This article is not about Stephen Gately. It is about Jan Moir.
Even since last week’s piece on HomoHate (I’ll
be using that term a lot, because we’re way past “phobia” with most of this), I’ve been loathe to revisit Jan Moir and what she wrote about Stephen Gately. The woman seems to positively
revel in all the ink and pixels that have been used to call her out as a rotten
excuse of a human being. And the thought of doing anything that makes her the least little bit happy
makes me a little ill.
Still, the story has continued to develop, and AE reader
Darrien has been kind enough to provide all the research, so I’m going to give
it a go.
With the airing of Question
Time last night on BBC in the U.K., which I surmise to be somewhat similar to a Meet the Press program in America, it
seems that everyone in the Commonwealth is outraged at Moir. As to why a
respectable program like Question Time
chose to focus an entire episode on a political party like the British National
Party, I have no idea. David Duke is watching across the ocean and going “Damn,
you guys are harsh.”
Yet in a way, it worked out for the side of reason in this case. While I won’t get into the broader issues of British
politics and the BNP (since anything beyond a two-party system makes my head
spin) the issue of Moir and Gately seemed fairly clear cut across
the political spectrum. From the left to the far, far right, they all felt Moir went
too far, going as far as to described her as “odious.” That’s one thing I love about Britain – they know how to make effective use of the English language.
How did Moir react to her drubbing. Not like a normal person.
Yep, this is how Jan reacted to being called "odious."
Does the fact that politicians of all stripes are aware of
the outrage mean anything? Despite my initial confusion, the newspaper
regulatory body, the Press Complains Commission (PCC), is more akin to America’s Motion Picture Assocaition of America (MPAA), which rates movies in the U.S. It’s a self regulatory body, completely separate from government that seems to exist primarily to keep government from
regulating the industry.
So does the PCC need to respond to 25,000 complaints? Their own
somewhat gray standards (again, like the MPAA) say it’s not quantity that is the deciding factor but whether the complaintants are somehow connected to the person maligned. If they’re not, they won’t act. Fine, Gately’s
record company has complained. They’ll have to act, right?
The PCC doesn’t seem to be in any hurry. Here we are a week later, and after a week
of Moir using her newly created Twitter
account to mock folks offended by her original column, and the PCC’s single act seems to be beefing up their web server to handle
And what has Moir done in that week, beyond sniping at people
mourning a loss?
Doesn’t this prove she’s just out to provoke at any cost?
Well, she’s written an apology column. She’s not actually
sorry for what she said. She’s terribly sorry for the timing. But it was news
after all, with the funeral happening. And she’s does “regret any affront
caused.” She wasn’t saying gays were immoral drug using sluts who bring men
back to their home. She was saying Gately appeared to be. And we should just quit
She says she’s on the record as supporting civil
partnerships. I’m not sure what record that is, since she didn’t cite it.
Perhaps an old dusty 78 in her basement? Here’s what she meant:
The point of my observation that
there was a ‘happy ever after myth’ surrounding such unions was that they can
be just as problematic as heterosexual marriages.
As for those upset by her column, and raising such a stink,
she has this to say, “It lit a spark, then a flame and turned into a roaring
ball of hate fire, blazing unchecked and unmediated across the internet. “
We’re the hateful ones, evidently, and she’s deeply hurt.
The most amusing part to me about her “clarification column”
(I refuse to call that an apology) is that she says she’s “received thousands
of supportive emails” from “the silent majority." How’s that compare with the tens
of thousands of people on the record that think you’re an asshat, Jan?
Still, if you want to feel a little better about humanity, I
do recommend going to The Guardian’s coverage of her apology and read the
comments (which are actually refreshing, considering how hateful comments can get when it comes to similar stories in the U.S.)
People aren’t fooled, Jan. and here’s hoping the PCC isn’t, either.