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terror in the tabloids
July 28, 2005 5:25 AM   Subscribe

Daily Mail Watch keeps an eye on some of Britain's more right wing newspapers.
posted by handee (66 comments total)

 
coral cache link just in case...
posted by handee at 5:36 AM on July 28, 2005


After seeing yesterday's Express frontpage, and subsequently filing a complaint with the PCC, a site like this is definitely needed, I think.
posted by influx at 5:36 AM on July 28, 2005


What did you base the PCC complaint on?
posted by the cuban at 5:51 AM on July 28, 2005


A bit early in the thread for images, but this was from b3ta along time ago on the Daily Mail vs. asylum seekers.
(NB: not "illegal immigrants", not "financial migrants", but "asylum seekers" - their shotgn rhetoric has a real indiscriminate scatter to it)

posted by NinjaPirate at 5:55 AM on July 28, 2005


Can someone give a list of which paper is on which side? I know the Independent is semi-right, and Guardian is semi-left. The Sun is which? The others? Which is most popular?

This reminds me of media matters and news hounds. It's always good to watch the media.
posted by amberglow at 5:56 AM on July 28, 2005


also
posted by NinjaPirate at 6:00 AM on July 28, 2005


This reminds me of media matters and news hounds. It's always good to watch the media.

You left out watch the "right wing" media.
posted by justgary at 6:05 AM on July 28, 2005


Amberglow - With the major nationals, reading from left to right:

Qualities:
Guardian Independent [Telegraph Times] Financial Times

(not sure which of the Torygraph or the Times is most right wing).

Tabloids:
Mirror                                                              Sun Mail Express Star
posted by handee at 6:07 AM on July 28, 2005


(not sure which of the Torygraph or the Times is most right wing).

Telegraph, definitely.
posted by anagrama at 6:09 AM on July 28, 2005


You left out watch the "right wing" media.
All we have is right wing and/or corporate media. We don't have one major newspaper that's leftwing or liberal at all (even tho some have been portrayed as such), and no tv news channels, and only some very small radio programs/blocks like Air America.

thanks, handee. Now, which ones are the Murdoch papers, like our NY Post?
posted by amberglow at 6:13 AM on July 28, 2005


Murdoch papers: Sun/Times/Sunday Times
posted by anagrama at 6:15 AM on July 28, 2005


handee, that's pretty good. I'd add the Observer between the Guardian and Indie, and put the Telegraph to the right of the Times. The Evening Standard should go in the tabloid section too, somewhere between the Sun and the Mail.

I hate the Mail as much as the next chap, but there seems to be something missing on that site; providing some commentary rather than simply reproducing the front pages would be a good start.
posted by blag at 6:18 AM on July 28, 2005


This reminds me of [...] newshounds

So, I've never heard of newhounds and went to read it and was greeted with an article that said Coulter laughed her flirtatious laugh (I still think she has a thing for Colmes).... And they mentioned a couple other times that she might be sexually overactive.

Tell me, what in the world does that accomplish? She's a vile, awful woman, but if she even is she is slutty what does it have to do with her screwed up ideas of history and current events?
posted by nadawi at 6:20 AM on July 28, 2005


Blag - I left out the standard because it's a London paper. The Yorkshire Evening Post is similarly right wing, but I left that out too.
posted by handee at 6:21 AM on July 28, 2005


Wow. I read yesterday that the bombers came as child refugees from Eritrea(?) and we were wondering how long it would take the gutter press to have anti- asylum seeker headlines . . . . didn't think they'd be that quick though!
posted by jamesonandwater at 6:22 AM on July 28, 2005


those bastards better get verse 4 right run em over anyway
posted by nervousfritz at 6:26 AM on July 28, 2005


Terrifyingly, the Standard has a higher circulation than the Guardian...
posted by blag at 6:30 AM on July 28, 2005


Hah. Linked from the sidebar: Melanie Phillips Watch
posted by blag at 6:40 AM on July 28, 2005


I somehow blame the liberal media ®
posted by matteo at 6:47 AM on July 28, 2005


What did you base the PCC complaint on?

