Monday, June 27, 2011

An open letter to Paul Dacre

Apologies for the delay in publishing this one. This was meant to go online this morning, but a bug seems to have stopped it. Enjoy!

Hello there. I'm a long-time fan of yours, though not necessarily for the right reasons. I write to you with interest in a matter which, to my surprise, you are not currently covering in your paper. I see that you have recently taken issue with a comment written by a blogger called Kevin Arscott. To be honest, it's hard to know for sure whether you do. Media hack Greenslade puts forward the theory the other day that you wouldn't know about this, and suggests that even if you did, you wouldn't care.

As you may be aware, The Grim Reaper has published many, many nice things about you on his blog, not least of all when I heard about your salary in 2010. Although I fear I'm not sure you'll see it as being particularly complimentary of yourself.

I do wonder what your readers, many of whom you correctly identify as struggling with the current difficult economic conditions, would think of the news that you received a 70% pay rise last year, taking your salary up to £2.8million. I'm sure that if your paper had ever reported it, your readers would have been entirely understanding and not at all irritated by your total hypocrisy.

Anyway, back to the topic. I feel that it is necessary to the reporting of this story that the original comments should be quoted, and I naturally apologise in advance to anyone who is offended. Where have I heard those words before? Moving on...
"Paul Dacre is an absolute cunt. I hope he dies and that people queue up to shit on his grave"

Now, given the useful little nuggets of information that a certain Mr Nick Davies disclosed about yourself in his book Flat Earth News, I am assuming that you are not particularly likely to be offended by what your paper regularly terms the most offensive word in the English language. Nor, I would have thought, would you be especially bothered by the fact this man clearly doesn't like you. Most successful newspaper editors have their fair share of enemies, and you are possibly the most successful editor in the last 40 years. There's most likely a fair number of celebrities out there who would dearly like to defecate on your grave. Take it as a badge of honour.

I fear though that, not for the first time, your lawyers at Associated Newspapers have failed to think things through. Let's pretend for a moment that Arscott had kept these comments on his website, told your lawyers to stick their letter up their arses, and you decided to proceed with legal action for defamation. Would you not have to prove in court that you are not an absolute cunt in order to show that the article was indeed defamatory?

I would be very interested to know how you are going to go about this task. Perhaps you'll publish a piece about immigration in the Mail which tells no lies and doesn't have a xenophobic undertone to it. Maybe you'd decide to print reports telling women that they've still got really nice bodies despite having gone from a size 8 to a size 12. Heck, you might even contemplate attempting to smile in pictures of yourself, even if you do look like a slightly demented monkey that's high if you do.

More likely than not though, you'll respond in your own typically inimitable way. Mainly by telling one of your columnists to write something about bloggers being weirdos who shouldn't be listened to. Except by Daily Mail journalists who want to nick their stories, of course. Another article about Facebook giving you cancer? No, I thought those subsequent legal threats from Facebook would have deterred you from trying that again...

Kind regards,
The Grim Reaper.