Guardian Adds Insult to Injury with High Praise for Tabloids

Only the most hysterical of haters are denying the role that the Mail played in the guilty verdict yesterday for Stephen Lawrence’s murderers. The role Paul Dacre and his journalists played is explained here, and even the Guardian have this morning described their 1997 front page as “without question, the Mail’s finest hour.” Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland goes on to give a powerful defence, all be it while wearing a plague doctor’s mask, of the tabloids:

“Tabloid editors don’t deny that they are in the business of entertaining as well as informing: broadsheet editors, if they are honest, will admit they do the same, albeit by different means (though sport and sex feature regularly in the Guardian’s “most viewed” stories online). But one senior executive told me he also believes it is his job to educate his readers, to explain the world in plain, accessible language. Even if that goal is rarely achieved, it is a noble one, one that any true democrat or egalitarian should support. For a true democracy cannot leave knowledge in the hands of the elite few; it has to be spread widely. So, yes, it has made the most gruesome mistakes and, yes, those will require severe remedy – but Britain needs its popular press, now more than ever.”

Given how the Guardian went about their campaign in the last year, many will feel this is either too little too late, or salt in a wound. You have to wonder how popular Freedland will be over at York Way this morning. The elephant in the article is a specific mention to the one tabloid that used to be the most effective of them all at informing, entertaining and holding those elites to account…




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