Yesterday’s verdict in the case brought by David Miranda against the authorities after his nine hour detention at Heathrow Airport has brought comment from the usual suspects: right-leaning papers, reduced to trawling their targets’ Twitter feeds instead of doing proper investigative journalism, have generally decreed that it serves anyone dealing with the deeply subversive Guardian right.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
And somewhere in the more reassuringly exclusive part of New York City, the reaction was not merely positive, but ecstatic, as former Tory MP Louise Mensch, now representing the distant constituency of Manhattan Upmarket, indulged in her favourite Twitter pastime – trolling. Yes, anyone and everyone not agreeing with her conclusions had to be well and truly trolled.
The star of Troll Hard speaks ...
... the reaction is less than favourable
Where to begin? With the Guardian’s journalists, of course, and first up was the unsuspecting Paul Owen, who noted “Guardian on Miranda judgment: ‘an Act designed to defeat terrorism can now be used to catch journalists’”. Ms Mensch was having none of that: “That’s bloody right when journalists act like terrorists”. That opinion was then the subject of seriously adverse comment.
Who would be next for a good trolling? David Leigh, that’s who. I mean, there’s nothing like a little vengeance for his nailing Jonathan Aitken, eh? “UK spooks allowed to bend any law in a good cause – decide Miranda judges” he observed, adding the hashtag #comingforyounext. Ms Mensch, by now slobbering at the prospect of seeing journalists behind bars, sneered “let’s hope so”.
And with that, it was on to the participants, as she went after Glenn Greenwald: “David Miranda and Glenn Greenwald were of course a couple of shabby little cowards and liars throughout this affair” trilled someone who has never gone anywhere near investigative journalism, and would run several blocks if she ever had to face either of the men she was attacking.
What about injecting a little originality into proceedings? You betcha, says Sarah. “This is a good time to remind readers that GCHQ, even according to the lickspittles [at the] Guardian, have not broken even one law”. Just like trolling and then saying “look at that troll I’ve invented”, eh? “Lickspittle” describes what Ms Mensch is doing in grovelling to Rupert Murdoch. The Guardian doesn’t do “lickspittle”, sorry.
But one person remained free of her trolling, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger. Fear not – in support of his heroine came terminally stupid Tory MP Julian Smith: “Miranda judgment is fair [why? Don’t ask, it’ll confuse the poor soul] Need now to focus on what Alan Rusbridger did to Britain and why [he] refuses to tell where [he] dumped names of UK agents” [my emphasis]. Paranoid, much?
This is magnificent trolling. But it has no useful purpose. No change there, then.