Moralizing is a good way to sell papers, and the British Daily Mail has worked its outrage into an engine that propels more copies into the hands of Britons and onto the screens of everyone than almost any other news outlet on earth. In this week's New Yorker, Lauren Collins takes a close look at the paper's personalities, recent history, and the psychology of the vast, middle-brow audience to which it panders. Imagine Fox News if it treated everyone the way it treats Democrats:
The Mail’s closest analogue in the American media is perhaps Fox News. In Britain, unlike in the United States, television tends to be a dignified affair, while print is berserk and shouty. The Mail is like Fox in the sense that it speaks to, and for, the married, car-driving, homeowning, conservative-voting suburbanite, but it is unlike Fox in that it is not slavishly approving of any political party. One editor told me, “The paper’s defining ideology is that Britain has gone to the dogs.” Nor is the Mail easy to resist. Last year, its lawyers shut down a proxy site that allowed liberals to browse Mail Online without bumping up its traffic.
Read Collins' entire piece in The New Yorker.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.