-free ramblings as:

Oddly the 'Nazification' of Christmas reminds me of so many of the stories we hear about PC local authorities trying to rename Christmas 'Winterval' - Iain, Bristol, UK, 17/11/2009 16:20 Yes, and certain individuals are trying to take Christ out of Christmas over here, in this day and age too! - Pol, Stoke on Trent, 17/11/2009 16:41 Bit like some of OUR councils...eh - Sid Jacques, Durham, 17/11/2009 17:12

Yes, the Nazi's are exactly like our councils Sid. Probably using wheelie bins instead of freight trains.

As Richard Bartholomew pointed out, the article is very similar in content to this one published in Spiegel four days ago. From the original:

One symbol posed a particular problem for the Nazis, namely the star, which traditionally decorates Christmas trees. "Either it was a six-pointed star, which was a symbol of the Jews, or it was a five-pointed star, which represented the Soviets," Breuer says. Either way, the star had to go.

From the Mail:

The symbol that posed a particular problem for the Nazis was the star, which traditionally decorates Christmas trees. 'Either it was a six-pointed star, which was a symbol of the Jews, or it was a five-pointed star, which represented the Soviets,' Breuer said. It had to go.

From the original:

In the 1930s, their efforts were aimed mainly at changing the ideology of Christmas, Breuer explains. But when World War II started, the focus became more practical.

From the Mail:

In the 1930s, the Nazis tried to change the ideology of Christmas. But when World War II started, the focus became more practical.

And so on. The whole Mail article is a poor bit of plagiarism which has been picked up just as a warm up for the many 'PC bans Christmas' stories to come.

Finally the immigration story. The article Afghan asylum seeker wins right to stay in Britain after converting to Christianity begins:

An Afghani who arrived in Britain on a hijacked jet has been granted asylum after converting to Christianity.

It's not until the fifth sentence - conveniently beneath the first picture, so well down the page - that the Mail explains the man in question wasn't one of the hijackers, which the first sentence heavily implies.

There are at least three comments that have been left by readers which refer to the still untrue 'immigrant stays because he had a cat' story, suggesting this Afghan should have got a pet rather than go to the trouble of converting to Christianity. It is deeply worrying that a lie that has been spread around by the media so casually is now accepted as true.

One of the other comments - and like the rest, this has been accepted and published by a moderator - says:

It's hard to understand why 'J' thought it necessary to reveal his genius in such elegant prose, why the mods thought it imperative to pass it on, and why at least thirty-eight people have voted it positive. What is he even 'yeah sure'-ing about?

But most of the comments are of the kind where you can sense their head shaking as their intolerant fingers bash out their message. The Human Rights Act, stupid judges, the Liebour government, crooked asylum lawyers and all liberals seem to be being 'blamed' for what they believe will see crowds of Christian converts trying to get to Britain.

But here's the thing. According to the Mail, this man is forty-nine, has two children and although he:

was a Muslim, [he was] baptized as a Christian five years after arriving in the UK and now regularly attends church and bible classes in Hounslow, west London.

So a middle-aged, Church-going, father of two. Isn't that exactly the type of person the Mail loves?

And isn't that the sort of immigrant the Mail's readers love? After all, they demand that all immigrants should integrate into British life. It's a Christian country, they repeatedly say. If they don't like, they should leave. If they can't be like us, they're not welcome.

So this immigrant has converted to the religion of the host country and probably been to church far more regularly over the last four and a half years than most of them. And yet, he's a fraud who's not welcome either:

Any wangle will do ... pass me the sickbag.
- Philip, Bankrupted Britain, 17/11/2009 13:55

he is a muslim not a christian
- joseph diazrald, London, 17/11/2009 13:37

Now I have just about heard it all.Expect a rush of born again Christians on the next ferry from Calais
- Dave, Essex, 17/11/2009 13:21

Deport this bogus man.
- BD, Kent, 17/11/2009 13:07

Disgusting - extremely disgusting......
Don't encourage them - or else they will be a flood, and the boat will sink.
- Expatriate, Hamburg, Germany, 17/11/2009 11:57

Either way, he couldn't win. It's almost as if the Mail and its readers just don't want any immigrants here at all...


  1. they cannot see past their own rage and fear

  2. Regarding the "yeah, sure." - It seemed pretty clear to me that this person was sarcastically doubting the truthfulness of such a ridiculous story, and therefore on your side.

  3. 'Don't encourage them or there will be a flood, and the boat will sink?' Way to mix metaphors there from (oh the irony!) 'Expatriate, Hamburg.'

  4. hmm, seems to me they are proving it's less about religion and more about race. quelle surprise! as you say, this person is probably a more devoted christian (converts are the strongest believers and all that) and would have a greater sense of faith and religion than many of the outraged commenters.
    they can't win can they. why can't mail readers see that asylum seekers are doing just that - seeking asylum.

  5. i love seeing comments about immigrants by people living in foreign countries. maybe it's only acceptable if you're white and christian. y'know, like the nazis who tried to rebrand christmas.

  6. It would be pointless, I suppose, to note that the Mail made a mistake in labelling the man an 'Afghani' which is the country's currency, not the name of the people which are called 'Afghans'.


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