Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Mail's X Factor hypocrisy

During last Saturday's edition of The X Factor, the 'racy' performances of Rihanna and Christina Aguilera caused much comment.

Jonathan from No Sleep Til Brooklands tweeted:

And he was nearly right. The next day the Mail's 'outraged' article included 13 pictures. And two videos.

'Put your clothes on - it's a family show!' screamed the headline on the website of a publication that would no doubt call itself a 'family newspaper'.

And you can almost hear Chris Johnson salivating as you read his article:

Aguilera wore an very low-cut black dress as she cavorted with an army of lingerie-clad dancers while Rihanna thrust her way through her solo performance in pants and strapless bra.

And the Mail doesn't want anyone to miss out on any of these 'extremely provocative' routines, telling readers that they can 'scroll down to see video of the performances':

Jan Moir also complained about the 'sex-crazed nymphs before the watershed' so the Mail used three more pictures to illustrate her article.

It has been reported that there have been around 2,000 complaints about the programme and so the Mail had an excuse to write about it again. Not that they needed an excuse - on Monday night, the Mail's homepage contained eleven different 'stories' about The X Factor.

But they put the fury/outrage/storm article on the front page:

The continuation on pages six and seven contained several more pictures of the most provocative poses.

But it seems the paper was aware of the accusation of double-standards in pretending to be outraged while showing so many photos and videos.

So it went with the quite incredible headline:

"We apologise to readers but you have to see these pictures to understand the fury they've stirred"

Online, there was no 'scroll down for more leering' - instead, they went with entirely unconvincing:

Yes, that's the only reason they've been published. And if you believe that, you'll believe anything.

If the Mail website wasn't continually filling its pages with pictures of famous women in lingerie or bikinis, low cut tops or short skirts then the claim they are publishing these photos reluctantly might be vaguely credible.

But that their first article on this 'sleaze storm' included thirteen pictures and two videos proves they relish it and know it helps them have such a 'popular' website. To try to pretend they are aghast at such stuff is rank hypocrisy.

(While writing the above, the Guardian's Media Monkey published a similar, albeit less rambling, article on the same point)


  1. I think that if the Mail is that outraged and needs to explain the point using video, they should at least get it on YouTube in 1080p...

  2. The most hilarious thing is the Mail complaining that kids were watching! Oh like kids couldn't see the videos of the all the nasty filthy dance routines on their Youtube videos!

  3. Given thier all of a sudden anti X Factor stance (having had the show generate them some healthy advert revenue on thier website articles for the past few months), One would now assume that the Mail would support some kind of movement to deny the X factor number one. However they will scream blue murder if the "yoof/lefty/facebook/twitterati/studentprotestanarchistthugs" manage to once again get an alternative track to the number 1 spot for Christmas.

    I am, however, more interested in thier front page report about the Stockholm bomber being removed from a British Mosque. Surely this would mean that British Mosques, and by extension British Muslims do NOT support extremism. Is this the stance they take, or do they still, somehow manage to turn the story around to attack Muslims?

  4. Worryingly, I didn't immediately notice the correlation. But now you've pointed it out, it's hilarious. The Mail publishing borderline porn 'to prove a point'? Excellent, wily backstreet journalism at its best. You have to admire their incredible spin. Great post.

  5. Knowing the Mail probably the latter

  6. Sadly I got to the article too late to comment.

    However, I do agree with the Daily Mail, X-Factor was entirely inappropriate.

    For the same reason it always is. It kills brain cells.


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