We had a bit of fun on Friday afternoon with the Daily Mail's ridiculously skewed poll about gypsies. So much fun, it turns out, that they've done the grown-up thing and decided to take their ball away and stop playing, because when you go to where the poll was you instead find yourself on their main comment page.
Bless. Sensitive souls at the Mail, then. Now I'd like to think the reason they pulled the poll was because they realised it was ridiculously skewed and unfair, and not because they were taking a pasting in the numbers; but I'm afraid that might be a little naive of me to think that.
Interesting, though, to note this behaviour - and contrast it with the times when their stories get piled on by groups who aren't bleeding-heart soaking-wet left-liberal types, for example when the BNP descend on stories involving immigration and their own fascist political party, and manipulate the comments to make Nick Griffin and chums seem a lot more popular and well-supported than they really are. Does the Mail pull those stories or stop comments on those occasions? No, they don't. They think that's fair enough.
So essentially it's not things being hijacked per se that the Mail objects to; it's things being hijacked by liberals as opposed to fascists. I think that's worth remembering.
You'll see, by the way, that the Mail's columnists and hired heavies are still trying to press ahead with the "Wheelie bins are the agents of doom and we don't like them" drivel from last week.
David Mitchell writes a convincing argument against, and the good news from the poll results is that 57% of Mail readers agree with him:
You'll also notice a couple of other things. Firstly, the Mail is still asking its readers if Michael Martin should resign as Speaker of the House of Commons, several weeks after he did resign as Speaker; and also, that the Mail's poll on "SHOULD IMMIGRANTS BE FORCED (yes, forced) TO RESPECT BRITISH CULTURE?" gets 70% in favour. That is a far more offensive question that the gypsies one, but I guess it's going the way they want it to, so they're not going to be taking that one down any time soon.
But that's the way the mainstream media behave. When they don't get their way, they sulk and pout and stamp their feet. Emotionally, they are a two-year-old child. Take for example The Times's Anna Mikhailova, who manages in an entire article about the outing of NightJack last week to not make a single convincing argument for either the outing of NightJack or her own outing of Zoe Margolis, other than "We in the big boys' media have lawyers and things, bloggers don't, therefore, er, that makes it right what we did. Somehow". But I was intrigued by this:
It was only when I started full-time work that I realised how deeply I was being damaged. I would turn up to a meeting with new contacts and be greeted with a hesitant: “I’ve seen your blog.” Cue an extensive effort by the Sunday Times legal team to take it down — successfully, thank goodness.
Thank goodness they were busily trying to get someone's blog taken down rather than actually defending investigative journalism; what a proud moment for the Sunday Times that was.
Yes, so when the MSM want to get you - out come the big guns of the legal team, no questions asked. When you skew a poll the way they don't like - down it goes. When you skew it in the direction they want - it stays up.
It begins to strike me why the press have had so much fun with the MPs' expenses issue - finally they've managed to take the moral high ground, for the first time ever, by finding a group of people even more reviled than them.