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Fail the Mail
September 16, 2009 2:39 PM   Subscribe

This is not a call-out as such, but I am tired of seeing FPPs linked to articles from the UK's Daily Mail website and would like to see it stop.

To explain: The Daily Mail represents, to me and what I guess would be described as the "Liberal left", the worst of British journalism. It's editorial policy is anti-immigration (fearmingering stories on benefit-sponging asylum seekers), anti-Europe (the bureaucrats in Brussels wanting to take away the Britain we love and grew up in, you know, when Britain enslaved a good proportion of the African, Asian and Australasian continents), anti-Gay Rights to name but a few. In short, the Daily Mail is the UK equivalent of people like Beck, Dobbs or Hannity spouting their ridiculous theories and hatemongering on US TV.

It is notorious for its vigorous support of Fascism and the Nazis in the 1930s, something it has found hard to drop.

I am highlighting this, not in an attempt to draw attention to individuals who may have posted links from the Mail in the past (myself included), simply to let non-UK mefites know that the article they found, wherever they found it, is giving exposure to the worst of UK journalism, something this site does not need to do.
posted by jontyjago to Etiquette/Policy at 2:39 PM (146 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

Plus, it was responsible for that "flabby ass" contretemps we had on the Grey a while back.
posted by subbes at 2:42 PM on September 16, 2009


Worse than The Sun? Plus, it gave us these things.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:44 PM on September 16, 2009


Thanks for the warning, jontyjago, as a non-UKer myself I now know to keep away from the site.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:45 PM on September 16, 2009


Don't tell me about the press. I know exactly who reads the papers: the Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country; The Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country; The Times is read by people who actually do run the country; the Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country; the Financial Times is read by people who own the country; The Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country; and The Daily Telegraph is read by people who think it already is.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:46 PM on September 16, 2009 [83 favorites]


If there exists such a thing as a slippery slope (and I'm not convinced there is), this would be the precipice at the top.
posted by dersins at 2:47 PM on September 16, 2009


True, good, unbiased, reasonable, and rational are not part of the criteria for Metafilter posts.

Interesting? Y/N

That's about it.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:50 PM on September 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Are left and right reversed in the UK? I know you drive on the other side and all...

Good luck with the not-callout, though.
posted by fixedgear at 2:50 PM on September 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


The Daily Mail, at least to this muesli eating hipster, represents all that is awful about the UK. It makes me go a little bit squinky whenever I see people from the US link to articles - which happens a lot because both it and the Daily Telegraph have recently started specifically pushing out a lot of half-arsed link-bait and reddit spawn to get ad revenues up. Ick, I tells you. Ick! Ick! Ick!
posted by Jofus at 2:53 PM on September 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


People link the NYT all the time, and that rag is full of fluff, weak opinions, filler, errors, and blatant fabrications.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:53 PM on September 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


So, as I understand the complaint, you do not want to have links to a source because you disagree with the politics of the source? Is that generally the complaint? If so, I vote no.

However, if you want to axe general political-driven news like the Daily Mail because partisan driven news is bad for Metafilter, I vote YES.
posted by dios at 2:54 PM on September 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is good for Team Mod to know. We sort of get how most of the US media is regarded [NYTimes links usually okay, Fox News less so, NY Post usually not, etc] but don't have as much of an idea outside of the US and it's good to get more of a handle on this. Thanks jontyjago.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:54 PM on September 16, 2009


So far, no one is asking for Daily Mail links to be banned, only that people should think twice before posting them. Which is something I agree with.
posted by grouse at 2:55 PM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Mail is essentially a continuation of that grand and noble tradition in the UK of running around in little tiny circles screaming 'The country has gone to the dogs! The country has gone to the dogs!'
posted by Jofus at 2:57 PM on September 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Oh, and excuse me doing a Dersins here, but its worth noting that the Mail is also one of the best selling newspapers in the country. Its absolutely mainstream and, as loathsome as I find their politics personally, its not something that anyone's equating with Stormfront.
posted by Jofus at 3:01 PM on September 16, 2009


I think dogs would be good at running a country. Free steaks for everyone!
posted by ook at 3:01 PM on September 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Since you ask, yes I do think The Mail is worse than the Sun, mainly because of the way it positions itself as a serious "News" organ (see also Fox News). But really that's neither here nor there as I don't see many links on Metafilter to articles in The Sun.

And while I'm talking about The Sun, to complete KokoRyu's quote, "Sun readers don't care who runs the country as long as she's got big tits."
posted by jontyjago at 3:04 PM on September 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Delmoi even. Bollocks.
posted by Jofus at 3:09 PM on September 16, 2009


I like Daily Mail links because they almost always have pictures. Sometimes even good pictures. I'm tired of clicking on articles about a new building, park, invention, etc and getting no picture or -- even worse -- some crappy 100x100 thumbnail.

I never read the text though. Just scanning for pictures.
posted by sbutler at 3:12 PM on September 16, 2009


I agree that this is good to know, but we shouldn't ban links or stop posts that contain links from the Daily Mail altogether.

What I'd really like to see happen as a result of this post is more people in the UK posting what they DO consider credible and reliable sources, especially since I have trouble finding those here in the US sometimes.
posted by misha at 3:18 PM on September 16, 2009


Oh, and excuse me doing a Dersins here

Wait, what?
posted by dersins at 3:19 PM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, and excuse me doing a Dersins here

How does this relate to botflies?
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:23 PM on September 16, 2009


Oh, and excuse me doing a Dersins here

Wait, what?


Well, he didn't get to the third comment til the correction.
posted by carsonb at 3:28 PM on September 16, 2009


How apt is a comparison to Vdare? I don't have time to hunt for it, but I remember one post that was deleted mainly because it linked to Vdare, even though the post itself was not nearly as gross as that site gets.
posted by roll truck roll at 3:28 PM on September 16, 2009


I did a Dersins about 30 minutes ago. It should kick in aaaaanyyyy miiiiinute noooowwww... OH, FUCK! WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THING?!!! AIIIIEEEEEE!!!!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:30 PM on September 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


I wholeheartedly concur.

I also think this comment from Jofus is rather insightful: which happens a lot because both it and the Daily Telegraph have recently started specifically pushing out a lot of half-arsed link-bait and reddit spawn to get ad revenues up.

