Porn baron Richard Desmond has turned the Express into a parody
This morning, the Daily Express has provided two big reasons why no-one should take it seriously.
First, its splash.
The paper’s front page story today bears the headline:
‘HOW CHOCOLATE CAN ADD YEARS TO YOUR LIFE’
It goes on to perform the usual Express trick of citing an obscure and inconclusive medical study as if it were proven health advice.
In case you wondered, no, it can’t. The story eventually quotes a cardiologist saying so.
But you have to turn to page 4 to discover this, since pages 2 and 3 are taken up by the paper’s second big story of the day: a book launch for the owner of the newspaper’s memoirs.
Express proprietor Richard Desmond’s book The Real Deal was trumpeted in the paper yesterday, but today the horns are deafening.
A double page spread on the first two news pages feature an extract from the book, and no less than four photographs of the porn baron himself. And that’s not including the one on the front page.
(That same face appeared on a larger-than-lifesize model of the Express’s ‘crusader’ masthead outside the paper’s offices, with Desmond as the Muslim-smiting knight. That is until the Express was forced to remove it, having failed to get planning permission. See Private Eye.)
This combination of falsehood, self-promotion and private interests have turned a once serious newspaper into a joke.
When you recall this is the same paper which endorsed and bankrolls Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party, while pushing the most appalling xenophobia about migrants, the joke becomes less amusing.
As it stands, the Daily Express is not a newspaper. It is a parody of what hardened cynics believe about newspapers: a propaganda sheet run by a vain man with more money than sense or taste.
Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter
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