Ricky Gervais, Ricky Gervais, Ricky Gervais

He’s just presented the Golden Globes. That is big in America. The Daily Mail websote is big in America. Ricky Gervais is a celebrity. The Daily Mail must therefore take advantage of the Google searches and the interest in Ricky Gervais by writing as many things as possible about Ricky Gervais until the excitement dies down. So not only did they write several articles on his performance at the awards, but they also follow this up with the usual ‘story’ based on nothing more that a photo, posted on Twitter no less: ‘Something to show off Ricky? Gervais reveals trim new physique in ridiculous gold pants’.

The most disturbing thing about this article is the language used by the writer – Sarah Fitzmaurice – to describe the fact that Ricky Gervais has lost a few pounds. Compare and contrast the images:

It is pretty clear that he was never exactly obese and has simply lost a bit of weight and toned up. Sarah Fitzmaurice – obviously having a Daily Mail understanding of what unacceptably fat is – sees things differently and describes Ricky Gervais as being:

quite literally a shadow of his former self after losing an astounding amount of weight

‘Astounding’, ‘literally a shadow of his former self’? The Daily Mail’s attitude to weight is about as healthy as their approach to depression:

Depression: get over it

Come on you depressed clowns, get a grip.

Brendan Fraser ‘more paunchier’

Today Brendan Fraser faces the wrath of the Daily Mail for putting on weight, and this time the Mail have really outdone themselves with the headline and opening lines:

Brendan Fraser

‘Who ate all the pies?’ Is this journalism? Is this type of journalism that makes Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre ‘passionately believe that Britain has the best newspapers in the world and – indeed, our papers today are as good as they’ve ever been’? The Mail website has become increasingly full of ‘stories’ based around a celebrity daring to ‘parade’ themselves in public with a belly – even if they do not have a belly. The tone is always the same, there is always a disbelieving quality to the articles that seem to find it astonishing that celebrities are shameless enough to leave the house without being perfect. As they wrote about Pierce Brosnan on the weekend:

The GoldenEye star made no effort to hide his burgeoning belly, wearing a tight white shirt that emphasised every unflattering bulge…

These days, the actor seems to be thinking more about environmental issues than his increasing weight gain.

They cannot believe that anything could be more important to a person than their weight and the same sentiment is shared in every article – as if the Mail have a standard template that they just copy and paste different celebrity names and photos in:

Fraser’s bright blue sweater did nothing to hide his paunchy belly, while his face appeared to have filled out considerably.

However, he didn’t seem too bothered by the extra pounds, looking happy and relaxed as he walked smiling through the city.

Mention of ‘unflattering’ top, check, mention that person DOES NOT EVEN SEEM BOTHERED BY IT, check, photos of said person walking down street, check. All as formulaic as it is incredibly pointless, soul-destroyingly inane ‘journalism’.

As if to emphasis the terrible journalistic standards of the Daily Mail the final caption is really rather brilliant:

More paunchier

Indeed, and the Daily Mail just gets ‘more shitter’ every day.

Pierce Brosnan has OTHER things on his mind apart from his waistline!

Eric Pickles is not the only man on the Mail website being pointed at today: ‘Diet another day: Pierce Brosnan makes no secret of big belly as he piles on the pounds‘. The shame, the shame – he ‘makes no secret’ of it, when clearly he should be hiding until he gets rid of it or wearing really loose clothing so you cannot tell:

The GoldenEye star made no effort to hide his burgeoning belly, wearing a tight white shirt that emphasised every unflattering bulge.

How dare he, and what is worse Brosnan doesn’t even consider his OWN WEIGHT HIS TOP PRIORITY:

These days, the actor seems to be thinking more about environmental issues than his increasing weight gain.

Yes! Imagine that, it is almost as if there are more important things in life than your waistline.

Jessica Satherley – where did it all go wrong?

The Enemies of Reason wrote a short post the other day pointing out the hypocrisy of the Daily Mail complaining about a BBC commentator commentating on the weight of young tennis player Laura Robson:

Some might say that portly commentator David Mercer should keep his views to himself on the subject of weight.

That did not stop the BBC veteran offering the opinion that British starlet Laura Robson needs to lose some ‘puppy fat’.

Mercer, 60, was forced to say sorry to 16-year-old Laura for his words, broadcast live on the BBC’s ‘red button’ service to cable and satellite viewers.

