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Monday 21 February 2011

Mail Hypocrisy – And Howlers

An apparently sympathetic tone has been struck by the Daily Mail today: the paper has returned to the severe sexual assault on CBS reporter Lara Logan in Cairo recently. The piece tells that Logan was “stripped, punched and whipped with flagpoles” in Tahrir Square on February 11.

Some in the crowd called Logan a “spy”, possibly a reaction to local media coverage hostile to Western journalists. That coverage also suggested that Israeli agents were using journalism as cover, which would not have been helpful.

But, having read this article, another thought entered: this is the same paper that gives a pulpit to the appalling Peter McKay (aka Peter McLie, the world’s worst columnist), who contributes the tedious Ephraim Hardcastle column. And McKay’s take on Ms Logan’s experience was rather less kind.

Indeed, the piece, which included the nasty and now infamous “Nothing excuses the ... attack ... but she does have ‘form’ for dressing provocatively”, has generated a significant amount of uniformly hostile comment, not that McKay would be fussed while the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre is keeping him in drink vouchers.

And the elementary error at the top of the column, where McKay refers to David “Shagger” Mellor as “Richard Mellor”, has yet to be corrected. It’s not the only howler on view at the Mail right now: in today’s article on the Logan attack, “Daily Mail Reporter” tells that “Days before her attack, Ms Logan had been held in Alexandria on suspicion of being foreign spies”.

Clearly, you’ve got to be exceptional to get in at CBS.

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