You can learn an awful lot about the opinion of the Daily Mail by its use of inverted commas in headlines. Inverted commas can mean a number of things but normally they mean that the the text contained within them is untrue, or that it is laughable.
So, what can you make of this headline: ‘Class greets German twin town visitors with ‘shameful’ Nazi salute‘. This seems to imply that greeting German visitors with a Nazi salute isn’t actually shameful, but rather than the PC brigade have labelled such action as ‘shameful’.
Considering the letter printed in the Daily Mail today, I guess this isn’t really a surprise.
Still, you cannot argue that the Daily Mail doesn’t know its audience:
In response to ‘shellsuitwarrior’ (thanks for taking the time to comment) below I’d just like to add that I completely understand their point and I can see that there is an argument that the Daily Mail is trying to appear neutral with this headline.
However, I would like to point out that as mentioned by the Mediawise submission [PDF] to the PCC Governance review: headlines are not covered by the accuracy clause and are in fact treated as ‘comment’ by the PCC. This ruling came about in response to complaints made about the Daily Express headline ‘Bombers are all spongeing asylum-seekers’ in 2005 – something which clearly not true, and as the PCC ruled, doesn’t even need to be.
I’d therefore argue that the Daily Mail is perfectly able to use headlines as comment, and given the huge amount of Daily Mail headlines in particular that bear no relation to the content of the article I would not be overly inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt here.