For those who have taken the Murdoch shilling, no chance to kick the likes of the Guardian and BBC can be allowed to go to waste. It needs only the flimsiest of excuses, the slightest pretext, for the boot to be put in, and you can forget any sensitivity - which is how one ultra-loyal Murdoch servant came to use the horrific mass shooting at San Bernardino, CA, as the means to put one over on the BBC.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
The landlord of the property where two - now deceased - suspects lived invited a number of media representatives to view the property - but after the FBI had raided it. Most of the US news networks were there. The scene looked frankly bizarre to those used to the British approach: some countries do things differently. But the presence of the BBC was the trigger for (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch to venture over the top.
No knowledge of the laws involved was necessary - just the usual hectoring, obsessive, and accusatory tone. “It's extraordinary that the BBC were inside the house. What the actual? #CrimeScene” she ranted. It wasn’t a crime scene. So a change of tack: “and is the owner also the tenant? Belongings of family members shown on TV. With what legal right?” The BBC is there to rectify Ms Mensch’s ignorance?
On she ploughed: “How is filming the home of tenants inc people who are not suspects within the right of the landlord to grant BBC?” Maybe she should read up on California law. But instead, it was more demands: “I really want to know how @BBC think the owner of the house can give them the right to film a tenant family's apartment - more than killers”. So more hectoring of Laura Bicker and Jon Sopel, then.
“Footage of the apartment broadcast today clearly shows a child's bedroom. How did landlord have right to grant BBC access to kid's home?” Probably by the same right he or she exercised when CNN, MSNBC and Fox News were invited in. But she only carps about the Beeb: “and even if it is not a crime scene what right has the landlord to let BBC in? Kids there”. There were no kids there.
Then there was the opportunity to make things up on the fly: “No … children lived there, killer's mother too, neither are suspects, both are innocent. BBC trespassing”. Don’t think they were, if the landlord invited them in. How about inventing some more? Sure thing: “The BBC going into that family apartment b/c landlord let them in is like hideous scene from ‘Life on Mars’ Landlord has no rights!”. Think you’ll find they do have rights.
But nobody was really bothered, and so a little mock horror was injected into proceedings: “the child's bedroom has been filmed live! Showing a CHILD'S COT AND TEDDY. Why @BBC in this home? Why?”. The accompanying short video showing someone going through the child’s bedroom from … MSNBC. So she’s wrong. Again.
[UPDATE 1225 hours: what Ms Mensch has managed to miss, by complete coincidence you understand, is that the apartment was "opened up" not by the BBC, nor even by anyone from one of the US TV networks, but by another taker of the Murdoch shilling.
As can be seen by this series of screen grabs, the person taking screwdriver, crowbar, and ultimately drill to the property is none other than the Sunday Times' Toby Harnden.
Harnden was quite open about his part in the exercise. Yet, despite his candour, Ms Mensch has missed his presence and instead gone after the BBC.Harnden also confirms that the Guardian's representative decided to remain outside the property, leaving Ms Mensch with only the Beeb to kick.
Will she now tear into the Sunday Times and its man on the scene? You jest. This is not about being right, but about being righteous. Louise Mensch's latest hate campaign against the BBC is already well and truly bust - but don't expect that to silence her]