Media: The Word On The Street

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The Independent Culture
TONY GALLAGHER, the Daily Mail's news editor, won't be the last hack to misunderstand the "send to everyone in the office so they can have a good laugh" option on his computer message system, but he is a lesson to us all. Last week the newsroom was as giddy as it ever gets at the Mail, after a grovelling memo from Gallagher to editor-in-chief Paul Dacre ended up in the news tray on everyone's computers. The memo apologised at length for missing a story about the death of an ex-model and, like a Chinese Communist self-criticism session, listed where he had failed his supreme leader. Punishment squads have been known to drag erring Mail journalists off screaming in the night to a place called "Metro", so Mr Gallagher is right to be worried.

THOSE OPPOSED to Channel 4's Queer as Folk just get plain weirder. They are in a minority - of the 4,000 responses to the programme, 60 per cent have been favourable. But the 40 per cent against comprises people who shouldn't be allowed near sharp objects. The sublimely mad has to be one call, from a double-barrelled name, the day after the first episode was shown: "My housekeeper is still so upset today she has had to go home." Clearly there is nowt so queer as anti-Queer folk.

Page three of The Times looks more like page three of The Sun every week. And last week it went the whole hog and went for a topless celebrity shot. Admittedly, no newspaper could resist the Nicole Kidman/Tom Cruise trailer pictures from Stanley Kubrick's last picture, Eyes Wide Shut, but only the red-tops thought that showing the whole thing uncut was newsworthy. Er, the red-tops and The Times, that is. The mid-market tabloids and all the other broadsheets eschewed the frame with nipples in it, but The Thunderer seemingly has different values these days.

THE SUN'S verdict on the Lewis-Holyfield fight was unequivocal: "Stitch- Up", screamed its front page yesterday, followed by two pages headlined "Crime of the Century" in the news pages, and five pages in the sports section. Its main piece on the "funny business" behind the fight result was written by boxing correspondent Colin Hart in New York.

Strange, then, that Hart himself had scored the fight as a draw in a result which The Sun relegated to the bottom corner of a sports page.