The Daily Mail’s legendarily foul mouthed editor Paul Dacre, when not engaged in ranting his way around the paper’s Kensington headquarters (an act now known – revealed by Private Eye – as a “drive-by shouting”), is the driving force behind the forthright opinions expressed in Daily Mail Comment. And today he has once again gone after Corporal Clegg in his usual righteous style.
Why should I need a f***ing fire extinguisher, c***?!?
Sadly for the Vagina Monologue, he has also stretched the facts to fit his rant over the Rennard affair to breaking point. The pretence is made that newspaper journalists exposed the Rennard allegations. They did not. Once again, as with Jimmy Savile and Plebgate, the story was brought to public attention via broadcast media. The Mail was too busy leering at slebs.
“It was ... a free press which revealed the criminal abuse of expenses by MPs” he thunders. That would be the Maily Telegraph bunging someone for the CD-ROM that was being openly hawked around the dunghill that is Grubstreet. Some journalism, eh? But, as the man said, there’s more: “It was a free press which exposed Chris Huhne’s lies, Cyril Smith’s sex abuse and ... Mark Oaten’s rent boys”.
Huhne? You mean someone at the Sunday Times heard a rumour, took advantage of Vicky Pryce’s anger at being dumped and conned her into thinking she’d not get into any bother over taking her husband’s speeding points? Oaten? That would be the Screws who sat on the story for three years, right? Cyril Smith? The story that Private Eye broke nationally and the Mail ignored for decades?
Christ on a bike, Mr D, you’re not exactly showing your profession’s best side, are you? Especially given that the Clegg bashing includes this gem: “the only concern of this ‘liberal’ appears to be ... to keep the allegations against Lord Rennard hidden”. Yeah, right. That would explain why, as I type, he’s on a live LBC97.3 phone-in taking a series of calls about, er, Lord Rennard.
And save us the hobby-horse dishonesty about “statutory control of the press”, because nobody has even suggested such a move, not Clegg, not Leveson, not anyone in the Labour Party, not Hacked Off, nobody. Zilch. Nada. None. Zero. The thing that’s frightening you shitless isn’t “state control”. It’s independent regulation. The kind that you can’t control.
If you’re such a defender of free speech, Paul Dacre, why did you keep schtum for years about Phonehackgate? If you have such high principles, how come Steve Whittamore had almost a thousand items of overwhelmingly illegally obtained information down to your account? If you’re so keen on media plurality, why the barrage of malicious and often untrue attacks on the BBC and Channel 4?
Better hope Boris’ fire service cuts haven’t bitten yet. Your pants are alight.