Friday, 19 December 2014

The Mail's Mandy Misogyny

So, Mandy Rice-Davies died, and the Daily Mail referred to her as a 'call girl'. This is old-time newstalk for 'white prostitute with posh or at least upper-middle-class clients'. And no, I am not linking to this or any other story in the Mail, as a public service to you, gentle reader. Thank me later. I could go on about the fact that Ms Davies was never a prostitute, but that would merely be challenging the Mail on a matter of record. Why bother? They never cared about facts. So let's have a crack at the 'tude behind the inaccurate description.

First, the phrase itself. The dead language of cliché and worse, that's what our newspapers use. We're used to it, don't think about how bad it is, unless we happen to read it aloud. Words like 'reveller' when they mean 'someone who's been to the pub'. Except, of course, when they use 'pubgoer'. Anything rather than refer to people as people, and use ordinary people's language, it seems. So it's not surprising that 'call girl' is still in the Mail's lexicon. I wouldn't be surprised if the Express used the term as well.

But of course they had to use a sexually-charged and rather grubby term when a woman famous for the (unwitting) fallout from a sexual encounter died. Why? The right-wing press is apparently run by misogynists, who also manage - through efficient time-management - to be racist, homophobic, anti-intellectual, and a leering, slobbering interest in teenage girls.

Yes, I know journos have to make a living and someone who works for, say, Murdoch money isn't necessarily as horrible as Old Rupe, (Randy Ol' Rupe is this horrible, btw,) But, given that we live in a world where journos can make a difference for the better in oppressive states, very few seem to try and do the right thing in the relatively free UK,

But it's not just Murdoch. The Mail is part of a news empire owned by the fourth Viscount Rothermere, who lives in France to avoid paying UK taxes. (France is a country the newspapers he owns routinely tell us is hostile to free enterprise - go figure). The first Lord Rothermere worshipped Hitler, sending him fan-mail, terming him 'Adolf the Great', and predicting that he would become immensely popular with ordinary Brits. Oh, and Rothermere also wanted to King of Hungary, presumably on the basis that Adolf the Great owed him that much. He died in 1940, a very apposite date.

During the run-up to WW2 Rothermere didn't just spin for Hitler, he paid thousands to a Nazi agent, She may have been his mistress. Certainly if the Mail were publishing this item today, that's what would be heavily hinted at, so why not? 'Did Daily Mail Founder Shag Hitler's Call Girl?' - one possible headline for a belated non-scoop of the sort the paper specialises in. Oddly enough, though, it's not customary in the press these days to refer to 'Nazi sympathiser and possible traitor Lord Rothermere'. One law for call girls, it seems, another for long-dead, pro-fascist loons.

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