The fact that the headline was wilfully factually incorrect - the bombers were not all asylum seekers, being British and all, and they were not all 'spongers' either, unless your definition of 'sponger' is 'gainfully employed'. Also the needlessly inflammatory language, and an obvious attempt to conflate asylum seekers/those on benefits with terrorists. That headline was sickening, and I'm sure there'd be a case to answer under Incitement to Racial Hatred too.
posted by influx at 6:48 AM on July 28, 2005


"We don't have one major newspaper that's leftwing or liberal at all"

...synapses not firing this morning amber?

The Daily Mail Watch is as absurd as the Limbaugh letter and so far, I see little about it that strikes me as a serious investigative tool; rather, it is merely a series of pictures with headlines that are doing exactly what they are designed to do. The Express frontpage which influx had a cow over is so typically British it's passe'. Nauseating and inappropriately childish? Absolutely, but is this really something new?

I'm not sure what the PCC complaint is over - it's not racist to draw a circle around a bombing suspect. Oh wait..he's dark skinned. Well, must be racism then.
posted by j.p. Hung at 6:49 AM on July 28, 2005


"and I'm sure there'd be a case to answer under Incitement to Racial Hatred too."

Please influx, enthrall me with the details of how that cover is racist.
posted by j.p. Hung at 6:51 AM on July 28, 2005


Thanks handee, this is a great new site. I hope they maintain it.

Its just a shame its only written in English. Because in 10 years time arabic will our first language, apparently.

jp Hung: what made you expect a "serious investigative tool"?
posted by verisimilitude at 6:58 AM on July 28, 2005


Oh this is fun. That kind of tabloid xenophobia is so predictable and so out there you could mistake it for satire. It needs no commentary at all, the front page speaks for itself.
"...and how do they repay us?" It's almost brilliant. Every possible moronic reaction condensed in headline form. I'm totally fascinated by that.
posted by funambulist at 7:00 AM on July 28, 2005


(...will be our first language)
posted by verisimilitude at 7:03 AM on July 28, 2005


I said Charles, don't you ever crave
To appear on the front of the Daily Mail
Dressed in your mother's bridal veil...


[I had to do it, since the song has been going through my head since I read this post!]
posted by SisterHavana at 7:12 AM on July 28, 2005


Wow. I read yesterday that the bombers came as child refugees from Eritrea(?) and we were wondering how long it would take the gutter press to have anti- asylum seeker headlines . . . . didn't think they'd be that quick though!

I was already picturing the headlines, but my imagination couldn't match the brilliance of the "spongeing" title.
And the moment I heard about Inter Milan cancelling the tour in UK (idiots, but thankfully they changed their minds), I just knew we'd get a headline exactly like this one. Why bash a team of millionaire footballers when you can bash a whole country? Two for one special offer, can't resist. I don't think I'm ready to click and go through those readers comments yet.
posted by funambulist at 7:18 AM on July 28, 2005


The fact that the headline was wilfully factually incorrect

You must go through alot of notepaper and green biros, then.
posted by the cuban at 7:20 AM on July 28, 2005


I only glaced at it, but it just seems to point out obvious right-wing bias and then point at it saying "Look! Right-wing bias!" I was hoping for analysis and the exposing of inaccuracies.
posted by nthdegx at 7:24 AM on July 28, 2005


Nasty snark! I like it a lot.
posted by verisimilitude at 7:25 AM on July 28, 2005


In Germany, Bildblog keeps an eye on Germany's (and Europe's) biggest daily newspaper/tabloid, the Bild Zeitung. This kind of critical coverage had an effect, apparently the "journalists" of Bild are reading it and the reaction time for corrections in the online articles is sometimes under 30 minutes after publication of criticism on Bildblog.

