Nick Angel did a 'Supersize Me' with the Daily Mail, eliminating all other news sources for a month, just to see what it was like. There's coverage in the Media Guardian and an article about it on Comment is Free:
Please excuse me if I seem a little peculiar. I have just returned from a country where bubonic plague has broken out, violent criminals roam the streets, and child slavery is commonplace.
Millions of its inhabitants are malnourished, and danger lurks in seemingly innocent places - like milk, bread, and garden sprays. Ponies - yes, ponies - are slaughtered for the gastronomic pleasure of the country's neighbours. A Stasi-style surveillance state is secretly plotting to turn them all vegetarian, and to top it all there's even a Wicked Witch who - until very recently - exerted a malign influence over the nation's ruler.
Readers of the Daily Mail will recognise immediately where I'm talking about. Others will be surprised to learn that I'm referring to twenty-first century Britain. But this is the picture you'd get from unadulterated consumption of the Mail. I know, because I've just done it. It was weird.
You'll be able to see the documentary on Current TV (Sky 193, Virgin Media 155) on Wednesday at 9.15pm. Since I will not be missing Heroes under any circumstances whatsoever, let's hope some enterprising bugger sticks it up on YouTube or summat, eh?
Still, I'm glad he did it and I didn't. Without a firm anchor in reality, I may have been converted to the dark side and come back here posting about Polish people driving badly, eating swans and mucking up murder investigations by virtue of their presence. Who knows what would have happened when I saw anyone in a hijab?
I do - if the paper had done its job I'd have been frightened, angry and full of hate. The same reaction I'd have had to absolutely everything.