Jan Moir: The unnaturally spiteful columnist

>> Oct 19, 2009

Have you read it yet?

Disgusting, isn't it?

Of course I'm referring to the spiteful, hate filled article by Jan Moir in Friday's Daily Mail about the untimely demise of Boyzone singer, Stephen Gately. Far from being a sad and feeling piece about a lost young life, in the article oringinaly headlined Why there was nothing 'natural' about Stephen Gately's death, Jan Moir trawles though his life like a plough through fresh damp soil trying to unearth dark appetites and private vices that she is sure are hidden just under the surface. Unable to dig up much to verify her claims she makes do with the scraps she can find trying to weave them into a dark and misserable web which she can hold up to the public as proof of a terrible hedonistic lifestyle gone wrong, yet again.

She seems to make the outrageous claim that Stephen died of being gay. That his sad demise was not only sleazy and undoubtably unnatural but, along with some other people that have died recently that had nothing common with Mr Gately other than their sexual orrientation, has somehow tarnished "the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships." She tries to convey an image of every other gay person out there sidestepping away from him in a desperate attemp not to be caught out being sleazy, even throwing in a George Micheal refference to highlight just how sleazy these gays are. Although what poor George has got to do with anything and how he can be thought of as the epitomy of sleaze is beyond me.

Not content with all that however, she then insults his grieving mother, all but acuses the coronor of lying over his ruling of natural causes and then attacks Stephen's Boy Zone career by claiming he was little more than window dressing in the band and couldn't sing anyway.

And all this before he was even burried.


Horrifying, sickening, disgusting; all words than ran through my mind as my jaw dropped open reading. And I wasn't the only one.

The internet has been awash with horror and disgust for the woman and for the Daily Mail all weekend with Facebook groups popping up calling for her to be fired, and Twitter all of a quiver with some people even going as far as to give out her home address in tweets. Of course, there are plenty of band wagon jumpers out there who have never even read the article but are only too happy to join the next internet based lynch mob, but this seems to be bigger than that. Jan has genuinely upset a large number of people.

In a week where a man was brutaly beaten to death in front of bystanders on the streets of London for being gay, people that don't normally "get involved" have found themselves compelled to air their disgust.

The press complaints commision recieved over a thousand complaints by Sunday, the article itself now has over 1000 comments, most of those of anger and outrage, and advertisers have been petitioned to remove their adverts from the page, with M&S and even Nestle taking the moral high ground and pulling their adverts.

So, has she appologised? Seen the error of her ways and tried to forge a bridge over the aching void that seperates her from the rest of compasionate humanity? Has the Daily Mail stepped in to say sorry for the terrible decision in printing said article? What is being done about this blantant homophobic, caustic rant that seems to claim Stephen somehow died of being gay and probably deserved it anyway?

Have they removed the offending article from their website?

Issued a heartfelt appology to the family and friends of the Boy Zone singer?

No, but they have changed the title.

What the fuck? Have they gone spectacularly insane? Do they think changing the title of the piece to something slightly less offensive somehow negates all the horrific gaybashing and character assassination that goes on inside the article? Do they really think it is anything other than offensive and insulting to imagine changing the title will make anyone feel any better about what is written there? Are they really so fantastically arrogant that they feel this is enough?

Apparently so.

But the insult doesn't stop there. Jan Moir, in some tragically misguided fit of self righteousness released a statement denying everything. I think it is mischievous in the extreme to suggest that my article has homophobic and bigoted undertones. Not appolgising in the least for what she had written but blaming the reader, thats right, her readers, the ones that read her column willingly and happily most of the time, for misinterpreting it and being unduly upset. She also blamed the numerous angry comments and general anger being expressed around the internet on an orchastrated internet campaign. Yes Jan, if you consider people telling their freinds to read something because they couldn't believe how utterly disgusting it was an internet campaign, then you're spot on.

Do we really live in a world where all this is deemed to be okay? Are we happy to let this kind of thing be brushed under the carpet and forgotten?

I do hope not.

Go and complain. Don't let Jan and those responsible for this article simply brush themselves down and carry on as if it never happened. Hold them responsible and lodge a complaint about Moir's article on the basis that it breaches sections 1, 5 and 12 of its code of practice.

Stop the press from fuling the fire that leads to terrible and tragic acts of violence and hate.
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