She was “only telling it like it is”. It was all about free speech. People had a right to say the unsayable. All those who passed adverse comment were little more than armchair censors. To exclude these views was no more than political correctness gone mad. This was not a sign of division and hate, but the healthy result of a free society. It was all about challenging accepted norms and speaking up for the underdog.
Viewers may want to look away now
But in the case of pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins, there was, as Captain Blackadder might have observed, only one thing wrong with this idea - it was bollocks. Ms Hopkins may be revered by those out on the far right, where paranoia is never far below the surface whenever anyone so much as mentions the Scary Muslims (tm), but her loudly paraded ignorance and bigotry is little short of hate speech and incitement.
So it was the day after the Manchester bombing, when Hatey Katie took to Twitter to tell the world that she was right, and everyone who disagreed with her, er, wasn’t: “Politicians. Do not insult us with your platitudes. Do not tell us we stand shoulder to shoulder. The dead never carry on as normal”. Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham was ridiculed.
“Disgusting. Business as usual. Tell that to the mother of the child felled by nails and bolts” she scolded. And then she not only veered towards the decency line, but drove very directly straight across it: “22 dead. Number Rising. Schofield. Don’t you even dare. Do not be part of the problem. We need a final solution”. One could almost imagine her as a female Dr Strangelove, holding down that twitchy right arm.
It was clear that Ms Hopkins knew she had messed up when she changed the offending words to “We need a true solution” and then tried to explain it away as a “typo”. From that point on, she was in deep trouble. The fateful Twitter excursion was reported to the Police. Yet more people complained to broadcaster LBC, where she had been inexplicably given a weekly show. And it was the latter complaints that have now yielded results.
LBC have this morning told “LBC and Katie Hopkins have agreed that Katie will leave LBC effective immediately”. No show next Sunday, no more shows, and most importantly for someone with a six-figure legal bill hanging over her head, no more money.
Others in the media have not exactly been rushing to her defence: Rupert Myers Tweeted “Katie Hopkins is no longer a broadcaster for @LBC - well done @global”. Myers, who features in GQ and the Telegraph, is not exactly a raving lefty. Giles Dilnot, formerly of the BBC’s Daily and Sunday Politics, summed up the Hopkins problem: “It was so transparently calculated to keep a gravy train going. Outrage artifice, cash contrarianism …. gimme gimme TV I'll say ANYTHING”. So she did. And this is where it led.
Katie Hopkins was too much even for the Murdoch Sun. Now she has proved too much for LBC. It is not outside the bounds of possibility that she will prove intellectually incapable of taking that on board sufficiently to ever mount a comeback.
The age of Katie Hopkins was for a time, but not for all time. Just rejoice at that news.