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Monday, December 18, 2006

The Di'ly Express

Of all the newspapers in the UK, the one I hate most is the Daily Express. Which may come as a surprise to some of you, bearing in mind it's in competition with the Daily Heil. But at least with the Heil, it does exactly what it promises to do. It's the voice of the conservative right and everyone needs a voice, irrespective of whether you agree with that voice or not. And I don't even mind the Sun, Star or Mirror. They're like comics for adults in a world where a good pun is much better than a good story. I don't particularly take them seriously and to be honest, I suspect that they are written tongue in cheek anyway.

But the Express is different. The self-titled 'World's Greatest Newspaper' is in my opinion the most insidious of them all. It is sensationalism of the lowest degree, its headlines are always misleading, misquoting and over the top - it's not unusual for the headline to read something like 'House prices to crash by 30%', only to find out that some analyst or other might have said a few months ago that it could happen if aliens invade or interest rates rise by 5% or something. They just seem to come up with headline, then look around for the 'facts' to back it up. And they dig up the same old themes over and over again, house prices set to collapse / boom, new health miracle cure / deadly scare...

It's simple scaremongering and I HATE it when the media does that. It is irresponsible behaviour for a publication that has three-quarters of a million readers every day. If all their readers were to actually all BELIEVE what this shameless rag is publishing and acted accordingly, well, who knows what could happen...

I remember a headline after the July 7th bombing in London. 'Bombers are all sponging asylum seekers', when it turned out that NONE of the bombers were in fact asylum seekers (and two of the bombers weren't even known at that point). The Express's obsession with the asylum issue even led to Simon Darby, a member of the British National Party, crediting the paper with boosting the BNP's electoral fortunes.

And the other thing I hate about the Express... It's been ten years since Diana died. Ten years. But the Di'ly Express knows that she STILL sells papers. Friday's subheading read that 'Stevens Report does not answer the key questions: And The Daily Express won't stop asking them'. No, they won't stop asking the questions. It sells far too many papers.


Number of times this year that Diana has been the front page Headline: 60.

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