The Mail covers it’s tracks at last
Many of you will have had your attention drawn to this distasteful piece of racist journalism in the Mail : Migrant found dead in the back of a lorry as it prepares to enter Channel Tunnel .
What was shocking about this was that the comments on this article are quite clearly moderated, and yet there were (as of yesterday teatime) just 13 comments, each of which was to a greater or lesser degree filled with hate and xenophobia.
These have been dissected at some length by a variety of bloggers – notably by the wonderful Tabloid Watch yesterday : Mail readers think death of illegal immigrant is ‘good news’
I found the “One down millions to go” comment particularly obnoxious – it is tantamount to encouraging the killing of illegal immigrants.
It was strange that as the day wore on, and even this morning when I looked at the site again in order to bookmark the link ahead of writing this blog entry, the number of comments still stood at 13 – so clearly these comments were moderated – and although the Mail is at pains to say these comments do not “necessarily” reflect their opinions, they have clearly modded out a great many more comments and just chosen these hateful few to display as representative of public opinion.
Well there’s such a thing as free speech I guess – and I also guess that the Mail would defend that right quite vigorously.
There’s also such a thing as incitement to racial hatred as well though. I feel quite strongly that publication of these comments – as “moderated in advance” clearly crosses that line.
Perhaps the Mail have been quietly convinced of that as well – because if you check out the link at the top of the article, you’ll find that there are now only two of the comments left – at least there were at 9.00 on Monday the 2nd of November 2009.
I’m glad that they’ve removed the majority of the comments – so credit to them where it’s belatedly due – but the people at the mail seriously have to think about the hatred they are spreading – if they don’t it will one day blow up in their faces – and quite probably all of ours as well.