Ego

I’ve been spending a little bit of time reading Richard Littlejohn’s website recently. It is a strange experience because the website spends a lot of time building up Richard Littlejohn as a serious social commentator, a brave crusader of free speech who is prepared to say the things that no-one else will. You then head over to the Mail website and see that his latest column is a collection of deeply unfunny – not to mention lazy – rewritten Christmas carols. Littlejohn’s ego is huge – just spend some time on his website and you get a huge sense of disconnect between the person who he thinks he is and the tired old cliched drivel he actually produces year-after-year.

Last week he libeled Julian Assange by stating that he had been ‘hacking into American government computers from a bunker in Sweden’, yet he makes the following claim on his website:

Listen, I’ve said some very unpleasant things about people, but I have never knowingly told a lie about somebody and if I discover something was a lie I always put it right in the column.

So, where is the correction for Julian Assange? According to his website he will be upset that such a glaring mistake was even included:

at nine o’clock at night [on the eve of his column appearing] I get a final proof and I go through it syllable by syllable and get pissed off if I miss something and see it in the paper the next day. That’s called doing the fucking job.

And the final thing that struck me was this:

What most columnists don’t get is that we are part of the entertainment industry as well. You know, there’s no divine right to be read and I like to think that people who turn to my page don’t know if they’re going to get a polemic or a song and dance act or a page of jokes.

You just published a page of carols a school-kid would have been embarrassed to own-up to. I think the vast majority of your readers know full-well right now that they are going to turn to your column and get extremely lazy, tired and unfunny rubbish. The current top-rated comment under his column today is this: ‘About as funny as having haemorrhoids.’ That comments section was far better than the column. Enough said.

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