The interest exhibited by the cheaper end of the Fourth Estate in the affairs of singer and campaigner Charlotte Church has become more prurient and intrusive by the day, and increasingly abusive with it. It is as if the Sun and Mail were locked in some kind of bizarre competition to see who could stage the finest Flintstones tribute act (which means, being the most adept at not just barrel scraping, but finding Bedrock).
What the f***'s wrong with giving some singer a roughing-up, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay
And the latest news in this competition is that the Mail has just overstepped the decency line in no style at all: while its readers are being regaled with the usual hate and envy inducing rubbish such as “Pictured: The £50,000 luxury stretch Hummer being used to ferry asylum seekers from London to Manchester after village complained about being deluged” (“shortage of buses” sounds less shocking), the hacks have been rumbled.
Ms Church’s neighbours, clearly possessing rather more of a sense of community than the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, saw them coming and have duly informed her. “So, a Daily Mail journalist has been interrogating my neighbours over the last week, asking questions about me and my children. Thoughts?” she Tweeted yesterday. And thoughts there were a-plenty.
Firstly, and most importantly, including children is in breach of the Editor’s Code of Conduct, and the IPSO committee which oversees this is run by, er, Paul Dacre, the very same Paul Dacre who is the editor of the Daily Mail. This once again shows that the Editor’s Code looks very fine on paper, but when those labouring in the service of the editor who runs it decide not to bother with observing it, you have a problem.
And that brings us back to the vexed subject of independent press regulation. As groups like Hacked Off have been pointing out ever since it was formed to replace the discredited PCC, IPSO is little more than a sham regulator. In response to Ms Church, Peter Jukes advised her “Complain immediately to @IpsoNews and ring the newsdesk to desist over children - privacy/harassment issue”, but whether this has any effect is doubtful.
The Mail can claim that it has not published, and that until it does so, it cannot be damned, and that this is an inviolable part of our free and fearless press. However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, Dacre’s hacks should know the provisions of the Editor’s Code, and so should not have asked any questions about Ms Church’s children in the first place. Either her neighbours have it wrong - or Dacre’s doggies do.
Moreover, we already know why the Sun and Mail are going after Charlotte Church: she is popular, articulate and has passed severely adverse comment on the press at the Leveson Inquiry. I mean, before long, she’ll be wheeled out by Evan Harris at a Hacked Off event. Whatever is the world coming to?
So, all too predictably, Dacre has sent the shock troops to put the frighteners on her. Ms Church would to well to check they haven’t been though her dustbins, too.
Ironic to think that the chilling effect of Leveson could lead to such a lot of hot air being generated by the tabloids in defence of their new last chance saloon.
So irony is not quite dead but privacy certainly seems to be for those in the cross hairs of newspaper owners and their mindless nminions.
The more I see and hear of Dacre and his hacks the more I look fondly on garden slugs.
IPSO?........Oh PLEEEEEEASE......Do me a favour........
When hacks want to write a story about someone, living or dead, they always creep around the neighbours looking for gossip. It's not special treatment for Charlotte Church.
@ Ann Kelly
That may be so. But a "celeb" has more chance of airing the issue than someone the public doesn't know. That's why the "celebs" who gave evidence at Leveson have been attacked by the recalcitrant media rather than those unknown like the Watsons who lost their son.
The press especially like to reason that the "celebs" use the media for publicity and are therefore fair game forgetting that that works both ways as "celeb" stories sell.
But it seems only the press can have it both ways with them able to smear or criticise the "celebs" but not the other way round.
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