I've noticed a lot of cutesy, image-friendly articles like "little kid does water color!" "Blind man carves doors!" "Woman paints how Twitter makes us feel!" popping up from the Daily Fail recently, and while I can tolerate them slightly more than "Thin reporter wears fat suit!" or "Immigrants stealing our potatoes!", I always thought they were a bit dubious...
posted by muddgirl at 3:31 PM on September 16, 2009


Plus we also know the Daily Mail has no sense of humour.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:38 PM on September 16, 2009


I'd like to see less Daily Mail as well. It's a detestable rag and doesn't need more traffic. I really don't see how it's comparable at all to NYT. They are by no means without flaws, but come on.

Head on over to their front page right now. Lead story? Attorney General Baroness Scotland's housekeeper is an illegal immigrant. Yeah, that pretty much sums up their editorial slant. The rest of the page is a bunch of tabloidy celebrity gossip. This "newspaper" is indefensible.
posted by cj_ at 3:45 PM on September 16, 2009


Hmm, on the one hand I kind of agree with you, on the other hand If I've seen a story in the mail and it's been kind of interesting I've just gone ahead and posted it.

To a certain extent the Mail as organ ofcrziness and hate and the Mail as search engine freindly online news source seem to be seperate in editorial style anyway.
posted by Artw at 3:45 PM on September 16, 2009


No sense of humor = capital offense/offence. Ban it.
posted by Cranberry at 3:47 PM on September 16, 2009


Reading The Daily Mail is also a possible cause of cancer, a new study claims.
posted by panboi at 3:47 PM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I remember a while back somebody linked to a controversial article on the Daily Mail. A vigorous debate ensued, with all of the UK MeFites rolling their eyes and being like, "You guys do realize that this is the Daily Mail, right?"
posted by Afroblanco at 3:59 PM on September 16, 2009


A vigorous debate ensued, with all of the UK MeFites rolling their eyes and being like, "You guys do realize that this is the Daily Mail, right?"

In defense of the Yanks, you can pretty much say anything in a British accent and it'll sound interesting.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:07 PM on September 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


How will we know where our boffins are romping without the Daily Mail?
posted by boo_radley at 4:10 PM on September 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


The Daily Mail had this article about solar panels made out of human hair up, and the first comment said pretty much what mathowie said in his deletion reason, but by hitting the Daily Mail, you;d still think this was real.

I still like the site for my own reasons. Kind of like looking at the tabloids in line at the supermarket. I'd never buy one, but I still like to know about batboy sightings.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:11 PM on September 16, 2009


where whom our boffins are romping boffing

fixed &c.

posted by dersins at 4:12 PM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is not a call-out as such, but I am tired of seeing FPPs linked to articles from the UK's Daily Mail website and would like to see it stop.

You're absolutely right. It is a fucking rag.

And once in a very great while, they'll publish a cool and interesting story.

I would hate to miss out on such stories because some people can't be bothered to find the "back" button on their browser.
posted by jason's_planet at 4:15 PM on September 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's just like linking to any other sketch-seeming website. We're certainly not going to hand down an edict saying "never link to them!" but just say "Hey, just so you know, they're sort of tabloid-y in the UK" and peopel can move forward knowing that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:16 PM on September 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


And once in a very great while, they'll publish a cool and interesting story...

...that is completely unverifiable and probably made up.
posted by muddgirl at 4:21 PM on September 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Next you're going to tell me I shouldn't link to Pravda.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:25 PM on September 16, 2009


Next you're going to tell me I shouldn't link to Pravda.

Heh. Now that *IS* the World Weekly News.
posted by Artw at 4:27 PM on September 16, 2009


I DEMAND MOAR LINKS TO CRACKED TOP 10 LISTS!
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:33 PM on September 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's pretty easy for most of us to read something (in this case, the Mail) and put on our "critical thinking caps" and determine that it's crap. I can't recall ever seeing a link to the Mail on MetaFilter, probably because the link would be to some outrageously FARKy story, and it would get deleted fast.

I'm also sorry that I forgot to include the punchline in the "Yes, Minister" quote I included earlier in the thread. The punchline is the best part of that quote.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:55 PM on September 16, 2009


...that is completely unverifiable and probably made up.

You mean, like that one about the ghost fleet of the recession?
posted by jason's_planet at 4:56 PM on September 16, 2009


My grandmother still regularly air-mails my mother large packets of clippings from the Daily Mail about how everything is causing cancer (and obesity, and possibly also the death of Princess Diana at the hands of illegal immigrants). It sort of reached the point where we say "at least she can't read the Daily Mail any more" to try and find a silver lining when faced with her impending total loss of eyesight.
posted by subbes at 5:02 PM on September 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Yeah, the "ghost fleet of the recession" piece smelled a little fishy.

For example: So they have been quietly retired to this equatorial backwater

The ships lie in an anchorage about 50 miles from Singapore, adjacent to the most strategic shipping corridor in the world. It's hardly a remote location.

If the author can't get basic facts like this straight, it's really hard to believe the rest of the article.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:02 PM on September 16, 2009


"Are left and right reversed in the UK? I know you drive on the other side and all..."

No, but I think I know how you're misreading the sentence, because I misread it the same way. My eyes scanned the sentence "The Daily Mail represents, to me and what I guess would be described as the 'Liberal left', the worst of British journalism" as saying that the Daily Mail would be described as the liberal left. What it actually says is (reordering the words for clarity) "To me and what I guess would be described as the 'Liberal left', the Daily Mail represents the worst of British journalism".

If you didn't read it that way, and I was the only idiot, I apologize for tarring you with the same idiot brush I used to tar myself.
posted by Bugbread at 5:05 PM on September 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Huh, I heard it as "The Telegraph is read by the the people who used to run the country" which always struck me as more apt.

Also: Toronto Sun: bad
Calgary Sun: bad
Vancouver Sun: acceptable
Son House: best ever.
posted by Rumple at 5:07 PM on September 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


bugbread: You are correct and I did mis-read. Daily Mail = right wing, Fox-ish.
posted by fixedgear at 5:19 PM on September 16, 2009


It's pretty easy for most of us to read something (in this case, the Mail) and put on our "critical thinking caps" and determine that it's crap.

You know, I grew up in a household where the paper was the Daily Mail. In some way or shape, I was exposed to that paper and its ideas for 16 years. Sixteen years, I tell you. I would hate to meet myself from ten years ago. But I really didn't know any different, as I was limited to the things I came into contact with.

