I have a number of guilty pleasures; cigarettes, wine, historical romance novels and dramas, cheese and watching My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding are among them. Don’t judge me. Seriously, don’t.
However there is one that I am truly guilty about. And that’s The Daily Mail. I’m a journalist. I know what the DM does. What it stands for, where its bias lies, who it targets and manipulates…and yet…I can’t look away. I want to scream when Jan Moir writes another bile-infused incoherent hate-filled ramble about gays or Tim Henman’s mum or anything really. I am infuriated by the “too fat, too skinny, so-and-so gets back their post-baby body” followed post haste and with no sense of irony by stories about how women are too hard on themselves and reading things like the DM will make you sick, anorexic or cause you cancer.
I roll my eyes every time Liz Jones writes another column about how she’d rather be dead than fat, having plastic surgery, spending thousands of pounds on moisturiser and animals and yet crying poor so all her loyal readers (“i’m on a pension, but I’d like you to have my last $5, Liz”) send her send her money. Or she finds another excuse to appear in a photograph in a fluffy bathrobe. Or she rags on her ex-husband or why the local Spar doesn’t stock Veuve Cliquot.
Is she real or some fantastically elaborate satirical hoax. I don’t know which would be worse – that she is or that she isn’t.
I’ve never watched The Only Way is Essex and I have no idea who fucking Snookie is. And if I see just one more photograph of Lampard and Brinkley frolicking on the beach in Dubai I may hurt someone.
I’m sick to the back teeth of what is making Cheryl Cole look “thin and drawn” and if Kerry Katona is fat or skinny this week. I hate it.
I click on the “super diet – lose 2 stone in one week” articles, then promptly kick myself because they are, as we all know, total bullshit. I gobble up stories of useless layabout unemployed breeders who think the world owes them a living like someone rubbernecking at a car crash, then have to remind myself it was a weasly DM journalist who came into their house, drank their tea and ate their digestive biscuits in a smoke-filled kitchen and reassured them he/she knew exactly how they felt, becuase it wasn’t fair, was it?
*Watch this. This will make you feel better about reading the DM.
The Daily Mail Song by Dan and Dan
I am affronted by the inordinate number of pictures and stories of women in bikinis accompanied by the gloriously horrible sexist commentary that could come out of the mouths of a bunch of slightly-educated tradies sitting reading the Sun at lunchtime in the pub.
I can’t quite put my finger on it. I don’t believe a fraction of the things I read in the DM. I like to believe my cynicism about its techniques, content and agenda make me a cut abouve the masses, but clearly, the fact I read it every day means I’m not.
However, there is one thing the DM does better than anyone else: cute fucking animal stories. Insert adorable animal pic, add ridiculous pun and invent a narrative around the cute thing the cute animal is doing. Voila-la.
You can’t defend the DM, no one can. But can you look at this picture and not smile a little inside?
*PS bunch of kittens are found inside a concrete factory and their fur has dyed pink because of the chemicals. Allegedly.