Mercer apologised for his comments which were – to be as fair as possible to him – about an athlete so at least it is kind of his job to comment on issues like fitness. The Daily Mail – as Anton points out – criticises Mercer for his comments whilst also calling him ‘portly’ which seems to totally defeat the moral purpose of their article (not to mention that as a commentator he has no need to be anything else). Furthermore, it isn’t as if the Daily Mail fill their pages (pun not intended) with ‘news stories’ that are simply photos of larger people going about their daily lives: ‘Let’s hope he’s sharing that! James Corden grabs a takeaway with his girlfriend‘.

The whole story – ‘written’ by Jessica Satherley, more on her in a moment – is about a man buying a takeaway to share with his girlfriend.  In case you cannot possibly imagine what this looks like the article is accompanied by three photos of James Corden and partner walking down a street with a carrier bag. The article is full of fascinating details and the nagging question: why does James Corden not worry about being fat?

When the temperature drops at the end of summer there’s nothing more satisfying than jumping into your tracksuit bottoms and grabbing a takeaway, and that’s exactly what James Corden did yesterday.

The 32-year-old and his girlfriend Julia Carey popped out to pick up the fast food in north London before returning home to dig into their feast.

The Gavin & Stacey star is obviously not concerned about his waistline, despite his new upcoming role on Britain’s Got Talent.

Again, David Mercer’s comments related to an athlete, the Mail’s article relates to a comedian / TV presenter, in what way is his weight at all relevant – unless the Mail is arguing that fat people should be too ashamed to eat takeaway or appear on TV. As if the article wasn’t offensive enough or vacuous enough already it also manages to insult the vast majority of the population:

Down to earth: Despite being a successful actor and comedian, James Corden still prefers to live a normal lifestyle with his girlfriend Julia Carey

Fancy that, a celebrity wanting to slum it just like the rest of us plebs living a ‘normal lifestyle’ where we don’t even warrant a Daily Mail photographer following us around and snapping away as we go about our lives. The article also implies that the photographer was politely invited to snap away:

as he strolled down the street with girlfriend Julia, Corden was more than happy to be pictured in his baggy tracksuit bottoms, trainers and loose cardigan.

‘More than happy to be pictured’? Did you ask him? Or did the big smile and thankful puppy dog eyes – not featured in any of the photos – give away his delight at having a camera shoved in his and his partner’s face? This is not just drivel, but offensive and intrusive drivel that invites readers to laugh at the fat person daring to look content with their shape, and even being shameless enough to dare eat a takeaway.

Those of you familiar with the ‘journalism’ of Jessica Satherley – featured on Buff the Banana with Paul Dacre a couple of times for her raunchy articles about famous women – will know what to expect from her: celebrity shit, celebrity shit and more celebrity shit. Apparently – if I have the right Jessica Satherley – she has:

a Bachelors Degree in Journalism and started working at local newspapers where I wrote, interviewed and researched my own stories.

Where did it all go wrong, Jessica? On your profile it says you used to be a journalist? At what point during your degree did you imagine that you would one day be writing an article based on three photos of a slightly chubby man walking down the street with a takeaway? At what point did you think: ‘one day I’ll be the proud name next to:’

  • Ashley Greene forgets to take her ankle weights off after sweaty gym session
  • LeAnn Rimes battles through relationship criticisms in gladiator sandals
  • Una Healy plants public kiss on boyfriend after celebrating the end of summer at hotel party
  • ‘There’s no place like home…’ tweets Kim Kardashian after ending her European tour
  • Gisele Bundchen flies the flag for Brazil at New York gala
  • Chantelle hits boot camp in preparation to meet Preston for love talks
  • Nicole Richie celebrates 29th birthday in Mexico with Christina Aguilera and Sam Ronson
  • Incredibly thin Emma Rigby shows off her tiny waist in skin-tight bodysuit
  • Kerry Katona enjoys girls night out and actually looks chic
  • Now that IS unusual! Tom Jones’ receding hairline is transformed into luscious locks
  • Brian McFadden gets a very friendly hug from pretty young brunette on lads night out

And on it goes, the Mail website has 144 of her articles along these lines and she also manages to churn out this shit for the Sun, Express and Metro. Yet she claims to ‘write about health, lifestyle, women’s interests and travel’. I think she needs to update her profile somewhat to reflect the bulk of her ‘journalism’.

A degree in journalism for this? I write for a blog that does not give me fame, fortune or even readers yet here I am thinking: ‘It could be worse, I could be a journalist like Jessica Satherley’. I think that says an awful lot about the state of the UK media and the shit it insists on serving up every day.