As I noted yesterday, when the Daily Mail’s legendarily foul mouthed editor Paul Dacre decides to go after a target, there is no question of yielding, and far less of admitting defeat, even in the face of public opinion. So the news that his personally ordered pursuit of Channel 4 over the Big Fat Quiz Of 2012 has failed to take off and become a second Sachsgate has not stopped the attacks.
No, I'm still not f***ing retiring, c***
And so, with the inevitability of night following day, has come yet another pundit ordered over the top, along with a hatchet job on one of the presenters who so offended the Vagina Monologue. Jack Whitehall’s parents knew a lot of folks in showbusiness, they paid cash for their current house, he went to a private school, and has made a lucrative career for himself. He is therefore fair game.
“The very privileged past of Channel 4's grubby golden boy: Why is Jack Whitehall so eager to prove his laddish credentials?” thunders the headline, while not telling readers that the reason Whitehall is getting it in the neck is mainly because the Mail tried to get him kicked off an upcoming awards ceremony and failed. Thus the latest character assassination, where invention is clearly on view.
That last is in the form of “the acquaintance” who by the happiest of coincidences tells the Mail “He comes out with the most unbelievably crass things, he's incredibly childish. He has been very spoilt all his life and thinks he can say what he likes”. Another “acquaintance” says of Whitehall’s family “They're rather like the Middletons ... Real social climbers. The Dad sounds like a character from Downton Abbey”.
That would be the Middletons that the Mail is wont to kick for getting above themselves, while leering at daughter Pippa’s bottom. And, as the man said, there’s more: “a source” tells the Mail that Whitehall believes the row is “going to do wonders for his career”. But let’s put this directly: the “acquaintance” is whoever at the Mail might have met Whitehall once, and the “source” is another Mail hack.
Their lines are then made up for them, as is the line taken by Amanda Platell, the Mail’s duty Glenda, who says that the whole business is because “Society has got coarser, particularly in its attitude to women”, while seemingly unaware that Mail Online is today offering readers “Glamour model Lacey Banghard strips off in CBB” and Sofia Vergara exposing her breast in a Miami nightclub.
So yes, part of society has got coarser in its attitude to women, and Amanda Platell writes for it. And nobody gives a crap that Jack Whitehall once auditioned for the Harry Potter role that was later secured by Daniel Radcliffe, nor that his parents paid cash for their current house. So bloody what? I paid cash for mine, too. Nobody cares, and it’s time for Paul Dacre and his minions to get over themselves.
Looks like my Dacre retirement prediction may be closer than even I thought.