Friday, October 16, 2009

Daily Mail uses Gately's death for a spot of lazy queerbashing

Jan Moir has attempted to explain why her vicious little homophobic article for the Daily Mail wasn't a vicious little homophobic article:

"Some people, particularly in the gay community, have been upset by my article about the sad death of Boyzone member Stephen Gately. This was never my intention. Stephen, as I pointed out in the article was a charming and sweet man who entertained millions.

"However, the point of my column-which, I wonder how many of the people complaining have fully read - was to suggest that, in my honest opinion, his death raises many unanswered questions. That was all. Yes, anyone can die at anytime of anything. However, it seems unlikely to me that what took place in the hours immediately preceding Gately's death - out all evening at a nightclub, taking illegal substances, bringing a stranger back to the flat, getting intimate with that stranger - did not have a bearing on his death. At the very least, it could have exacerbated an underlying medical condition.

"The entire matter of his sudden death seemed to have been handled with undue haste when lessons could have been learned. On this subject, one very important point. When I wrote that 'he would want to set an example to any impressionable young men who may want to emulate what they might see as his glamorous routine', I was referring to the drugs and the casual invitation extended to a stranger. Not to the fact of his homosexuality. In writing that 'it strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships' I was suggesting that civil partnerships - the introduction of which I am on the record in supporting - have proved just to be as problematic as marriages.

"In what is clearly a heavily orchestrated internet campaign I think it is mischievous in the extreme to suggest that my article has homophobic and bigoted undertones."

Ah, so it's not that she wrote a hompohibic piece with bigoted undertones - it's that people used the internet to react to it.

And you're right, Moir, there was no way your piece had bigoted undertones. Or, if there were, they were drowned out by the bigoted overtones. Roy Greenslade preemptively took Moir's defence to pieces, while Charlie Brooker finishes the job:
Incredibly, yes. Moir genuinely believes the coroner got it wrong: "Healthy and fit 33-year-old men do not just climb into their pyjamas and go to sleep on the sofa, never to wake up again. Whatever the cause of death is, it is not, by any yardstick, a natural one."

At this point, I dare to challenge the renowned international forensic pathologist Jan Moir, because I personally know of two other men (one in his 20s, one in his early 30s), who died in precisely this way. According to the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (c-r-y.org.uk), "Twelve apparently fit and healthy young people die in the UK from undiagnosed heart conditions" every single week. That's a lot of broken teacups, eh Jan?

Ah, but unless Cardiac Risk tells us if they're gay or not, surely that's a meaningless statistic, Charlie?
Marks And Spencer have pulled their advertising


4 comments:

Peter D said...

They are talking about this now on BBC news

Craig said...

It is interesting to see that the PCC has now set up a direct link on their website where you can complain about the disgusting piece...

http://www.pcc.org.uk/complaints/process.html

It is upsetting to see though once you go submit a form you recieve this e-mail...

Thank you for sending us your complaint about the Daily Mail article on the subject of the death of Stephen Gately. We have received numerous complaints about this matter.
I should first make clear that the Commission generally requires the involvement of directly affected parties before it can begin an investigation into an article. On this occasion, it may be a matter for the family of Mr Gately to raise a complaint about how his death has been treated by the Daily Mail. I can inform you that we have made ourselves available to the family and Mr Gately's bandmates, in order that they can use our services if they wish.
We require the direct involvement of affected parties because the PCC process can have a public outcome and it would be discourteous for the Commission to publish information relating to individuals without their knowledge or consent. Indeed, doing so might unwittingly add to any intrusion. Additionally, one of the PCC's roles is dispute resolution, and we would need contact with the affected party in order to determine what would be an acceptable means of settling a complaint.
On initial examination, it would appear that you are, therefore, a third party to the complaint, and wemay not be able to pursue your concerns further. However, if you feel that your complaint touches on claims that do not relate directly to Mr Gately or his family, please let us know, making clear how they raise a breach of the Code of Practice. If you feel that the Commission should waive its third party rules, please make clear why you believe this.

Press Complaints Commission

I'm slightly concerned and confused as to what the point of the PCC is if I cannot complain about what I find offensive in print. Surely then there was no real reason for the Mail to get on it's high horse about the Russell Brand situation as they where only a "Third Party"

simon h b said...

Paul Dacre chairs the committee at the PCC in charge of the organisation's code.

Paul Dacre also edits the Daily Mail.

Laura Brown said...

All I can say is, when Nestlé feel the need to distance themselves from an article ...

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