With the speed at which news is reported nowadays, the potential for pundits to put their collected plates of meat right in it is magnified: by the time the deadline has been met and the print edition is out there, Supermac’s dreaded “events” may have overtaken it. By Sod’s law, this tends to happen when the pundit makes a bad call. Today we have two prime examples.
Steady on Nigella, we're only talking elevenses here
After the Sunday People got hold of photos showing obscenely rich former ad-man Charles Saatchi with his hand on the throat of his wife (and Domestic Goddess (tm)) Nigella Lawson, this had to be covered by every other paper, because, well, she’s a sleb. Then every pundit had to have an opinion on what looked like an episode of domestic violence, upmarket eatery or no.
Then, when Saatchi made a supremely ill-advised statement to the Evening Standard, describing what happened at an outside table at Scott’s of Mayfair as a “playful tiff”, there had to be yet more reporting and punditry, although it should be a statement of the bleeding obvious that there is no such thing as a “playful” grabbing of someone’s throat.
So the scene was set for our two prize chumps to have their ninepence worth: first, at the bear pit that is Telegraph blogs, was Cristina Odone with “Leave Nigella’s marriage alone: it’s the only way it will survive”. And, as the man said, there’s more: “The tragedy is, if there had been no photos ... the couple would have done what any married couple does after a bad row: sorted things, their way”.
Really? Do go on: “rows between spouses never elicit much interest; unless one or the other sports a black eye the next day, no one makes a fuss”. Er, right. Keep digging: “The only way the Saatchi marriage stands a chance is if everyone – including the Metropolitan Police – back off. Sadly, I doubt this is possible”. Now don’t go away, folks, and remember that last line.
Meanwhile, over at the Mail, the tedious and unfunny Richard Littlejohn was walking into an elephant trap of his own making: “Nigella Lawson has kissed and made up with her husband after their ‘playful tiff’ outside a Mayfair restaurant. No complaint has been made to the police. So why on earth is the Met’s domestic violence unit on the case? What a complete waste of time”.
Both these clueless numpties were then exposed as Saatchi, of his own volition, attended a Police station and accepted a caution for assault. This means he admitted having carried one out. Some “waste of time”, eh Dick? And, as for Ms Odone and her “if there had been no photos”, well, then, who knows how many more “playful tiffs” Ms Lawson would have been subjected to?
And they both get paid for these appallingly bad calls. So no change there, then.
"The tragedy is, if there had been no photos, no hysterical tweets, the couple would have done what any married couple does after a bad row: sorted things, their way. They might have seen a counsellor, or gone off on a holiday together; or they might have sat down to watch the telly into the night, snacking on fried Mars bars, harmony restored without so much as a word."
...or Cristina, if Saatchi is willing to put his hands around his wife's throat in public view in a restaurant, then sorting things 'their way' might actually mean sorting things 'his way' with more serious violence behind closed doors.
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