Over the last few weeks (or months even) it has been impossible for anyone in the UK to miss news of reality TV’s Jade Goody and her ongoing struggle against terminal cancer and recent very public demise.
I am not a regular newspaper reader and generally avoid tabloids, however occasional glances at the metro and catching tv news coverage have made me increasingly uncomfortable recently.
I am not going to claim to have been a huge fan of the reality TV contestant. I have never been especially interested in her and her ignorance has made me cringe a few times, however I have always felt that she received an excessive amount of negative media attention and in the case of the race row became the scapegoat for others because she was already such an easy target.
I am not blaming her for taking advantage of the attention, as she was clearly trying to make money to support her family. That doesn’t however make it feel any less ghoulish when the press give us extreme close-ups of her suffering on a daily basis.
As the whole public saga of her last few weeks unfolded in the media I noticed that suddenly the girl who had previously been labelled as Jade “Baddy” was suddenly being regarded as a saint and compared to everyone’s favourite corpse Princess Di.
Newspapers that had once branded her as ignorant, racist, fat, ugly and whatever else they felt like calling her are suddenly calling her a vibrant young woman and a brave hero. Purely at random I have glanced at the Daily Mail website to see if it will illustrate this. As you can see in the few examples I am pasting below, they have no qualms about completely changing their opinions of Jade and her actions, and can even use identical facts in both a positive and a negative way.
In most cases you can’t blame the individual reporters, you couldn’t even if you wanted to, as bylines are conspicuously absent on a lot of opinion pieces. Amusingly some journalists have clearly forgotten the opinions they previously committed to print, as evidenced in the two articles quoted and linked below…..
Quotes from Think TV can’t get any worse? – by Allision Pearson Daily Mail May 2007…
“Big Brother will be preceded by an apology. Not for the brain-rotting dross that is certain to follow, but for the previous series in which a group of moronic white girls bullied the Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty.”
“On Radio 1 yesterday, BB presenter Davina McCall said: “Leave Jade Goody alone. She’s been in the wilderness long enough. She was a silly girl, but we do love her really, don’t we?”
So Jade is a foul-mouthed, ignorant bully, but that doesn’t stop her being a shoo-in to replace the Queen Mother as national treasure.”
Quotes from Jade Goody and Princess Diana had so much in common – also by Allison Pearson – Daily Mail 2009
“Both women ended up as a kind of royalty, one ancient, the other that modern monarchy called fame. They had the power of changing a room when they joined it. They made people happy and excited, which may not be a degree course, but is a talent nonetheless”
“But they had a way of bypassing conventional intelligence and making an intuitive connection with a crowd which unnerved some commentators – especially men”
Phew.. good thing Allisons ovaries prevented her from being unnerved.
Finally, some interesting images taken from the Daily Mail search screen….
So is she ignorant and idiotic? Comparable to Hitler…
Or an almost saint-like Lady Di figure….
Was she an unforgivable racist and bully?
Or just misunderstood…….
Was she an un-attractive figure of fun…..?
Or a real heroine…
Let’s hope that she (and the story) will finally be allowed to rest in peace.