However, in 1998 we got the internet. A whole universe of opinion, some of it novel and difficult, was opened up. I saw people arguing over issues on the internet, pushing those opinions I thought were my own. At first I was glad that somebody was making that side of the debate, but I became angry at how often they were shot down by easily found facts and information. It seemed that many of the things I believed were not quite true, or had at least been misrepresented to me. It's really hard to see that happen, and I'm glad I wasn't raised in a religious place or by a strongly political family, as it might have been easier to become inward looking and ignore what people were saying.

Thankfully I was able to be open and look at the ideas of others. I found that the smartest and most coherent and most persuasive people on the internet were those who held beliefs that contradicted my own. I stopped reading the Daily Mail, and starting listening to what these people were saying, and seeing if their worldview could work for me. Ten years, and several ideological iterations later, I'm hopefully a bit more advanced and reasonable in my opinions. I like to think I actually have a critical thinking cap now, though it's very much still a work in progress.

Moral of the story? Please try hard to avoid linking to the Daily Mail, as it is giving exposure to the worst of UK journalism, something this site does not need to do. (Also, I find it embarrassing to read the kind of stuff I used to believe.)
posted by Sova at 5:22 PM on September 16, 2009 [14 favorites]


When I was little and I heard "Paperback Writer" I always thought that the line "his son is working for the Daily Mail, it's a steady job but he wants to be a paperback writer" meant his son was a mail carrier. When I got older I realized that what it meant was that the cheap tawdriness of even the worst-written paperbacks is a step up from the Daily Mail.

To make up for my previously held opinion, I will link to the Daily Mail Headline Generator, possibly one of mankind's greatest inventions.

COULD THE GERMANS GIVE COMMON SENSE AND DECENCY CANCER?

ARE IMMIGRANTS IMPREGNATING TAXPAYERS?

posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 5:45 PM on September 16, 2009 [9 favorites]


YOU KNOW WHO ELSE IMPREGNATED TAXPAYERS?
posted by Rumple at 5:49 PM on September 16, 2009


Previously...
posted by motty at 6:03 PM on September 16, 2009


I was in danger of posting a similar complaint. In addition to the complaints outlined above, I have always been horrified by the Mail's anti-science and anti-women agendas. Especially when they mix the two together with their pull-out supplements on the latest fad diet to prevent cancer and what homeopathic products will best prevent embarrassing centipede infestations. It's vile.

I kind of liked it when The Guardian was the only UK paper that did internet stuff well, as that's the paper that comes closest to my own politics, and it is with distress that I have seen the rise of Mail and Telegraph links over the past year. I blame Frauenfelder.
posted by nowonmai at 6:03 PM on September 16, 2009


jessamyn: "This is good for Team Mod to know. We sort of get how most of the US media is regarded [NYTimes links usually okay, Fox News less so, NY Post usually not, etc] but don't have as much of an idea outside of the US and it's good to get more of a handle on this. Thanks jontyjago."

Well, in that case:

The Guardian is generally progressive, tech-savvy, and not originally from London. The Observer is basically the Sunday Guardian. When people say "The Grauniad" they refer to the paper's erstwhile reputation for typos, which probably has its roots in geography rather than incompetence.

The Times is the traditional paper of record, but its reputation has suffered somewhat since its acquisition by Rupert Murdoch's News International. Mostly right of the middle, it has supported Labour in recent times, but perhaps only because it was politically expedient.

The Telegraph is more staunchly conservative, the Times' traditional competitor, and some people still like to make fun of its unfortunately timed premature obituaries.

The Independent is known for its unusual front pages, for being openly critical of the UK/US War on Terror policies and for opposing the Iraq War.

The Sun/Mirror/Mail/Express/News of the World are sewer-crawling bottom feeders far below the standards of even the NY Daily News or the NY Post, which itself was modelled after the worst of British tabloids, and have no place in any thinking person's mind.

So as not to belabour the point, suffice to say that the News of the World resorts to tapping celebrities' phones to get its news, and that the Express recently called out survivors of a 1996 school shooting for such shameful behaviours as talking about alcohol or sex at an adolescent age.

Although in fairness it must be said that the News of the World is occasionally interesting if you like sex scandals or outlandish stories, and that The Sun sometimes has amusing headlines. But those are pretty much their only redeeming qualities.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:15 PM on September 16, 2009 [30 favorites]


I am going to post a link to the Daily Mail every single day for the next year just because I hate to see people try to ban a site from MeFi.
posted by caddis at 6:19 PM on September 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


fixedgear: "Are left and right reversed in the UK?"

No as has been noted by yourself among others, but note that the word "liberal" is used in a different sense in continental Europe.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:20 PM on September 16, 2009


Well, that won't work. There isn't anything worth posting from that rag. However, it does seem like something Lady Gaga "showed" recently might have been fake.
posted by caddis at 6:27 PM on September 16, 2009


The whole Mail editorial agenda is poisonous, but they still do manage to pay the odd competent feature writer to produce readable content and by and large that seems to be what people have chosen to link to - or things with pics as someone said above. Might as well link to those as any of the rest of the bourgeois press; it's all just the values of capital read back to us (man).
posted by Abiezer at 6:32 PM on September 16, 2009


Mrs. Pterodactyl: "will link to the Daily Mail Headline Generator"

Are Lesbians Stealing From Your Children?
posted by idiopath at 6:38 PM on September 16, 2009


Surely the DM's website alone points to the quality of its content. Everyone likes smut once in a while and everyone has a back button.
posted by meerkatty at 6:45 PM on September 16, 2009


I think the answer to the Mail is for people to think through and be critical of the hyperbole and content of the articles. I don't think the answer is to ban it (which I know you're not suggesting). It's hard as a non-native to know of the stances and policies of media with which one is not familiar.

I've thrown up a page on the wiki (currently composed of goodnewsfortheinsane's comment) if people want to chip in with the stances/reputation of their national media.
posted by djgh at 7:05 PM on September 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also: Toronto Sun: bad
Calgary Sun: bad
Vancouver Sun: acceptable
Son House: best ever.


Baltimore Sun: apparently, the city I'm from is even less significant than Calgary, now? Actually, that seems about right.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:15 PM on September 16, 2009


Also, I'm not from the UK and I'm definitely part of the "liberal left," but I have learned to not bother with any links to the Independent. Much as I side mostly with the Palestinians, their bias on that and other issues is just flamboyantly over the top.

