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Monday 27 December 2021

Meghan Inflicts Mail’s Final Humiliation

In the lead-up to Christmas, the Mail titles were at their misinforming worst, exemplified by last Thursday’s headline “OFFICIAL: OMICRON 50% LESS SEVERE … and raft of other studies confirm variant IS weaker - vindicating PM’s refusal to bring in new curbs”. What happens if Omicron is so transmissible that it brings more than twice the number of infections is not told. Misinformation and irresponsibility combine for sales and clicks.

Spot the admission - at foot of page

Who is now in charge at the Daily Mail? That would be Ted Verity, appointed as the Mail titles - both the Mail and Mail on Sunday - become one seven day operation, finally ending the bleating of the titles’ obscenely overpaid columnists that the MoS is a totally separate entity. That’s the same Ted Verity who was at the helm when the MoS overreached itself in its efforts to smear the Duchess of Sussex, and got hit with a lawsuit as a result.

So it should have surprised no-one when, just three days after the irresponsible giving of the green light for Mail readers to go out and get themselves a seasonal Covid-19 infection, the admission finally came that the titles’ Meghan obsession had resulted in their losing that lawsuit. Verity must have had sign-off on publishing the contents of her private letter; now came the coded confirmation that it had cost them dearly.

She won. The MoS lost

Yesterday’s Mail on Sunday, an issue that may be expected to have a lower circulation than those published outside Bank Holiday periods, confirmed that the attempts to put off the moment when it was forced to publish a front page admission of defeat are over. “The Duchess of Sussex wins her legal case for copyright infringement against Associated Newspapers for articles published in the Mail on Sunday and posted on Mail Online”.

That part, despite a “the courts say she won but we don’t” tone, will have hurt dearly. It was always the contention of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, now back in the fold at the Northcliffe House bunker, that front page corrections were Streng Verboten: loss of control over any part of the front page could never be countenanced.

Consistent. As in consistent misinformation

It got worse for those following the advice to “See Page 3”: “Following a hearing on 19-20 January, 2021, and a further hearing on 5 May, 2021, the court has given judgment for the Duchess of Sussex on her claim for copyright infringement. The court found that Associated Newspapers infringed her copyright by publishing extracts of her handwritten letter to her father in the Mail on Sunday and on Mail Online”. And worse still.

Ominously, the Page 3 as-close-as-the-Mail-titles-are-likely-to-get-to-an-admission ends with “Financial remedies have been agreed”. That means once more, on top of all those other occasions when the Mail on Sunday and Daily Mail have lost lawsuits, this loss is going to cost Associated Newspapers a significant amount of money.

The final confession

How much? If the MoS has to pay all the legal costs, they could be looking at somewhere around the £2 million mark. That’s the penalty for an editor who apparently has so little knowledge of the relevant law and/or has little or no regard for its provisions, green lighting a hit job on a media hate figure. An editor who then didn’t get carpeted, but promoted.

This isn’t about Royalty or privilege. It’s about a rotten and out of control press pack who give the impression that the law doesn’t apply to them. Well, guess what? It does.

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Anonymous said...

"Misinformation" = Lies.

"Financial remedies" = Cough up, liars.

Daily Heil/Heil on Sunday = Der Sturmer/Volkischer Beobachter in the 21st century.

J said...

One of those cases where you want them both to lose... however the mail getting a kicking fair warms the heart.

At least it won't be long before Queenie is no more, then it will be time to take control of the royal estates and give them back to the people and end the monarchy once and for all (and make all the bastards take a job in tescos; the bunch of work shy benefit scroungers)... viva la revolution.

secret squirrel said...

Ironic, isn't it? The Mail is forced to print the truth on its front page, and they kick up a big fuss about it.

Mark Hayhurst said...

I deal with the effects such activities have on a free press in a couple of my plays.

This is not one of those times and I'm glad to say the Mail was made to act appropriately.

I would be against Leveson part two for these reasons

Plento Demento said...

The Tory Government and the Tory press are two cheeks of the same arse.
'Free Press' - Yeah, writers for the Tory press are free to parrot the views of the newspaper owners.