We know from her recent deliberate libelling by the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and his obedient hackery at the Daily Mail that the larger part of the Fourth Estate has declared open season on author and campaigner Jo Rowling, mainly because she testified at the Leveson Inquiry, and passed severely adverse comment on the behaviour of those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet.
Same author, same attack, different book
So it is no surprise at all to see the opening salvo being fired in the assault on her latest novel, The Silkworm, written under the alias of Robert Galbraith. As with its predecessor The Casual Vacancy, the bombardment will be incessant: Ms Rowling has stood in opposition to bad press behaviour, and as any fule kno this causes grave offence to our free and fearless press (cue hollow laughter).
That opening shot has come from the bear pit that is Telegraph blogs, and its author is Daniel Jackson: “J K Rowling's next novel The Silkworm has a clunking Lefty agenda. You have been warned” he tells, reading from the approved list of talking points. Yes, as with characterisation of teachers and actors as Rotten Lefties, so it is with Ms Rowling, because, well, it just is, so there.
“Media luvvies are very upset about press intrusion ... Technology has put them in the line of fire, and they don’t like it” he tells. So it’s about technology? Er, no, he just put that in to pad it out. But do carry on. “J K Rowling joined their ranks long ago. She told the Leveson inquiry that she felt threatened by journalists hanging around outside her house ... [but] You can’t see her house from the street”.
Shocking, eh? Caught attempting to limit intrusion with malice aforethought, and objecting to bad behaviour with intent. Nope, neither is a crime. Why the sour attitude, Daniel? “In her forthcoming novel ... Rowling is training her sights on the newspapers ... This is interesting because, despite her grievances, some journalists have spent the best part of two decades singing her praises at every opportunity”.
To which I call bullshit: as the Mail’s recent legal cave-in demonstrates, since Leveson it’s been all-out attack. Jackson does not dwell on such niceties: “You have to be a genius (George Orwell, say) to pull off an agenda novel. Rowling is not. Her political worldview isn’t even interesting. It's superficially cosy and caring but underneath it's not far removed from Owen Jones agitprop – naive and damaging”.
And once again he quotes from the approved talking points. But there is one small problem for this budding critic: “Although I haven’t read her new novel (it's under embargo) I think it is fair not to expect very much from it”. Ah, behind the missing comma, we find that Jackson is just slagging off Jo Rowling’s new book in order to ingratiate himself with his press pals and thus garner some brownie points.
Just think how nasty the reviews will be when they bother to read it, eh?