In praise of the Daily Mail (yes, really)

The day after the Grand National I tweeted about the horrific photos in the Mail on Sunday of horses tumbling headfirst over the jumps and jockeys being crushed beneath their hooves…. Several people interpreted my tweet as an attack on the Mail for showing such gruesomeness. Not at all; I thought it was great that they were giving such prominence to photos which depicted the carnage in all its horror.

Others on Twitter asked me to use one of those sites in future which allows you to link to a story on a site like the Mail’s but without giving the site a hit. This is common practice when, for example, the Mail runs one of its deliberately provocative pieces by Jan Moir or such like, and people want to judge for themselves its offensiveness, but don’t want to up the Mail’s readership stats and thus justify their editorial decision to publish homophobic/ racist/ sexist bilge. Fair enough, though I can’t remember what those sites were called, so be warned, the link below WILL take you to the Mail website.

The fact is, that the Daily Mail is actually very good – in fact I’d go so far as saying it’s the best – at covering animal welfare issues. And they’ve done it again today with a piece on the BUAV’s undercover investigation into animal testing – specifically, tests being carried out on rabbits, here at http://tinyurl.com/rabb1ts. I doubt if any of the other nationals will give the story such prominence.

Maybe this is the Mail being cynical. Maybe they know that cuddly animal stories sell the paper. Maybe it’s something that particularly appeals to its high female readership. The story does have the ring of a regurgitated press release about it, rather than a ‘proper’ piece by one of the paper’s reporters, so perhaps it’s a quick and easy way to fill some paragraphs and publish some emotive pictures without doing much work. But still…. they’re covering this story. They have been, if my memory serves me right, pretty good on badger culling too. And of course they recently picked up on the story of Anne the elephant being mistreated in the circus, and launched a campaign which resulted in the elephant being found a new home at Longleat. So, credit where credit’s due. Doesn’t mean it’s not vile in many other regards though!

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