After outflanking overzealous lawyers for unscrupulous oil firms, the ‘blogosphere-twitterati’ axis had another shot at idiocy this week.
I don’t read the Daily Mail voluntarily, with it’s constant stream of drivel designed to invoke fear in the middle classes, the coded stories that play into BNP and racist tropes, utter tripe dressed up an science etc., but I did look at the comment piece by Jan Moir yesterday (here is a screen shot showing the original version, before it was ‘tidied up’ and retitled by the DM).
Despite her subsequent protestations of innocence and accusations of a ‘orchestrated campaign’, it looks very much to me like here homophobic article sparked spontaneous reaction. As for Trafigura, it was sparked by people reading the online version of a newspaper, and passing on their reactions to others. Rather than being orchestrated, what really seemed to happen was that people joined on to a bandwagon, adding their own suggestions (“complain to the Press Complaints Commission”, “oh, they will reject complaints if it’s not from those mentioned in the article, what about an advertiser boycott?”). Reading some of the articles and the comments beneath them, it certainly looks to me as if it was ad hoc, not planned out.
The most disgusting aspect of the whole affair is that Gately’s family are holding the funeral for him today. There really is a ghoulish element in the press – even though Moir said in her article that it wasn’t “being ghoulish to anticipate, or to be mentally braced for, [the] bad end: a long night, a mysterious stranger, an odd set of circumstances that herald a sudden death” having listed a group of still living people that she does this for, apparently. Sorry, but that pretty much is ghoulish – as is raking through the dirt on a guy barely dead a week and extrapolating all sorts of nonsense from it.
Anyone with any decency would at least hold off for the sake of his family and friends. Not the Daily fucking Heil though.