Lily Allen recently had a miscarriage. She and her partner are understandably distraught and a spokesman for the couple told the press that ‘the couple had asked to be left alone’. The Daily Mail published this when the ‘news’ broke, including the request that the couple be left alone. They have since added a second story, which adds a bit more detail in both the article and headline, just to make sure they get a few more hits on their website.
As if digging a bit deeper wasn’t intrusive enough for the Mail they have followed this up today with an open letter from Rachel Morarjee entitled: ‘Dear Lily, my heart goes out to you. I still grieve for my little boy who came too soon and was too fragile for this world’. It seems to me that if Rachel really cared, at all, about the shared experience she has in common with Lily Allen she would have written a private letter, not splashed tragedy porn on the Mail website and the Mail print edition.
I struggle to see how the reason for the miscarriage or any other information is ‘in the public interest’, even more so as the couple released the basic information to the press along with a request to be left alone. As for the open letter, I just think publishing it is in such poor taste, the sentiment is lost because it is being published for the sole reason of selling more newspapers. The Daily Mail has never respected requests for privacy, and I suspect this is going to become ever more clear as it seeks to maximise clicks on its websites, whatever it takes.
After all, this is the ludicrous news organisation that recently claimed that getting a ‘Daily dose of celebrity gossip could be good for your health‘. Incidentally, searching the Mail website for ‘Lily Allen’ returns 1154 results.