The Daily Mail has leaked a ‘sycophantic’ job application written by journalist Mehdi Hasan, after the Huffington Post writer was fiercely critical of the newspaper on a TV discussion show.
Hasan last week hit out at the London-based Daily Mail in a broadcast of the BBC’s Question Time, in which he described the newspaper as “immigrant-bashing, women-hating, Muslim-smearing [and] gay-baiting.”
The newspaper responded by leaking details of a letter it received from Hasan asking to be a paid columnist.
“Mehdi Hasan, who so vociferously attacked the Daily Mail on Question Time, asked for a job in 2010 & praised the paper equally floridly,” tweeted the Daily Mail’s Deputy Political Editor Tim Shipman.
“Mehdi Hasan told [Daily Mail editor] Paul Dacre: ‘I admire your relentless focus on the need for integrity and morality in public life’,” added Shipman.
Hasan confirmed on Twitter that he did write a letter to the Mail, acknowledging that it constituted a “sycophantic request”.
But while he said his letter was “fawning”, he criticized the Daily Mail's decision to leak it.
“Will any journo ever write to Mail again, knowing latter can't be trusted with private, work-related correspondence??,” Hasan wrote on Twitter.
Hasan’s attack on the Daily Mail followed controversy over the newspaper’s critical articles about the late father of UK politician Ed Miliband.
Hasan, who is the Huffington Post UK's political director, said on Question Time that the newspaper was wrong to claim that Miliband’s father hated Britain – pointing out that the newspaper’s founder “sucked up to the Nazis [and] praised Hitler”.
“You want to talk about who hates Britain? This is a paper who said in recent years that there was nothing natural about the death of the gay pop star Stephen Gately, who said that the French people should vote for Marie le Pen and the National Front, who attacked Danny Boyle for having a mixed-race couple in his Olympics opening ceremony,” he said.