The Daily Mail Online has been a recent and growing phenomenon not only of increasing popularity but also increasing ridiculousness. I think we can agree that it can be incredibly sexist, sensationalist (‘CARROTS, PENCIL CASES AND OTHER THINGS WHICH CAUSE CANCER’) and indignant about anyone who is too rich/poor/foreign/fat. The more I read the more I feel that our generation is one that is going to flail into a never ending abyss of outrage with no real clue as to why we are outraged.
For instance, a classic example came up recently in the ‘News’ section; ‘Office Worker fined £400 for dropping sachet of salt in front of Litter Warden’. Now, this is not really news, and while I am all for fighting the power, at no point does this article deconstruct the governmental, political and social protocols that have ultimately lead to this supposed spectacular moment of injustice. In a distinctive Daily Mail move there is GIANT picture of said violated lady looking sad, a picture of the offending KFC which the salt had been purchased from and a picture of the salt sachet itself, just in case we were in any confusion as to how this whole episode had come about, as they say; a picture can say a thousand words. Because the Daily Mail is of the instantaneous journalist generation there are of course not a thousand words in the article.
In fact the four main points are bullet pointed at the start so we can get a bite size grasp of what actually occurred on this fateful day, in a desperate attempt to keep our 30 second attention spans from drifting to somewhere else more productive. Poor Laura Howells, our victim/heroin, claims that “If I had been caught a couple of times then it is fair enough, but that’s not the case at all. I am not the type of person who ever litters”. Unfortunately for you Laura on the one occasion that you did drop that 2.5 by 5cm packet of salt, which does technically make you a person who does litter, and you were caught by the long arm of the law and made to pay for your silly salty mistake.
There are times when I wonder if the journalists who write for the Mail online know how ridiculous the whole thing is and are taking the piss. An article in the gossip column came out today about Jay Z eating sweets at a basketball game; “Filled with hard boiled candy, soft sweets, and chewing gum brands including Big Red and Extra … (Jay Z) stretched forward out of his chair to make a selection from the tub.” WHAT?! How has this made news? How has this even been written in the name of The Free Press? What the Leveson inquiry should have been dealing with was the scandal of our freedom of speech being turned into a narration of one man and his sweet selection. This isn’t an isolated article, this is what the entire website is made up of, and more articles are being churned out by the second. All this, combined with the fact that while researching for this article I have given the Daily Mail a significant number of hits, make for an uneasy future for modern journalism.