Daily Mail and the X Factor Scandal That Doesn’t Exist

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized


nbsp;”X Factor Sleaze Storm Grows” read Tuesday’s front-page headline in The Daily Mail, and I thought maybe they were talking about further evidence of the often-hinted-at fix in the voting. I also thought “What’s left?” as Matt Cardle, who was the favorite from the outset, won rather handily. While his performances were not all brilliant, some of them in fact were, including his choice of song for first single, which totally blew runner-up Rebecca Ferguson away. The week-to-week results of the public vote showed that Matt finished on top every week but one. Had anyone else won, that would have been worth creating a storm over.

                    Enter The Daily Mail, the alleged newspaper that I read every day simply because I know that by reading The Guardian, I’d merely be shoring up my already-established beliefs. With The Mail, I get a viewpoint that’s not quite Fox News, but somewhere in the neighbourhood, which tends to get me more motivated. This time, The Mail couldn’t get far enough on any scandal involving “The Fix Factor,” as Wagner, the tone-deaf 54-year-old Brazilian, was voted out before any massively talented acts were. For me, the closest to any fix involved the remaining group, One Direction, making it to the final three without ever showing much ability to harmonize. Cher Lloyd, with her neurotic episodes and her “Look at me rap, wow, I’m so street” performances, was far more talented yet finished fourth due to the “Hate Factor.”

                 All that was left for The Mail to focus on was the sleazy performances of Saturday’s guest performers, Christina Aguilera and Rihanna. I didn’t get to see either of those, as I worked Saturday night. (Hooray, I got a life!) Oh, the shame of it! These two stars both wore scant and revealing outfits and thrust their hooters about, apparently enough so that The Mail felt compelled to mount another of their many crusades against all the terrestrial channels for showing such sleaze when children might be watching. I’m 99.99% certain that, had I watched this display, I’d have been more ashamed that these two reasonably talented artists feel they have to do a simulated lap-dance routine to keep the viewing public interested.

                      So here we go again, another year, another moral crusade. This recalls how they built a scandal in 2008 over the Russell Brand/Jonathan Ross BBC Radio 2 broadcast, something the paper still mentions when it finds the chance. Only a few had actually complained on the day about the broadcast, in which the two took nasty pot shots at veteran actor Andrew Sachs. Sachs was absent when they called his home for an on-air conversation, so Brand took it on himself to leave messages about shagging his granddaughter. A stupid move, yes, but once The Mail became aware of it, they decided it shouldn’t go unpunished. Over the ensuing week, the paper’s campaign was effective enough that soon thousands were screaming for Brand’s and Ross’s heads. It worked, for Brand quit his radio show (didn’t need it anyway) and Ross was suspended for 12 weeks. He has since left the BBC, and The Mail staff continues to click its collective heels in jubilation.  

                          While the story in Wednesday’s Mail about the “growing controversy” was relegated to page 11, they were able to mention that ITV, which airs “The X Factor,” has now received over 3000 complaints. Well, if no one’s officially counting, then maybe they have, and maybe they’ve received ten thousand, maybe they’ve received death threats, maybe someone’s put a stink bomb in ITV’s postbox. Doesn’t matter. If The Mail can get readers to respond to this non-story, then they’ve effectively done their job of scare-mongering, and if next year’s “X Factor” guests are no more controversial than Michael Bublé, they’ll believe the good guys won.     

                   Ultimately, “X Factor” is done for another year, and may return next year without Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, and host Dermot O’Leary. This would leave Dannii Minogue as the most interesting of the judges, as Louis Walsh this year offered few opinions below fawning adulation. That’s more of a concern to me than any amount of tit-thrusting by American divas. 

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