We in the north-west may be remote from the capital, but this condition does have its benefits: for starters, we are spared the dubious pleasure of broadcaster LBC and its less than stellar line-up, which includes morning show presenter Nick Ferrari. But, through the generosity of Richard Desmond, Nick contributes a column for the Sunday Express, so anyone outside London can see what they’re missing.
And what they’re missing is not particularly original: Ferrari is an on-message Express pundit who wastes no time putting the boot into the Beeb. Last Sunday, this meant sneering at “Left-leaning BBC news coverage” of Wikileaks. Ferrari quotes the BBC on the US Administration directly: Washington has been “engulfed by a diplomatic crisis”.
Well, if it’s a direct quote, as he implies, the Beeb must have recorded it somewhere, so I copied the phrase into a Google advanced search, and ... there were no other results returned. And, sad to say, this lack of substance sets the tone for the rest of the piece. Next on the Ferrari hit list is email. Nick tells that it’s “as genuine as a Gillian McKeith fainting fit”. Wow. How on earth do I send and receive all those messages using something that isn’t genuine?
But I need to be worried about email, because, as Nick says, it can be “hacked into by an 11-year old schoolboy in his bedroom”. Well, whether or not that statement proves true, the Wikileaks material was not hacked by a schoolboy or anyone else – it was simply downloaded by someone who had been given access to the system. When US diplomatic traffic was last actually hacked into is not told. After all, that might have involved doing some research.
And Ferrari gets his punch-line crossed up, too: he concludes by noting that “a nation with the might of the US ... hasn’t yet learnt how to press the delete button”. Very good, Nick, so tell us, just which part of the phrase “intelligence gathering” do you not understand?