Here is an example from yesterday: On the front page, Bild showed a photo of the execution of two Iranian teenagers for having homosexual sex, as discussed here on Metafilter. The headline: "Here, two child molesters are hanged!" They just used the official Iranian version of events, without even mentioning the protests or the fact that you can get the death penalty for consensual homosexual sex. Unbelievable. And sad that there are so many people reading this stuff.
posted by ltl at 7:25 AM on July 28, 2005


nadawl -
The purpose of stating such innuendo about someone who you oppose is to create a "murmur" in the psyche of anyone who hears her name. It is also known as a "whisper campaign". The problem is that the "left" is not as good at doing it as the "right". You have to remember, the "left" are playing catch-up. It's like being on the defensive in chess. All your moves become reactionary, and unless you can push through and put your opponent on the defensive, you will only lose more and more ground to their tactics.

Hence, the sense that the "left" are shrill little reactionaries while the "right" are the smug, over-confident, "winning team" in this great "battle".

Of course, setting this framework creates little "skirmishes" which need to be forgotten for the greater safety of humanity, etc., etc.

Screw the lot of them. They'd cut their noses off to spite their face if they thought it'd get them points in their little game.

Half the reason why the true majority of citizens don't vote or take any active role in politics. They don't see any point in caring about it because it is all just ugly.
posted by daq at 7:26 AM on July 28, 2005


nthdegx: I see your point, but I think the idea is that you do the analysis.

I like this site because now I can go to my local shop as I normally do; buy my items and glance at the tabloid covers while I am queuing- and instead of just grumbling away to myself as I walk home, I can now hook up to this site and vent my spleen in the comments section.

There is plenty of general analysis on the UK tabloids, but this is the first I have seen that deals with it on a day by day basis.
posted by verisimilitude at 7:33 AM on July 28, 2005


www.democracynow.org go there to get the real scoop
posted by wheelieman at 7:33 AM on July 28, 2005


Funny thing is, London, with its Standard readers, still voted in "Red" Ken twice as Mayor this time round, and as part of the GLC before it.
posted by flameproof at 7:41 AM on July 28, 2005


I just about dropped my shopping when I saw yesterday's Express cover. Inside, they had a text vote: "should all asylum seekers now be turned back? Text 0901 XXX XXXX to vote, Yes or No." Oh, and for those who don't know, Express owner Richard Desmond also has a nice, high-earning sideline in porn; not sure how many titles all in, but Asian Babes and Big Ones are the ones always mentioned, along with his sub-Playboy Fantasy TV cable channel.
posted by Len at 7:54 AM on July 28, 2005


Asian Babes and Big Ones are the ones always mentioned

*Ahem* Shouldn't that be "Big 'Uns"?
posted by NeonSurge at 8:04 AM on July 28, 2005


I've never seen a nipple in the Daily Express

btw porn baron owner desmond is a big friend and donor to that nice Mr Blair
posted by quarsan at 8:23 AM on July 28, 2005


Yes, that always puzzles me, flameproof. The conclusion I drew is that, while Londoners are a pretty liberal bunch, they read the Standard because it's simple to pick one up when getting onto the tube, tabloid size - hence easier to read while commuting - and it's the only London-centric paper available. If, say, the Guardian produced a tabloid London version which was as widely-available I recon it would do well.

Or it could be that we really really hate shagger Norris.
posted by blag at 8:39 AM on July 28, 2005


I think that Desmond sold most of his porn titles other than the fantasy channel. That doesn't mean he's not an exceptionally unpleasant person owning a raft of terrible titles but lets keep it accurate...
posted by mandeville at 8:40 AM on July 28, 2005


handee I don't think it does go like that - The FT, by its very existence as the paper of business may seem naturally to learn further right, but the Torygraph and Daily Mail are arguably much further so.
posted by shoez at 8:45 AM on July 28, 2005


shoez - happy to stand corrected. To be honest, I only read the guardian and the indy unless I'm somewhere they're free, and if that's the case I'm likely to pick up the mail to give me something to shout at.
posted by handee at 8:54 AM on July 28, 2005


Terrifyingly, the Standard has a higher circulation than the Guardian...

