street of shame

Geordie chore
New Mail editor, Issue 1479

geordie-grieg.jpg
THE ANTI-DACRE: Geordie Greig told staff the Daily Mail would be a “friend of the people” under his leadership
SLOWLY but surely under the captaincy of Geordie Greig, the battleship Daily Mail is beginning to turn.

Greig made a rousing speech to the newsroom as he took up the editorship, telling his staff: “We will be a friend of the people, to Middle Britain and our loyal readers.” The assembled hacks took the “friend of the people” line to be a direct swipe at his predecessor Paul Dacre’s most infamous headline, “Enemies of the People” (referring to the judges who ruled that Brexit required a parliamentary vote).

However, though his first week as editor saw a number of significant Brexit developments (EU negotiator Michel Barnier’s prediction that a deal was possible within weeks; a presentation by Eurosceptic MP Jacob Rees-Mogg’s European Research Group on the Irish border question; and a threat by Theresa May to refuse to pay the £39bn divorce bill), the Mail splashed on Brexit just once, on Monday 10th, and then only as background to Boris Johnson’s sex life.

Exiting developments
Where Brexit did feature on the inside pages, the tone was markedly different. “How No Deal could put your holiday at risk” was the headline on one page lead, while two entire news stories and an editorial on positive employment and pay statistics passed without any crowing over “Project Fear” whatsoever.

Perhaps most surprisingly from the paper which ranted against “saboteurs” and “enemies of the people” – those supposedly attempting to thwart Brexit - a headline in last Thursday’s Mail used the word “traitors” to describe… members of the rabidly pro-Brexit ERG. Admittedly only the more minor ones who are pushing to remove May, but given that it is mere months since the paper was denouncing the Brexit-sceptic chancellor and “Remainer peers” in the House of Lords with the exact same word, this counts as a significant reverse ferret.

Flowing larva
During the new regime’s first week, a pest infestation in the Mail building resulted in a number of live maggots dropping from the ceiling of the newsroom on to the hacks toiling beneath. As one commented as they ran for shelter, “I suppose this is just the first of the biblical plagues we were promised when Dacre left.”

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Next issue on sale: 2nd October 2018
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More top stories in the latest issue:

THE £266,000 QUESTION
The Telegraph isn’t getting value for money from Boris Johnson, with his column free to read on Facebook and his marital problems scooped by the Sun.

FOOT IN MOUTH
Times editor John Witherow has recycled an old, discredited story about Michael Foot and the KGB, 23 years after he had to apologise for it.

SWEDISH BALLS
The Independent and its clickbaity sibling the Indy100 are both very confused over the results of the Swedish general election.

WILBY RIGHT BACK
Peter Wilby criticises Labour anti-Semitism in the New Statesman – 16 years after he ran an NS cover image of the Star of David penetrating the Union Jack.

STANDARD PRACTICE
George Osborne’s Evening Standard is still carrying sponsored content and giving helpful plugs to the businesses it’s getting cash from.

BARBER CHOP
As the Sunday Times dispenses with Lynn Barber’s services, a feature about her ungrateful cat carries echoes of a piece she wrote last year…

CLASS WARFARE
Evening Standard and Indy owner Evgeny Lebedev is campaigning to provide education for kids in Syria – three years after he backed Russian air strikes.

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In This Issue
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Same old story
The Times’s editor recycles a discredited Michael Foot “scoop”
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Private Eye Issue 1478