‘Goodbye, amoral psychopath’: Social media savages exiting Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre
The news broke on Thursday that Dacre, who is stepping down after more than a quarter of a century in the editorial role, will become chairman of Associated Newspapers. Associated Newspapers also owns the Mail on Sunday, Metro, and the Mail Online, the world’s most popular English language newspaper website.
Dacre’s career was dogged with controversy. He appeared three times in the Leveson inquiry, after actor Hugh Grant accused a Daily Mail journalist of hacking his phone. He also had a reputation as an editorial despot. Ex-Guardian journalist Nick Davies wrote in his book Flat Earth News that Dacre’s staff call his morning editorial meetings the “Vagina Monologues” because of his habit of calling everybody a “c**t.”
Journalist and sister to the foreign secretary Rachel Johnson once wrote in The Spectator in 2001 that photographs taken of women for the features pages of the Mail must comply with the ‘Dacre Rules.’ She quoted the rules were “No jeans. No black [clothes]. No trousers. Paul Dacre only wants women to appear wearing dresses. If skirts, only to the knee.”
The news of Dacre’s resignation was broadly met with digital cheers and hallelujahs on social media. LBC presenter James O’Brien said “Good riddance to an amoral sociopath,” while Guardian columnist Aditya Chakrabortty slammed Dacre’s life work in a mere 81 characters.
Good riddance to an amoral sociopath who has done more damage to the fabric of this nation than anyone or anything since the Luftwaffe. https://t.co/MCHVp3uUjq— James O'Brien (@mrjamesob) June 6, 2018
His work on this country is done. It will take the rest of us decades to undo it. https://t.co/naPX6DOIAj— Aditya Chakrabortty (@chakrabortty) June 6, 2018
Huck magazine news editor Michael Segalov queried how he could apply for the role. Some suggested he sell his soul, others had the more satanic suggestion of sacrificing children on the Tory altar. Or even that the departure should not be taken at face value, as he is pulling a ‘Ukrainian journalist.’
Put your soul on eBay.— Ameen Kamlana #OurNHS70 (@AmeenKam) June 6, 2018
Sacrifice children on the Tory altar.— Michael Gardner (@MGardner1977) June 6, 2018
how do I apply to be editor of the Daily Mail?— Michael Segalov (@MikeSegalov) June 6, 2018
Worried that Paul Dacre is “doing a Ukrainian journalist”.— Helen Lewis (@helenlewis) June 6, 2018
Others were more political in their reaction to the retirement of the known Eurosceptic editor of the Mail. Lord Andrew Adonis rejoiced in Dacre’s retirement, stating that his stepping down is a positive sign for Remainers. British writer Jonathan Fryer linked Dacre’s resignation as “rats leaving the sinking ship as Brexit starts to founder.” While Tony Blair’s former media strategist, Alastair Campbell, called the man a “Malign influence on media culture.”
Liberation of Daily Mail & the BBC from Paul Dacre is the biggest media event since Brexit & will have major bearing on it. Greatly improves chances of a referendum on the Brexit deal - & defeating Brexit in that referendum— Andrew Adonis (@Andrew_Adonis) June 6, 2018
Paul Dacre’s retirement hugely significant; makes the next Brexit referendum much more winnable. We’re now past peak Brexit in media support. Task now is to stop it politically— Andrew Adonis (@Andrew_Adonis) June 6, 2018
Not all the feedback was negative – author and journalist Harriet Sergeant praised Dacre for giving her work a chance – even if it wasn’t a typical “Daily Mail type” story. “He’s a great editor and I will miss him,” she said.
Paul Dacre serialised my work on children in care and gangs - hardly Daily Mail territory. But he believed it important so he published. He’s a great editor and I will miss him. https://t.co/gZdExXVsMv— Harriet Sergeant (@HarrietSergeant) June 7, 2018
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