When something strange has been around long enough it can come to seem commonplace. It then usually takes an outsider to notice remind you that it’s still weird. So it is with this exceptional piece from last year about the Daily Mail in the New Yorker. The whole article is worth a read but the following is particularly worth highlighting:
Each weekday, Dacre presides over a series of meetings in which his editors pitch stories for the next day’s paper. The meetings take place in his office, in the Mail’s headquarters, at Northcliffe House, in Kensington. Northcliffe House is built around a central atrium, with glass-walled elevators and corporate vegetation—it could be a hotel in Hong Kong—but Dacre’s realm is clad in white wood panelling. He sits at a boat of a desk, in front of a gilt-framed seascape. Editors take their positions on chairs and couches, or stand against the walls, according to their seniority. Men wear suits, ties, and black lace-ups, in imitation of their boss. Women preferably wear skirts. The news editor sits closest to Dacre, a man of both prim and volcanic temperament, at the risk of attracting his fury. “It’s like a ducking stool,” a former Mail editor said. Because Dacre tends to refer to underlings as “cunts,” the daily meetings are known as the Vagina Monologues.
This underlines two important points about Dacre.
Firstly, he’s a hypocrite. The same journalists who write stories condemning other organisations for their bad language are being sworn at by their own editor.
Secondly, he is indeed a bully who not only uses his paper to victimise vulnerable people but abuses his own staff. Then when he’s in trouble, those same bullied staff are sent out in public to be flailed, while Dacre cowers out of view.