Friday, 4 November 2011

How The Daily Mail proved Hugh Grant's point.

Ah, The Daily Mail. It really is an incredible piece of work isn't it? A newspaper so extreme and twisted that even those dedicated to parodying it struggle to produce anything The Daily Mail isn't prepared to do itself. This week we've had a double helping of the Mail's particular brand of crazy: firstly, in the form of a column from Liz Jones, (who previously asserted that murder victims Joanna Yeates' choice of pizza signalled her desire for a better, more middle class life) where she details, a little too well, the steps she took to try and become pregnant by first her boyfriend and then her husband by effectively stealing the sperm from their discarded condoms.

Second: A column of immeasurable spitefulness & bitterness from Amanda Platell where she almost joyously attacks Hugh Grant for being less than perfect. This column for me is by far more of a worry than anything Liz Jones has or could produce. Liz Jones has personal problems, Amanda Platell has a problem with other peoples personal lives.

It seems the reason for Platell's attack on Hugh Grant is based on two factors: 1. He is a vocal and extremely well received critic of the media and it's behaviour regarding the private lives of famous or newsworthy people. In particular, his criticism in the light of the phone hacking scandal made him an almost de facto spokesperson for the celebrity aspect of the hacking. 2. He likes to have sex with women without being in a formal relationship with them. What Platell mistakenly believes is that the latter issue somehow negates Grant's opinions on the former issue. of course she is totally wrong - it actually validates his opinion.

Platell has an issue with the way Hugh Grant has conducted himself with women. She may well have a point and it may well be the case that his behaviour has been less than exemplary (though the way that she brackets the mother of his newborn child as a victim is staggeringly offensive) but none of that is her business and it certainly isn't the business of the wider public. Hugh Grant has never held himself up as a moral campaigner, as Platell labels him, but as a campaigner for the right to privacy even for those in the public eye. On numerous occasions he has acknowledged his inappropriateness as a role model, even gently mocking his career. I wonder would Platell prefer he take his art completely seriously and advocate his films as serious pieces of cinema. I suspect that, too, would find him attacked for being pompous and taking himself far too seriously.

As far as I'm aware, Grant only ever committed one crime - the Divine Brown incident - but even that wasn't a matter of public interest, just public curiosity. This column from Platell is nothing more than her projecting her morals onto Grant and expecting him to play to her tune and she is using his campaign against press intrusion as a stick to beat him with, not realising that by detailing his love life, bit by bit, with no recognisable purpose other than to shame him; she is making his point for him.

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