The Daily Mail, under the less than benign editorship of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, has a straightforward formula: serve up a diet of stories that matches the readers’ view of the world. Dacre and his hacks have decided that their readership does not approve of same sex relationships, and there have been a whole slew of catty and sniping pieces about homosexuals over the recent past. Some, like the appalling Peter McKay (aka Peter McLie, or the “World’s Worst Columnist”), who is behind the pisspoor Ephraim Hardcastle column, have made it their more or less sole calling.
So when Boyzone star Stephen Gately died suddenly last week at his holiday home in Mallorca, it was only a matter of time before the nudge-nudge brigade at the Mail went into action. Gately was gay, and was on holiday with his long time partner, but so what? Ah well.
Friday saw the Mail put the boot into Gately’s memory, the chosen hack being Jan Moir. The article has been discussed enough over the past day for me not to need to quote from it – it was snide, sniping, complete with an overlay of innuendo, and put directly, it was bang out of order. Except to those in the Mail bunker, who have given the impression that they’ve been the victims of a wicked and orchestrated campaign: they just don’t get it.
The Tabloid Watch blog has been on the case (as one would expect), and so, in characteristic style, has Big Al, who detests the Mail already. Not sure how he’s going to broach this with Pa Broon, who is on surprisingly good terms with Paul Dacre.
Tabloid Watch has compared the Mail’s behaviour here to its crowing at the Beeb over what became known as Sachsgate. Will we get to see an apology? Any apology? The Mail, at least, must have realised they’ve loused up – perhaps one good thing to come out of the sorry business will be an engagement of brain before laying into gays in future.
Expect to see this one mentioned during the paper review on tomorrow’s Andy Marr Show. Hopefully not by Amanda Platell.