Despite having always been under the impression it was more conservative, I find the Financial Times to be far the best and least biased of the UK papers I see on a regular basis.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:18 PM on September 16, 2009


If its fairly simple to append SLYT or NSFW on the end of posts, perhaps try throwing DMF (Daily Mail Filter) on there, start a new tradition, et voila!, anyone who hates the rag can steer clear.
posted by mannequito at 7:20 PM on September 16, 2009


And once we have banned all these filthy rags for their incorrect views, we can pile them all up together and stage a great big bonfire! Maybe throw in some decadent novels for good measure.
posted by briank at 7:36 PM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Let's not forget the Daily Mail's leading role in stirring up massive panic about the MMR vaccine (so at least a few of the resulting hospitalisations from the surge in measles cases are at their door), or that they simultaneously campaigned against and for introduction of the cervical cancer (HPV) vaccine in the UK and Ireland, respectively.

goodnewsfortheinsane - The Sun/Mirror/Mail/Express/News of the World are sewer-crawling bottom feeders...

Well, arguably. But remember that between them they account for the vast majority of papers sold in the UK. The Sun is by far the country's most popular daily paper by sales, and is even further in front if you look at estimated readership; the tabloids tend to get passed around more at workplaces than the broadsheets. So they're probably a more representative picture of our society than the broadsheets.

The Sun isn't actually that bad a paper. There's the soft porn and a lot of celebrity dross, but its politics reporting tends to be fairly balanced and its science reporting, while heavily simplified, seems to suffer far less distortion and misrepresentation than e.g. the Daily Fail. I'm not saying I'd recommend it as my paper of choice, but its huge readership figures aren't as upsetting as you might think. I'm with you 100% on the Mail and Express being hate-filled reactionary rags though.
posted by metaBugs at 7:38 PM on September 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


That's one way of framing the argument briank, but is the art worthy of the frame?

Imagine that for some reason (transporter accident maybe) I put up an extended post about Obama that is just dripping with racial insults, quotes out of context and outright fabrications. Does deleting that post equal fascism, or does Cortex' failure to use some of his flight time to come to St. Louis and kick me in the groin equal a miscarriage of justice?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:01 PM on September 16, 2009


Are Lesbians Stealing From Your Children?

Are Muslims Molesting the Queen?
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:28 PM on September 16, 2009


I think the answer to the Mail is for people to think through and be critical of the hyperbole and content of the articles.

My interpretation was that jontyjago is making this request partially to avoid driving ad revenue to the site - and less because of a bias that hopefully most mefites can spot out (though that I suppose might lead to a wendell from the start.)
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:28 PM on September 16, 2009


Kid Charlemagne -- deleting the occasional outrageous post is something altogether different than drawing up lists of "acceptable" publications and systematically banning them to satisfy someone's ideological purity test. As it is, the mods do delete posts just because they don't like the link sources, but it's almost always framed by their individual judgment of the matter at hand.

The phrase "left-wing echo chamber" gets bandied about here by the few right-wingers who, for some reason, still participate here, and not without some justification. Providing them with more evidence isn't going to be very useful in the end, I think.
posted by briank at 8:28 PM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


deleting the occasional outrageous post is something altogether different than drawing up lists of "acceptable" publications and systematically banning them to satisfy someone's ideological purity test.

Good thing that's not happening here, then. The mods won't even systematically ban web sites that have engaged in self-linking, so the idea of banning web sites for because they aren't "ideologically pure" is fantasy.
posted by grouse at 8:39 PM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Are Lesbians Stealing From Your Children?

Are Muslims Molesting the Queen?


Does the Pope shit in the woods?
posted by team lowkey at 9:02 PM on September 16, 2009


> deleting the occasional outrageous post is something altogether different than drawing up lists of "acceptable" publications and systematically banning them to satisfy someone's ideological purity test.

Please quote whoever suggested that, I totally missed it.

The "liberal echo chamber" accusation rings pretty hollow. Huffington Post articles rarely survive: they tend to be thin, heavily editorialized, untrustworthy, and/or blatant flamebait. Kinda like Daily Mail, except without the racist bullshit. I think it's these latter qualities people object to rather than the ideology being espoused.
posted by cj_ at 9:22 PM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Don't tell me about the press. I know exactly who reads the papers:

And The Sun is read by people who don't care who runs the country as long as she's got big tits.
posted by keijo at 9:27 PM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


The US version, by the way, goes:

The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.
The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.
The New York Times is read by people who think they ought to be running the country
USA Today is read by people who think they ought to be running the country but don’t really understand the Washington Post.
The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn’t mind running the country, if they had the time.
The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country.
The New York Daily News is read by people who aren't too sure who's running the country, and don't really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.
The New York Post is read by people who don't care who's running the country, as long as they do something scandalous.
The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country but need the baseball scores.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:28 PM on September 16, 2009 [26 favorites]


Yeah well this is America where we believe in free speech. Even speech we hate. Deal with it.
posted by vronsky at 9:58 PM on September 16, 2009


Yeah well this is America where we believe in free speech. Even speech we hate. Deal with it.

Or what? You're going to bring out more jingoistic assertions that don't mean anything?

Unless it was a simple lampoon, in which case, well played sir.
posted by djgh at 10:08 PM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's a thing of beauty, Mrs Pterodactyl.

WILL TEENAGE SEX MAKE YOUR CHILDREN IMPOTENT?
posted by Sparx at 10:10 PM on September 16, 2009


Yes, in Bizarro First Amendment Land* where people are free to say anything, absolutely anything at all, except to state their opinions about what other people are saying. Unless they are stating their opinion about other people stating opinions about what other people are saying—that is okay.

* Disclaimer: does not actually have anything to do with the First Amendment.
posted by grouse at 10:12 PM on September 16, 2009


No shirt, no shoes, no service!
posted by maxwelton at 10:22 PM on September 16, 2009


I suppose you could classify it as jingoistic if you want, but it certainly means something. I've never heard of the Daily Mail but I don't want some internet stranger telling me that it is something I can't or shouldn't read. Who gave him the right of censorship? What else would he ban from the site?

"Noam Chomsky states that: "If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don't like. Stalin and Hitler, for example, were dictators in favor of freedom of speech for views they liked only. If you're in favor of freedom of speech, that means you're in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise."

fuck jontyjagoff and anyone else who wants to limit free expression.
posted by vronsky at 10:22 PM on September 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah! Go ride Stalin's mustache you free speech hater!
posted by Burhanistan at 10:28 PM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


sbutler: I like Daily Mail links because they almost always have pictures. Sometimes even good pictures. I'm tired of clicking on articles about a new building, park, invention, etc and getting no picture or -- even worse -- some crappy 100x100 thumbnail.