True, but the Guardian doesn't have a dedicated distribution network like the Standard. All over London, there are newstands that only sell The Standard. Tube / train stations, major shopping streets.
posted by coach_mcguirk at 8:58 AM on July 28, 2005


This thread is nauseating - a bunch of yappy self-described liberals thinking it's oh-so-important to keep an eye on so-called right-wing newspapers that are printed in a left-wing, politically correct-worshipping government run country. If you're worried about xenophobia, you should direct your anger to Tony Blair's hate-mongering policies - which stir up resentment from the Muslim community (Iraq war, heavy-handed policing), as well as annoying the anglo-saxon St.George flag-waving whiteys (ridiculous politcally correct initiatives). All in all, you're wasting your energy on the wrong target.
posted by FieldingGoodney at 9:24 AM on July 28, 2005


mandeville writes "I think that Desmond sold most of his porn titles other than the fantasy channel. That doesn't mean he's not an exceptionally unpleasant person owning a raft of terrible titles but lets keep it accurate..."

"Asian Babes" doesn't sound like such a terrible title, does it?
posted by clevershark at 9:25 AM on July 28, 2005


Although the Standard is part of the whole terrifying Daily Mail stable it is less right-wing and sensationalist, probably to appeal to more people as they go home from work.

I normally read The Guardian or the Independent but it's all online! (Incidentally, the Guardian is changing its newspaper style next year to the slimmer Berliner format next autumn. The Standard is an easy thing to pick up at lunchtimes and such, so I do tend to read it once a week or so. Most people in London are pretty media-savvy and can read what gets reported in The Standard with a pinch of salt. For breaking news throughout the day there isn't much of a choice - similarly, the free Metro newspapers (also Daily Mail) that are given out at the Tube stations have a pretty captive audience.
posted by jasminetea at 9:29 AM on July 28, 2005


FieldingGoodney - I'd love to know which "left-wing" country you're talking about.
posted by anagrama at 9:42 AM on July 28, 2005


I knew I shouldn't look at this site because it would make my ears steam, but I had to go and do it. But then the Daily Mail's raison d'etre is making us yappy liberals (TM FieldingGoodney) fume into our muesli, so they're probably delighted by the site and the accompanying outrage.

(Btw FieldingGoodney, it’s good to know that we yappy liberals can so easily invoke the same sort of blood-boiling rage in you that the Daily Mail does in the average YL, I’d always thought we were such a limp, inoffensive lot, guaranteed never to cause more than vague irritation.)

Perhaps if we send all the asylum seekers/refugees/ungrateful brown people 'back', Asian Babes will go out of business for lack of models?
posted by penguin pie at 10:15 AM on July 28, 2005


All we have is right wing and/or corporate media. We don't have one major newspaper that's leftwing or liberal at all

NY Times, LA Times, etc. Yes, I know you don't agree, but I think you're basing your opinion on "liberal" newspapers on your own leanings. In other words, there might not be major newspapers as liberal as you are, but there are left-leaning papers.
posted by justgary at 10:26 AM on July 28, 2005


I'd love to know which "left-wing" country you're talking about

the one that invaded Iraq and after that reelected the fearless leader in a landslide.

no, wait...
posted by matteo at 10:37 AM on July 28, 2005


the one that invaded Iraq and after that reelected the fearless leader in a landslide.

The UK government - *shock* - actually has some right-wing policies, but they are mostly left-wing (why the false dichotomy?).

The right-wing policies of ID cards, CCTV everywhere, and detailed information on every individual will be fulfilled in the future (much to my disagreement), and the left-wing policies that increase the number of people reliant on government hand-outs, tighten controls on the freedom of speech (political correctness), and promote positive discrimination (it's technically illegal in the UK, but certainly goes on) are already here (much to my disagreement). Whichever way you look at it, it's the government wanting to interfere more and more into people's lives. Perhaps I'm an actual liberal in being against all of this - be it left-wing or right-wing.

