Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bloody Daily Mail

Bereaved: Natasha's mother Vanessa Redgrave had grief etched on her face after leaving Lenox Hill Hospital last night where her daughter died

Traumatised: SisterJoely Richardson looked devastated as she arrived to the family home

Shocked: Liam Neeson arrived back at the family's New York apartment

Those above headlines are why I no longer read the Daily Mail, after a habit of doing so for the last few years (well the online version anyway). It is poor journalism.

On another note, why won't the media leave the Redgrave/Leeson family alone for a little while? Let them decamp to Jade's house - I'm sure they will be more welcome there.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you! It's a terrible thing when papers feed off other people's greed.

Dumdad said...

It's a dreadful tragedy but I think you're being a bit disingenuous about the media leaving the family alone: you've read and looked at all the photos, which is why the media covers this. A beautiful woman and talented actress, from a famous thespian family, dies unexpectedly aged 45. It's human tragedy and we want to know the details. (Okay, I'm a journalist so I'm defending my trade).

However, I agree with you about the way the Daily Mail handles it: "Natasha's mother Vanessa Redgrave had grief etched on her face . . . Traumatised: Sister Joely Richardson looked devastated . . ." Why can't they just let the photo tell its story - who's to say whether Joely is traumatised or devastated."

Unfortunately, like a lot of things, the media has dumbed down and believes everything should be spoonfed and explained to the public.

But I hope now that the media moves away and lets the family come to terms with this tragedy.

Incidentally, I'm sorry that Jade Goody is dying but the whole circus surrounding her makes me sick.

The Ice Bloggers said...

I have to agree too. Shocking coverage for something so very tragic and personal. I read most of the online newspapers, but the Daily Mail reminds me more and more of Heat and Closer these days. I get tired of it.

The Ice Bloggers said...

Also, agree with Dumdad - the Jade thing is verging on the obscene in my view. It is tragic but the way it is being covered is grotesque. It can't be very comforting for other women suffering from cancer -seeing her slowly disintegrate like that. Horrific.

French Fancy... said...

Ladyfi - I know they have to report it; it was just the words they chose to use; I felt so sorry for the family having all the flashes going off in their faces like that.

Dumdad - I looked at the BBC and the Guardian/Times sites first - to see how it should be handled and then I went to the Mail, for the first time in a couple of months (well, the time I gave up biscuits I also gave up my daily habit of DM - it seems like a couple of months but that's because it was harder to give up the bikkies than that rag)

I admit that I am a hypocrite - I did look at the photos, but it was the copy to which I took exception. You'd have done a much better job.

Henry's mum - poor Vanessa. I know she's had her critics over the years but she is a fabulous actress. I don't know why I singled her out really, the whole family are to be pitied.

The Jade circus is one of the most bizarre situations that there has ever been. The whole Jade saga from BB3 to now is so odd.

The Accidental Fan said...

I love the media excuse of "if you didn't look we wouldn't put them there".

You can justify anything with that cliche.

Tess Kincaid said...

I've been pouring over the news, too, being such a huge fan of the Redgrave family, and I want to know every detail.

So sad. I'm going to treasure today. You never know when your number is going to come up.

A Super Dilettante said...

Mrs. FF, I feel so sorry to hear about the death of Natasha on the wireless this morning. I was speaking to a friend of mine who is known as "grand dame of theatre" and he works and knows everyone in the world of theatre. He is terrible for his habitual name dropping. "Oh my dearest, I feel(with a rolling r) dreadful to hear that news. I must ring Vanessa to give my condolences".

Cynthia Pittmann said...

So sad, yes, the first words I heard this morning were from my husband who gave me the full details of the accident and the family reaction. I guess some people authentically care and others somehow are sickly attracted to the pain. What can we do?
I know when my mother was murdered, my family had to contend with media attention. The local paper(s) would twist the story to meet their own adgenda... I decided to attempt to correct the errors by speaking with the papers.

The swarm of attention started again with the trial...people just want to know about the details...and sometimes they cross boundaries...sometimes it's just too much when you're suffering such a great loss. <3

laurie said...

some newspapers are better than others.

Lucy Fishwife said...

Why do newspapers feel they have to tell you that Famous People feel grief etc in the same way as Non-Famous people??? My worry is that the likes of the DM are delighted to show Famous People suffering because it thinks we all feel such pathetic envy that we're gleefully rubbing our hands at the sight of their misfortune. Snarl. While I'm not mimsy enough to believe that all humans are inherently nice, I don't believe we're all motivated by schadenfreude either...

