Although the newish-look Daily Mail, under the editorship of Geordie Greig, has not become a Remain-backing title as yet - despite some of the right-wing Leavers’ ranting, the paper is still backing Brexit, even if it is Theresa May’s allegedly softer version - this is the idea put about when pundits leave Northcliffe House for pastures new.
Harry Potter and the Gobshite of Arslikhan
It is the line peddled by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog after it became known that the odious Quentin Letts (let’s not) would soon be departing the Mail and joining the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker, where he will write for all three of the Sun, Times and Sunday Times. And The Great Guido had another excuse ready and waiting, which will please his real boss Rebekah Brooks.
Under the headline “Quentin Letts Gone From Mail”, the Fawkes massive tells readers “Technically Quentin Letts was a freelancer, so he has not really been fired or resigned. His sketches for the Daily Mail were famously and brilliantly poisonous. Quentin’s not a fan of Theresa May and is an ardent Brexiteer – so very much out of tune with the new editor Geordie Greig”. Brilliant my arse. They were slanted and tedious.
Whatever happened at PMQs, Theresa May would be adjudged the victor (on most occasions, Jeremy Corbyn takes that honour). Letts rains abuse on MPs who are not Tories, while generally being noticeably kinder to The Blue Team. There’s nothing famous or brilliant about that. Letts is an increasingly cheap and desperate propagandist.
Then comes the news “Guido understands Quentin will be doing a fortnightly column for The Sun, sketching for The Times and theatre reviews for the Sunday Times” before the News UK statement is dutifully quoted. Rebekah will like that, too.
This is, though, dishonesty on a pretty crude scale. Anyone who’s a freelance knows that declining to extend one’s contract is the same thing as resigning. And not getting another contract offer is a clean break version of being fired. Worse is the Fawkes spin “Quentin is one of the hardest working and highest paid hacks in the business”.
Highly paid he might have been, but as to “hardest working”, Zelo Street readers who have been with the blog from earlier days will know that he passed before my inspection at the presentation of the Leveson Inquiry report. While many of those present on that day just six years ago took notes and paid attention to what the good Lord Justice was saying, Letts did not. He spent most of the presentation talking to another attendee.
Before the presentation started, someone sat down behind Letts and engaged him in conversation. That conversation carried on through Leveson’s exposition. This may have explained the lack of detail in the analysis Letts wrote later for the Mail.
What has happened is that the Murdoch press has given Quent a berth, and it has fallen to The Great Guido to spin for his supper. And looking at the industrial scale brass neck on offer from the Fawkes rabble, it must have been a pretty big supper.
Still, helps to pay the bar bills, I expect. Another fine mess, once again.
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