10 April 2013

A Death and a Funeral Become Handy Hooks for Mail's prejudices..

When a political leader dies, it's not unusual for the media to feature eulogies, critical examinations of successes or failures and intimate, interesting tales of the life of the figure in question.

Below is a compilation of most of the front pages which appeared on Monday night (with thanks to Nick Sutton at the BBC):

With our mainly right-leaning press, the reporting of Baroness Thatcher's death and impending funeral was never going to be confined to a few dignified articles towards the back of any of our newspapers.

Most have predictably given over front-pages, inside pages and whole pull-out sections to facts and comment with a definite political slant, to be sure, and occasional evidence of a partial rewriting of history, perhaps understandably.

Today's Mirror, (a left-leaning paper), front page questions the cost of Baroness Thatcher's funeral:
But the Daily Mail....

....the Daily Mail has eagerly, nay greedily, seized upon this opportunity to grind what must be the best-honed political axes known in journalistic history!

It has set its attack-troops onto the 'Lefties' and the BBC in equal measure and with real campaigning zeal.

Today's front page cynically depicts one small group of people in demonstrating their disapproval of the former Prime Minister and her policies:
This, with its accompanying article ('penned' by 5 journalists!) is just a sample of the articles which are appearing in the Mail and in Mail Online like bullets out of an automatic rifle.
Another is headed:

Left's chorus of hatred: Champagne in the streets, students union cheers and vile internet taunts

  • Glasgow: More than 300 people attended impromptu street party
  • London: Over 100 people gathered in Brixton to 'celebrate'
  • Facebook campaign to take 'Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead' to number one
  • Durham Miners' Association: Her death was a 'great day' for coal miners
  • Second most trending topic on Twitter: #nostatefuneral
  • NUS National conference reported to have cheered at news of her death
Many of the photographs and articles are designed to point an accusatory finger at those on the left of British politics (or of no particular political persuasion) who, unlike Editor Paul Dacre and the owners of the Mail, do not remember Margaret Thatcher with affection.

Birmingham Council refuses to lower flag to half mast and councillors flounce out of minute's silence as Tony Blair urges Thatcher critics to 'show some respect'

  • Union Jack flag still flies high outside Birmingham's Council House
  • Tories brand Labour leaders 'petty, mean and vindictive'
  • Blair: Urged critics of Thatcherite policies to ‘show some respect’.
The Mail looks forward to the funeral with not a little trepidation (salivation?):

Will the haters try to wreck Maggie's send-off? Police plan massive security operation 'True Blue' for Baroness Thatcher's funeral

One message?
(Full article Here)
As for the oft-battered-by-Dacre BBC, the Mail gleefully shrieks:

Public anger at BBC bias: Viewers hit out at lengthy coverage of poll tax and miners' strike after Baroness Thatcher's death

  • Viewers complain bulletins gave too great an emphasis to critics
  • Twitter users accuse BBC of 'shameless' bias against the former PM
  • One viewer said: 'You name the socialist, they've interviewed them'
  • Another said the coverage was 'an absolute Left-wing biased disgrace'
But as David Cridland, writing for the blog Media UK, points out all is not as it seems in the original Daily Mail article.

Further evidence of the Mail's fabrication of evidence against the BBC's coverage of the death of Margaret Thatcher appears in the Media Blog.

With still a week to go before the funeral takes place, one wonders what heights these paroxysms of outrage and indignation from those at the Mail will eventually reach! Spontaneous combustion, perhaps....

Image from the Naked Scientist website