French Fancy... said...

TAF - Every profession has its dark side, I guess (now trying to think of what my pianist dad's might have been).

I know it was the wail set up by the paps after the death of Diana- 'we're only giving the public what they want'. But there are ways and ways of doing so - and cameras in the faces of bereaved people a few hours after a tragedy is not the way - there is no excuse.

willow - we differ there :). I don't want to know every detail. I'm sad for the family though.

ASD - I wonder if your friend knows someone who I'm trying to find that I worked with at the Albery Theatre some years ago - a very luvvie chap named Steve Old. As I get older I begin to want to search out people I knew 20 or so years ago.

Cynthia - I can totally understand someone directly involved - as you were - contacting the media to present the truth. What upset me today were the cameras following the every move of the Leeson/Redgrave group. Surely people reading the paper today would have understood if there had been no images, other than a stockshot from a library of poor Natasha herself.

French Fancy... said...

laurie - you are of course totally correct - and that is why these days the only ones I look at online are the Times and The Guardian - and the only one I buy is the Guardian International - a weekly paper full of world news - not trivia (although a bit more trivia would be nice).

Hurrah Lucy - you're back. I totally agree with what you put (glad to see you again)

Brother Tobias said...

There is a sort of mannerless confusion between what is news - poor Natasha's accident and death - and what isn't - her grieving family. It might have been news if they hadn't been; the rest is voyeurism. Not a hat doffed to a funeral procession, but a craning to peer at the faces in the cortege. Glad you've given it up.

laurie said...

thanks for your comment on my blog. not offended at all--i think dumdad got it right. i just hate to see things that tar all newspapers with the same brush, and seeing a headline "bloody newspapers" does get my back up a bit until i read what's underneath, and see that you're talking about only certain papers.

i love the guardian.

artslice said...

It is sickening how some papers and shows sensationalize these tradgies. The last thing on their minds is the family. On the flip side, my heart goes out to her and her family. What a sad situation. Really very scary, how we can be fine and full of life and gone the next.

Kathy said...

It's all very sad really FF, in different ways, Natasha, Jade and the daily mail. Thank you for your lovely comments and welcome back, I miss H&S already and it does not get any easier, Hayley will be here in April and my sister in June. missed you, Kathy.

Dumdad said...

I'm glad you changed the heading! Although I worked for 13 years at The Daily Telegraph, I'm more of a Guardian reader nowadays. I never thought I'd hear myself say that. Unfortunately, the DT is moving more and more into the Daily Mail way of doing journalism. I still pop into the DT online for old times' sake and for the obits and for the Matt cartoon. And that's about it.

Lulu LaBonne said...

The DM is the paper I most despise ... misogynistic, hypocritic (yeah and the sloppy reporting).

And don't get me started on the Jade circus...

The Week's a good paper

Unknown said...

Hi There! I just popped over from Casa Dulce Casa and wanted to let you know I'm enjoying reading your blog.
I agree with you about the extreme journalism with the sad Natasha story. They get SO ridiculous with their report. Let the poor family grieve in peace. I've only seen a little bit of the Jade drama but that horrible too!

Rob-bear said...

I don't read the DM or anything else British (except The Guardian, occasionally).

I got my news from The New York Times last night just after supper.

This morning, there were questions, with good medical coverage.

I have several interests in this. Professionally as both a journalist and an ethicist.

As a Canadian, because the accident happened in Canada.

And as someone who had the daughter of a friend die in similar circumstances.

As a "public figure," Natasha's situation was of obvious interest to many people. I believe the New York paper handled the matter responsibly.

laurie said...

aw, very kind of you to change the headline. i wasn't mad at you. i swear. i get angry at my family, though who constantly send out group messages blasting "the media" without stopping to consider that "the media" is a huge, sprawling thing and that i work for one small bit of it....

Steve said...

Yes yes yes. Spot on. I feel so sorry for them all and feel really very saddened by the news - moreso than all the guff about Jade, not sure why as I'm not huge devoted fans of any of them but they all seem like genuinely nice people. Journalism is a debased currency. It needs revitalizing and it needs to get some sense of ethics back.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

FF: The NY journalism had some class - the DM does not. What hurts me about the DM is that there is a bulk of middle England which believes and quotes its tittle-tattle as learned opinion.

I am very sad about the loss of a much respected actress and life, and that loss to her family, but I want the media to now leave the family alone to grieve. I think it's a media excuse to say the public wants every detail - See how the Jade Circus has caught out OK! mag's pre-empted 'memorial'! (Mind you, she invited it all in in the first place...)

