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Paper Monitor

12:06 UK time, Monday, 3 August 2009

A celebration of the riches of the daily press.

"The woman is mad, that is now clear. On a different planet."

Normally when Paper Monitor reads a line like that in the papers, a word is had in the right ear and it ends up in 7 days 7 questions. But one is too impatient, so here goes. Who is saying it about whom?

OK, here's the answer, it's Edwina Currie about Harriet Harman. Get her.

But it so easily could have been Liz Jones, the woman who writes and writes and writes about whatever is going on in her life. You've probably noticed her, whether you've wanted to or not. There was a lengthy interview with her in the Observer yesterday, which pulled no punches. And which, if rumours about the possible demise of the Observer are true, might be at least one answer to the hypothetical question "what is the Observer for"? *

Rachel Cooke wrote the article, which you can find here. Potted highlights follow:

  • "[A] former editor of Marie Claire magazine and a writer on fashion and, er, other matters for the Mail group..."
  • "[T]rue story: she used to vacuum her back yard"


  • "What I am trying to say is that [Jones's new book] is one of the barmiest books I have ever read: neurotic, incontinent, contradictory."
  • "Why is Jones so messed up? Not even she seems to know."
  • "[S]he and Osama only did it twice."
  • "Now she sounds more unconvincing than ever. Isn't the truth that the column funds a spectacular lifestyle; that it is her brand, and thus that she has made a kind of Faustian pact with it?"
And the drama continued over at the Mail on Sunday, in three separate articles involving Jones, and again this morning at the Daily Mail..

Though to be honest, Paper Monitor is not sure what was learned beyond the first three paragraphs of yesterday's column: "I have not had a facelift, a famous 50-year-old moaned last week. No, it wasn't me, although I have had a number of procedures performed on my tired old corpse. These include collagen, teeth veneers, plastic surgery on my breasts, a week spent at a 'leg school' at a spa atop Capri (the experience was like being an injured racehorse: I spent my time walking round in a pool, my legs swaddled in exercise bandages), and the liberal application of lasers to remove hair, sun spots and strange freckles on my hands. "

*Last year Paper Monitor wondered what the Indy was for. Not sure an answer emerged, but if you have any thoughts on what the Observer is for, do suggest them via the Comments field.

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