I wasn’t going to comment on today’s Daily Mail top story, but the temptation has been too great, the target too large and inviting: the article, “Give us a REAL watershed: Hard-hitting report demands clampdown on raunchy prime-time shows”, sits there on Mail Online as a beacon of such staggering hypocrisy that one cannot, as Mrs T once put it, pass by on the other side.
Leaving aside the suggestion that Ofcom is “toothless” – see this analysis by Tabloid Watch for a few of those facts that the Dacre hackery find so inconvenient – and the idea that Young Dave is likely to introduce more regulation of the broadcast media this side of hell freezing over, there is still a litany of double standards to consider.
The Mail is clearly concerned about a variety of influences “making children grow up too fast”. So growing up fast is A Very Bad Thing. Or perhaps it isn’t, if the children are Michael Jackson’s, Nicole Kidman’s, Jennifer Lopez’, Halle Berry’s, Brad Pitt’s, or Miranda Kerr’s.
And Dacre’s finest are hot on the trail of all those involved in the premature sexualisation of young children. This is also A Very Bad Thing. Or perhaps it might not be, when you want to produce a publicity puff piece for fash trash like Jessica Simpson and Tommy Hilfiger, in which case, pushing a range of “sportswear, denim and activewear” at kids as young as seven is fine.
But what about those raunchy dance moves? After all, the Mail is on solid ground there ... except when there’s a requirement to cover Britain’s Got Talent, and more specifically a less than fully clothed Jessie J, who “pranced around the stage on her tip toes, showing off her legs”.
And then there’s that other side of post-watershed behaviour, where less than fully clothed young women set a very poor example to those impressionable young kids. That’s A Really Bad Thing, except for yet more coverage of The Only Way Is Essex, featuring at least one of the “cast” working her way into a serious state of alcoholic derangement.
All of those items are available to view, right now, on a website that will not be covered by any parental control, because it is that of a national newspaper. It’s called Mail Online, and yes, Paul Dacre, that’s the website of your newspaper. At the same time as your obedient hacks are churning out why-oh-why attacks on the broadcast media for their bad behaviour, your obedient hacks are indulging in ... the same kind of bad behaviour.Paul Dacre, you are in no position to call out anyone. You, Sir, are a charlatan, an unprincipled bully, and above all, a stinking hypocrite.