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Paper Monitor

13:17 UK time, Tuesday, 3 June 2008

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

"Oh Fern! Why DID you have to fib about your gastric band?" wails the Daily Mail through its mouthpiece Amanda Platell.

The diatribe that follows is reminiscent of that old joke about Baby Balloon trying to squeeze into bed between Mummy and Daddy Balloon - "you've let me down, you've let your mother down, and worst of all you've let yourself down" is the gist.

It's so very symptomatic of the Mail's bipolar attitude to its female readership that at the end of the piece is a trailer to a first-person "I did it too" piece, complete with the predictably unflattering pre-op and equally predictably glamorous post-op pics. How awful that women feel the need to put themselves through painful and potentially risky procedures just to feel better about themselves... don't you look lovely now you can squeeze into a size 10!

What's behind the attraction between the Mail and the women of Britain has exercised Paper Monitor for some time. And now the light has dawned. The Mail is a toxic bachelor, the type made familiar by Sex and the City, who expertly woos as he inflicts a thousand cuts. Come now, ladies, you know the type.

But aren't toxic bachelors entertaining, able to spin an amusing yarn from any old rope? The Mail is like that too, and today unashamedly fills two pages with scenes from famous films depicted in stick figures. The Guardian's Weekend magazine has done this before, but a toxic bachelor will never let some sandal-wearing, heart-on-sleeve type to get in its way.

By the by, Paper Monitor has got its colour charts out and noticed that the newly redesigned Times decorates its news pages with a familiar shade of teal blue - the same teal blue the Magazine sports each and every day. Something in common...

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