It was the original Mail twitchfork exercise: publicising Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand leaving explicit messages on Andrew Sachs’ voicemail about what Brand had done with Sachs’ granddaughter Georgina Baillie well after the event was revealed and after very few complaints had been made. It was apparently Brand’s on-air reference to the Mail’s Nazi sympathies in the 1930s that was his undoing.
This was relayed to the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, who was said to have “gone ballistic” and demanded that an example be made of Brand. But that was then, and this is now: the Mail dislikes foreigners even more than errant comedy actors, especially if they are US citizens who have had the effrontery to support the Democratic Party. Then Brand is transformed into the good guy.
Anyone thinking that not even the Mail would be so blatant in its selectivity need look no further than the Mail Online article covering Brand’s appearance the other morning on cable news channel MSNBC, where he appeared on their breakfast offering Morning Joe, whose main host, former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough, was not on set when Brand was being interviewed.
Instead, this was left to his co-host – and registered Democrat – Mika Brzezinski, and it is here that the Mail version appears to depart from reality. We know this because the exchange between her, Brand, and panellists Katy Kay and Brian Shactman, was also the subject of a report in the HuffPost. But let’s hear from the obedient Dacre attack doggies first.
They tell that “the razor-sharp Essex boy, 38, was treated to a barrage of naff gags at his expense ... It was a huge mistake for host Mika Brzezinski and panelists Katty [sic] Kay and Brian Shactman to make ... he seemed shocked by the sheer clumsiness of it all ... Brand ... looked smart in a waistcoat and shirt ... grabbed a clipboard and decided to anchor the show himself”.
Now the HuffPost version: “he jokingly hit on co-host Mika Brzezinski ... It was not long before he noted Brzezinski's ‘low-cut dress’ and compared her hair to Princess Diana's. ‘I'm only flesh and blood,’ Brand told Brzezinski, noting that she appeared ‘nervous.’ ‘I've got instincts,’ Brand said. He jokingly instructed her to take off her wedding ring, and called her a ‘shaft-grasper’”.
And, as the man said, there’s more: “Joe Scarborough appeared for the show's last segment, where he said that Twitter followers now want ‘Morning Russell and Mika.’ When Shactman chimed in to say that Brand had talked about Brzezinski ovulating, she responded, ‘That was awkward actually’”. Most of that didn’t make it into the Mail report, and might have been expected to prompt condemnation if it had.
Going the extra mile for hypocrisy: what you won’t see in the Mail. No change there, then.