Oh, I hate that. Especially when the FPP itself is about the building/park/disaster/attraction and the poster didn't dig up photos, only press, and the press couldn't be bothered to take photos. Drives me nuts.
posted by paisley henosis at 10:36 PM on September 16, 2009


I don't want some internet stranger telling me that it is something I can't or shouldn't read.

Nowhere does he say this.
...to let non-UK mefites know that the article they found, wherever they found it, is giving exposure to the worst of UK journalism, something this site does not need to do.
The poster is stating their opinion on the stance and biases of the source as they see them, and asking that people consider these aspects of the Daily Mail before posting a link to it. The poster isn't advocating a ban, or moderator clampdown, or anything like that.

You're also not prevented from firing up your browser and visiting their website.

JS Mill stresses the need of free speech for the discovery of truth. Schauer says that it is so that people may make informed decisions. jontyjagoff's discussion of the editorial policy of the Daily Mail is helping you discover the truth and make an informed decision as to whether you read the Daily Mail or not.
posted by djgh at 10:42 PM on September 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Apologies, jontyjago, I lazily copied vronsky's spelling of your name.
posted by djgh at 10:43 PM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've never heard of the Daily Mail but I don't want some internet stranger telling me that it is something I can't or shouldn't read. Who gave him the right of censorship?

Asking that MeFi have a quality standard for its FPPs is hardly censorship.

Good lord. He isn't saying you shouldn't read the Daily Fail. He's not censoring your ability to read craptacular journalistic idiocy. You remain perfectly free to waste your time on that shit.

He's merely suggesting that MeFi's quality would be improved if we didn't hook our garden hose to the sewage pipes. The "MetaFilter" part of the name, you know: be selective in what you post.

The idea isn't "censorship" in any manner whatsoever. Your histrionics are unwarranted.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:46 PM on September 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


No matter how bad the Daily Mail may be, this doesn't seem like a good road to go down. There's an obvious political angle that seems to be overriding the otherwise-unobjectionable "what's good for MetaFilter" one.

It seems fine to deep-six links to shoddy, shallow, yellow journalism because it's bad journalism, but not okay to do the same thing just because the political viewpoint doesn't align well with the MetaFilter Body Politic.

I'm not saying this as a criticism, but just a statement of what appears to me as obvious fact: MetaFilter has a pretty obvious political bias already. You can see it reflected pretty clearly in what articles—especially snarky and/or schadenfreude-bait ones—get deleted and which stick around. It's fine; there's no equal time rule, it's reflective of the community, whatever. It's how things work.

But, at least as far as I know and hope, that's not a result of any direct site policy, it's mostly a function of which posts begin good discussions and which just collect flags and cause drama. Hard to argue with that.

Asking for what seems very close to a blacklist of a site because of its politics (and, however objectionable it may be to some, it's not like we're talking about Stormfront here, it's a widely-circulating UK paper) doesn't seem in line with the pragmatic, quality-focused attitude that I've always thought was sort of central to MetaFilter's moderation.

If a SL Daily Mail post sucks, I'd hope it gets deleted. But if a SL post to the NYT, Al Jazeera, Vogue, or anywhere else sucked, I'd hope it would get deleted too. I would hope that, whatever the source, posts and links are evaluated based on interestingness and whether they'll produce a good discussion, not on the publisher's editorial stance.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:49 PM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's just like linking to any other sketch-seeming website. We're certainly not going to hand down an edict saying "never link to them!" but just say "Hey, just so you know, they're sort of tabloid-y in the UK" and peopel can move forward knowing that.

We need a quality-rating system. A little thermometer beside the links to news sites, grading them on their trustworthiness.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:49 PM on September 16, 2009


For those of us who never passed the age of 12, I need only point out that Vernon Dursley is a Daily Mail reader.
posted by clerestory at 11:05 PM on September 16, 2009 [8 favorites]


The Mail is essentially a continuation of that grand and noble tradition in the UK of running around in little tiny circles screaming 'The country has gone to the dogs! The country has gone to the dogs!

Wouldn't The Mail spell that "wogs"?
posted by orthogonality at 11:33 PM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


"The poster isn't advocating a ban, or moderator clampdown, or anything like that."

except here -- "I am tired of seeing FPPs linked to articles from the UK's Daily Mail website and would like to see it stop." You know, the very first sentence of the post.

"You're also not prevented from firing up your browser and visiting their website."

Yeah well that's a crap argument innit? I am also not prevented from "firing up" my browser and visiting any number of websites such as amnesty international or al jazeera. How does this counter my argument for free speech. I suppose we could just shut metafilter down and all of us browse whatever websites we want to.

Dumb.

"JS Mill stresses the need of free speech for the discovery of truth. Schauer says that it is so that people may make informed decisions. jontyjagoff's discussion of the editorial policy of the Daily Mail is helping you discover the truth and make an informed decision as to whether you read the Daily Mail or not."

are you arguing with me or against me here? It is a bit hard to make out.

Dumber.

Again - stop telling me what I can or cannot read. I am an adult and can form my own opinions. You are not the boss of me and should not limit my rights and free access to information in any way shape or form.
posted by vronsky at 11:40 PM on September 16, 2009


Two sites about the Daily Mail:
The (New) Daily Mail Oncological Ontology Project - An ongoing quest to track the Daily Mail's classification of inanimate objects into two types: those that cause cancer, and those that cure it.
Daily Mail Watch

Unfortunately the Daily Mail do seem to have got particularly good at online link-bait - cute / interesting photos from elsewhere, celebrity-judging and outrage. Users on sites like reddit can't help but link to articles like You mustn't mention God... council bans church from putting up notices about its meetings and Women really can't keep a secret: Tongues start wagging after just 47 hours.

I would love to never see another Daily Mail link on metafilter.
posted by JonB at 11:47 PM on September 16, 2009


I was going to post a long rambling re-justification of my reasons for posting this, but on second thoughts I would just like to say that the majority of you have understood perfectly my point, thank you. This is why I love Metafilter.

To the minority who didn't understand and see some free-speech-crushing-censorship thing going on, you really should read The Daily Mail. You'd feel right at home.
posted by jontyjago at 11:53 PM on September 16, 2009 [8 favorites]


vronsky: "Again - stop telling me what I can or cannot read. I am an adult and can form my own opinions. You are not the boss of me and should not limit my rights and free access to information in any way shape or form."

