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Tuesday 10 May 2016

Letts Mock Stroke Victims

There are no lengths that some pundits will not go to in order to do the bidding of their editors and proprietors. This was demonstrated yesterday by the odious Quentin Letts (let’s not), who had been allocated the duty of reviewing ITV Political Editor Robert Peston’s new Sunday morning show: in addition to showing how incredibly clever he was, the brief also included putting the boot in on the hated BBC.
Harry Potter and the Gobshite of Arslikhan

So a comparison had to be made between Peston On Sunday and The Andy Marr Show (tm), and a conclusion then made that, whatever the plus and minus points of the ITV offering, the commercial channel Was The One That Won It. That much is routine for the Daily Mail, but Quent was unable to resist the urge to go in with both feet on Andrew Marr, because, well, he’s on the BBC, which is A Very Bad Thing Indeed.
Quentin! The very chap ... just bend down, will you? (Photo (c) Getty Images)

And so it came to pass that the routinely dishonest headline “Pesto... It's breathless and batty - and bound to be a hit: QUENTIN LETTS on the opening shots in talkshow war” (the shows do not go head to head, and don’t even overlap) was followed by an opening paragraph that the Mail’s sub-editors should have pulled.
Sunday mornings just became a little madder and more metropolitan. Not only do we have Andrew ‘Captain Hop-Along’ Marr growling away on BBC1, throwing his arm about like a tipsy conductor” began Letts’ piece. Marr, as is universally known throughout the media world, and indeed well beyond it, suffered a stroke three years ago, as a result of which he still experiences a lack of movement in his left arm.
That those words were allowed into the Mail tells you all about the lack of principle among the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker. It’s someone at the BBC, so it’s a free hit. Marr probably won’t sue, and if he does, he’ll just provoke the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre into ordering yet more knocking copy to be written about him. So it was left to others in that media world to pass significantly adverse comment on Letts’ handiwork.
Roy Greenslade mused “I don’t want to come off all namby-pamby … But really Quentin, that was a graceless remark”. Marr’s wife Jackie Ashley, whose late father, Labour MP Jack Ashley, was a lifelong campaigner for those with disabilities, TweetedWhat a great signal to disabled people: Quentin Letts mocks my husband for being disabled following a stroke”. Greenslade’s post was timed at 0932 hours; Ms Ashley’s Tweet at 0921.

Almost four hours later - his Tweet was timed at 1314 hours - Letts showed a glimmer of regret for his actions: “I fear my sketch reference to the admirable Marr today was horrid. Apologies to all concerned and upset”. How sincere was that? Put it this way: quite apart from the crassness of publishing the piece in the first place, it is still live at MailOnline, despite a double-figure number of complaints having been made to IPSO.

Paul Dacre and his obedient hackery at the Mail would have been down like the proverbial ton of bricks on anyone else behaving as Letts has. But such is their hatred of the BBC, they allow themselves to cross the decency line. And that’s not good enough.


Anonymous said...

They always turn on each other in the end.

Greenslade has no place in honourable society. It was he who led the lying smear campaign at Maxwell's Daily Mirror against Scargill. Of course that's before Maxwell was exposed as one of the biggest conmen (even) in Brit spiv history. Nobody has ever held Greenslade to account for his lies, anymore than they have the disgusting Alastair Campbell and his "soul" mate Bernard Ingham.

The others - Marr, Letts and Dacre - are differentiated only by tiny details. All of them are paid up members of the neocon liars club.

Anonymous said...

Seumas Milne did a good job in 1994 in 'The Secret War Against The Miners'. Unfortunately the full work is not widely read, and reprints are relegated to collections like John Pilger's excellent 'Tell Me No Lies' which are never going to persuade anyone coming from the other side