As I've said before, the attitude of the Daily Mail can be gleaned not from the actual comments made by its posters - as only the more vocal and extreme readers tend to bother - but by the number of comments made on various stories. The reason is simple: the Mail claims to receive thousands of comments, which are then subject to moderation before publication - a justification for only including some of those received. Of course, some form of pre-moderation is understandable but despite claims that comments are not censored for political views, this is patently not the case.
I try to post at least a dozen comments each week. I know it's a forlorn task so I keep them succinct in the vain hope that one will sneak through. The disturbing aspect is that I only succeed when posing completely sycophantic letters in support of whatever bile they are spouting.
Whilst I was working on a post about Rowan Williams's letter to Muslim religious leaders (his actual letter can be downloaded as a Word doc here) and the predictable reporting of it by Steve Doughty in The Mail here, I started looking at what was exercising the collective mind of DM Land.
Make your own videprinter noises:
Blair 'assassination' plans 19
Rhodes Earthquake kills someone not British 0
Swindon Council (may) scrap speed cameras 40
Alleged torture of UK citizens 4 (all supportive of torture)
The last story is particularly vile and the 4 comments add weight (not in the Lorraine Kelly sense) to the argument that the DM just lights the blue touch paper and awaits the explosion of bigotry to come.
They are NOT British.
- Mr. J. Smith, Birmingham, England, 15/7/2008 9:03
And the problem is?
- Andy L, St Helens, Lancs, UK, 15/7/2008 11:15
If the Mail truly wanted to distance itself from these bastards, and not want them to be representative of its readership views, it has the means to do so. Needless to say my comment attacking the overt racism of at least one of the comments will be ignored.