The Null Device

The Daily Mail on Stephen Gately

The Daily Mail specialises in pandering to the unspoken prejudices of Middle Britain; more so than other populist-Right tabloids, it maintains a veneer of middle-class respectability, tutting and curtain-twitching at the decline in public morality and property values, and, whilst officially deploring the BNP and its ilk, putting in the right plausibly-deniable dog whistles that appeal to the proto-fascist tendency. (The fascist tilt isn't just a figure of speech, the Mail notably praised Hitler and his strong leadership of Germany in the 1930s.)

Now, the Mail has outdone itself, publishing an article blaming the death of Stephen Gately, an openly gay boy band member (who, coroners determined, suffered from an undiagnosed heart condition) on his "unnatural lifestyle". The article's author, Jan Moir, almost managed to get away with not being overtly homophobic, by suggesting that the "dark appetites" and "private vice" were some kind of hypothetical celebrity drug culture, though blows any plausible deniability out of the water by saying that Gately's death "strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships.". (What's that you say, Jan? Perhaps had he been socially coerced into a loveless sham marriage to a woman he could never love he'd still be alive?) Anyway, advertisers including Marks & Spencer have pulled their advertising from the Daily Mail.

And here is Charlie Brooker's masterful response to the article.

There are 3 comments on "The Daily Mail on Stephen Gately":

Posted by: MosesO Sun Oct 18 09:01:48 2009

Jan Moir's recent article, whilst homophobic in the extreme, was not uniquely hateful. This week, the Ugandan MP David Bahati recently launched an Anti-Homosexuality Bill - yes, it's actually called that - even though homosexuality is already illegal in the state. The bill madates the death penalty for HIV-positive people who engage in sex with people of the same gender, and calls for Uganda to withdraw from all international treaties and conventions which support the rights of lesbians, gays and bisexuals.

Full details can be seen here: The article also speculates about the motives for the bill, and is an excellent read. Please do have a look, when you have a moment.

Posted by: datakid Mon Oct 19 01:50:52 2009

Similarly, this is a report about a family suing various groups for not exercising their duty of care for the family's son. Openly queer/trans 15 year old son was murdered by a classmate.

The family claims "duty of care" means that the son should NOT have been allowed to be so outwardly gay, thereby endangering himself.

Posted by: datakid Mon Oct 19 01:54:39 2009

sorry, having trouble with the captcha - sometimes I think the lowercase letters look like uppercase letters or vice versa and it fails. anyway...try that link