Bias

According to his website – currently not operational for some reason – Richard Littlejohn:

has no party political affiliations and believes journalists should be in a state of permanent opposition and scepticism, opposed to vested interests of all political persuasions and fiercely protective of civil liberties.

His job is to sit at the back and throw bottles.

But as I have pointed out before, this clearly isn’t the case and today’s column is no exception. Today Richard has a few words to say about sexism, more specifically the trouble that Andy Gray and Richard Keys have got themselves into for their off-air comments about a female assistant referee and West Ham vice-chairman Karen Brady. Not surprisingly – given that Richard habitually and patronisingly refers to women as ‘pet’ in his column (he does so again today) – Richard asks for mercy for the two men, claiming that ‘their considered view that women have no business running the line at Premier League football matches would be considered utterly uncontroversial by most gentlemen of a certain age’ – not to mention that ‘most women of a certain age would probably agree, too’.

All pretty standard fare for Richard, but more interesting and amusing is Richard’s opening gambit: ‘Why on earth should Sky presenters Andy Gray and Richard Keys be pilloried for something they said off-air?’ Cast your mind back to Gordon Brown’s ‘off-air’, private comments about Gillian Duffy that were leaked to the press, did he stand by Brown? Not quite, he wrote a lead column on it titled: ‘Gordon hates everybody – Labour voters included‘. Indeed, he claimed the ‘deranged outburst’ (that was muttered quietly, in private and sounded tired rather than ‘deranged’) provided him with all the evidence that he needed to support and justify his earlier claim that Brown was a ‘sociopath’.

Clearly, Richard ‘permanent opposition’ Littlejohn is biased towards the Conservative Party and only ever attacks Labour – whether they are in power or not. He is inherently biased towards Conservative ideology, even though he claims that ‘has no party political affiliations’. It is therefore even more hypocritical that he attacks the BBC for their supposed left-wing bias just because Peter Sissons (a person who presumably holds right-wing values and someone the BBC obviously forgot to sack to maintain its left-wing bias for a number of years) said so and Littlejohn agrees with him.

Let’s face it, when you are as far-right as Littlejohn that you attract fan mail from racists, compliments from BNP leader Nick Griffin and you’re one of the highest-paid columnists writing for a notoriously right-wing (i.e. supporting Facism in the UK and Hitler during the 1930s and the editorial stance has got worse under Paul Dacre) newspaper, you probably view most other news sources as ‘left-wing’. The BBC has to adhere to strict impartial standards, if it had a systematic bias then action can be taken to correct this. The BBC has to report fact and not get involved in the business of opinion in its news pieces. Often these facts are uncomfortable for writers like Littlejohn because truth to the tabloid press is whatever they wish to print, truth is a construct, not an absolute. Anything that dare contradict this outlook must be smeared, which is why the BBC gets so much stick for being ‘left-wing’, when it is clear that what the newspapers really mean is that they hate the BBC because it is a source of truth that has enough influence to actually resist the world view that the tabloids have tried so hard to create. Why do you think Murdoch hates it so much?

As for Littlejohn, his claims of impartiality, opposition and integrity are not just laughable, they are indicative of just how far from reality most tabloid visions of the world actually are. If you are being criticised by the Daily Mail or the tabloid press in general, then you should – as Stephen Fry does – treat it as a badge of honour for you must be doing something right.

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