Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Would you let your daughter marry a journalist?

Parents are alarmingly ignorant of the danger posed to millions of girls by the Daily Mail, a report reveals.

A study of sites such as Bebo, Facebook and MySpace shows children using them can be at great risk from male reporters and editors who spent hours trawling the web for photographs of teenage girls in provocative poses which they then reproduce for the benefit of millions of readers and web users.

Reporter Paul Revoir boasted of tracking down dozens of young girls who had put revealing images of themselves on social networking sites and claimed he could quite easily have tracked them down to their homes or schools; all the while sharing his breathless fantasies about what might befall the 15-year-old girl in a pose which "mimics" one from a pornographic model's repetoire. (Pic reproduced, naturally)

(Are they really in danger from insalubrious hacks, you ask. Surely a truly intrepid reporter would not have been content with braving the dangers of the intertubes and proved that the girls really were in danger – as opposed to, oh I don't know, indulging in a little exhibitionism at a distance – by contacting them and seeing whether or not they were actually likely to agree to meet a stranger posing as a legitimate journalist. He could obviously have made his excuses and left at some point. I'd also love to see support for the claim that a girl whose profile picture featured her breasts rather than her face was at particular risk from predators; how on earth could they find her?)

In other sexual hypocrisy news, how many people have you slept with? Don't answer that, please, I don't want to know. It's the Guardian that's asking, you see. In the wake of Nick Clegg's ill-advised interview with Piers Morgan (something some Graun editors know all about), the paper sent its hacks round the cities of Britain to see if anyone was willing to lie share that information with the paper.

Two things strike me as odd. The progressive paper of choice seems not to have asked any Muslims this question; a most un-multicultural approach one might think. Why Islamic sex should be infra dig is something we can only speculate upon, I'm sure that it isn't the sort of double standard that would have the Guardian fuming if it was deemed appropriate to treat men and women differently when it comes to such a sensitive topic.

The other thing that strikes me is that it does look awfully like a double standard if you invite your readers to share that sort of information with the world at large but decline to do so yourself. I know it's most ungentlemanly to talk about this sort of thing, but on the grounds that working for the Guardian pretty much ends any pretensions anyone might have to being a gentleman, I think we can demand it as our right to know. How many people have felt the full force of Alan Rushbridger's mighty Fleet Street organ? What numbers have breached Polly Toynbee's bastion of left-liberal rectitude? How many have boiled Martin's Kettle?

Stops to throw up.

PS: The Mail really is outdoing itself of late. Today it also managed a lengthy article on Oswald and Max Mosley without once mentioning that one national newspaper had given its enthusiastic support to the former with headlines such as "Hurrah for the Blackshirts!"


Blogger Glamourpuss said...

I always knew that Toynbee was a dirty bird.


10:02 am  

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