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Daily Mail loses advertising revenue after homophobic Gately article backlash

category international | gender and sexuality | feature author Tuesday October 20, 2009 18:14author by tampon - ( iosaf ) Report this post to the editors

featured image
Stephen Gately's Funeral
Photo © Michael Gallagher

Today's (October 16th) edition of the English newspaper "The Daily Mail" carried an opinion piece by the English journalist Jan Moir. The homophobia and inherent hatred voiced in the article led to an extraordinary amount of comments on that newspaper's website which together with reaction from other newspapers saw the title of the article changed by mid afternoon. By late afternoon an internet campaign had begun to pressure advertisers who use the Daily Mail to cut their support.

The loss of revenue to the English newspaper might be the most serious blow to its editorial policy of articulating and pandering to middle English prejudice ever. As such the article which prompted this reaction merits archiving.

Homosexuality was once known throughout Europe as the English vice. Why it was so is as curious as the notion that to this day "French" is a code word for felatio in the sex trade. We have no reason to believe that felatio was ever a peculiarly French sexual activity no more than we could suspect the English had any more homosexuals in their population. I suspect the English vice terminology came about more as a slur on English intolerance of homosexual men and women in their midst. I have often thought it a peculiar exception of the shared history of the island nations of Ireland and Britain that the history of gender sexuality should have been so strikingly different. The Irish as a people have never shown as much hatred for homosexuals of male or female gender as their neighbours whereas the English went to bitter lengths to criminalise and ostracise homosexuality.

Long before the story of Irishman Oscar Wilde or even the story of Irishwomen Eleanor Butler & Sarah Ponsonby [the Ladies of Llangollen c/f the vitriol which still churns in the belly of the most redoubt English heartlands as articulated now by its newspaper "The Daily Mail" could be seen. Why else did we mark recently the posthumous apology offered Alan Turing, the master cryptographer of Bletchley Park, one of the fathers of computing & man subjected to chemical castration?

Jan Moir's hate piece today was originally published in print and on the web with the title "Why there was nothing 'natural' about Stephen Gately's death." The title has since been changed (at 16h14 Irish time) on the online edition to "A strange, lonely and troubling death . . ."

Moir argued that healthy 33 year old men do not put on their pyjamas and fall asleep on the sofa to never awake and implied that Gately death had something to do with his homosexuality, the club he had visited in Mallorca and then somehow thought it made sense to argue that his death was of itself a reason to oppose "civil partnerships" which is the British equivalent of gay marriage.

It is an irony that Gatesly and his partner had chosen to live in a state, (the Spanish state) where marriage is considered to be equal in rights and duties regardless of gender. As has often been noted by the homophobes the most liberal gay marriage law on Earth and as has often been noted by lawyers the simplest legislation to present : "regardless of gender" was only three words to sort out the mess.

Jan Moir wrote :-
Something is terribly wrong with the way this incident has been shaped and spun into nothing more than an unfortunate mishap on a holiday weekend... The sugar coating on this fatality is so saccharine-thick that it obscures whatever bitter truth lies beneath. 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."

The Irish Independent and Belfast Telegraph, each a rag raised in the traditions of late 19th century Irish politicians, the former championing William Martin Murphy a stalwart of Roman Catholicism, the latter still holding true to the tradition of Edward Carson who prosecuted Oscar Wilde - had already published in their coverage of Stephen Gately's death the words of his mother.

She felt that his death, found to be natural by the coroner and specified as having been caused by a pulmonary oedema or build-up of fluid in the lung could have been a long undetected risk of a hereditary heart condition carried in Stephen's father's family.
Presumedly then, his sexual orientation and death means only one thing - that he bred no sons who might carry this condition & die suddenly and unexpectedly despite seeming in Moir's words to be "Healthy and fit 33-year-old men". Historically & I write historically in the same wide brush as I nod to the problem of what "The English vice" meant - Pulmonary Oedemas or "the dropsy" has been as cruel and sudden a killer of the seemingly healthy as "apoplexy" or cerebral aneurysm.

They may strike any one of us down without warning & kill us almost instantly :- all of us - you, I, our neighbours, the Daily Mail's Jean Moir & really these conditions which are so cruel and sudden as to have never made mention in the scripts of the TV series "House" do nothing more for social legislative debate about partnership than encourage us all to write wills & testaments, take out life insurance and organise our funeral rituals to our liking.

As I write now, the Daily Mail article by Jan Moir has sparked over 700 comments. This is a record for one day's commenting on the website of that newspaper.
You can read it here

In addition the article has sparked coverage and reaction in many other newspapers.

Marks & Spencers that shop which prides itself in selling first bras and underwear more than expensive precooked meals was this morning the principle advertiser visible on the Daily Mail webpage where the article appeared.

They have now withdrawn their revenue.

Due perhaps in no small part to the commentators who attacked Jan Moir on her newspaper's website and equally to those who connected with this FaceBook page set up to put pressure on the Mail's advertisers.

 #   Title   Author   Date 
   revenue?     puca    Fri Oct 16, 2009 20:54 
   Good Point about revenue - but UK Press complaints Commission is other avenue     teeny bopper    Fri Oct 16, 2009 21:17 
   Jan Moir's response as published online tonight     Jan Moir    Fri Oct 16, 2009 21:22 
   Level-Headedness     Áine    Sat Oct 17, 2009 09:20 
   obviously got a lot of complaints...     Sue Denham    Sat Oct 17, 2009 17:39 
   Stephen     speller    Sun Oct 18, 2009 01:40 
   one of the worst things about internet -     groan    Sun Oct 18, 2009 13:18 
   The Rag Trade     Michael Gallagher    Sun Oct 18, 2009 15:18 
   Get the man's name right?     speller    Sun Oct 18, 2009 23:19 
 10   Irish Daily Mail publishes disclaimer & distances itself from English Daily Mail.     tampon    Tue Oct 20, 2009 13:03 
 11   Reply to Michael Gallagher     Fred Johnston    Tue Oct 20, 2009 13:38 
 12   Strugglers....     Michael Gallagher    Tue Oct 20, 2009 14:58 
 13   21,000 complaints     Tazzy77    Tue Oct 20, 2009 21:23 
 14   The media and complaints     Diarmuid Breatnach    Wed Oct 21, 2009 01:09 
 15   oirish and british versions     prolefed    Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:10 
 16   Dumbing Down     Fred Johnston    Wed Oct 21, 2009 23:16 
 17   copycat society     reader    Thu Oct 22, 2009 02:10 
 18   Jan Moir publically "apologises" to Gately family & writes of "orchestrated attack".     tampon    Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:43 
 19   Civil partner of Stephen Gately, Andrew Cowles, makes formal complaint to PCC (the 1st one).     iosaf mac d    Thu Dec 17, 2009 18:45 

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