Even though the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre has taken time off for medical attention - private, of course, none of your NHS and mixing it with the hoi polloi for the Vagina Monologue - the Daily Mail’s pursuit of those to whom it has taken an irrational dislike continues unabated. This includes actor, writer and campaigner Steve Coogan, who has had the audacity to appear before the Leveson Inquiry.
Who the f*** says we should have independent press regulation, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay
So it was no surprise to see this week kick off at Mail land with Dominic Lawson - someone who should know better, but hey, he’s being well paid and in the Northcliffe House bunker, that means doing as you’re told - telling readers of the Lord Sewel cocaine sting “The peer who thinks he's Steve Coogan has dealt democracy a terrible blow”. He thinks he’s got a cabinet full of awards, does he?
Well, no: Lawson then confirms that the headline is not just the invention of a creatively minded sub-editor by rounding off his discussion of another paper’s story by telling “But at the moment, the Lords seems to be undergoing some sort of identity crisis — rather like the 69-year-old Lord Sewel, who appeared to be confusing himself with Steve Coogan”. Because nobody at the Mail ever did Snow, right?
Rather, anyone at the Mail who did Snow kept it quiet so the assembled hackery could pass severely adverse comment on the personal lives of the likes of Coogan, who has on more than one occasion been the subject of dishonest and improper behaviour by the Mail, which then uses its dubiously sourced copy to get righteous over his conduct, while somehow not noticing their own appalling behaviour.
And the Mail kicks Coogan on the most feeble of pretexts, as witness “Steve Coogan's American dreams in tatters after his prime-time TV series is cancelled after just one season”, about Happyish, where he secured the lead role after Philip Seymour Hoffman’s untimely death. The Mail tells “It was considered Coogan’s big break after his acclaimed performance in the 2013 movie Philomena, which also starred Dame Judi Dench”.
Considered by whom? It was on the Showtime channel, not a major national network. Bizarrely, there is even the obligatory made-up quote: “A source said: ‘Happyish was supposed to be the show which made Coogan a household name in the States … He got the role fresh off Philomena, which the critics loved. But Happyish never found its feet and Coogan never really gelled with the American audience’”.
And to that I call bullshit. The only “source” is from whoever cobbled up the article looking in the mirror. That a US channel only orders one series of a show is no big deal - in fact, it’s a credit: had Happyish been really bad, it would have been pulled before the end of its run. The only reason the Mail is whining for the sake of it is because Coogan is a supporter of Hacked Off, which campaigns for properly independent press regulation.
That means the Mail, by the iron code of Fleet Street, has to take every last opportunity to kick him. Welcome to the playground.
Probably only fair as "One rogue reporter" recorded Steve Coogan saying he loves to mention the name whenever possible because it upsets Dacre Vader.
Paul Dacre's an old man unwell
His Lordship's papers must sell
No time for the sages
Staff cringe as he rages
"Hacked Off c'lebs must go to hell"
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