The onward march of Phonehackgate has, inevitably, received yet more attention from the Daily Mail’s obscenely overmonied, unfunny and talentless churnalist Richard Littlejohn. And, as is customary when Fat Dick holds forth, facts do not so much fall by the wayside as fail to get on board in the first place.
“If Max Clifford deserves £1m, what price the Dowler family?” challenges Dick, which, freely translated, means “look over there take 94”. The great Cliffus Maximus was paid off to keep him quiet, as with so many others at the time when the Murdochs hoped to limit the damage. But Littlejohn knows that – he just doesn’t want his readers to.
What Dick does want is to claim some measure of prescience: he refers to his April 15 offering, but fails to offer up the title under which he laid out the results of his crystal ball gazing. That title was “Sorry, but this isn’t Watergate”. Really? The Screws has just closed down – for good – the BSkyB bid is going to the Competition Commission, and the array of the hacked just from the past 48 hours includes the Royal family, Pa Broon, and the Metropolitan Police.
Facts, guv? We're 'avin traps put dahn, innit?
Not Watergate? Who the hell are you trying to kid, Dicky boy? As I pointed out the other day, Carl Bernstein – who was intimately involved with the real Watergate – has drawn the parallels between Nixon and Murdoch. Bernstein, like the Guardian’s Nick Davies, is one of those proper journalists, though. Not on Dick’s radar, those.
But what is on the radar, by happy coincidence, chimes with the Mail’s agenda of smearing anyone putting their head above the parapet. So, following on from Mad Mel yesterday, we have Fat Dick telling that “The BBC ... are using the scandal to prevent Rupert Murdoch from taking full control of BSkyB”. Baloney. The Beeb are doing no more than reporting.
Next for demonisation? You got it: “The loss-making (translation: don’t listen to them, they don’t count) Guardian and Independent seem determined to take down the rest of the British press with them”. No, Dicky boy, what they are determined to do is some proper reporting. That’s what journalism is for. Don’t you remember?
What the heck, Dick’s line is unwavering: those doing the judging are just as bad as Rupe and his troops. So he strays into burning trouser territory by telling “I still can’t see the difference between the Screws hacking into voicemails and the Guardian lionising Julian Assange, who hacked into the security services and then published the details which got people killed”.
Bravo, Dicky. Nobody got killed, Assange didn’t hack into anything and the Guardian didn’t “lionise” him. But the smear is applied and, despite his pants being alight, Littlejohn continues to trouser his near million a year, so that’s all right, then.