A senior executive at the Daily Mail has hit back at the Guardian in an escalating war over the right of the Press to cover the Royal family – and taken the opportunity to ridicule the liberal bastion for losing money hand over fist.
Alex Bannister, the Mail’s managing editor, wrote to complain about a Guardian editorial which characterised an angry repudiation of the media by Prince Harry as an attack specifically on the tabloid Mail.
But his defence, which the Guardian gamely published on its own letters page, soon changed tack.
Bannister segued into some arch advice that if the paper ended its “psychotic” obsession with its rivals it might sell some more copies:
Psychotic hatred of popular newspapers aside, what right does a newspaper that lost more than £60m last year have to lecture those that are commercially viable and succeed by having their fingers on the pulse of public opinion?
May I humbly suggest that if the Guardian spent as much time examining its own deficiencies as it does obsessing about the Mail, it would be a much more readable paper. Why, it might even make a profit.
Ironically, the online version of his letter – like all Guardian articles – is appended with a plea from the Guardian for extra cash from its readers.
The automatic message informs readers that the paper would like “a favour” – by which it means regular cash donations to prop up its business, rather underlining the point made by Bannister, whose paper make no such requests.