You don't sound like an adult...
posted by team lowkey at 12:05 AM on September 17, 2009 [9 favorites]


Vronsky - stop being a douche.
posted by Jofus at 12:41 AM on September 17, 2009


I think it's a bit unfair to lump the Daily Mirror in with The Sun and The Express. Although the Mirror is mostly a rag nowadays, it has a fine, fairly recent, history of investigative journalism (John Pilger on Cambodia, Paul Foot on Northern Ireland and more).

More importantly it once did a special blue edition to promote Pepsi.
posted by brighton at 12:48 AM on September 17, 2009


Granma is [not] good for you. Neither is the Daily Wail; which was the first newspaper to carry horoscopes even though at the time it was still technically an offence under the Witchcraft Act.
posted by adamvasco at 1:18 AM on September 17, 2009


Yes, please stop linking to the Daily Mail as much.

Sure you can read what you like. I'm not stopping you, and I don't think that's what this post is about. The Daily Mail is not balanced, and if you've just been there to see that one story and you're not British, then you might not be aware of that. You are now and you can maybe think about finding another source for your post.

If you want to post about HAVE HOODIES BURGLED THE MEMORY OF DIANA?, then fair dos, post away.

(My favourite Daily Fail headline generated so far: COULD CANCER GIVE CLIFF RICHARD CANCER?)
posted by Helga-woo at 5:25 AM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Of course, you know how to confuse a Daily Mail reader? Tell them that asylum seekers kill paedophiles.

I'd argue against linking to the DM, simply because it's not a great paper. If you want papers that expouse right-wing perspectives, there's the Times, the Daily Telegraph, or maybe the FT. All of which have better writers, none of which are dedicated to the noble mission of classifying everything in the world as either carcinogenic or cancer-curing.

You wouldn't link to a Weekly World News story on the batboy as a legitimate news source; the Mail is barely better.
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:36 AM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


(Oh, FT = Financial Times. Sorry, used to a UK office context where everyone would know what I meant).
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:37 AM on September 17, 2009


> When people say "The Grauniad" they refer to the paper's erstwhile reputation for typos, which probably has its roots in geography rather than incompetence.

Thanks very much for that; this is the most interesting thing I've learned in a while:
In fact, the paper was not more prone than other papers to misprints but because the paper was printed in Manchester, Londoners saw the first edition printed each night. National papers in Britain at this time contained large numbers of "typos" which they removed progressively as the night wore on and they were noticed. Thus a paper like The Times would have as many mistakes in the North of England as The Guardian did in London. However, because media opinion was set in London, only The Guardian got a bad reputation.
> I am an adult and can form my own opinions.

I'll take your word for it, but you sound like an adolescent ranting against The Man (=parents).
posted by languagehat at 5:52 AM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't get this callout. If the DM link is crap, delete the post like anything else. If it happens to be a well-written article (as has been mentioned before, there are the occasional worthy articles), let it stay.
posted by jmd82 at 6:04 AM on September 17, 2009


I'm with vronsky. IT'S POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GONE MAD. I don't want illegal gay immigrants coming over here, stealing the Queen's swans, telling me what I can read on my Metafilter and causing all manner of cancer. If I want to read an interesting feature story in the Femail section about a woman who used to be a lesbian and an MP but gave it all up to become normal and stay at home and raise children in Surrey like women are meant to, I don't want any so-called European Court of Human Rights telling me I can't — just because I'm not black. Next you'll be telling me Metafilter has hired a so-called "Diversity Officer" to ban Christians from refusing MMR vaccines that cause cancer, when our boys are dying in warzones all over the world.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 6:06 AM on September 17, 2009 [25 favorites]


I don't want some internet stranger telling me that it is something I can't or shouldn't read.

Never heard of The Daily Mail? Sir, I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to be pig-ignorant.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:23 AM on September 17, 2009


People maybe are confused at who jontyjago is talking to. He's not telling the mods what we should and shouldn't think is okay in a FPP, he's telling the community, generally speaking that even though the Daily Mail is sort of fancy looking and has attention getting headlines that look like they're connected to good articles, they enjoy a less than stellar reputation in the UK, something that I think a lot of us in the US wouldn't know unless we read it a lot, lived there or knew someone like jontyjago.

So if you're writing a post about your favorite UK whatever and you find Daily Mail links in your Googling, you might want to see if you could find a better source since it's like linking to the Boston Herald here or something. Or maybe that's just the angle you're looking for in which case, go right ahead.

He asked us what we thought about posting something like that here in Meta and both me and mathowie thought it was a decent idea. With the exception of maybe Stormfront we don't remove posts based on merely the URL of the information and we're not planning on starting. vronsky, you're being a little GRAR about this.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:45 AM on September 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Ya'll like Harry Potter, right? 'Cause the Daily Mail is Vernon Dursley's favorite paper.

Just sayin'.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:29 AM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also just sayin' - the word SHRUGGO can only be used by cortex, the word GRAR by Jessamyn. That is all.
posted by Jofus at 8:02 AM on September 17, 2009


THE FIRST AMENDMENT OF THE US CONSTITUTION DOES NOT APPLY TO METAFILTER.

That is all.

(Oddly enough, it doesn't apply to the print version of the Daily Mail, either)
posted by muddgirl at 8:15 AM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


yeah vronsky i love ya but SHRUGGO to yr GRAR

yoink
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:29 AM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't necessarily have anything against making an FPP that links to any particular news organization. However, one should keep in mind that the Daily Mail is focused on two things: railing against the national health service and railing against immigrants. They will pick and/or sensationalize stories about these issues because they want to create a public shitstorm about them and produce outrage. Anyone making an FPP about, say, the problems of national health care or immigration policy by linking to Daily Mail stories on the matter is being foolish.
posted by deanc at 9:13 AM on September 17, 2009


Urban legend has it that the paper once misspelled its own name on the page one masthead as The Gaurdian.
"Grauniad" is courtesy of Private Eye.
posted by adamvasco at 9:55 AM on September 17, 2009


So if you're writing a post about your favorite UK whatever and you find Daily Mail links in your Googling, you might want to see if you could find a better source since it's like linking to the Boston Herald here or something.

Actually, the Herald is a) no longer owned by Murdoch, and b) pretty professional in reporting stuff that isn't politics. I might link to a Herald article about a new museum in the Boston area, for instance, because their arts reporting is pretty good. And their sports reporting is generally better than the Globe's.

