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Paper Monitor is feeling dirty, and newsprint rubbing off on its hands is not the cause.
After all its high-minded sniping about Liz Jones' imploding marriage – forensically documented over many months in the Daily Mail – it must confess to falling into the trap, reading the double-page spread by Mr soon-to-be-ex-Liz Jones, Nirpal Dhaliwal, in Wednesday's London Evening Standard. (Note to non-London readers: you lucky things.)
It wasn't supposed to be happen. It started out as a cursory glance, mutated into a quick scan of the first few paragraphs and, before you could say self-absorbed-navel-gazing-media-solipsists, Paper Monitor was gleefully wolfing down every word.
Mr Dhaliwal repeatedly makes the point that his spouse-for-not-much longer was spurred on to write about their disintegrating marriage by the money it earned her. And while he claims never to have betrayed any home truths in his columns, he's clearly crafted a well-remunerated media career out of the shenannigans.
But that's what's got Paper Monitor really disgusted with itself – for caring one iota about what's said in this pathetic slanging match.
Over at the Mail today, there's, thankfully, no sign of Ms Jones – equally as elusive is an opinion piece praising the European Union for forcing mobile phone operators to cut their overseas roaming charges... it must be here somewhere. And what's this – a spark of defiance against the gone-to-the-dogs mentality. "As a tourist guide says we're a nation of binge-drinking yobs… Yes, there is a lot to complain about but, by God Britain's still a glorious place to live".
Paper Monitor feels instantly invigorated.