Tuesday, 5 January 2010

From bad to worse

Regular readers of this blog will know that p0pvulture has something of a love-hate relationship with the Daily Mail. I love the fact that it aggregates a whole host of celebrity and entertainment stories, but lament the sneery, bullying tone it adopts when reporting them.

It's the paper's innate sense of superiority that troubles me, even more than its loathsome xenophobia or fanatical dedication to a Britain that only ever existed in Enid Blyton's most halucinogenic cheese dreams.

Thankfully though, there's a delicious irony in the fact that its tone seems to be growing ever more supercilious, even as the quality of its reporting spirals irrevocably down the drain. Three examples in today's edition really caught my eye.

The first was a story about Gemma Arterton who has spoken out about the way Brits love to build up home-grown talent, only to knock it down at the first sign of success. Let's be honest, the woman has a point. So how does the Mail trail the feature in its margin?

Not getting off to the best of starts then. Addressing Gemma's claims, the Mail says "According to her, we simply don't like pretty girls who do well." Perhaps they're going to disprove her theory with an even-handed approach to the subject? "Obviously being a woman of both beauty and ability can be a burden. But Miss Arterton, it seems, is confident she can handle the pressure."

I'd say that was a 'no'.

OK, so Gemma's young and hot - she can take care of herself. What about Sylvester Stallone? The 63-year old film-maker recently broke his neck while filming the action movie The Expendables. He told FHM Magazine "Actually, my fight with Stone Cold Steve Austin was so vicious that I ended up getting a hairline fracture in my neck. I'm not joking...I had to have a very serious operation afterwards. I now have a metal plate in my neck."

That all sounds pretty painful. The Mail's headline?

But it's not all just snide remarks and holier-than-thou editorial. Sometimes it's just the laziest journalism on record. Today's finest non-story is a 'before they were famous' piece about everyone's favourite spinster songbird Susan Boyle. Prepare yourself now, this is some exciting stuff...

In a Daily Mail showbiz exclusive, the paper breathlessly announced that a woman called Tori Graham found half of someone who may have been Susan Boyle, in a photo that was taken at Edinburgh Waverley station in 2002. This is what the Pulitzer was invented for.

To paraphrase Oscar Wilde - we are all in the gutter press, but some of us are looking up the skirts of the stars.

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