I think the New York Post is a better equivalent to the Daily Mail in terms of sloppy journalism.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:23 AM on September 17, 2009


Ok sorry if I was being a bit of a twat. Jessamyn's comment has soothed my savage breast. I suppose it was jontyjago's tone of "I know what is best for metafilter" that got my fur up. I don't like to see minority opinions suppressed, no matter how much I might find them personally distasteful, and it is something I feel passionately about as an American. Whether the first amendment of the constitution applies to mefi is beside the point. It is the spirit, not the letter of the law that I am concerned about.
posted by vronsky at 10:39 AM on September 17, 2009


Huh, I just ran across this on a blog I check and whatever you may think of the Mail's editorial policy, they have a pretty interesting online site.

thirsty bats swooping down for a drink

Golden Gate Bridge is lit up by fork lightning
posted by vronsky at 12:00 PM on September 17, 2009


Just on the point of relative popularity of newspapers in the UK:

The Fail, Sun, and NOTW would be good links if the post was covering UK mentality on some subject or another. As would the Grauniad or the Indy. But in terms of commentary: I know that most of what is linked on Metafilter is either UltraLiberal, or explicitly held up for ridicule (where it has some connection to current events or politics). I'm down with that, I'm pretty sure the future ought to be more liberal than the present, in most countries at this tie. But since a sizeable amount of people on the site aren't aware of the UK print media scene and its various biases, it would be kind to tag any UK sources with brief notes along the lines of "[loony-lefty broadsheet] the Guardian claims..." or "thwarted tory favourite the Daily Mail thunders...".

Whether I agree with the bias or not, it ought to be acknowledged on a site where the majority of people aren't aware of it.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 2:25 PM on September 17, 2009


Yep, the Mail publishes a whole lot of absolute shit and any article coming out of there should be treated with extreme precaution. But: that doesn't mean that every article they print is a disgrace of populism and xenophobia. Compare their take on
"Islamic Rage Boy"
to that of a well-known Slate.com contributor.
posted by bookish at 2:29 PM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Jessamyn:

People maybe are confused at who jontyjago is talking to. He's not telling the mods what we should and shouldn't think is okay in a FPP



From the original post:

I am tired of seeing FPPs linked to articles from the UK's Daily Mail website and would like to see it stop.

I am highlighting this, . . . simply to let non-UK mefites know that the article they found, wherever they found it, is giving exposure to the worst of UK journalism, something this site does not need to do.


Me, I don't see a whole lot of ambiguity in that language. This is someone telling us how we should behave on the site, what sort of things that we should be putting in our posts and I personally have a very negative reaction to that sort of thing.
posted by jason's_planet at 2:35 PM on September 17, 2009


And, having said that, I understand that you, the mods, aren't going to implement any such blanket ban any time soon.

Just thought I'd clarify that.
posted by jason's_planet at 2:42 PM on September 17, 2009


This is someone telling us how we should behave on the site, what sort of things that we should be putting in our posts and I personally have a very negative reaction to that sort of thing.

That's pretty much what MetaTalk is for, hashing out community norms and talking this stuff out with other people. It's fine if you don't like it, but it's the totally appropriate place for this sort of conversation to happen.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:54 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


jason's_planet, I didn't see any ambiguity in that post either—except that to me it was totally unambiguous that he was not calling for an enforced ban, but rather suggesting that something that people be aware of and that they should do less of. In short, this was a SHOULD NOT rather than a MUST NOT.

I think most longtime users here have ideas about what people should and should not do. At the very least, there are people in this thread that are expressing the idea that members SHOULD NOT post MetaTalk threads telling others what they MUST NOT post. At least, that is my charitable interpretation, because if these people are actually saying that members SHOULD NOT tell other people what they SHOULD NOT post, then I think there is somewhat of a contradiction. Personally, I think there is a lot of room for discussion of what people should be posting.

These discussions would be much more useful if people would stop interpreting this kind of request as a desire for new policy enforced by moderator, rather than an opening for an evolution in community norms. The whole self-policing aspect of MetaTalk is a good thing.
posted by grouse at 2:58 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


These discussions would be much more useful if people would stop interpreting this kind of request as a desire for new policy enforced by moderator, rather than an opening for an evolution in community norms.

Thing is, though, MetaFilter's politicos have already changed community norms to the point where lightweight newsfilter posts, consisting of two or three hastily thrown together wire stories, are now legitimate, as long as they can spark a echo-chamber discussion reinforcing MetaFilter's dominant political beliefs.

I roll my eyes and put up with that because there's nothing I can do to change that pattern. But when those same activists try to tell me what I should put in my own posts, I get pissed off. That seems like overreaching to me.
posted by jason's_planet at 3:41 PM on September 17, 2009


lightweight newsfilter posts, consisting of two or three hastily thrown together wire stories, are now legitimate, as long as they can spark a echo-chamber discussion reinforcing MetaFilter's dominant political beliefs.

Find one.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:51 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


One interesting result of this thread is that I've learned some members see Metafilter as a "liberal" or "UltraLiberal" echo chamber.

Is it really? As a progressive USAian, it seems to me that the politics on Metafilter trend pretty moderate. Is this just an example of a situation where people can't identify what the middle position is? Or have shifting social mores meant that traditional left-wing views are now moderate views? And the new-left-wing has to craft all new extremist opinions? Or is there confusion because people think the Democratic party is, on the whole, left-of-center (and therefore, any Democratic party ideals are left-of-center)?
posted by muddgirl at 3:52 PM on September 17, 2009


Or maybe all the rabid conservatives left and us rabid progressives are skewing the whole thing. Hmmm...
posted by muddgirl at 3:53 PM on September 17, 2009


In terms of the global overton window, Mefi seems to be pretty squarely in the center.

That means we are far left loonies as far as the US overton window is concerned.
posted by idiopath at 3:56 PM on September 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


> He's merely suggesting that MeFi's quality would be improved if we didn't hook our garden hose to the sewage pipes.

Go by the story, not the source. I don't suppose we need a steady diet of National Enquirer stories (unless it's Spitzer, Britney, Chupacabra in Three-Way) but it was the Enquirer that first caught John Edwards with his pants off.

Also, when the aliens land for real I want to hear about it ASAP even if that means hearing about it from Rupert Murdoch.
posted by jfuller at 5:16 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Go by the story, not the source.

I don't think it's possible to separate a story from its source.
posted by muddgirl at 5:38 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Rumple: "Huh, I heard it as "The Telegraph is read by the the people who used to run the country" which always struck me as more apt."

From here, isn't it? Or is there an earlier source?
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:09 PM on September 17, 2009


One interesting result of this thread is that I've learned some members see Metafilter as a "liberal" or "UltraLiberal" echo chamber.