Well done on giving it (and biccies) up, I also need to give up on my daily dose of online gossip! x

Anonymous said...

I agree. I used to like the Daily Mail but from what I have seen of it lately it has gone downhill. In fact, it's a t the bottom of the hill.

Blu said...

I hate The Daily is a depressing rag. A few years back a colleague used to buy it...They love to doom up the headlines. It is as if they need to make us some stupid headline and find a story.

People like to read news, but this paper is not worthy..after all they are suposed to be professional writers, No???

Anonymous said...

FF, I had to tune in here to find out that she'd died. There's been no word of it on French news.
Terrible, can I have Liam now?

Elizabeth said...

Yes, the DM is an awful fascist rag appealing to the worst in us all.
So why did I read it on the plane?(jet lag)

However, I have followed the coverage of this awful tragedy.
How strange that V.Redgrave was in Joan Didion's Year of Magical Thinking so very recently.

Elizabeth said...

Yes, the DM is an awful fascist rag appealing to the worst in us all.
So why did I read it on the plane?(jet lag)

However, I have followed the coverage of this awful tragedy.
How strange that V.Redgrave was in Joan Didion's Year of Magical Thinking so very recently.

Phil Lowe said...

Not really sure what to say on this. It seems that the newspapers glory in bad news and the Jade circus, as it has been called, is the worst of all, cashing in on the very sad demise of a famous nobody. Not that I don't care about such terrible things as cancer and dying before ones' time- I do and and my own mum died of a brain tumour when I was only nine - however why don't they leave the families in both cases to be human and privately sort out their affairs and sorrow? Or am I naive?

lady jicky said...

if she was 90 they wouldn't say much but she was young , sadly.

Stone said...

***however why don't they leave the families in both cases to be human and privately sort out their affairs and sorrow?***

I couldn't agree more!

This society is however SO obsessed with celebrity....we have killed off our kings and queens (well, in some countries), we try to be a democracy where everybody is supposedly equal...yet, we seem to feel the need to put these people on a pedestal, we treat these people like nobility, like God-like creatures - and just like the Gods in Antiquity we indulge in seeing them fall...we feel reassured to see that they're "only human" after all?!! Crazy, absolutely crazy and schizophrenic...
This pathological obsession has become absolutely dismal and sickening - for *either* side.

The Accidental Fan said...

"Journalism is a debased currency"

Especially given the broadsheets wrap up the same type of tripe in longer words and flowery phrases while pretending to be above the gutter activities of the tabloid. The line has never been more blurred.

I'd applaud, but then I couldn't type and I love the sound of my own typing.

Ah, buggrit, *applauds*

cheshire wife said...

This is a tragedy for the family and they should be allowed to grieve and mourn in peace. As for Jade Goody I wish that she would have some respect for others in the same situation as her.

nikkicrumpet said...

It's because we as a society let them. If we didn't snatch up and read this tripe...they couldn't stay in business. It always makes me crazy when I see someone buy one of those rags! I just want to shake them and say..."don't feed their sickness!!!"

Liberty London Girl said...

The Mail's obit where they banged on about her ruining her looks with plastic surgery and how her acting wasn't much cop really, was UNFORGIVEABLE. If these things had to be said in the interests of fair reporting (after all no one wants a hagiography either), just say them without being snide LLGxx

Anonymous said...

We are so bombarded with 'media' good, bad and ugly...and, like the tv program we hate, there is an off button. An actor cannot BE without an audience, he has to live his working life under the spotlight, stand in front of the cameras and smile, push his product, sell his wares, it is the nature of the beast.

Sadly this does not end when tragedies occur, instead there is a media frenzy and I hate it. I don't want to see Liam with tears in his eyes to know that he has lost the love of his life in a ridiculously tragic accident. Nor will that be the end of it, already there are editorials about whether big brother should insist we all wear helets on the slopes, and who is to blame for not insisting Natasha had hospital treatment. It is creepy and I hate it, but I won't blast Jade for doing what she is doing, the only thing she knows to do and that is exploit the media that made her, to shore up hers son's futures.

Cassandra said...

Hello FF

Thanks for popping over and sorry about Sgt's rude comment. He's only mucking about. I agree with you about this as well. Cassaandra.

claire p said...

My parents get the Daily Mail and I'm often made cross by their reporting. I sent an angry email to them a few weeks ago about an article they published on autism. They have such an unbalanced view of the world. Quite a good Sunday mag though.

French Fancy... said...

