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Friday 2 November 2012

Tabloid Troll – Peppiatt Tirade Backfires

The increasingly ridiculous figure of Dennis Rice, still pretending anonymity under the alias of Tabloid Troll, secured another glorious failure yesterday as he jumped into a Twitter exchange between Proper Journalist (tm) David Aaronovitch and former Mail hack Kirsty Walker. As usual, the Rice modus operandi was to throw his weight about, order an apology to be made, and thus demonstrate his superiority.

And, as usual, the intervention was as useless as it was comical: Aaronovitch, being someone well used to Proper Investigative Journalism (tm), duly became correctly informed as to his accuser’s identity and told him so. Rice then reverted to type and hurled the usual range of abuse back – calling Aaronovitch a “goat” and a “misogynist” – to no avail whatever.

But Dennis Rice still has not taken on board that he is nothing more than an embittered figure of ridicule: today his occasionally active blog has been fired up for what may have been intended to be a musing on the perceived difficulties of being a journalist today, but the post rapidly descends into a whining tirade at someone who, despite Rice’s campaign against him, is making a success of himself.

The target is, not for the first time, Rich Peppiatt, whose one-man show One Rogue Reporter has now played to packed houses in London, and is adding tour dates as I write. Here, Rice uses the lame idea of fishing for information by making a derogatory statement hoping that it will be corrected, thus revealing more about his chosen target. I will give a previous example of this technique.

Rice has asserted that I live in “a shithole”, and a “squalid flat”. Thus he hopes that I will reply “Actually that’s wrong Dennis, as you can see from the photograph my house is a three bedroom detached on a corner plot in Acacia Avenue”. Sadly for him, though, his assumption that I am yet more stupid than him is another false one, and so his information gathering exercise has gone nowhere.

And so it is with Peppiatt: “He was supposed to be the lightning rod for young journalists to flood forward with similar tales of tabloid abuse - oddly then haven't” is Rice’s Ron Hopeful punt here, and it will be equally unsuccessful. What Rich has gleaned of late ain’t going to be given out to an amateur like Rice. But I’ll just point out that the earlier setting-up of Kelvin McFilth didn’t just materialise.

Moreover, projection and dishonesty such as “Peppiatt's supporters from the blogging community continue to beat the mantra that it would be better to be rid of all ‘unscrupulous’ hacks” will also get Rice nowhere. If there were no bad journalism, not only would it be a less interesting world, but there would also be less to blog about. Rice’s contention is ridiculous – rather like its author.

Still, it keeps him occupied and off the streets. Mustn’t grumble.

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