Colchester’s Daily Gazette trails its print content on its website, and on Thursday the second item was “An agroraphobic woman was told she has to attend JobCentre appointments in person - instead of via videolink - under new rules ... Jen Lant, 22, of Marks Tey, says it is virtually impossible to go out of her house and said she hoped to be able to work from home”. That was at 0824 hours.
What's your problem, c***?!? She's not rich enough to f***ing sue us
By 1230 hours, Mail Online had lifted the content, secured four photos of a relaxed and smiling Ms Lant with her family’s pet dog (not shown here, as not relevant), and slanted the story as blatant hit bait for its staggeringly ignorant and inconsiderate commenters. “Unemployed agoraphobic woman, 22, claims 'discrimination' after being told she can't attend job centre via videolink” read the headline.
Note the use of quotes around discrimination, guiding readers to the conclusion that there isn’t really any discrimination. And the first line of the article: “An unemployed agoraphobic who receives benefits by attending Jobcentre meetings via videolink”, combined with the photos, is intended to provoke one kind of reaction and one alone. She’s sitting there smirking and getting benefits for it, commenters! Get angry!!
Jen Lant was then summarily abused by Mail Online commenters: “Not scared to get her breasts out for the cameras ... she lives alone apart from the dog, so who walks the dog [she doesn’t live alone] ... get your lazy ass up off the couch and go find a job ... she’s obviously healthy, still has her limbs and can do things without limit ... get over it and get a job ... so she has good days when she can go shopping”.
There was a lot more, but you get the picture. Agoraphobia is not something that can just be “got over”, and Ms Lant is not merely “sitting there” and doing nothing: her treatment includes hypnotherapy, which she will undergo because she wants to be able to get out of the house without the prospect of a panic attack. Not that the Dacre attack doggies are about to tell their readers that.
And, just in case anyone thought that the Colchester Daily Gazette let her down, well, no they didn’t: the reporter concerned was unaware that the Mail had lifted the story until Ms Lant told him. Thus a lesson for all who talk to their local papers in the belief that this is the end of the conversation – the Mail is watching many of their websites and has no qualms about lifting content to suit their agenda.
Meanwhile, Jen Lant has received her hypnotherapy workbook and is looking forward to this next phase of her treatment, sadder and wiser in the knowledge that Paul Dacre’s shock troops couldn’t give a stuff about her, especially as they know that she and her family aren’t well enough off to do anything about it (Dacre received his own “benefit” of £1.8 million last year).
And that’s quite a reward for bullying vulnerable young women.