Mail and Express break truce

Porn Wars have
started between the Daily Mail and the Daily Express, with the latter
crying foul over the Mail’s mention of Express chairman Richard Desmond
in connection with his porn TV channels, writes Jean Morgan.

Furious
with the Mail’s piece on Thursday of last week, when its media editor
Matt Born described Britain as the porn capital of Europe and Desmond’s
six sex channels as dominating the UK porn market, the Express ran a
revenge blockbuster.

It carried a picture of Associated chairman
Lord Rothermere and his wife Claudia on the front page of Friday’s
paper with the headline “Lord Porn – how Daily Mail’s proprietor makes
a fortune from ads selling filth.”

Inside, under the mysterious
byline Fred Jung, the Express listed sex adverts carried in Loot, the
magazine Lord Rothermere also owns.

Both sides have now well and
truly broken the truce engineered by former Associated managing
director Murdoch MacLennon with Desmond in 2001, when the Mail promised
not to call Desmond a pornographer in exchange for the Express not
mentioning Lord Rothermere’s illegitimate son. Last week saw both
insults back in print.

But the Express was indignant; it believed
the arrangement was working well. “We honoured the truce. It was the
Daily Mail that broke it. They hit out at us so we hit back, simple as
that.

We will not just sit back and be sniped at. If we are
attacked, we will retaliate,” said group managing editor Alex
Bannister.

The Mail would not comment.

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