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Paper Monitor

12:07 UK time, Friday, 30 July 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Bad news for one paper is invariably regarded as excellent news by its rivals, and the Guardian serves up an embarrassing tale for certain tabloids with a hefty dollop of relish.

It transpires that the Daily Mail and the Sun have had to apologise to Parliament Square Tamil hunger striker Parameswaran Subramanyam after they falsely claimed that he had furtively kept himself going with hamburgers.

In a masterly display of deadpan, the Guardian reports on the £80,000 payout by the papers to Mr Subramanyam:

Although his actions won him the support and admiration of many Tamils, their affection turned to animosity in October 2009 after the Daily Mail ran a story falsely claiming Subramanyam had broken the strike by eating burgers and had been caught doing so by a Metropolitan police surveillance team. The allegations were then repeated in a story published on the Sun's website, headlined "Hunger Striker Was Lovin' it".

It all seems a little mean-spirited. Paper Monitor could not locate any of the usual jibes at Guardianistas in today's Mail - not even in Richard Littlejohn's column. Digs at vegans, vegetarians, council diversity committees, Hi-Viz Britain, NHS "so-called 'professionals'" and wheel clampers, yes, but not specifically at readers of the Berliners (though it might be assumed that at least some of the above could be Polly Toynbee fans).

Nor is there any mention of the Guardian in the Sun - although the red top has, in what will surely go down as one of the great commissioning brainwaves of the year, asked TV's Jeremy Kyle to write a guest column about the demise of the anti-social behaviour order.

Mr Kyle - many of whose guests are no strangers to Asbo legislation - puts forward his views in the forthright manner to which mid-morning viewers have become accustomed:

Too often with Asbos, nasty offenders went unchallenged and unchecked and their victims paid a heavy price.

Perhaps they should have been invited to appear on Mr Kyle's programme, where no guest ever goes unchallenged.

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