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Tuesday, November 15, 2005 

Star's fundamentalism over Barbie.

The Daily Star, a tabloid newspaper which makes the Sun look positively upmarket today leads with a great piece of smear on Muslims everywhere. The Star has been running a campaign against "political correctness", such as Christmas lights being banned because they might offend people of other faiths and piggy banks being removed from offices and banks because they might offend Muslims who find pigs unclean. Despite the fact the majority of such stories are complete bullshit, it doesn't stop them from being printed.

So, today's front page isn't much of a surprise. It states that a Barbie wearing a burqa (traditional Islamic dress) has become a major hit in the Middle East. Nothing wrong with reporting that. Except that the Star does it in the most bating way it possibly can. It says that she puts the fun in fundamentalism, implying that all women who dare to wear traditional dress or to express themselves through their religion are extremists waiting to explode on our buses. As you can probably see, the Star prefers women to be wear something much different or rather, as little as possible. It boasts it has a "page 3 girl every day". A quick flip through the paper, and you'll discover numerous pairs of bare breasts, celebrity fixation that makes Heat magazine look like a Will Self book, and a general contempt for ordinary news values.

Still, this is from the stable of Richard "Dirty" Desmond, who last year while he was thought to be close to buying the Telegraph strutted round the office sieg heiling and singing Deutschland Uber Alles while having a meeting with Telegraph execs. His reasons for doing so were because a German company was also in negotiations with the Telegraph. Neither ended up buying it. Desmond's other claim to fame is his huge porn publishing empire, which is how he made his fortune. While he sold of some of his mags last year, such as Asian Babes and Mega Boobs, he continues to own the Fantasy Channel which shows programmes of the Razzle nature of eroticism. Still who cares that a pornographer was able to buy one of the most venerable old British newspapers, the Express. It's the news values that matter, and as we can see from the Daily Star, they surely were right to let him buy them.

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