Friday, 16 October 2009

Jan Moir and Stephen Gately

Hi all

I have written this letter to the PCC. I wanted to post it so that other people can use it to complain against the horrific homophobia displayed by the Daily Mail today. We need to show people that it is not ok.

The URL for complaints can be found here:

The URL for the article, which you need to provide can be found here:

Dear PCC

This article not only is based on conjecture and rumour rather than fact, it fuels homophobic attitudes and is horrifically disrespectful to a grieving family.

In her article, Jan Moir thinks she is expert enough to question and overrule the coroner's verdict on the cause of Gately's death. It was confirmed that Gately's death was from natural causes, however Moir suggests that it was due to his lifestyle. This claim is completely ludricious and has no bearing to anything that we can understand as truth. Whether Stephen Gately did or did not do what she suggests in her article is irrelevant to his death.

Moir relies on nasty, spiteful and unpleasant homophobic sterotypes to support the lies and suppositions in her article. She suggests that gay people are promiscious and unhappy, and argues that civil partnerships are in fact damaging. She completely ignores that it is an underlying health condition that killed Gately, not that he was gay.

She makes ridiculous links to the death of Kevin McGee, suggesting that the tragic suicide of one man makes all civil partnerships unhealthy and wrong. This suggestion is so ridiculous and insulting it is almost impossible to know where to start, although we could begin by recognising that the break down of his marriage was only one aspect of Mcgee's depression and that most gay men and women are happy in their relationships.

Let alone the ridiculous suggestion that young men in their thirties don't "just die." They do, I'm afraid. People die, tragically, all the time.

By making all these links and suggestions Moir is basically stating that Gately died because he was gay, and from here the implicit suggestion is that he deserved it. She is enforcing and using nasty and pointless sterotypes to suggest that a lifestyle, a sexuality killed Gately, not fluid on the lungs.

This young man has not even been buried yet. His family and friends are grieving. They deserve more respect than this nasty, snide little article.

I have come to expect hate and bile in the Daily Mail, but this has shocked and horrified me.


Sian Norris


rambeau said...

Good work, Sian. (Although it's a shame that the PCC is worse than useless.)

sianandcrookedrib said...

i know - what can you do when paul dacre is on the board! although so many people complained that the site crashed, so i suppose at least volume can count for something. the mail have had to pull all the ads on the article page online and change the headline.

but for those who buy the paper copy it will still be the same and the likelihood of a report on the complaints and uproar being published is slim to none.

still, at least we all made a stand!

Andy said...

The Daily Mail is a damn disgrace, just when you think it can't ger any lower-enter Jan Moir.

Well done

sianandcrookedrib said...

this is the reply i received from the PCC. i have replied to say as it breaches clauses 1,5 and 12 my complaint stands:

Thank you for sending us your complaint about the Daily Mail article on
the subject of the death of Stephen Gately. We have received numerous
complaints about this matter.
I should first make clear that the Commission generally requires the
involvement of directly affected parties before it can begin an
investigation into an article. On this occasion, it may be a matter for
the family of Mr Gately to raise a complaint about how his death has
been treated by the Daily Mail. I can inform you that we have made
ourselves available to the family and Mr Gately's bandmates, in order
that they can use our services if they wish.
We require the direct involvement of affected parties because the PCC
process can have a public outcome and it would be discourteous for the
Commission to publish information relating to individuals without their
knowledge or consent. Indeed, doing so might unwittingly add to any
intrusion. Additionally, one of the PCC's roles is dispute resolution,
and we would need contact with the affected party in order to determine
what would be an acceptable means of settling a complaint.
On initial examination, it would appear that you are, therefore, a third
party to the complaint, and we may not be able to pursue your concerns
further. However, if you feel that your complaint touches on claims
that do not relate directly to Mr Gately or his family, please let us
know, making clear how they raise a breach of the Code of Practice. If
you feel that the Commission should waive its third party rules, please
make clear why you believe this.

Kind regards

Simon Yip
Press Complaints Commission
Halton House
20/23 Holborn
London EC1N 2JD