The media hate campaign against Ed Miliband took a new low today as the Sunday Times commissioned a respected polling company to ask the public whether he was “too ugly” to be prime minister.
On Tuesday, John Humphrys was widely criticised for implying that Ed Miliband’s was “too ugly” to win an election during a Today programme interview with the Labour leader.
The Telegraph and Mail both described it as a “gaffe” while The Guardian’s media reporter Dan Sabbagh said Humphrys had “comprehensively lost his way” and that the “outrage would have lasted all day” if Miliband had been a woman.
Despite the backlash, the Sunday Times have stoked the fire by getting YouGov to ask the same question.
Disappointingly for Mr Miliband’s detractors, the paper reports (£):
Only one in 10 believes he is “too ugly”.
Tory MP, Louise Mensch, is among those to question the judgment of both newspaper and polling agency, and tweeted:
“Pity that a reputable polling firm agreed to ask the question, honestly.”
There’s a legitimate discussion to be had about leadership but we’re in trouble if the British media think personal appearance is fair game.
• “Nothing wrong” with the PCC code, thinks the head of the PCC – Alex Hern, November 14th 2011
• Sunday Times Editor: Newspapers take the PCC “very seriously” – Really??? – Shamik Das, November 1st 2011
• Rupert “page three” Murdoch’s ‘papal knighthood’ shames Catholic church – Daniel Elton, July 14th 2011
• The revolving door between News International and No. 10 – Liam R Thompson, October 28th 2010
• Murdoch press’s inaccuracies and half truths about Ed Miliband – Will Straw, September 26th 2010