Let’s flush the Daily Mail from the universe

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The Daily Mail has officially pulled a Jay Leno on the (too early) death of Irish boy band star Stephen Gately. Remember when Leno had actor Ryan Philippe on his show, and because the actor once played a gay character on TV, Leno went homo-phobo-obsessed to get Philippe to give the camera his “gayest look?” To the discomfort of everyone?

Well, ladies and genders, we have an heir to the gay-bashing-in-media throne.

Charlie Brooker, one of my favorite columnists, explains it all. Basically, Jan Moir as a journalistic representative of the Daily Mail wrote a very detailed article about why Gately could not have died of natural causes, essentially because he was gay. I am not making this up. I won’t send the traffic, but it’s here if you want to cut and paste:


Brooker, being more civil than I, has linked to it in his article. Brooker encourages readers to “(…) visit to the Press Complaints Commission website (www.pcc.org.uk) to lodge a complaint about Moir’s article on the basis that it breaches sections 1, 5 and 12 of its code of practice.” Here’s Brooker on why I’m frothing, too:

The funeral of Stephen Gately has not yet taken place. The man hasn’t been buried yet. Nevertheless, Jan Moir of the Daily Mail has already managed to dance on his grave. For money.

It has been 20 minutes since I’ve read her now-notorious column, and I’m still struggling to absorb the sheer scope of its hateful idiocy. It’s like gazing through a horrid little window into an awesome universe of pure blockheaded spite. Spiralling galaxies of ignorance roll majestically against a backdrop of what looks like dark prejudice, dotted hither and thither with winking stars of snide innuendo.

On the Mail website, it was headlined: “Why there was nothing ‘natural’ about Stephen Gately’s death.” Since the official postmortem clearly ascribed the singer’s death to natural causes, that headline contains a fairly bold claim. Still, who am I to judge? I’m no expert when it comes to interpreting autopsy findings, unlike Moir. Presumably she’s a leading expert in forensic science, paid huge sums of money to fly around the world lecturing coroners on her latest findings. Or maybe she just wants to gay-bash a dead man? Tragically, the only way to find out is to read the rest of her article.

(…) Anyway, having cast aspersions over a tragic death, doubted a coroner and insulted a grieving mother, Moir’s piece builds to its climax: “Another real sadness about Gately’s death is that it strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships. . . Gay activists are always calling for tolerance and understanding about same-sex relationships, arguing that they are just the same as heterosexual marriages . . . in many cases this may be true. Yet the recent death of Kevin McGee, the former husband of Little Britain star Matt Lucas, and now the dubious events of Gately’s last night raise troubling questions about what happened.” (…read more, guardian.co.uk)

See also: Hot gay sex is for homophobes – Psych study links homophobia and homoerotic arousal; Violet Blue wants Jay Leno to know he’s safe (sfgate.com). Additionally, send me any websites that parody Jan Moir and/or The Daily Mail, or rally to raise awareness, or most especially boycott the rag, or invite Moir to SF Pride. How on Earth would we dress her up? To eject her into outer space, that is.

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  1. Maybe I’m just a nit-picking contrarian asshole, but I and a lot of other people would really appreciate it if you gave that flawed and superficial “homophobes are actually gay” study less rather than more play. Penile erection is actually a fairly unreliable indicator of desire, let alone preference – it can signal a need to urinate, simple manual stimulation due to friction or pressure, or anger.

    Further, the study is being used to make a claim on someone else’s sexuality, which is a personal, private matter of identification. It’s offensive in that context even if it’s totally accurate – it’s the orientation equivalent of the Marxist ‘false consciousness’ doctrine.

    Homophobia is ultimately about proving heterosexuality. What do you think your hypothetical homophobe is likely to go out and do on reading an article that makes a threatening claim on his deeply-felt heterosexuality? It leaves him no option but to go out and beat up on me or someone I love.

  2. I first saw Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe in Youtube, and almost had a heart attack when I realised how crooked the media is in the UK, his sarcastic style is used to devastating effect in that qoute, as well it should. Those with anti-gay paranoia really need to consider Why they’re so hostile to an entire section of the population, or perhaps they just like having a good ‘Other’ to hate, now that they’re not allowed to publicly rail against ‘darkies’.

  3. DTU: “Said ‘paper’ is completely off the mark to claim that there is some kind of orchestrated campaign”

    Yes – but that’s only because they’re not running one against someone they don’t like (google ‘Sachsgate’ to see what I mean).

  4. For amusement, here’s the Daily Mail Dictionary: For example:

    Large Hadron Collider: Doomsday machine created by EU leftists designed to rip open a hole in the space-time continuum which would exterminate all life on planet Earth. However, it broke last year, so the end of the world is delayed until 2012.

    Alternatively, try this fun little ‘automatic Daily Mail headline generator’ e.g. ‘Have Muslims given the Royal Family swine flu?’

  5. The level of (justifiable) hate now directed towards the DM from, well, pretty much everywhere is astonishing – for heaven’s sake, I only learnt about the original article via a climbing forum! (It’s not exactly high on my reading list…)

    Said ‘paper’ is completely off the mark to claim that there is some kind of orchestrated campaign – do they have no idea of the decentralised concept of this new-fangled ‘internet’ thingy? No idea that no-one is in control? That, given enough people spiting their fresh cup of tea across their monitor screens when a friend forwards them a link to this article that they a) might just go and complain straight off, and b) will probably go ‘hey, have you seen _this_’ to another friend… and so it gains its own momentum.

    Another case of ‘old media’ fatally holed by their technological cluelessness and slowly sinking… a process they’ve only hastened by torpedoing themselves with their own thinly veiled bigotry and hate…

    …so much for me thinking that the DM was ‘merely’ some kind of self-parody of middle-class ‘British’ paranoia and anxiety… no-one’s really that nasty, are they????

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