The Daily Mail’s breathtaking response to the conviction of Jo Cox’s killer is a new low for the UK’s gutter press

Emily Apple

The Daily Mail has astounded readers by reaching a new low in its coverage of the conviction of Jo Cox’s killer, Thomas Mair. Instead of lambasting Mair as a brutal terrorist, The Mail managed not only to attempt to find a justification for his motives, but it also blamed them on immigrants.

Headlined “Did Neo-Nazi murder Jo over fear he’d lose council house he grew up in?”, the article begins:

Thomas Mair may have murdered MP Jo Cox because he feared losing his home of 40 years to an immigrant family.

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And while The Mail admits that Mair’s “true motive will never be known”, this doesn’t stop them speculating. And this speculation appears to come from one quote from Mair’s step-father’s half-sister.

The reaction

Unsurprisingly, people have taken to Twitter to criticise the article. One commentator pointed out:

Continue reading below...

https://twitter.com/MickPCollins/status/801780519910391808

And many felt that it was indeed a new low, even for The Daily Mail:

https://twitter.com/footymac/status/801774132052590593

The Mail was further criticised for placing its coverage on page 30 of the paper:

No responsibility

Unsurprisingly, The Mail didn’t seem to think any of its rhetoric on immigration was to blame for Mair’s actions. This is despite the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance criticising The Sun and The Daily Mail for “fuelling prejudice”. The report further stated that the tabloid press had used:

offensive, discriminatory and provocative terminology.

Again, Twitter users were quick to point this out:

And while anything journalists write about Mair’s exact motive is conjecture (he didn’t give evidence his trial), the findings of a major report are better evidence than conjecture from a distant relative. And there is even evidence that he read The Mail:

Conjecture aside, we do know he is a far-right Nazi sympathiser. We do know he is a terrorist who murdered an MP. And we also know that a paper which peddles hate speech has chosen to attempt to justify his actions.

Even by the standards of the gutter press, this is a disgusting article.

We all need to be taking action against the rise of the far right. This has to be done on a variety of fronts. But it’s vital that we look at the media and the messages they are perpetuating.

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Featured image via Kerry-Anne Mendoza

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