A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Monday, November 10, 2008

Self-appointed moraliser as Daily Mail chief

Paul Dacre is the editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail. He's currently up in arms over the Max Mosley case. Mr. Dacre apparently thinks he should be the moraliser to the nation. "Now, some revile a moralising media. Others, such as myself, believe it is the duty of the media to take an ethical stand". Wow - high and mighty Dacre. The Moralising Laureate, no doubt! The trouble with his argument is that he wants impunity. Impunity to write half-truths and dissembled claptrap when it suits him.

Now I've got no time for Max Mosley's ideas of sexual happiness. Not really for me. But Mr. Mosley deserves to be protected from scurrillous attacks. Also, whilst we have the Human Rights legislation, he also needs to be protected from holier-than-thou lawbreakers like Mr. Dacre. Because Paul Dacre's Daily Mail has broken the law according to the judge in this case.

Mr. Dacre asserts that the judge, Mr. Justice Eady, is "unelected". Well so is Mr. Dacre, who effectively is positioning himself as moraliser-in-chief. Not an elected office, I believe! Mr. Dacre told an audience at the Society of Editors' annual conference in Bristol that most people would consider Mr. Mosley's activities to be perverted and depraved. So they may. A lot think homosexuality to be the same. A goodly number are offended by oral sex. As are those who condemn sexual activity outside marriage. Some think bare-breasted women in tabloid papers to be perverted and deparved. Almost all think paedophilia to be so, except the paedophiles themselves. However, none of this justifies reporters from the News of the World or any other paper making stuff up.

It suited the News of the World to spice up the story by adding the Nazi overtones. Recently John Prescott was, rightly in my opinion, berating the press for making up stuff about his meeting in London with model Jodie Marsh. "Does Pauline know?" said some of the tabloids. As Prescott said, "yes she did!" because it was all part of his two-part series on class in Britain. But the impression was made totally from the headlines that Prescott was a philanderer again. Found out once, tarred with the same brush every time forever after, whatever the facts.

A free press is one thing - to be cherished and desired. A lying, cheating and distorting press, only out to sell newspapers is quite another.


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