His main gripe was that the "British press is having a privacy law imposed on it" by one man, Justice David Eady who has used the privacy clause of the Human Rights Act to stop various sordid details of famous private lives making it into the public domain. Dacre uses the case of Max Mosely who famously sued News of the World for printing details of his S&M fun and games.
So what is the impact on journalism of this impinging privacy? According to Dacre:
I hardly need write any more about what a nonsensical argument this is.
[It] is undermining the ability of mass-circulation newspapers to sell newspapers in an ever more increasing market.
Dacre refers to the Human Rights Act as 'wretched' and maintains that Mosely was guilty of 'unimaginable depravity', which given that it appeared to be people engaging in consensual sexual practices, makes me wonder what hyperbole he would use to describe the recent stories of, say, alleged genocide in DR Congo, or the tragic death of Baby P.
Regular readers of this site will be aware of many shortcomings of the Mail, by uncritically touting PR releases multiple times, playing with statistics to give amazing headlines, or even repeatedly writing conflicting health information.
These are only limited examples that I've come across - I tend to agree with Polly Toynbee in that Dacre
probably does more damage to the nation's happiness and wellbeing than any other single person, stirring up hatred, anger, fear, paranoia and cynicism with his daily images of a nation going to hell in a downward spiral of crime and depravity.
So will the newspapers circulation keep falling if we can't find out about the legitimate sex lives of various glitterati? Perhaps Dacre would do well to start looking for some real stories. Stories that are bubbling in the background; stories that bloggers write about, unable to believe that bigger media outlets aren't already all over the story. Already this week we've had, amongst others:
- more news on the British Chiropractic Association suing Simon Singh for making comments in the Guardian regarding the efficacy of Chiropractic - should tick a 'free speech' box or two.
- information on the unholy alliance between Matthias Rath, Alliance of Natural Health & MEP Kathy Sinnott. (Matthias Rath was the vitamin pill salesman who dropped his courtcase with Ben Goldacre/The Guardian after Goldacre alleged that he was telling AIDS sufferers that AZTs were killing them and they should buy his vitamin pills instead). Again, another 'freedom of speech' box ticked.
- news that the World Health Organisation are investigating how much governments have been implementing their directive to integrate 'traditional' medicine concepts into their healthcare systems, lobbied heavily by vested interests with seemingly no importance placed on scientific method - the very misinformation that allows Matthias Rath and his ilk to carry out their pill selling under the guise of medicine.
These are huge stories that will no doubt remain untouched in the media, yet they are important stories that newspapers should be hounding down and publicising. These blogs are only in the pseudoscience genre, no doubt similar blogs exist in the arenas of economics and politics etc.
The real investigative journalism is being done for free by unpaid bloggers with no vested interests but a good story. If Mr Dacre wants to increase newspaper sales, he should do some real investigative journalism rather than whining like spoilt child.