Brotob - I can remember when I was young people standing still as a hearse passed and men doffing their hats - goodness, don't I sound old? Men wearing hats! Whatever next - crinolines and bustles

laurie - I shouldn't have generalised :)

Steve - they do seem nice, don't they. Even though we only know their persona we can all tell that they are not razzamatazzy showbizzy types

AWONI - yes, leave the family along - all you paps, give them some peace

artslice - it's truly scary how one moment can change lives for ever. I know that sounds trite but you know what I mean

Mama - at least your kids have the excitement of looking forward to hols in San Francisco. I wish you were my mum(except I think we're about the same age)

Dave - burn the Mail, raze it to the ground

Blu - the best thing about the Mail used to be that they used the print that never came off on one's fingers, before the other papers also used it

Dedene - I bet there are LA actresses who are planning on hitting the Neeson now

Elizabeth - jet lag is a good reason to indulge oneself in crap now and then (like chocolate, rubbish journaux and sleeping for a long time)

Phil - no, you are not naive, we are in the same mind on this

ladyj - s'true (anyway, it's good to see you - Kenzo must keep you very busy because you're not around very much. Hope life is good.)

Stone - I hate all this faux celebrity. I can't abide publications like Hello or Heat although, when I was in hospital a few years ago, I did find myself leafing through them in a dispirited way. But I was very ill - that was my excuse :)

TAF - The Guardian Weekly doesn't do any tat - in fact it is a bit too serious. I sense you'd like it too.

cheshire wife - the thing is that nobody would mind if there were not photos or news images of Vanessa or Liam at this moment - everyone would understand. Because it is there - people look. But if it wasn't there nobody would demand it.

nikki - I feel exactly the same. People must stop buying this rubbish -

LLG - I didn't read that - I just went on to their site (with contempt in my heart) to see *how* they were treating the story - it was research :)

Moannie - yex, there will be lots of buck-passing now in that ski resort. You can hear the lawyers going 'kerching!'
As for Jade - I dunno. I know she is doing it for her kids but I find it a bad freak-show.

Hiya Cassandra - blokes like that don't worry me in the least. :)

French Fancy... said...

claire - we cross-posted. The Mail is a bad habit that I had, as did/do lots of others. It's hard to break habits but I feel much better without the biscuits and definitely without the Mail online

Ian Lidster said...

Having spent a lifetime in the same trade as Dumdad, I must agree with his wisdom on the matter, as horribly sad as the tale was.
But, it has all become cheapened. It really began with the excesses surrounding the death of Diana. As tragic as all of these events are, shit happens, to any of us.

Kathy said...

You cold have said sister FF, you wish I was your SISTER haha. Trouble is the kids only get 4 weeks vacation and there are far more exciting places to go than to visit their old mum even if it is in SF.
I was thinking about the Daily mail some more yesterday and I have a confession to make, I bought it while in the uk, but only at weekends and only for the magazines. Kathy.

French Fancy... said...

Ian - I can totally understand all journalists sticking together on this - but I do repeat, if the pictures and news reel images had not been provided I don't think the mass public would have said ' we want to see their tear-stained faces-show us the bereaved'.

Mama - yes, you are spot on. I suppose that not having any siblings I never think in terms of wishing someone was my sister. I probably would not want to visit my sister - if I had been supplied with one :)

My mum on the other hand...

Coaster said...

Hello. I have popped over from Dumdad's site; I hope you don't mind the intrusion. Like him, I am "in the trade". I too find the coverage of the Natasha/Jade stories despicable. The unchecked attribution of emotions - "devastated" etc - to people is lazy, crass and presumptuous in the extreme. But I am sorry to say that, generally speaking, the public gets the newspapers it deserves. Those like the Mail know their target audiences and they sell in their millions. The only way to stop it is to stop buying it. There is still some intelligent journalism out there if you search hard enough, although it shames me to admit that it is becoming increasingly hard to find.

Stone said...

***I don't think the mass public would have said ' we want to see their tear-stained faces-show us the bereaved'***

I couldn't agree more!

Something's got to give though...the people say it's the media's fault, the media say it's the people's fault.
My conclusion...stop buying this mental diarrhea and stop creating this mental cuts BOTH ways.

PS: The Lady Di frenzy started LONG before her tragic death!

French Fancy... said...

Coaster - yep, you're right and you also love David Copperfield so how on earth could I disagree with you. I popped over to see you but found the door barred.

Hello again Stone - if only the world were made up of intelligent people eh? Maybe in the year 3000 only the elite will be able to read and there will be no pictures in any sort of media outlets.

Unknown said...

