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Noticed anything…weird about the Daily Mail lately?

So the U.K. Daily Mail beat out the NY Times to become the world’s the most visited online news site.

And then this happened. It’s a screen grab of today’s Mail. It’s like that all the way down. It’s like that every day. It’s been that way for weeks. It’s been driving me mad.

The UK’s most popular newspaper IS ALL ABOUT THE USA.

It hasn’t always been this way, and I’ll bet the print version isn’t. If I were a proper journalist, I’d buy one and compare. But I’m not. I’m a lazy weasel impersonator on a Friday night and, anyway, I only read that filthy rag when somebody leaves it on the lunch counter.

Yeah. Not a fan. I know it’s a supposed to be right-wing, but it’s really just the Shit-Stirrer’s Gazette. I know, I know – all newspapers are bad, but the Mail is something special.

More than usually mendacious. Less than usually accurate. They specialize in running snapshots of Angelina Jolie with a bit of toilet paper on her shoe under the head “Not so classy now!”


But the good capitalist in me is torn. On the one hand, the Mail has apparently identified its actual user base and is providing them the services they want. So, good.

On the other hand, a British newspaper that’s all about America? How weird is that?

Good weekend, all.

Oh. Hey. Mono the Elderish has cobbled together a discussion forum. In case you’re not wasting NEARLY enough time on the internet, there you go.

<litella>Never mind.</litella> As Carl points out in the comments, my default Mail URL points to /ushome/. Why that should be — my IP says I’m in Maidstone or some such — I do not know. The Mail still sucks, though.


Comment from Man Mountain Molehill
Time: March 3, 2012, 12:35 am


Charles Stross was just pontificating about how awful USA Today is. As if Brits don’t have shamelessly dreadful fish wrap.


How does one wrap fish in a web page? Inquiring minds want to know.

Comment from Oldcat
Time: March 3, 2012, 12:38 am

Hey what are those two “UK” stories doing there?

Comment from Redd
Time: March 3, 2012, 1:07 am

I’ve been reading it for years. I love it! They went heavy into the US news about 6 months ago. I always told people there was a real market for their type of tabloid journalism here in the US. It use to be that half the stories were on cellulite and they would photoshop the cellulite into the photos. It was pretty stupid. Also, they’ve seen to report less on the WAGS (is that what you call them?). Americans don’t know who the hell they are and don’t care.

They had a great story one time about how a couple of geezers made sweaters out of their dogs. 🙂

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: March 3, 2012, 1:15 am

I read Brit papers online, both to find out what is happening in the UK and EU, and for the last year to find out details about American politics. Our Journo-List 2.0 media make a point of NOT covering anything unfriendly to “Teh Won”, and I find that I can get either an idea of where to look for more details than you find in US papers, or sometimes an event that is not covered at all here.

Journalism here is all too frequently the art of picking up press releases and printing them verbatim. At least some Brit reporters and columnists are cheeky enough not to worship at the feet of the Political Class [which by the way encompasses both parties].

Subotai Bahadur

Comment from Mrs. Compton
Time: March 3, 2012, 2:11 am

They rake the foist lady over pretty regularly. I enjoy that!

Comment from Randy Rager
Time: March 3, 2012, 3:00 am

Well, if you click on the “Home” tab, yeah, it’s almost exclusively American. But there is a “U.K. Home” tab, under which is mostly U.K. stories.

Comment from Mono The Elder
Time: March 3, 2012, 4:31 am

Thanks for the nod sweas. And it’s very strange. You’d think they’d be able to find stuff like that in their own country.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: March 3, 2012, 5:08 am

Of COURSE they could find stuff like that in their own country* but part of the pleasure of reading a trashy rag is the ability to feel superior to others…and many Brits enjoy feeling superior to their trashy American hick cousins so it’s kind of a “towfer” added pleasure. People who keep two-headed cats for pets and feed them cream cheese and sausages are never from your home town always from some distance away.

* except for stories from Florida. You’ll never find stuff as wierd as those stories in Great Britian, or anywhere else in the world, er, universe for that matter. Florida is the center of wierd.

Comment from JuliaM
Time: March 3, 2012, 6:12 am

” I know it’s a supposed to be right-wing…”

Is it? Frankly, it’ll print ANYTHING that it thinks will draw in readers. If it sees that there’s a groundswell of opinion on, say, the NHS Bill, suddenly it’ll run a few articles on how awful the proposed changes are.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 3, 2012, 11:53 am

And they have a serious hate-on for the likes of Palin and Limbaugh. I guess that’s my main objection to the Mail running so much US stuff – they don’t have any insight about it at all.

Insight. Yeah, I guess that’s not what it’s about.

Comment from Redd
Time: March 3, 2012, 1:27 pm

Oh, yeah…forgot about that. I usually skip over the Palin stories because I’m sick of the hate. Looking at today’s issue, they really have gone overboard on the US stories. I really did read it to read about the UK.

Comment from Redd
Time: March 3, 2012, 1:53 pm

Now I’m reading about these crazy Brit women who marry muslim terrorists. Is it a step up or a step down from marrying a guy on death row?

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: March 3, 2012, 3:26 pm

I find the Mail useful; its no less accurate than any other newspaper, and while its a bit lurid, you can ignore the celeb news and find useful information in it that other papers don’t care to cover.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 3, 2012, 3:33 pm

Sorry, Christopher, but it really is less accurate than other newspapers.

As someone who has been through the immigration system in the UK, for example, I can tell you they NEVER get an immigration law story right. Their facts are so out there, they’ve clearly just plucked them out of their asses.

The more you know about any given topic, the worse they look. All newspapers are bad, but the Mail *really* sucks.

Comment from Redd
Time: March 3, 2012, 4:04 pm

The only immigration stories I have seen are the ones where they don’t deport terrorists, murderers, and perverts because the UK has surrendered their sovereignty to this stupid Euroweenie Court of Injustice.

Comment from Man Mountain Molehill
Time: March 3, 2012, 5:52 pm

Brits really like to get their snark on about Americans. Might be more interesting if the quality of debate weren’t


It’s how they console themselves as they circle around the drain of their smelly little island remnant of a failed empire.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 3, 2012, 10:46 pm

It doesn’t smell here.

Comment from Redd
Time: March 3, 2012, 11:13 pm

It reeks of marmite.

Comment from Carl
Time: March 4, 2012, 9:59 am

your link is to the US section. Equally shocking is the Sports section – it’s full of sports stories.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 4, 2012, 11:17 am

Heh. You’re right, Carl. There’s a “ushome” in my URL. I have no idea how that became my default when I type “Daily Mail” in the address bar.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: March 4, 2012, 3:59 pm

Sweas, the reason you know about that inaccuracy is that you personally have experienced it. Everyone who has dealt directly with the media either through a story about themselves or something they’re an expert in looks at them aghast because they get it so wrong, so often. Then they turn the page and figure the next story is right.

Michael Chrichton spoke about this effect, he called it the “Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect.”

Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect works as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward-reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story-and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read with renewed interest as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about far-off Palestine than it was about the story you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.

They’re all messed up, they all get it wrong, misquote, and confuse things. You and I just don’t know how deeply on topics we’ve had no personal experience or knowledge about.

Comment from Oceania
Time: March 5, 2012, 2:31 pm


Comment from Oldcat
Time: March 5, 2012, 7:14 pm

I heard of the same thing about Velikovsky and his ‘Worlds in Collision’ stuff. Historians thought his mythology and history was nonsense, but were intrigued by the Astronomy. Astronomers and Physicists knew the Astronomy and Physics were garbage, but thought the mythology and history were convincing.

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