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Wednesday 22 June 2011

Race To Play Both Sides

The obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre include in every morning’s Daily Mail copy that demonises the usual targets: the EU, anyone seen as soft on law and order, any branch of Government, anyone in receipt of benefits, immigrants, trades unions, anyone behaving in a way that falls short of the Mail’s invariably flexible standards, and of course the BBC. Plus, the Mail is not, repeat not, racist, and is in fact hot on racism – honestly.

So the ability to kick the Beeb and call it out for racism is a dream scenario for Dacre’s finest, a veritable slam dunk of a story. Thus the elevation of a moment from last Friday’s One Show from a quip about poor studio lighting into a major complaint involving, er, 56 viewers. And there has been some Twitter reaction, demonstrating that the Mail cannot trawl deep and far enough if it scents a Beeb bashing tale.

The story, which has been the subject of such urgency that it has taken more than four days to come to the Mail’s attention, carries the by-line of Paul Revoir (crazy name, crazy guy?!?), who seems to be permanently assigned to sniff out anti-BBC copy. It concerns a remark made by Chris Evans to a guest, which Revoir has tried to link to a comment made years before by Sarah Kennedy, because she too has worked for the BBC.

But the Mail is on shaky ground when calling out anyone for racism. After all, this is the home of the obscenely overpaid and bigoted churnalist Richard Littlejohn, who has of late been on the case of Gypsies, Muslims, more Muslims, yet more Muslims, more Gypsies, asylum seekers, more asylum seekers, Afghan asylum seekers, more Afghan asylum seekers, and Albanians.

On a more general tack, the Mail is no stranger to stoking up anti-immigrant sentiment, publishes copy from hacks whose language is often indistinguishable from the bigots it claims to condemn, and inventing Muslims where they don’t actually exist, in order to indulge in yet more thinly disguised Islamophobia, although there isn’t really any of that, because Fat Dick Littlejohn says so, innit?

This is the paper quoted in Nick Davies’ Flat Earth News sending a senior reporter on a 300 mile drive to cover the murder of a woman and her two children. An hour and a half into the journey, the news desk called him and told him to drop the story and come back. The reason he was given? “They’re black”.

Davies also mentions the Mail characterisation of people who are “of the dusky hue”. As Davies says, there is “an element of pure naked racism” at work. So Paul Dacre and his dubiously talented rabble of hacks should have no problem answering the question “what colour is the pot, kettle?”.

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