Media Watch host Paul Barry has slammed the Daily Mail as “gutter journalism” for its negative representation of women.
The comments follow furore from Today Show host Karl Stefanovic last week, who said the publisher “seeks to profit from criticising and publicly humiliating people”, especially women.
“The site specialises in shaming women. It has a despicable track record of denigrating women for who they are,” Stefanovic said.
Barry listed several examples of when the Daily Mail had zoned in on a women for their appearance, from radio host Chrissy Swan to Seven’s Sam Armytage. The Daily Mail even called out The Bachelor's Osher Gunsberg last year for his weight gain.
Osher Gunsberg described the article as "bullying"
The Daily Mail had been hounding Stefanovic ever since the break-up of his marriage, but the last straw was the story it ran at the beginning of June that suggested he was cheating on his girlfriend with a work colleague.
Nine came to Stefanovic’s defence stating it was an “incorrect report”, but The Daily Mail then doubled down by reporting the outrage and casted itself as the innocent victim.
The article that was the last straw for Stefanovic
While many in the media have called out Daily Mail for its "body shaming", Barry acknowledges that the bad press just generates more traffic for the publisher. However, in the April Nielsen ratings, The Daily Mail dropped 8% in audience.
“All this fits with the Mail’s MO. And as so often it succeeded, with the caravan stay and Karl’s response generating ads on which readers could click,” Barry said.
“Now you could ask how can Karl complain when Today makes its living by hounding people like Schapelle Corby. But the Mail is out on its own for shaming women and sometimes men for their appearance. As Chrissie Swan, or Seven’s Sam Armytage, or The Bachelor’s Osher Gunsberg have discovered to their cost. And it really is gutter journalism.”
The Daily Mail declined to comment.
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