So sad for the family . I'm one to walk away from the news . People just need time to recover from these sad times .

Reasons said...

I started reading the post and thought "Oh God, I've not visited this blog for a while, what's happened?!" Now of course I realise the essence of it. The Daily Mail is a crap newspaper anyway, it's what I would expect from them.

Rob-bear said...

Hmmmm. . . . did I just wander into the Daily Mail fan club?

French Fancy... said...

Mary - hello there. I totally agree with you and I hardly watch tv anymore anyway - I prefer to get my news online and as for entertainment then it's a good old DVD watched on our wall

Stone - and where will Arnie be?

reasons tbc - hello - it is hard to stay abreast out in blogland. I regularly forget to pop and see all the blogs I follow. My intention is there - but then other stuff happens

Rob - at least tabloid papers like the UK's Sun and Mirror don't pretend to be anything other than the scum rag they are. The Mail has illusions that it is a proper newspaper

Polly said...

I agree - media at its worst. Families can't even grieve.

Rob-bear said...

Ah, I see.

Beware of those with illusions, especially newspapers with illusions (or pretensions, or both).

BTW, I've had two writers (one a long-time friend, one a new acquaintance) who have been bemoaning the loss of good newspapers. I'm putting something together about that on my blog.

I'd like to pick up some thoughts from here, too, if that's OK with you.

Coaster said...

You are right FF ... Copperfield is at number one on my Desert Island Books, if there were such a programme. How did you know?
Never one to miss a chance to prosletyse: Have you read Barnaby Rudge by the same author? It's very nearly as good. It seems quite apposite to mention it here because Dickens's descriptive writing of the Gordon Riots, although done in novel form 60 years after the event, is an example of how good journalism could be. As far from the rubbish we see now as it is possible to get

French Fancy... said...

Polly - I know lots of people consider 'celebs' public property but not at a time like that. There should be some boundaries drawn up and the paps should be regulated. No more longshots from the bushes on private moments - people in unflattering bikinis etc - there should then be prosecutions when these boundaries are crossed.

Rob - hello again. You are like me; I often pop in and out of a thread if it 'grabs' me (hark at me going all American there). You are welcome to do whatever you want with anything on here - I don't have all that copyright stuff on this blog or watermarks and the like. I'm not precious at all.(although I can understand people like Elizabeth not wanting their photos used because that is how she makes a living)

Coaster - I wish I could tell you that I found out your favourite Dickens book through osmosis or that I sensed it through those delicate fingertips that typed the comment you left. In actual fact it is listed on your profile - the only bit of your blog I could access.

I've never read BR, although Dickens is one of my favourite writers. My closest friend in the UK was the Dickens House Scholar about 25 years ago. One day a week she had to be curator at his house in Doughty Street, London and she let me sit at the great man's desk. I even picked up his pen (tut tut)

Shame none of his genius rubbed off. Do you know he used to sit drafting his manuscripts amidst the family hustle and bustle very often. Me - I need total silence to draw up a 2k word essay.

The Accidental Author said...

FF - the best thing I ever did was persuade my parents not to read the DM. They live in a beautiful, peaceful little village and lived in fear of kids in hoodies, binge drinkers and getting stabbed because that's what the DM persuaded them was what happened everywhere in 'Broken Britain'.

I'm totally against sticking cameras in the faces of anyone who is grieving. I don't think it's in the public interest and that includes in the recent Comic Relief broadcasts where pampered British celebrities introduced us to 'X, who's baby died of malaria 4 hours ago' because obviously as they are black and poor they don't have feelings. Was I the only one who found that distasteful?

I was interviewed by the DM recently and have to be honest and say that their reporting was quite fair. I also have a good mate who's a sub for them and is a really good guy who is often just as bewildered by the actions of his employers than the rest of us.

However, it's interesting to compare the dignified way the Redgrave/Neeson family conducted themselves compared to the Jade Goody circus. Death as entertainment... I'm speechless!

Little mention too in the media of the loss suffered by the Neeson boys. Maybe they feel pain less than the children of car crash TV faux celebs?

Off me soapbox now!

French Fancy... said...

Ooo -VLIF - we are of one mind about this. I have to say (admit even) that my parents would get the DM years ago in the week and then the Guardian on a Sat and the Observer on a Sunday - that way they could read the paper quickly in the week (as it was the DM it had tobe quick) and read quality stuff of an opposing political persuasion when they had more time at the weekend.

I'm so glad you persuaded your folks not to be brainwashed by the paper's scare-mongering.

I must come and see you (agree about the Redgrave/Neeson clan btw)