Friday, 8 June 2012

Ignorant Daily Mail Readers

A summary of this rather long post:
* Disclaimer for why I am spacial-ly close enough to the Daily Mail to allude to an article in it
* Description of its ridiculous views
* Mention of its latest article on same-sex marriage
* Evidence of these ridiculous views in the reader comments section on said article
* Brief explosion of anger at how ignorant DM readers are

I have a confession to make. It's really rather embarrassing but anything is justified in the name of research, right? My confession is, that I am a Daily Mail reader. I know, I know, you may now lose some of your respect for me, and label me as a racist, right-wing, ignorant fool but before you do, let me try and explain.
I read the DM because it is often light hearted and fun and there's nothing better to brighten up your morning than a story about a dog who can sing the alphabet, 3 million pictures of people drowning in the rain, and a list of the next 1,000 things to cause cancer which becomes so laughable that it's all a good laugh. It also saves me a fortune in buying trashy celeb magazines, as my teenage-like interest in which celeb has got fat this month is quenched by the latest DM offering.

Every article in the DM is 'approved' or 'disapproved' by a barometer style comments system. So people who post comments affirming the generic DM reader view is 'green arrowed' meaning everyone agrees, and a comment that defies DM reader ideology is 'red arrowed' so a quick glance at the best rated and worst rated comments will give you a clear idea of which way is up.

In case you are not so well acquainted with the Daily Mail, I will give you a brief outline. The general (right-wingness of it) view is that anything that involves the state 'discriminating' against us British people is despicable. Cue many articles lavishing hatred upon immigrants (who are stealing all our jobs and primary school places), social workers/doctors/judges/policemen (who are stealing our freedom by imposing laws upon us), and people on benefits (who are stealing all our hard-earned money).

Anything that affirms Britain as a nation is revered, cue endless stories about the Royal Family, the sacredness of the Olympics and the Jubilee, and many inane stories about insignificant British people doing unremarkable things.

And then there are the things which the readers can't quite decide on, which leads to quite some contradiction (even more contradictory than when they ran endless stories about the devil child rioters whilst simultaneously blaming the entire thing on the government).

Christianity is one of these contradictions, this one all depends on who they are pitted against. DM readers are all for our 'Christian country' when it is being compromised by another minority group or state authority but as soon as a Christian is reported as compromising individual rights, they are villianised and quickly disowned.

David Cameron is another contradiction. When he does something right, it's all 'hail the conservatives' but when he does something controversial it's all 'why is this man in charge of our precious party?!'

Anyway... the point of that long winded introduction is to highlight today's Daily Mail daily offering on the same-sex marriage debate.

"Most homosexuals indifferent to David Cameron's drive for gay marriage" proclaims the headline. DM, always the vehicle of ignorance.
Firstly, this survey was commissioned by "Catholic Voices" a group CLEARLY with an agenda, but this bias is overlooked.
Secondly, only 541 people were asked, who self-reported their sexuality. No controls on who was really filling in this questionnaire, not to mention 541 people could capture a very specific demographic.
Thirdly, this whole issue has become incredibly complex, with political, religious and homophobic agendas all over the place. People are not understanding the issue at hand. I don't say that condescendingly, I have been following this debate closely yet am constantly confused about what the debate actually is. But the ignorance is self evident. Here is an example:

"no changes are proposed to religious marriages.  This will continue to only be legally possible between a man and a woman;" (

What is this guy smoking?! Why is he banging on about same-sex marriage meaning having to get married in a church? THE PROPOSALS WILL NOT MEAN GAY COUPLES CAN GET MARRIED IN A CHURCH, IN FACT THEY ARE STILL EXPLICITLY BANNED FROM DOING SO. It makes me so, so mad that this ignorant man is supporting this equally ignorant DM article. 10 equally ignorant people 'green-arrowed' this comment. 

So, this is why I hate the DM, it perpetuates ignorance on so many levels about so many things. The readers hate things for the sake of hating them, and can't even stick to their convictions when a shinier dartboard for their hate filled arrows is placed in their way.

But... I have a morbid fascination with reading it (a bit like how you can't not look at a car crash), because the ignorance is just so astounding it isn't even real.

And just one more disclaimer: I'm not affiliating myself with any particular political view in this post, don't assume I am some Labour lover just cause I find DM readers overzealous with their right wing views.

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