24 November 2009

The Daily Mail: A little snippet from editorial history - Wikipedia


In early 1934, Rothermere and the Mail' were editorially sympathetic to Oswald Mosley and the radical National Socialist British Union of Fascists.[18] Rothermere wrote an article entitled "Hurrah for the Blackshirts", in January 1934, praising Mosley for his "sound, commonsense, Conservative doctrine".[19] However, pressure from advertisers in the Daily Mail grew significant when Rothermere proposed to set up a cigarette company and so Rothermere backed off and ceased to support them.[20]

During the great abdication crisis of 1936, the Daily Mail supported the King, but was only joined by the Daily Express, Evening Standard and Evening News.[21]

Rothermere was a friend and supporter of both Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, which influenced the Mail's political stance towards them up to 1939.[22][23] Rothermere visited and corresponded with Hitler. On 1 October 1938, Rothermere sent Hitler a telegram in support of Germany's invasion of the Sudetenland, and expressing the hope that 'Adolf the Great' would become a popular figure in Britain. However, this was tempered by an awareness of the military threat from the resurgent Germany, of which he warned J.C. Davidson. Rothermere had an executive plane built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company which, with a speed of 307 mph, was faster than any fighter. In 1935, this plane was presented to the RAF on behalf of the Daily Mail where it became the Bristol Blenheim bomber.[24]

In 1937, the Mail's chief war correspondent, George Ward Price, to whom Mussolini once wrote in support of him and the newspaper, published a book, I Know These Dictators, in defence of Hitler and Mussolini. Evelyn Waugh was sent as a reporter for the Mail to cover the anticipated Italian invasion of Ethiopia.

In 1938, as persecution of the Jews in Europe escalated, the Mail objected to their seeking asylum in Britain. “The way stateless Jews from Germany are pouring in from every port of this country is becoming an outrage. The number of aliens entering the country through the back door is­ a problem to which the Daily Mail has repeatedly pointed.”

Rothermere and the Mail supported Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement, particularly during the events leading up to the Munich Agreement. In 2005, the British Foreign Office disclosed previously secret letters from Rothermere addressed to Hitler from the summer of 1939, in which he congratulated the German leader on his annexation of Czechoslovakia, urged him to invade Romania, and called Hitler's work "great and superhuman"


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