Some in our free and fearless press have got the message that kicking Muslims, in the wake of the Christchurch mass shootings last Friday, might not be such a good idea. But whipping up hatred against minorities can be a hard habit to break, and so it has proved for the lard-fuelled semi-mobile amateur human being that is Rod Liddle, who has changed tack in his latest effort for the no longer upmarket Murdoch Times.
The disgrace that is Rod Liddle ...
Back in 2012, kicking the disabled was all the rage: the Daily Mail’s talentless churnalist Richard Littlejohn spent some time demonising the Motability scheme, claiming he had been told all about what a con it was by a BMW dealer in North London, which may have been a challenging proposition, given he lives in North Vero Beach, which is in Florida.
... and his chief enabler
But then it became much more fashionable to put the boot into Scary Muslims™ - until now. So Liddle has gone all retro today in his Times column, attacking those suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, otherwise known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or ME. Readers are told “Such is the success of the provisional wing of the ME lobby that evidence is ignored”. Rod Liddle just talked about evidence. Ri-i-i-ight.
The condemnation was instantaneous. Frances Ryan of the Guardian responded “Rod Liddle has written a horrendous piece in The Times spreading the cruel myth people with ME are faking. If you’re a journalist who rages against Liddle for racism and misogyny, please be an ally to disabled people by calling this out too”. She was not alone.
Patrick Samphire added “The state of this country when a turd like Rod Liddle is paid by a major newspaper like @thetimes to attack disabled people. I would say that The Times should be ashamed, but I think they left shame behind a long time ago. I have nothing but contempt left for it”. Other feedback was in the same vein.
“I am sure this is a violation of the Hippocratic Oath and if not, it should be. In the UK, researchers are engaged in a coordinated smear campaign against their own patient population because their science is falling apart … There are so many excellent journalists, yet Rod Liddle gets to use his national platform to attack sick & disabled folks while interviewing precisely zero folks living with #MECFS. Perhaps he plucked a group at random to kick when his usual anti-Muslim stuff got pulled”. Quite.
But the worst aspect of this attack is that it is not Liddle’s first offence. Remember 2012, and the popularity then of attacking the disabled? As Political Scrapbook told in January of that year, Liddle had attacked the disabled in his Sun column, telling “My New Year’s resolution for 2012 was to become disabled. Nothing too serious, maybe just a bit of a bad back or one of those newly invented illnesses which make you a bit peaky for decades – fibromyalgia, or M.E. … being disabled is incredibly fashionable”.
He was called out for it then. And like the proverbial dog returning to its vomit, he’s back doing it now, with the same effect. The message is not getting through: fomenting hatred against minorities is not responsible journalism. It is out of order. It has to stop.
Wherever the Murdoch press goes, hatred is whipped up. I wonder why.
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