Belfast Telegraph

Jane Graham: Is anyone protecting X Factor star Katie Waissel from hate mobs?

I’m appalled by the hammering the two most high profile young women on X Factor have received from the Press lately.

Every one of the plethora of weekly gossip magazines which now dominate newsagents shelves has had Cher Lloyd and/or Katie Waissel on their front cover for weeks, screaming vicious allegations at them. These ‘Bullies!’, ‘Divas!’ and ‘Maneaters!’ have become the weekly Press’s bread and butter.

Even if there’s no truth behind their reports, they will keep preaching hatred of these contestants as long as it keeps selling units.

In the meantime the girls in question – including 17-year-old Lloyd, whom we are regularly told is ‘dangerously fragile’ — have to put the name-calling out of their heads and get it together every week to perform in front of millions, knowing their act may be publicly mauled by a panel of judges celebrated by the same Press for their ruthlessness.

The whole charade is becoming a national sport of the most venal, grotesque and cruel kind.

The media know that the nastier they get, the more they stir up passions among their readers, who then give vent to those feelings by launching ‘hate groups’ on Facebook, graffiti-ing the outside of the house the contestants are staying in and threatening the girls when they walk down the street.

Imagine dealing with bullying and scrutiny at such a young, psychologically delicate age. If X Factor bosses get within 10 feet of my kids I’d call child protection faster than you can say ‘Lindsay Lohan’.

Belfast Telegraph

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