The case of Mohamed Merah, shot dead yesterday by armed police in the French city of Toulouse, has been widely reported. Merah killed three soldiers and then shot dead four people – including three children – outside a Jewish school before being cornered by the authorities. Attempts to take him alive and thereby put him on trial for the carnage were unsuccessful. He seemingly wanted it that way.
Cooee! Look who's on your telly?!?
After the reports, inevitably, have come the pundits, and the school shootings have guaranteed that one of those piling in with her less than subtle contribution has been Melanie “not just Barking but halfway to Upminster” Phillips, now available only at the Mail following her expulsion from the Spectator. Mel is contemptuous of the rotten leftie media, which apparently all called it wrong.
Her complaint is that there was some talk of the killer being from a far-right group, but in the retelling this has become the entire media, such is the Phillips paranoia. Readers are reminded of the threats to the state of Israel – which, as I’ve pointed out previously, hasn’t lost a scrap in its entire history – with talk of “Hundreds of rockets fired from Gaza at southern Israel over the past couple of weeks”.
The actual number so far this year – almost 12 weeks – is 162. And thankfully there have been no fatalities. Mel’s exaggeration does not help her cause. And attributing killings wrongly is not a new thing, plus it does not invariably work to play down the Islamist threat that she keeps banging on about. To see this, we need go no further back than Anders Behring Breivik.
Breivik killed 77 of his fellow Norwegians in a shooting spree in July last year. He could not have been categorised other than as a far-right ideologue. He also quoted Mad Mel twice in his rambling self-justification. But this did not stop Rupe’s downmarket troops at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun calling the attack as coming from the al-Qaeda franchise – even after Breivik had been identified.
Think about that: the screamingly obvious evidence – a blond Scandinavian shown to have been the killer – did not stop the Sun calling the massacre as an act of Islamist terrorism. The Mail also started out calling the killings an al-Qaeda act. And that mistake has been made once more with Mohamed Merah – there is no evidence that he was other than a lone, and violent, career criminal.
This thought, though, is not allowed to enter the frothing and ranting world of Melanie Phillips, nowadays more at home guesting on Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) than on the hated BBC, despite the fact the Beeb hands her a regular pay cheque for her services to the Corporation. For her, it’s all evidence of how the media can’t call out those Islamists. Except when they do, but get it wrong.
Mel, you’re either obsessively selective of facts, or a hypocrite. Make your mind up.