I think you're all wasting your time here......that's all.....but then, I guess it's fun to build strawmen to knock down - while the government get on doing their own thing.
posted by FieldingGoodney at 11:25 AM on July 28, 2005


No RSS or Atom feed makes the baby jesus cry :(
posted by axon at 12:43 PM on July 28, 2005


The UK government is not "left-wing" but center-left bordering, these daysm on center-right. Don't blame us left-wingers for what they do... I voted Lib Dems.
posted by axon at 12:44 PM on July 28, 2005


All we have is right wing and/or corporate media. We don't have one major newspaper that's leftwing or liberal at all (even tho some have been portrayed as such), and no tv news channels, and only some very small radio programs/blocks like Air America

LOL
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:19 PM on July 28, 2005


It's not surprising that the Evening Standard has a higher circulation than the Guardian. Evening local papers are an entirely different market from morning nationals. Hell, even the Wolverhampton Express and Star has a higher circulation than the Guardian.
posted by salmacis at 1:47 PM on July 28, 2005


If we are relating circulation directly to influence, then the Metro (the paper that you get free on every empty public transport seat across the country) is probably one of the most influential UK papers.

By my standards Metro is left leaning, but then, where does that leave us? If were talking about the media than someone has bring up chomsky...

"According to the propaganda model, both liberal and conservative wings of the media -- whatever those terms are supposed to mean -- fall within the same framework of assumptions.

In fact, if the system functions well, it ought to have a liberal bias, or at least appear to. Because if it appears to have a liberal bias, that will serve to bound thought even more effectively. "

So perhaps those "yappy self described liberals" just prefer propaganda with a sugar coating and a generous dose of righteous indignation.
posted by verisimilitude at 2:21 PM on July 28, 2005


Doesn't the Metro share the same editorial staff as the Daily Mail? I always found it pretty right-leaning. Whenever I can find a political story in amongst the celebrity gossip and stories about penguins, that is...
posted by blag at 4:02 PM on July 28, 2005


verisimilitude: By my standards Metro is left leaning ...

I know what you mean, but I've always thought that the Metro's left-leaning appearance is a thin veneer and that if you could look just below the surface you'd find yet another right wing rag spitting out hatred and vitriol.

I may just be sceptical that this particular acorn would fall much further from the tree than its stablemates (Mail, Mail on Sunday, Evening Standard) all of which seem to be happy to wear their jingoism and scare-mongering xenophobia like a badge of honour.

Having said that, it doesn't stop me from thinking about the subliminal "OBEY" messages in They Live every time I see a copy of the Metro discarded on a bus seat and that maybe the infulence that you mentioned is exactly what they're after.
posted by carbon at 4:09 PM on July 28, 2005


Blag: right leaning, really? I suppose thats understandable if you spend your days reading Zmag or something, but, come on, compared to the mainstream of media its relatively fair minded. At least I have always thought so, but perhaps I shall remember to be a bit more critical next time I'm studying celebrity gossip on public transport.

And carbon there is no doubting its a thin veneer, but the analogy of veneer is limited because I can legitimately disagree about what its concealing. While you suspect its a right wing rag, I could argue its a revolutionary publication. I cant explain the celebrity gossip but penguins on the other hand, Ive seen the way they circulate. Penguins are communal beings. And always first point out that pengumanity is the unity between I and thou: "Penguins of the world unite." The ubiquitous nature of media means the potential for an 'obey' message is there, Im just not convinced there is any real substance behind the agenda.
posted by verisimilitude at 4:55 PM on July 28, 2005


As it happens, The Standard's sales are slumping disastrously in London - they only manage to maintain their circulation figures by expanding their distribution further and further outside of London. I believe they're even available in Chichester now (for those of you who don't know, that's a south coast town about 1 1/2 hours away from London by train). Hence the introduction of Standard Lite - Metro's been a huge success for Associated Press, and they're desperately trying to turn The Standard into it without anybody noticing...

