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Monday, 17 January 2011

Liz Who? The Daily Mail Hits An All-Time Low

Question: Since when did a fashion journalist (no more) have the right or qualification to comment in any reasonable way on important and harrowing news events? Answer: Apparently, since today. Liz Jones' article for the Fail shows not just how sickeningly low the paper will reach for an audience-grabbing story, but just how self absorbed and how much of a completely clueless, pan-faced, toff-wannabe (and ex-wife) Jones really is. 

Considering the subject matter (the awful Jo Yeates murder, not the veggie burger incident) the whole thing reads more like a critical stroll down the high street, dodging plebs as she goes, more than what I assume she was trying (but failing) to write: a touching critique of society and our fickle attitudes to more media-friendly murder victims. A point that is, at the risk of sounding like I'm giving any credit at all to this piece, quite correct. Hundreds of crimes happen every day and it seems that only when a pretty, successful, "lovely" young woman gets brutally killed does the media (and us by proxy) splash their smiling faces across the shelves of WHSmith's. Either that or when a tragic, fallen angel type suffers the same fate.  But that's how the news works. If the media reported every murder with the same blanket coverage as the more "high profile" cases the news would be depressing and awful and we'd all end up crying most of the time - or those of us with a heart anyway. If the "high profile" cases weren't reported at all many wouldn't get solved. 

But maybe I'm being over-analytical. I'm searching for some sort of social commentary within Jones' article. I have a hell of a job on my hands, because there is none. What this is, simply, is a morbid attempt to gain profile and credit by writing about "something important" for a change, instead of the usual drivel Jones pisses out time after time. And she fails. JONES! YOU FAILED! Snooty, look-down-your-horsey-nose-at-the-peasants comments such as the one about the misspelled wine list - as if it matters at all in an article about a real person who was brutally killed by person/s unknown; whose body was dumped in freezing conditions, undiscovered for eight days while her family cried and worried but "already knew inside" that they would never again see their beloved daughter alive - just serve to cheapen the paper you write for (no surprise) and the industry that has to put up with your whiny me-me-me farticles (a crying shame). 

What we have here is a list of things that Jones believes the common folk of Britain see as aspirational. She honestly believes that Yeates' choice of "luxury pizza" (about £4) was a clear sign that she "wanted a lovely life, something above the ordinary". I buy quilted toilet paper, does that mean I want to live in a castle? The girl had money, a career; she had a lovely life! A life that was cruelly and inexplicably taken from her far too soon by someone who is out there right now, waiting to be captured. 

And all this article does is take all the loveliness out of that life and portray Jo's last hours as "a sad, sad thing". If only she'd been to a decent, upmarket bar. Her death wouldn't be quite so tragic then, would it? Because dying with a correctly-spelled champagne in her belly would have made it all much more acceptable for her, right Liz? You fucking idiot! To me, the whole thing reads as just as self-centred, unhinged and downright tasteless as some of the comments shat out by bollock-face (pictured) in Johann Hari's excellent interview last week - and, if I'm honest, just as sociopathic. What Jones has done it hijacked an actual news event for her own means. It's a "themed" edition of her usual picky, critical, look-how-faaarhking-upmarket-I-am-daaaarhling, self-back-slapping, olives-and-cocktails bullshit tripe but themed around a murder victim's last-visited shops and bars! I'm all for a bit of a different slant to over-reported stories, as an attempt to shine a light from a different angle, but this is borderline criminal! If nothing else it is incredible exploitative; a well-manicured fiddle finger stuck up to all those who knew Jo, her family, their grief or the horrible, chilling feeling they must get every time they see their daughter's smiling face - stationary - on a front page, knowing full well they'll never see it again in real life. 

I hope Liz Jones feels good about herself. All this furious criticism has got her name out there! No more is she the ex-editor of British Marie Claire, worth-nothing scribbler of fashion and culture pieces that reflects almost nothing of the lives of the normal person. Nope, now she's that one who wrote that shit about that Jo Yeates murder. No doubt she's very proud of herself. I'd want this article taken down immediately if I was her boss. But there you go, Daily Mail for you, isn't it? One thing though, Liz. When even your fellow journalists are calling your article crass and tasteless and downright bizarre, you have to wonder whether it's time to hang up your D&G handbag and fuck off out of the limelight.