Peaches Geldof And The Shameless Double Standards Of The Tabloid-Bashing Guardian
WRITING on Peaches Geldof in the Guardian, Hadley Freeman says ‘The Geldofs were Britain’s first celebrity family”. The article is called:
‘Beyond pain’: Peaches Geldof, Paula Yates and one family’s epic suffering”
Epic suffering? We don’t know the family any more than Freeman does, but we imagine their suffering at untimely deaths of loved ones – Peaches’ mother Paula Yates, her partner Michael Hutchence (whose orphaned daughter has been raised by Bob Geldof) and now the second oldest daughter of three – though terrible for the nearest and dearest are no more epic than what many families have endured. But it’s this family’s fame that attracts the hyperbole and acres of news coverage, not the individuals.
Freeman’s article is illustrated by a 1989 photo of the Geldofs (Bob, Paula, Fifi Trixibelle and “baby Peaches”). It’s on the front page of the Guardian’s G2 section.
Elsewhere in the Guardian, you can read Tanya Gold’s article on the shameless opportunism of mourn porn:
Because Geldof had an online “presence” and posted pictures of her children on Instagram, it was a death strangers felt they could participate in: virtual mourners, if you will, although computers can’t weep. She was resurrected by a hashtag and her name. Is it the hashtag that is so offensive – inviting the idly curious and excitable to an online wake, perhaps to post the acronym “RIP” – its full wording presumably being too long-winded to hold attention? But at least it wasn’t that heinous thing, an emoticon. Can we take solace in that?
Mere tributes, some say: it is touching, a reaching-out to a stranger now lost. But is it really? To me, it feels like entertainment posted on to a random face, a hand clutching blindly for something vivid.
Freeman then points the fingers at those awful tabloids:
She entered rehab, had a series of misjudged relationships and suffered tabloid exposés…
The tabloids, watching over Yates’ troubles with glee, crowed over this personally devastating news…
It was also around this time that photos of her looking out of it at parties started to become regular features in the tabloids….
Grr! Those nasty tabloids. Peaches sued the Daily Star. And won. The 2008 front-page story in the Daily Star trilled: “Peaches: Spend the night with me for £5k”. Her solicitor, Jonathan Coad, told Mr Justice Eady in the High Court the story implied Peaches “provided services of a personal sexual nature for the payment of a fee”.
The Guardian would never stoop so low as to milk a celeb’s death and shine a harsh light on her life. Unless:
Grace Dent: Guardian, 2011:
After a decade in the headlines inviting the nation to peruse her gusset, the only real mystery left about Peaches is who exactly the sinister huddle of shape-shifting media illuminati are who green-light everything this bottomless chasm of misplaced arrogance puts her name to.
Marina Hyde has focused on Peaches many times. Her most recent column on Peaches told readers:
Peaches’ renown has enabled her to take her generation’s reflexive exhibitionism places mere civilians would be unable to go. Her Twitter timeline dutifully updates her 160,000 followers with near diurnal pictures of her children, and it is notable that she has consistently turned what might have been regarded as private family occasions into means of personally enriching herself. She flogged her wedding to Hello!, along with the news of her pregnancies, and of course “introduced” both her newborns to the world in lucrative photoshoots with the same publication.
Frankly, there’s every chance she will find a way to turn even this latest incident into gold, and a forthcoming issue of Hello! will carry an interview of her that tap dances round “the misunderstanding everyone is talking about”, while allowing her to pose up again with her children in exchange for a few quid. If so, we must doff our hats to the Britannia of idiocy, and observe that she should really be on coins – the unapologetic face of some apocalypse-baiting modern currency. Call it Twitcoins, and pile in today.
Hyde’s article is ended: “Twitter: @MarinaHyde.”
Hyde lampooned Peaches in a 2007 spoof diary:
Another “peek” reads:
“That’s such an important tattoo,” he croaked as I stumbled floatily out into the Williamsburg morning.
The tattoo he’s talking about reads “Disappear Here”. It’s from Bret Easton Ellis’s 1985 novel Less Than Zero, which you probably haven’t heard of because I get all the cool new things sent to me free before they’re available to the general public.
It’s amazing. It’s about all these prematurely jaded, emotionally bankrupt rich kids whose private incomes allow them to drift through pretend, hipsterish jobs in a haze of Nembutal, making quasi-arch remarks about the empty glitter of things; and the main character is transfixed by a billboard that reads Disappear Here. It spoke to me so powerfully.
The paper’s Fiona Sibley noted Peaches’ work as an agony aunt for the Evening Standard. The Guardian would never employ Peaches in such a capacity. Instead is just features extracts from her tabloid column and sneers:
Here’s the answer to our prayers. Every week the ‘Geldof Guru’ will selflessly offer up the secrets of her soul to help you, troubled reader, shine a light into the darkness of your problems. “Think you’ve got problems? Meet ES’s new plugged-in, wise-beyond-her-years and unexpectedly funny agony aunt. She’s seen it all.”…
Should we be expecting a photo casebook, with Peaches roleplaying her words of wisdom? We shudder with excitement. So what kind of thing will she be dealing with?
“‘I want to hear about weird ailments,’ she says eagerly. ‘I’m into that. And I want questions about where to go, what to wear, what to say. And I guess I’m quite good on matters of the heart because I’ve had so many. I’ve learned quite a lot.’”
We cannot sharpen our pencils fast enough.
That would be Peaches of the “epic tragedy”?
That would also be Peaches, subject of the Guardian’s non-tabloid stories “Peaches Geldof: a life in tattoos” and “Peaches Geldof always has holes in her stockings – but it isn’t a good look”.
Today, the not-at-all-like-the-terrible-tabloids Guardian sees fit to speculate on why she died:
In 2011, before Geldof became a mother, health experts had voiced concern about her dieting. She had claimed she could lose as much as 10lb (4.5kg) in four weeks by living off nothing but juiced vegetables. She told OK! magazine: “I do juicing. You juice vegetables and then you drink it three times a day. It’s gross. I do it usually for about a month.”
That triggered a response from Cath Collins, spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, who warned that such a diet could cause acute cardiac arrest.
Do you see? This is the Guardian that cheered when the State was arresting tabloid journalists and never saw any problem when the Metropolitan Police raided the offices of the Daily Star. This is because the Guardian is not tabloid muck. Its higher-cause journalism is in the public interest. Only, the Guardian’s readers seem to like reading about Peaches. The staff clearly enjoy writing about her.
The similarities between what tabloid and Guardian journalists do is striking. But only one group pretends their work is worthier than entertainment and giving the masses what they want..
The last words is with the Guardian, which left the comments thread open below that tale of “epic” suffering. Why? Because, it said, “There is an appetite for people to express their sadness about this terrible news and we thought we could provide a forum for people to talk about it.”