Of course, what they should do is just sack Veronica Wadley and get a decent editor in (the Standard was okay under Max Hastings) but I can only assume that she has compromising pictures of Lord Rothermere and a goat, or something.
posted by flashboy at 6:49 PM on July 28, 2005


NY Times, LA Times, etc. Yes, I know you don't agree, but I think you're basing your opinion on "liberal" newspapers on your own leanings. In other words, there might not be major newspapers as liberal as you are, but there are left-leaning papers.
No, there aren't. A left-leaning newspaper would not have cheerleaded for the Iraq war nor would they have dutifully repeated all of Chalabi's and the Administration's lies. The papers you mention gleefully did all that. Even the recent articles on Roberts were much softer from the NYTimes than even in the Wash. Post, also a cheerleader for this administration.
posted by amberglow at 7:12 PM on July 28, 2005


also, a truly left-leaning newspaper would have ignored the whole Monica Lewinsky thing, like Fox is ignoring the Karl Rove/Plame/Libby/treason thing in favor of that missing white girl in Aruba. I'm sorry you bought the bullshit--even during Watergate we didn't have any left-leaning media.
posted by amberglow at 7:17 PM on July 28, 2005


I find it to be very even handed about the whole situation, displaying both sides equally well.
posted by Dean Keaton at 7:18 PM on July 28, 2005


like Fox is ignoring the Karl Rove/Plame/Libby/treason thing in favor of that missing white girl in Aruba.

Hmm, everytime I flip past they are talking about Plame. What channel are you watching.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:47 PM on July 28, 2005


I loathe the Daily Mail as much as anyone, but I have to admit, through gritted teeth, that it's extremely good at what it does. It knows exactly what it wants to say, who its readers are and what they want to hear -- and it's extremely disciplined in the way it manages to stay 'on message' (no easy thing, given the massive unexamined contradictions in the Mail worldview). It's by far the slickest and most professional product in the British newspaper market today. In that sense it deserves its success (and, as liberals, I feel we shouldn't condemn, we should try to understand .. very complex problem .. root causes .. engage the extremists in dialogue .. plurality of voices .. zzzzz).

What fascinates me about the Mail is its very dark view of the world. Other tabloids take a fairly cheery and upbeat approach -- more fun in your super soaraway Sun, etc etc -- but the Mail believes that society is falling apart and we are all heading rapidly downhill towards disaster. Melanie Phillips's writing in particular seems to be fuelled by a sense of rage and disgust at practically the whole of humanity. Her online diary is my secret Internet addiction -- I find it strangely compelling, like a horror-movie, with the exhilarating sense of danger that comes from watching her lose control of her own words, like someone driving at high speed down the motorway and then suddenly letting go of the wheel.

Metro is frightening in quite a different way. I don't find it either left-leaning or right-leaning -- it seems to me to be politically empty, with no hint of an opinion on anything; bland and disposable, the newspaper equivalent of chewing-gum. I suppose it is modelled on USA Today. It must be making massive inroads into the London newspaper market -- it's not uncommon to see a whole row of commuters on the Tube all reading it, with hardly a single person reading any other paper. If that is the future of print journalism, God help us.

(flashboy, weren't you involved in setting up some other London newspaper as a rival to the Standard? -- the London Link or something (can't remember details)? What happened to it? I remember feeling quite pessimistic about its prospects of survival, faced with the Standard juggernaut, but I hope I was wrong, and that it still continues. Won't you give us an update?)
posted by verstegan at 5:04 AM on July 29, 2005


verstegan, reality is your focus - Melanie Phillips comments on the state of the family courts, school-girl pregnancies, violent crime etc - I think anyone who writes article after article about such topics inevitably gets labelled as "negative" since the subject matter itself is rather depressing and she's no doubt told by her editor to write about such topics (social commentators don't tend to highlight the positives, they look for problems/"worrying trends"). By the way, here's an article I found on her website that actually defends the right for people to seek asylum in the UK.

Also I don't think the Daily Mail has an evil plan to convert all of its readers into hating all brown-skinned people, or to be xenophobic in general - it simply side-steps the self-contradicting liberal idea of political correctness, and therefore taps into a large market since many other UK newspapers are rather mealy-mouthed about certain issues. I am not sticking up for the Mail because I'm a reader or that I agree with everything it says - but a lot of people here have simply decided to hate the newspaper without basing that hatred on anything specific (nobody has pointed to an article yet for example, that shows the Daily Mail directly inciting hatred towards any group of people based on race). Such generalised hatred is ironically what many people here are charging the Daily Mail with.
posted by FieldingGoodney at 9:07 AM on July 29, 2005


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