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Boyzone's Stephen Gately Slagged By Daily Mail — Outrage Downs Their Website

In Media, men on October 20, 2009 at 9:10 am
Boyzone

Image by MangakaMaiden Photography via Flickr

A column slagging Boyzone’s Stephen Gately, a gay man, after his recent and untimely death in a Spanish hotel room has prompted the most complaints ever — 22,000 — to Britain’s Press Complaints Commission. Daily Mail columnist Jan Moir decided to use Gately as a poster boy for the wages of homosexual sin, these days a tired little trope for many, but clearly not for all.

Gately, 33, died in Mallorca, a Balearic island that, for some, remains another symbol of hedonistic decadence — while an autopsy found he’d died of pulmonary edema.

The PCC’s code contains 16 categories of offenses, from giving gory details of a suicide to sneaking into a hospital, unidentified, as a reporter, a trick one Daily News colleague of mine used successfully. While the Council has no punitive or regulatory power, it at least explicitly names and codifies some of the abuses — the ones that drive highly-profitable editorial decisions made in every newsroom every day. In the endless race for eyeballs and dollars, ethics, apparently, be damned.

  1. I found the writer’s apologia even worse — a sort of “Let’s see how many more readers can I attract with this now?” — and then was mad at myself for reading it. Trash does sell; at least a few advertisers repented.

  2. This reminded me of the Toronto Star story/error I blogged about a few weeks ago; the “explanatory” column they ran was equally self-serving.

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