Sometimes I wonder if Paul Dacre’s sub-editors read through his pundits’ copy to take out their occasionally glaring ability to face both ways at once. If they do, then someone may be in hot water after the latest effort from Amanda Bloody Platell, another of his unappealing bevy of Glendas, managed the feat today when riffing on the subject of online bullying.
The stuff of nightmares
The headline is routine enough: “Being anonymously cruel online is the ultimate act of the coward” leads into the story of 14-year-old Izzy Dix, who took her own life. Ms Platell knows who was responsible: “No one will ever know what drove the sweet-smiling Izzy to take her own life, but we know for certain that she had endured months of bullying from fellow pupils and internet trolls”.
See? It wasn’t fellow pupils, because it’s all about anonymous online abuse. So it must have been “internet trolls”, because they fit the agenda. And where might they be lurking? “One of the social media sites on which Izzy was taunted was the notorious Ask.fm, which has been linked to several teenage suicides. The Latvian-based site allows users to post anonymous, vile comments”.
That’s as opposed to the vile comments that Ms Platell and her fellow pundits make about anyone not conforming to the world view of her legendarily foul mouthed editor, of course. But, as Sir Sean nearly said, I think we got the point. The 14-year-old was the victim of anonymous bullying, this takes place in a world where people do not read the Daily Mail, and this is therefore a doubly bad thing.
So, moving right along, we see that the Platell column this week has a whole host of smaller items, among which is one on a show aired by the hated BBC. “Cry-baby Ruby’s foot in mouth” declares the title, as Mandy passes adverse comment on Great British Bake-Off finalist Ruby Tandoh, who “says she was deeply upset by personal criticism while appearing on the BBC2 show”.
Ms Platell brushes away such excuses. “But the attacks were perfectly justified. We viewers knew she was a pretty poor cook who was kept in the competition only because her cry-baby antics made compelling telly. One of her cakes was so awful it looked like Dawn French had sat on it”. Meow! I’d hate to think that that was a “vile comment”. But let’s cut to the main event.
Ms Tandoh’s criticism came mainly from Twitter users, many of whom were anonymous. We know this as the “Twitter sniping” was described in a piece in the Metro, which is published by, er, the same people who publish the Daily Mail! So anonymous bullying is bad when Ms Platell says so, and then it is ignored, because the target is a “cry-baby”, as Mandy also says so.
Can anyone spare a hypocrisy-conscious sub-editor? Apply to the Daily Mail.