Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre has broken his silence on the paper's controversial hatchet job on Ralph Miliband and took the opportunity while he was at it also to criticise the BBC, the Left, the "Twitter mob", "metropolitan classes" and "the London chatterati".
It is certainly more attack than defence. You can read it here.
Dacre's words - all written in the strained cliches of a Daily Mail editorial, lapsing at times into the realms of parody - appeared in the Daily Mail though the piece was also carried by the Guardian where it will reach far more of its intended targets: from "the Twitter mob who the BBC absurdly thinks represent the views of real Britain" to individuals such as "an ever more rabid Alastair Campbell".
At the time of writing it is the most read article on the Guardian's website but appears nowhere in the Daily Mail's list of most read stories. Mail readers seem more interested in the "al fresco sex capital of Britain" and the private life of a former footballer.
Whatever reasonable points there might be about the risk of taking Twitter storms entirely at face value, these are lost in a sea of paranoia and conspiracy theories about "a liberal-left consensus that dominates British life". It is also rich in trademark hypocrisy from the very first line:
"Out in the real world, it was a pretty serious week for news... In contrast, the phoney world of Twitter, the London chatterati and Left-wing media was gripped... by collective hysteria as it became obsessed round-the-clock by one story... in the Daily Mail."
Of course Dacre is right, there were more important stories (al fresco sex hotspots and footballers' love-lives notwithstanding) but we would be here all week if we were to start listing the occasions when the Mail has ignored more serious matters itself in favour of trying to whip up outrage about issues such as comedians making smutty jokes after the watershed.
The comic hyperbole lends it a pantomime quality from start to finish. The online version should probably have come with an audio track of people booing and hissing when we reach the bit about "a full-scale war by the BBC and the left". There should be raucous peels of ironic laughter as Dacre accuses the BBC of lacking "journalistic proportionality".
Out of touch
Overall Dacre seems desperately out of touch - and not just because at one point he exclaims "by golly" like a rum cove from a PG Wodehouse story. He says "the hysteria" which followed his paper's hatchet job on Ralph Miliband "is symptomatic of the post-Leveson age in which any newspaper which dares to take on the left in the interests of its readers risks being howled down".
But what Dacre fails to acknowledge is the fact his own readers thought the paper made a serious error of judgement in its attack on Miliband. They didn't feel it was in their interests.
However Dacre tries to paint it, this isn't about right and left. It's about right and wrong. What the Mail wrote was wrong and they got called out for it by people on both sides of the political spectrum, right and left.
Dacre's ranting arguments are lazily constructed and outdated, including his heavy over-reliance upon hackneyed and disproven claims of a left wing bias at the BBC.
In hindsight, it might have been the kindest thing for the paper after all if their editor had maintained his silence.
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