Life-saving chocolate and self-love: the Daily Express is not a newspaper

Porn baron Richard Desmond has turned the Express into a parody

Express is not a paper, after Matisse 1


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:


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

Read more: 

Daily Express says half of women in the UK have a drinking problem. They don’t

Daily Express blames Greek economic crisis on EU and immigration

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11 Responses to “Life-saving chocolate and self-love: the Daily Express is not a newspaper”

  1. subtleknife666

    If it’s not a newspaper, why does your own article describe it as a newspaper?
    “a book launch for the owner of the newspaper’s memoirs”

    Also, I didn’t know a newspaper could even HAVE memoirs. Or did you mean to say the owner’s memoirs?

  2. JarrowPete

    Are you reading the same article as me? The article refers to “paper” not “newspaper”, two totally separate things altogether.
    As for memoirs, it actually states “a book launch for the owner of the newspaper’s [presumable The Express’s words] memoirs. Or am I missing a trick?

  3. subtleknife666

    As you yourself have mentioned, the article refers to “the […] newspaper’s memoirs”. So it can’t make up its mind whether the Express is a paper or a newspaper.

    Personally I’d call it a fascist gutter-press rag.

  4. JarrowPete

    I think it’s fairly clear what its stance is on the issue.
    But totally agree with you on your description!

  5. Harold

    The Express is for those of us who think the Mail is a little bit left wing now and again.

  6. Cat

    The Express is so laughably apologistic to the Right its almost sad to look at.

  7. Patrick Gearon

    Your splitting hairs. The whole tone of the article is contemptuous of the ‘paper’ in that what it reports isn’t newsworthy or at least how a ‘ newspaper’ should be.
    That it fails to mention ‘news’ paper is irrelevant.

    No newspaper these days report the ‘news’ anymore. Some have even set this as a policy, choosing to go with commentary instead. So the lines have been blurred between what is factual and what is opinion. Indeed, commentators rarely put ‘OPINION’ at the head of their article (as they should) Come to think of it, neither has this article.

  8. AlanGiles

    The Express is really a newspaper or paper or booklet – call it what you will – for the elderly. For years after the death of Princess Diana it would use a Diana conspiracy story as it’s lead story, even on days when there was serious news. These days weather, house prices, and especially, comforting stories of how to cure Alzheimers, arthritis (if only!) and cancer lead every day.

    Each paper goes after a different demographic: The Mail effects outrage at sex and nudity, yet publish stories with a little nudge – “look at these ladies showing their knockers at Ascot – isn’t it disgusting?. More pictures on centre pages”, so a paper for middle aged, middle class prudes and voyeurs. The Star is obsessed with Big Brother and other low rent “reality” shows, and so on. Ditto “Metro”. Papers for 40+ year old teenagers.

    Each paper has a different audience – the Daily Mirror does what it can to hide inconvenient news about Labour. I wonder for example if it – or Adam – will tell you that pompous peer Lord Mandelson is going to attend an economic conference in support of Putin this week?. They certaimly don’t let you know about Blair hob-nobbing with dictators.

  9. Mike Cross

    No jornalists involved, clearly produced by someone in their bedroom.

  10. Richard Kelham

    Your Magritte take-off is nice but slightly spoiled by the use of the wrong word: newspaper in French is ‘journal’, ‘papier’ is stuff you write on, or wipe your arse with. OK, so you may be getting close there…

  11. Dan

    It’s funny because all I see over the daily express news paper is WWIII like seriously someone hasn’t taken there tablets

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