Sick, sad and stupid Jan Moir and the Mail misjudge the issue

She's not said sorry but 'apologised' for the timing of her rambling which the Mail decided to publish in the wake of Stephen Gately's untimely death. Jan Moir epitomises what the Mail is about and the words 'objective analysis' or 'reasoned response' or 'timely insight or analysis' do not spring to mind.

Getting the record for the most complaints ever lodged with the PCC is not some sort of accolade but testimony to the journalistic and editorial failings that allowed such a piece to be printed. The key theme that ultimately determines judicial decision making and should be filtered down to the foodchain to editorial decision making is CONTEXT. While one can argue that a debate over certain lifestyles or the use of stimulants or alchohol are important and timely, linking such line of enquiry over a - as it was at the time - yet unresolved cause of death of a public figure such as Stephen Gately is, in the circumstances as naive, ill-timed and ultimately offensive.

The key question here is not why Moir penned such a piece - there is nothing preventing her as a commentator or columnist taking the stance or adopting the angle she did (whatever one might think) - BUT it is ultimately the Mail's editorial process that allowed her ramble to be published and so it is the paper that takes the responsibility for dissemintating her views. So we might want to bash Moir but without the Mail she would not have her platform so the question IS - was the Mail right to publish her 'contribution' to the 'debate' she allegedly sought to generate based on - what she has admitted was ill-timed - the link to Gately's death and lifestyle.

No. The Mail has a wider duty and that extends to assessing the public mood surrounding an event (Gately's death) and issues (lifestyle, sex etc) and deciding when it is appropriate to link the factual reports of one to the conjecture surrounding another. Both the Mail and Moir got it very wrong.

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