The Daily Mail quandary – sorted

I can’t be arsed with the Daily Mail anymore.

Who could forget the infamous Peter Hitchens piece in the Daily Mail last year, covered so adequately in my “The Daily Mail Quandary” post? The quandary being that while the Mail is seventeen different sorts of crap and provides a platform to ill-informed and racist bigots, it also publishes pictures of Kelly Brook frolicking in the surf in a bikini. And while that reasoning may seem a little shallow, it was just enough to keep me clicking through in the vain hope of seeing some more pictures of Kelly Brook frolicking… well… anywhere, really.
This from the newspaper that stated after Diana’s death in 1997:

Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, have declared that any use of paparazzi pictures will have to be cleared with Lord Rothermere, the proprietor who, in turn, proclaimed that there would be a ban on “all intrusive pictures except where they are considered necessary”

Lord Rothermere has since considered tens of thousands of intrusive pictures “necessary” – whatever that means. It’s almost like the “ban” was just words to pacify middle England and AN had no plans to actually ever institute it. How odd.  

But I digress. Again.

Yesterday’s Daily Mail was back on the offensive (in more ways than one) with a stingingly crap article about Jacob Zuma, who is on an official visit to the UK at the moment. The catchy headline?

Jacob Zuma is a sex-obsessed bigot with four wives and 35 children.
So why is Britain fawning over this vile buffoon?

Feeding the  misinformation to Britain’s middle to right-wing idiots this time was Peter Robinson, the man who last year suggested that Britain should invade Zimbabwe (didn’t we do that once before already?) and even wrote 554 words documenting how it might happen (and in doing so, demonstrated why he should never be allowed near any sort of word processor ever again). 
Incidentally, the Tony Blair quote on Mugabe as being “a man has destroyed his country, many people have died unnecessarily because of him” in that article made me chuckle. Doctor Pot, I’d like you to meet Mr Kettle and Brigadier Black.

Robinson’s distasteful Zuma article pokes fun at the culturally-acceptable polygamous relationships of the President and – when passing judgement on Zuma’s exra-marital affairs – demonstrates hypocrisy and exceptionalism we’re so used to when foreigners write about SA. Because Britain’s MPs are hardly squeaky clean in any regard, now are they? And because while Robinson complains about Zuma’s lavish lifestyle while others are starving in his country, the Evening Standard is reporting:

In London 41 per cent of children, 650,000 in all, live below the poverty line (defined as less than 60 per cent of median income), the same as 10 years ago. In inner London the figure rises to 44 per cent.

This just a few miles down the road from the banquet which Zuma will be attending tonight thanks to the Queen.
Not, I hasten to add, that any of this necessarily makes JZ’s behaviour acceptable. But singling him out for abuse is a little unjustified.

And now Zuma has hit back – the Cape Times headline today:

British think we’re barbaric, says Zuma

President Jacob Zuma said he was not surprised by the UK press’s scathing criticism of his polygamous practices because Britons have always believed that Africans were “barbaric” and “inferior”.
In what could spark a diplomatic row, Zuma said those who did not understand his culture should engage with and not hurl insults at him.
“When the British came to our country, they said everything we are doing was barbaric, was wrong, inferior in whatever way. Bear in mind that I’m a freedom fighter and I fought to free myself, also for my culture to be respected.”

A little bit of generalisation on the whole “Britons” thing, – Peter Robinson certainly doesn’t speak for everyone in the UK – but aside from that, I’m in full agreement with him.

Although I wouldn’t have any issue with him being particularly barbaric towards Peter Robinson.

UPDATE: Nice work by Herman Wasserman on his Look South blog.
UPDATE 2: SA Good News describes “Britain’s disapproval of President Zuma’s polymagous ways”.
No – that was the Daily Mail not Britain! GWTP!
UDPATE 3: Murray Hunter’s “modest” (brilliant) addition to the Zuma debate.

8 thoughts on “The Daily Mail quandary – sorted

  1. Spot on, 6000. I won’t even bother weighing on this issue because (a) it’s exhausting (b) you’ve done a fine job of it already.


  2. I’m confused. Doesn’t Mr Z have five wives? I’m fairly sure that BBC Breakfast told me he was here with Wife #5 and I don’t expect the BBC to get things wrong.

    Unlike the Daily Mail.
    .-= Ro´s last blog ..The Wrath of Apple =-.

  3. Ro > He has three, plus one divorced, plus one deceased. So there’s your five.
    And an explanation as to why at least two of them aren’t over there with him.

  4. And here’s another thing – this 35 kids thing. A headline accusation stated as fact, based on the heresay of an unnamed source… When the Guardian pulled that trick (with Simon Jenkins’ friend telling us Zuma was a rapist) he got an out-of-court settlement. I wonder if he’ll squeeze anything out the DM. If so, maybe he can spend it on his already prodigious brood.
    .-= Murray´s last blog ..Cheesy Valentine’s Day Message =-.

  5. Murray > That “source”, described below:

    On a recent visit to South Africa, I was told very confidently by a man who knows the inner workings of the government that Zuma’s true tally is actually 35 children, including a set of twins with a woman from Ukraine.

    Sounded dodgy from the moment I read it.

    Just think – Daily Mail readers funding JZ’s polygamous lifestyle.
    How cool would that be?

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