Thursday, June 07, 2018

Know Your Enemy

"The Daily Mail ethos - strident, certain, mono-minded - smacks of the bully's self-disgust. It is not a joyous newspaper, or a happy one, and Dacre's worst effect has been to let it seem mired in the things it hates, as if society's worst excesses were mostly an outgrowth of its own paranoid imagination."

"Dacre is a Victorian editor in several ways, not least in his exhibiting a conscience that is alive to nothing so much as his readers' most vital prejudices."

"In rare interviews, Dacre simply doesn't see the creepiness in his pursuit of the weak. He appears to think he's doing something for women by employing vitriolic columnists like Jan Moir and Amanda Platell to speak on their behalf, and 'raising the question' of whether mothers should work, i.e. characterising those who do as scheming, ambitious bitches and bad parents. He might read every word of it but he doesn't LOOK at his paper, because if he did he would see it is a deep opponent of the values it pretends to espouse."

"Dacre's paper is like the drunken lout at a party who can't get anyone to like him. Suddenly all the girls are sluts and all the men are poofs and he's swinging at the chandelier before being huckled outside to vomit on the lawn. The Mail desecrates the holy places where it likes to stake its claim, and would be a laughable rag, really, were it not for our degraded political culture taking it seriously. Look at the paper itself and you see it is not the real voice of England, but a dark distortion of it, a post-truth version that shouts about decency but doesn't exhibit any, that praises aspiration but only certain sorts."

How better to mark the announcement that Paul Dacre will leave his role as editor of the Daily Mail in November than by quoting liberally from Andrew O'Hagan's marvellous London Review Of Books article on Adrian Addison's book Mail Men? The piece opens with discussion of Dacre's fondness for using the word "cunt" but is titled "Who's the real cunt?" It's not a rhetorical question.

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