Picture credit: TalkTV
Artillery Row

Why has the Guardian been ignoring Mizzy?

The viral prankster has escaped their typically promiscuous attention

The harassment of women. The abuse of ethnic minorities. Cruelty to animals. This all sounds like prime Guardian material, no? 

Well, it is — sometimes. But not always.

I’m sure we’re all a bit tired of hearing about Mizzy — the amoral prankster who has achieved passing fame, in the worst possible sense, for filming himself walking into people’s homes, or running off with people’s dogs, or tearing up to people in a balaclava and asking them if they “want to die”. A week ago, none of us knew that he existed. Now, the prat is everywhere.

Well, one group of people haven’t got tired of hearing about him — Guardian readers. This is not because they have an insatiable appetite for this kind of news. It is because despite the viral villain being discussed everywhere from the BBC to the Express to LadBible, the Guardian don’t seem to have so much as mentioned him.

Odd, no? It’s not as if they are above discussing such online phenomena. Their website has about 3589 articles devoted to the sinister influence of Andrew Tate (okay, that might be something of an exaggeration — but not much of one).

Is it because they fear that media focus on a young black man will encourage racism? (As if a young white man invading people’s homes, running off with people’s dogs and making people think that they are going to die would be treated as the second coming of Sacha Baron Cohen.) 

Is it because they don’t want to stoke a “moral panic”? Parliament Square can already hear the shuffling of sandals as a contrarian left-wing commentator prepares to inflict a “this is all a fuss about nothing” take on the world.

Well, balls to them. What has made Mizzy ubiquitous, in our opinion, is that most of his stunts went unnoticed, except by the poor people they affected, until one of them happened to achieve “viral” status. If we are up in arms, it is because such stunts deserved so much social and institutional pushback before. 

Besides, how many other idiots are inflicting stress and degrading social trust and are not facing consequences because they have not had the dubious pleasure of going viral? If Mizzy is held to account — and really held to account, not just shouted at by Piers Morgan — it could serve as a useful deterrent.

But the Guardian seems to be uninterested — uninterested or averse to joining in with popular outrage. It’s just too plebeian — even when it’s in defence of parents who have had their homes invaded, or old women who have their dogs snatched.

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