This has not been a good week for Peter Hitchens, the Mail on Sunday’s definition of Tedious Maximus. First came his ill-judged attack on the trial and sentencing of Thomas Mair, who murdered Labour MP Jo Cox. Then came humiliation by social media as it was repeatedly pointed out to him that he had ignored something called evidence. Now, as he continues to dig that hole, has come the ultimate popcorn moment.
The Great Man was unable to admit he got it wrong, and so took to arguing with anyone and everyone who called him out. He tried this tactic with Zelo Street. It failed. He then decided to argue with those whose knowledge of the law exceeds his, expecting to prevail where he had not done with a mere blogger. Popcorn orders were duly placed.
Hitchens sniffed “What false things, @davidallengreen? (prepare for long silence from Mr Green, who thinks 'false' means 'opinion with which i disagree’)” at David Allen Green, who writes on law and policy for the FT. He would have been better advised to ask his advice.
Having once again failed to prevail, he scoffed “What was the alleged inaccuracy @jmpsimor QC ?Quote the words to which you refer and show why they are inaccurate ( by the way ‘inaccurate’ does not mean’opinion with which I disagree’)” at Jessica Simor. She is a QC. And a Mail on Sunday hack is lecturing her on points of law.
It got worse, as Hitchens then went after Steve Peers. “Actually it isn't, @stevepeers. The detailed stuff is here, and all on my side … Quote them @stevepeers. Then quote what you claim I said”. He is lecturing a Professor of Law. It couldn’t get any worse. Could it?
Well, yes it could. And it did. Hitchens then took exception to a Thread Reader App roll-up of Daniel De Simone’s Tweets, quoted at length earlier by this blog. “Leaves out all my replies @threadreaderapp. A bit one-sided?” he protested. But (a) Hitchens quote Tweets, rather than replies, and of course (b) Thread Reader App is a Bot.
Yes, he was now arguing the toss with a Bot. The Secret Barrister, who had earlier penned a comprehensive demolition of Hitchens’ wilful idiocy (see it HERE), clearly had trouble taking it all in: “He’s now literally trying to pick a fight with an automated account”.
Think about that. An apparently rational human being, someone who commands a six-figure salary from a major national newspaper (and no doubt ranks as high as any in Rome), whose punditry is eagerly sought out by broadcasters, is so clueless on the basics of modern technology that he ends up arguing with an automated account.
Small wonder memes such as “Old man yells at cloud”, Basil Fawlty ranting at his car, and someone verbally demanding money from a cash machine have been offered up. Peter Hitchens is so sure that he knows it all that he is incapable of stopping and thinking, wondering if perhaps he doesn’t, and so asking someone first.
Hitchens’ hole grows ever deeper. Yet he keeps on digging. Sad, really.
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