Is it really?


How long have you been here? Have you noticed how poorly this place tends to treat people with right-wing views? I myself am very leftish but I wouldn't want to be a right-winger on MetaFilter. Never in a million years.
posted by jason's_planet at 6:11 PM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


There's very little difference, either in terms of accuracy or political slant, between the Daily Mail and other right-of-centre newspapers like the Daily Express and the Daily Telegraph.

If you're going to link to a newspaper story, you need to apply some skepticism and think about its sources. That applies to any newspaper.

The reason that the Daily Mail is a such a bogeyman to the British left can be seen by looking at the list of circulations. The Daily Mail sells 2,200,398 copies, second only to the lowbrow tabloid The Sun, and way ahead of "serious" competitors like the Telegraph with 783,210. Metafilter loves The Guardian, but it sells only 358,844 copies. There are six Mail readers for every Guardian reader.

The Daily Mail isn't hated because it's so much worse than its competitors, but because it's so much more popular.

So, it's not just a coincidence that it has a lot of good pictures, as has been mentioned. The Daily Mail's size and resources help it get the best pictures.

I know that Americans like to live in political bubbles, only looking at news sources which confirm their beliefs. But I'm not convinced that's such a great trend that it should be applied everywhere.

Finally, have some pictures of 1800s London, a piglet, London wildlife and the Pinewood studios underwater tank.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:39 AM on September 18, 2009


Fact x Importance = NEWS

Yeah, my granny gets the Mail. Yeah, it's utterly poisonous.

They often have a-political articles on their website with nice pictures. Even so, I'd rather people didn't go to the site and boost their ad revenue.

The America!FreedomOfSpeechYeah!IfYouDon'tLikeItYouCanGitAat! bit upthread was tiresome.

It's terrifying how large the Mail's circulation is.
posted by Cantdosleepy at 5:57 AM on September 18, 2009


That headline generator is awesome:

COULD FERAL CHILDREN MOLEST YOUR PETS?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:55 AM on September 18, 2009


It's not so much that MeFi hates the right, as it hates liars and haters.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:06 AM on September 18, 2009


How long have you been here? Have you noticed how poorly this place tends to treat people with right-wing views? I myself am very leftish but I wouldn't want to be a right-winger on MetaFilter. Never in a million years.

I've been lurking since shortly after they closed signups, which was in... 2002?

It's interesting that a distrust of right-wingers is seen as a skew towards the left. Shouldn't moderates be distrustful of both right-wingers and left-wingers? I know that my progressive opinions have often been questioned, attacked, and ridiculed by various members of Mefi. I tend to stay out of political threads since the election, so perhaps they have transformed into progressive hotbeds while I wasn't looking.

It's really seems sort of, "If you're not against us, you're with us!" When from where I'm standing, it's much more shades of grey then that.
posted by muddgirl at 9:20 AM on September 18, 2009


Any public conversation has its own overton window. The one on mefi is on the left of the US window, and pretty much in the middle when it comes to industrialized nations. The right in the US has actively been pushing the window in the US for decades, and it has worked. This is what think tanks are primarily for.

In the world of politics there is no such thing as balanced or intuitive or common sense. The political discourse in a particular time and place establishes what a given populace considers reasonable or unreasonable, and certain parties are actively engaged in the act of trying to influence that discourse and its limits. Balanced means in the middle of the range of opinions that are considered reasonable. That range of opinions is not objective, but specific to where and when you live.
posted by idiopath at 9:36 AM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Daily Mail isn't hated because it's so much worse than its competitors, but because it's so much more popular.

Its influence and its obnoxiousness are linked, not separate issues. It appeals to popular fears, as demagogues always have done, and these tend to be held by a large number of people because they're popular fears. Also, your points about circulation are essentially meaningless without including online readership statistics.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 9:57 AM on September 18, 2009


The right in the US has actively been pushing the window in the US for decades, and it has worked.

So how do they figure a far-right America is going to fit into a moderate-left global scene? I really don't see it coming to anything but lots of tears.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:28 PM on September 18, 2009


From here, isn't it? Or is there an earlier source?

corpse, that must be it, thanks. I definitely heard this when I lived in the UK in early 1990s, so it may have been a botched quote of yes Minister, but I do think the "former runners of the country" snark on the Telegraph readers is much more apt than the real version which doesn't make a huge amount of sense to me.
posted by Rumple at 2:36 PM on September 18, 2009


a piglet

All is forgiven!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:39 PM on September 18, 2009


The Daily Mail isn't hated because it's so much worse than its competitors, but because it's so much more popular.

You're completely wrong. Just look at the music charts to prove how popularity doesn't make a compelling argument.

As previous posters have outlined, the issue with the Daily Mail is the fact that they lie and they lie on a continous basis. And that includes the "interesting" photos that the defenders (I'm guessing American, not too up to speed with UK media) are peddling. Google Photoshop Disasters and see what popular UK newspaper comes top of the rounds.

It's also "news" with a heavy agenda every single time. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that Metafilter was the Best Of The Web. If you want to argue "freedom of speech" then I'll see you in the YouTube comments pages.
posted by panboi at 4:48 PM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


> It's not so much that MeFi hates the right, as it hates liars and haters.
> posted by five fresh fish at 11:06 AM on September 18 [+] [!]

And the smug self-righteousness which follows on from that tendentious premise entirely justifies lumping all those who have derived non-approved conclusions from their life experience in with the liars and haters. Indeed there aren't any such people to worry about. All there are are us, and then the liars and haters. (Well, maybe a few dupes in Kansas. It's OK to call them morons, we get a dispensation.)
posted by jfuller at 5:34 PM on September 18, 2009


Yah, whatevs. Regardless, preventing couples from marrying is barbaric and cruel; putting profits before people in healthcare is just plain evil; and everything the Republicans have touched over the last forty years has gone right to shit, so fuck 'em.

I'll feel bad for being self-righteous when love and compassion are shown to be wrong.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:16 PM on September 18, 2009


I'll feel bad for being self-righteous when love and compassion are shown to be wrong.

I'm pretty sure they're only right if they're available to everyone.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:59 PM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure you want to rethink that.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:43 AM on September 19, 2009


Transcript of the Yes, Minister episode that contains the press quote

(for KokuRyu, The corpse in the library, Rumple)
posted by LanTao at 6:20 PM on September 21, 2009


What a Daily Mail orgasm looks like
posted by homunculus at 9:03 AM on September 22, 2009


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