The Daily Mail: bringing vitriol to the masses since 1896

Lots of people arrive at this blog post looking for information on Karen Krizanovich & David Quantick's marriage. I would like to make it clear (if it isn't clear from this now dusty and mildewed post...) that I have no insight at all into their relationship past or present. I have no complaint about Ms Krizanovich choosing to write about her marriage. I don't like her persona or choice of material in this case, but that's personal taste. My gripe is with the Daily Fail's Mail's editorial position in conjuring stories out of thin air to create publicity for films or products -  or people. It isn't news. It isn't even gossip, it's payola. Readers deserve better. If you would like to read more of my blog, that's fine. Otherwise, gossiphounds, click through and happy journeying. I probably ought to write an update soon about how much I truly hate the Daily Mail...

Ye gods and little fishes. The Daily Mail is mean-spirited, smug little paper, isn't it?
I'll freely admit to perusing its pages from time to time (online only...I'm never parting with a penny for the rag and never even consider clicking through the unnoticed adverts) on the basis of "know your enemy." I can quite confidently sift through the lazy bilge that passes for political analysis with little more than a grunt of disgust, but every now and then an article gets published that leaves a nasty, greasy smudge in my mind.
Now, I've never met David Quantick, much less been married to him, but I've seen him on TV and heard him on radio a few times. Seems like a witty, perceptive and clever, but otherwise unexceptional, bloke-ish sort of bloke (I know, damned with faint praise or what?). I've never met Karen Krizanovich either (although I remember her Agony Aunt column in "Sky Magazine" when I was 14 ...) although I know her reputation is one for which the adjective "acerbic" was created.
-But bloody hell - she has surpassed herself here: I know divorce can be a horrible thing, but suggesting (based on no medical evidence, but rather through watching a Hollywood movie) that her ex-husband might very well be suffering from Asperger's Syndrome, seems a sneering smear too far and a serious kick in the freshly divorced balls for Mr Quantick.
I repeat - there is no medical advice or information on which Ms Krizanovich has based her "diagnosis," rather she has watched a film. A film starring Hugh Dancey nonetheless - not exactly glowing in A-list radiance (although he's not a bad actor, to be fair). And the Daily Mail seems to find it acceptable to publish vitriolic puffery concerning the breakdown of a marriage between a journalist and her writer husband as though it were in some way incisive, insightful and informative.
And that pretty much sums up their approach to journalism all over: bitter and mean spirited, based on scant evidence and lots of opinion.


Clair said...

Hmm. I look forward to Mr Quantick's reply in print. But, this is how women writers get commissions these days; by 'fessing all about their awful personal lives - Liz Jones, Tanya Gold and now Ms Krizanovich.

Anonymous said...

I was in a marriage with someone with these symtoms. A charming funny man too. When life went his way and he could do what he wanted all day, with no regard for others.
I had a tin of paint thrown through my windscreen at high speed one night, with a car full of children.
I returned home. He saw me and the children and had to sit down. What would have happened to HIM he wailed, if I had died. No tea no comfort. All him.
He lectured us all day About green issues, and had tantrums if the food I bought and paid for was not organic.
He would not paint (fantastic artist) or get a job. He gardened all day while I managed a bookshop and gave him a home.
We separated. He threatened. He attacked me. But was always in the right.
He got a new loving wife. Had another child. Didn't work. Ignored them. Lectured. Stayed all day, every day in the basement on eBay. Filled their house with 'stock'.
She gave up after 5 years. He then threatened her. Ignores their son.
He has not grown up. If this is normal bloke behViour, then God help us.
Like This writer, I believe both his latest wife and myself lived with a person who was on the fringes of Asperger's.
May I ask you, is it normal for a person (a gardener, even if
Oxon) when told his girlfriend is pregnant replies: I will have to join the United Nations.
I should have quit then.

The Gripes of Wrath said...

Clair - and it was ever thus: there are "serious" woman journalists out there (I dare say you've even met a couple)but the culture of writing for women is that of the confessional and has been for as long as women have been writing."Women write diaries, men write memoirs" ... If Karen Krizanovich had merely written a piece about her lousy marriage, then no-one would have noticed. My real objection is to the shoe-horning of a puff piece about a newly-release movie and a medical condition into her tale of woe. It's lazy, factless and as far from journalism as it is from literature.

Anonymous - I am sorry to hear about your ex-husband's apalling behaviour. I had an ex-wife much the same (selfish, self-obsessed, much taken faddish obsessions, oblivious to risk, not able to express emotion and poor at reading emotions of others, yet outwardly successful,charming and funny). I don't however believe she suffered from Asperger's: I believe she was emotionally damaged, socially awkward and egotistically oblivious to the needs of others. Sometimes people don't have medical conditions, sometimes they are just horrible people slicked in a veneer of charm.

Nick said...

It seems to me that what caused the breakdown of the marriage is something Karen only gets around to mentioning in passing in paragraph seven: her miscarriage. Odder still it appears in the phrase “simultaneous work setbacks and a miscarriage.” Why does the miscarriage rank lower than her career problems? I’ve seen at first hand how the loss of a child in early pregnancy can wreck relationships: clearly these are two people in a great deal of pain who were unable to cope with their feelings of guilt and their grief. Nowhere does she say that they sought help or counselling either. This isn’t Asperger’s, it’s just tragic.

Anonymous said...

I know Miss Krizanovich extremely well, and can say with perfect impunity that she is one of the most emotionally disturbed individuals I have ever known. What you see is most certainly not what you get; she is twice or thrice divorced with both an extremely - how shall I put this? - "colorful" personal history and a stunning aptitude for vindictiveness, self-indulgence and mendacity.

Krizan said...

Hey thanks guys!

If you read the comments, David approved the piece.

Got anything else to add?

Thanks for calling me "disturbed". Who's being sensationalist now?

The Gripes of Wrath said...

Well, an anonymous commenter actually described you as "disturbed", whereas I described your writing as "sneering", but I stand by it - it's a persona, isn't it?

As for your ex-husband agreeing to your article's publication, I guess that as you are both involved in media and publishing you both know the importance of earning a crust and value freedom of expression (or something).

My real criticism is of the Daily Mail's editorial stance - and the laziness of using puff for a fairly average film as a means of justifying a passing thought about your relationship - and passing that off as meaningful journalism. Surely you're better than that?

Krizan said...

Some time has passed now, since the publication of the piece in the Daily Mail. I am still getting women contacting me about relationships with autistic partners. So the piece has done what it was supposed to do: highlight something uncomfortable. Again, please not that the piece had my ex-husband's complete permission. He actually subbed the piece before I sent it to the editors.

I would like to add that if the 'anonymous' commenter did know me extremely well, they wouldn't need to stay anonymous: my Dear Karen comedy persona is not actually me. It may be easy for some to confuse the two.

Krizan said...

Oops, typo!