Where the f***'s my starring scene and close-up, c***?!?
That someone is the Daily Mail’s legendarily foul mouthed former editor Paul Dacre, who clearly believes that any programme covering the investigation into the murder, and the subsequent convictions, must only proceed if it is acceptable to Himself Personally Now. So the Mail on Sunday has duly cried foul on behalf of its editor in chief. “A new TV drama series about the investigation into the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence has been accused of downplaying the role of the Daily Mail in bringing the killers to justice”.
There is more. “Actor Steve Coogan stars as the detective whose remorseless work was crucial to two men being convicted of murder”. Er, so what? “The actor has long been a critic of the Daily Mail and a supporter of anti-Press lobby group Hacked Off … None of the characters is based on journalists, such as the paper’s then Editor, Paul Dacre”.
Vanity, much? Have another whine. “Following its 1997 Murderers front-page headline, the Mail ran numerous stories on the case, chronicling moves to reform double jeopardy laws to allow Stephen’s killers to stand trial a second time, the setting up of a public inquiry and the scandal of how bungling police officers escaped sanction”. Yeah, right.
Professor Brian Cathcart begs to differ here: he tested the Mail’s claims against the historical record, and “I found that, while the paper’s actions involved editorial brilliance and probably had positive consequences, its principal claims are at best exaggerated and at worst unsupported by evidence. Even where it can be argued that the paper did help bring about changes for the better, they were not the changes it actually sought”.
Dacre? Complaining? Meh
For instance, “One example is the assertion that the Mail’s reporting ‘prompted Home Secretary Jack Straw to initiate a major inquiry’, as the paper put it in February 1999. That claim has been made on a number of occasions but it is problematic and at the very least needs careful qualification - chiefly because in the relevant months of 1997 the Mail never once called for a public inquiry. Even when the Lawrence family demanded one, the Mail conspicuously did not give its support”. And when there was a public inquiry?
“And once it became clear, in the early summer of 1997, that there would be an inquiry, the Mail publicly opposed the kind of inquiry - into police failures - that Doreen (now Baroness) Lawrence was arguing for and that the government of the time ultimately set up. In short, the paper has been claiming credit for the establishment of an inquiry which the record shows it didn’t seek and which took a form it actually opposed”. Well, well.
You can read more of Prof Cathcart’s analysis HERE. Meanwhile, the MoS has run yet another self-pitying article which concluded “For any TV drama about the history of the Stephen Lawrence case not to properly recognise the part played by the Press is not just ludicrous, it’s wrong”. By the Mail titles’ own former group legal advisor. Butthurt, much?
Paul Dacre is sore as hell. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving Vagina Monologue.
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