If you search the Daily Mail website for the term ‘bullying’ you’ll get 2172 results. However, if you searched the Daily Mail website for examples of the newspaper bullying someone, you’d get substantially more articles than that. The Daily Mail website is updated so often because it fills its pages with articles criticising celebrities for either being too fat, or too thin. The Daily Mail will criticise a celebrity for being too thin, yet they never stop to think about whether celebrity weight loss is linked to the volume of ‘Ohhh look at X, hasn’t she / he got fat, doesn’t our unflattering photographs make them look awful (click to enlarge)’ articles constantly run by tabloid newspapers.
Take the Daily Mail website today, for just one example. On the one hand they seem to be celebrating the fact that Kimberley Walsh seems to be ‘the last Girls Aloud member with a shapely figure’, calling the other members of the group ‘pencil-thin’ whilst Miss Walsh is ‘all-woman’. So here, the message is clear, if you are ‘pencil-thin’ you are not a complete woman. However, scroll further down the page and you come across another article criticising Natalie Cassidy: ‘Not again! Strictly Come Dancing’s Natalie Cassidy wears another sheer top to rehearsals‘.
I’m not quite sure just what Natalie Cassidy has done to the Daily Mail or its readers to be on the end of what is a constant stream of bullying articles. From a newspaper that is supposedly trying to prevent the moral fabric of society from tearing apart, it seems strange that they bully certain celebrities with as much vigour as the worst feral school child that they despise so completely. Melanie Phillips often rants about the demise of society being caused by ‘multi-culturalism’, single mothers or the welfare system, but she hasn’t said a word as far as I can see about what influence the tabloid media has when it mocks a person’s appearance just so that its readers can log onto a website and join in.
Paul Dacre has argued in the past that newspapers should be allowed to invade a person’s privacy and even personal grief in order to attract readers; his argument being that once people are attracted by lurid headlines and sex scandals to pick up a paper they’re going to be getting the benefit of well-reported news on politics and social issues. That Dacre assumes a person attracted to a newspaper to sneer at Natalie Cassidy in a top they don’t like will then be moving straight into the in-depth politic articles is as laughable as Dacre believing that the Daily Mail actually has any decent, honest and neutral reporting left on any significant topic.
Paul Dacre is a warped individual who values his personal privacy whilst invading others to make a living, he sees his personal privacy as a choice, yet he does not give others the same choice when he edits his newspaper. Likewise, he sees himself as a cultural conservative, upholding traditional family values, whilst at the same time chasing the same puerile scat as other tabloid newspapers in a desperate attempt to halt the steady decline in newspaper sales. Dacre’s obsession with the BBC [pdf] being a hotbed for left-wing journalism (he even refers to the Times as ‘pinkish’) shows just how skewed his outlook on life is. He must really believe that the Daily Mail reports in a neutral manner, which makes the BBC far-left, whereas in reality the BBC is remarkably objective and neutral whilst the Daily Mail creeps ever further to the far right of the spectrum.
The constant bullying that the Daily Mail commits should be viewed alongside its constant attacks on ‘feral youths’ or the ‘degredation of society’ that the paper is so sure is happening – and so keen to promote through ‘investigations’ – surely the paper cannot, without being hypocritical, pursue both. Hypocrisy, though, is something that the Daily Mail does best.
Bullying is just another example of how the Daily Mail has no moral high-ground. Rather it makes sense to consider the Daily Mail as a person with an infinite amount of arms crawling along the gutter of society desperately trying to snatch pedestrians from the kerbside and drag them ever closer to the sewer that it lives in. Every time a person logs onto the Mail website and feels the need to post a criticism of Natalie Cassidy the Mail is one person closer to succeeding in its mission..