One of those strange paradoxes is that some pundits who love to dish out the abuse turn out to be remarkably thin-skinned, and one prime example is the Don Quixote of wind power, James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole, who has taken a name check in the latest issue of Private Eye (#1323) very badly, to the extent that he has proclaimed the magazine to be dead.
Still neither fair nor balanced
Del Boy was described in the small piece at the foot of Page 7, at the end of the Street Of Shame section, as a “batshit anti-environmentalist”. This is entirely consistent with the Eye previously describing him as “batshit mad” in an article about the regime at Telegraph blogs. The characterisation is brief and to the point, while avoiding the abusive longeurs to which Del so often resorts.
At first, Delingpole seems happy to be mentioned in the Eye: “it goes almost without saying that I am delighted to be celebrated in this way. To be namechecked in the Eye means, more or less, that you've made it”. But in the next paragraph, the mood darkens: “What does bother me about the ‘batshit’ reference, though, is the context”. The context, Del, it that it’s about you, and you’re, frankly, batshit.
More laughs than Del Boy too
And he can’t leave it there: Delingpole then protests long and loud about the Eye trivialising his lengthy rant in the Mail On Sunday, which he grandly asserts was a “lengthy investigation”, and follows that with the usual litany of abuse about wind power, with the suggestion trowelled on that Ian Hislop has somehow become part of the establishment, and that the BBC is behind it all.
Del helpfully suggests that Hislop should consult the equally batshit Christopher Booker, he of “white asbestos is no more harmful than talcum powder”, who will supposedly put him straight on the issues. But the Eye piece isn’t making a judgment about wind power – all it’s doing is pointing out the way in which a stock photo of a wind turbine was misleadingly Photoshopped for dramatic effect.
And, as for the Eye dying off, that assertion merely underscores Del Boy’s lack of research. Media Week reported back in February that the Eye “increased sales by 10.6% period on period, and 10.1% year on year, to average 228,112 in the second half of 2011”, helped by the celebration of its fiftieth anniversary, which included a small but perfectly formed exhibition at the V&A.
Maybe the death came more recently? Sadly for Del Boy, no it didn’t: the deeply subversive Guardian reported in August that the Eye “was again the best-performing news magazine in the first half of 2012, with sales up by nearly 10% over last year”.
If anything here is suffering “a sad death”, it’s the last vestiges of James Delingpole’s credibility. One in the Eye, indeed.