Thursday, June 5, 2008

Daily Mail - Legacy of Distortion Part I

Giving the Mail recent statement claims they are unbiased and gives fair coverage over all. I decided to look back over the years to see if the Mail's tendency to distort the truth noticeable in two recent articles was noticeable elsewhere. It is interesting to note that the Mail did give good coverage to the Sophie Lancaster case highlighting the prejudice of the attackers to some extent. It is odd they should then follow up that with their articles on Emo.

This even seems more odd when you see this article from their sister paper on My Chemical Romance:

Mail on Sunday March 25, 2007 Sunday

Who said Romance was dead? BYLINE: TIM DE LISLE

For years, the generation gap has been narrowing.

Students listen to the gently rousing sound of Snow Patrol and so do their parents. Girls and their mothers read the same celebrity rags and sing along to Scissor Sisters. But now a band from New Jersey threaten to reopen the great divide.

My Chemical Romance are loud, dark, heavily made-up and suddenly popular.

They have even been accused of leading a cult of self-harm, although the evidence is slight. The subject of self-harm does crop up in chatrooms populated by the band's fans but they can hardly be blamed for that and their response has been clear enough: 'We do not encourage self-harm.' They frighten some parents, but others are here with their children, and some older people are even here of their own accord. Behind me, two men are reminiscing about a gig by The Damned in 1976.

My Chemical Romance are not so much objectionable as puzzlingly hard to place not quite punk, not quite emo, not quite metal. At last summer's Reading Festival they were pelted with bottles by fans of the veteran death-metal band Slayer. This delighted My Chemical Romance, who pride themselves on being outsiders.

This is bizzare. Note De Lisle who clearly has some idea of what is talking about points out that:

1 - De Lisle notes MCR do not advocate self-harm in anyway and says: "the evidence is slight". NOTE in 2007 the evidence "cult of self-harm" is slight but in 2008 it is suddnly definate.
2 - It points out the band may or may not be Emo.... as a lot of MCR fans claim. So if there is doubt about their status as a emo band in 2007 why in 2008 are they suddenly definitely Emo leaders of a suicide cult?

Not so long ago of course it was not Emos who were the problem:

Young 'Goths' are a suicide risk: Report reveals darker side of teenage culture


Daily Mail (London)April 14, 2006 Friday

TEENAGE 'Goths' who like to dress in black and listen to morbid rock music are more likely to attempt suicide, it was revealed yesterday. A study of Scots youngsters found those attracted to the dramatic black makeup and pasty, white faces of the Goths often showed a deep melancholic streak. They had alarmingly high levels of mental health problems and were more likely to harm themselves or attempt to take their own lives than members of any other youth subculture... Lead researcher Robert Young said: 'Although only fairly small numbers of young people identify themselves as Goths, their rates of self-harm and attempted suicide are very high.

'One common suggestion is that they may be copying their icons or peers but our study found that more reported self-harm before becoming a Goth, rather than after which suggests that youngsters with a tendency to selfharm are attracted to the subculture.'... Goths acquired a violent reputation after songs and art by the group's rock hero Marilyn Manson were linked to the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Colorado, in which 13 were shot dead, and also to the murder of 14-year-old Jodi Jones in Dalkeith, Midlothian, in 2003.

Covering the infamous study on suicidal tendencies we have mentioned before the article does at strive to give a balanced view and I think it is fair reporting whatever we think of the study. But it include references to earlier cases which will come to shortly.

The Suicide of Carina Stephenson

This suicide attracted much media attention because the girl was in a reality TV programme. But was her love of Marilyn Manson involved perhaps according to these Mail stories?

I was devastated that our lovely, funny girl decided to die in such a lonely way. You may feel close to your children, but there are always things you'll never know

Mail on Sunday (London)

September 11, 2005
SECTION: FB_04; Pg. 28
Carina had a taste for Goth music which typically glorifies death and mutilation. One favourite was Marilyn Manson, whose songs have been implicated in other teenage suicides.

Liz said: 'I had no idea of the kind of grim messages she was brainwashing herself with through her headphones. I think she just got locked into a web of misery. Instead of sharing her pain with people around her, she sought out likeminded and vulnerable teenagers.

There is other coverage:

May 30, 2005

Last month Mail writer David Jones interviewed a close-knit family just back from the latest reality TV experiment. Then came shocking news: their bright 17-year-old daughter had taken her own life. Was reality TV implicated?...

Or perhaps her depression was connected to her fascination with 'goths', a dark subculture which attracts melancholic, introspective youths. A friend revealed yesterday that even before Carina announced that she thought she was gay, she had been bullied and teased for being a 'tomboy' and her love of gothic clothing.

And more:
Carina from The Colony killed herself after bullies taunted her for being a lesbian
Mail on Sunday (London) May 29, 2005


A policeman found her body hanging from a tree two days later, in a wood a few hundred yards away from the family's Pounds 400,000 self-built home in Branton, near Doncaster. She left two suicide notes. One clue to her state of mind may come from Laura Howden, 15, who had befriended Carina at Armthorpe Comprehensive School near Doncaster.

She told The Mail on Sunday that even before Carina revealed she thought she was gay, she had been bullied and teased for being a tomboy and her love of 'Goth'-style clothing. 'I used to go into dinner at school with her and because she was often on her own I kept her company during breaks,' said Laura. 'She was not really interested in boys. She concentrated on her schoolwork and kept everything to herself. She was taunted at school that she was a lesbian. Other girls would call her "lesbo" or "gay girl" and she got really upset about it.

'At one point she spent a lot of time off because of the bullying while it was being sorted out. But despite what had happened at school the news of her death still came as a shock. She was someone you could really get along with. I never thought she would do that.'
So this seems to be another case bullicide interconnected to homophobia and anti-goth prejudice. Even raising the Manson connection seems irrelevant. Interesting to note that Manson and MCR had a falling out a few years ago. They have one thing in common the Daily Mail hates both of them

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