[Update at end of post]
Remember the Jan Moir article trashing the memory of Stephen Gately? Well, now we have another in the long line of Daily Mail hacks taking their turn on the cab rank to produce character assassination to order. This time, in an unpleasant parallel with the Colin Stagg case – one where Paul Dacre never apologised – we have the odious Amanda Platell putting the boot into Amanda Knox.
“What is it about Amanda Knox that so chills the blood?” asks Platell. Can’t be the name, I suppose? Go on, Mandy, enlighten us. “We should be happy for her, the innocent victim ... but there is something disquieting about Amanda Knox” she goes on, before the inevitable “I’m not saying for a moment I think she’s guilty – I simply don’t know”. Yeah, right.
And there’s more: “While Meredith’s family was learning the shocking details of her death, Amanda was performing cartwheels and handstands while being questioned about the murder” ... “Is it just kooky or genuinely spooky? She repeatedly changed her story and accused an innocent man to save her own skin” ... “Oscar-winning performance in court”.
This is then juxtaposed with the supposed way in which Meredith Kercher died, making the very clear inference that Knox was responsible. And then comes the payoff: “In the coming months we’ll get to see a lot more of Foxy Knoxy as she sells her story for millions and helps write the script for her Hollywood movie. She will no doubt portray herself as a cross between Mother Theresa and Angelina Jolie”.
That’s enough, thanks Mandy. Not only are you a stinking coward – asking “how high?” when your legendarily foul mouthed editor orders you to jump – you are also utterly devoid of any journalistic principle. Your “article” contains so little that is factual that it does not even qualify as informed comment. It is vindictive filth of the lowest kind. It is repellent, nauseating and smug in equal measure.
How hacks like Platell can shamelessly sit there on The Andy Marr Show (tm) sofa and smile at the camera – and God knows, she’ll be there again before long, though He alone knows why – while disgorging poisonous bullshit like this is no doubt what sets them apart from ordinary, decent human beings. But it does not excuse this article, the one from Moir on Gately, or anything else in the genre.
It is not good enough. And it is high time this kind of mean-spirited attack hackery ended. For good.
[UPDATE October 7 1800 hours: the Mail cannot let go of this story. There has been another piece co-authored by the now discredited Nick Pisa - the one whose by-line appeared on the "guilty" article posted by mistake and containing manufactured quotes - and my mention of Jan Moir has brought the appalling Glenda out of the woodwork with the obligatory loaded comment piece. The Mail is having difficulty preventing itself descending into self-parody, so similar is this to the aftermath of Colin Stagg's aquittal following the collapse of the Rachel Nickell trial, and running this serious of "she did it anyway" articles will not help the Kercher family one bit. But more papers may be sold - which is the real reason for continuing the attack. Paul Dacre and his obedient hacks couldn't give a stuff about the Kerchers]