In the aftermath of yesterday’s events at the Telegraph, which included the departure of deputy political editor Benedict “famous last words” Brogan, and Damian Thompson, editor at the bear pit that is Telegraph blogs, one of the latter’s former stalwarts has tried to drum up custom for his new home: step forward James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole.
"Gay marriage ... global warming ... eco crucifixes ... red-meat Conservatism ... more work ... no more money"
Del Boy is now the grandly titled “executive editor” at the batshit collective otherwise known as Breitbart London, along with equally grandly titled “managing editor” Raheem “call me Ray” Kassam. But both are, in reality, just two content monkeys having to do lots of what Stanley Unwin would have called “nosey grindstone” in an effort to drive more traffic, in order to produce a return for their backers.
And the paucity of invention in Delingpole’s advert was evident just from the title: “Bloodbath at the Telegraph: how the house journal of the Tory shires lost its way”. Sadly, the Guido Fawkes blog had already used the “bloodbath” line. Del rambles away “Speaking as one who spent most of his journalistic career on the Telegraph ... I can't say this affords me any Schadenfreude”. But he’s going to do it anyway.
“All you have to do is look at some of the comments below our posts. Many of them come from disgruntled ex-Telegraph readers, furious at the studiedly centrist direction their paper has taken, yearning for more of the red-meat conservatism and/or libertarianism which these days they can find almost nowhere in the UK mainstream media but which is Breitbart's raison d’être”.
Yeah, right: the late Andrew Breitbart’s raison d’être consisted of shilling for the strong against the weak by smearing and, if necessary, lying through his teeth. His hatchet jobs on the Occupy movement, and more significantly getting ACORN defunded, were in that mould. His last smear, against Shirley Sherrod, would have gone to court had he not passed away so suddenly.
But back to Del’s fantasy reimagining of history: “The nostalgic in me would dearly love the Telegraph to recapture its old glories. (Which I think it would if it had done with it and appointed, say, Allister Heath or the Spectator's Fraser Nelson as its full editor). But as Executive Editor of Breitbart London, I'd like anything but. Their loss, after all, is our gain”. I see that Sir is not of a mood to come clean – so I will.
Delingpole’s ideological soulmates at the Guido Fawkes blog – newly anointed teaboy Alex Wickham contributes to Breitbart London – already let the cat out of the bag. “Will [Damian] Thompson join his former superstar blogger James Delingpole and beef up the stretched operation at Breitbart London?” they asked. “Stretched operation”? No more resources, and keep nosey grindstone, is what that means.
Del Boy is desperate for more traffic. Perhaps the backers are getting jittery.