Tag Archives: News of the World

Melanie Phillips: in her own little world

Melanie Phillips. Mad Mel. Someone who I recall was once memorably described on Twitter as ‘batshit, faeces up the wall insane’. It says something that even in the reality vacuum, outrage baiting world of Daily Mail columnists, Melanie Phillips can still pull out a column so deranged that you have to re-read its title over-and-over whilst punching yourself in the face just to make sure your eyes are not deceiving you. Today she gets stuck into the Phone Hacking scandal with her own unique perspective: ‘If Miliband is such a hero, why won’t he tackle the REAL threat to our way of life – the BBC?’.

Seriously. ‘If Miliband is such a hero, why won’t he tackle the REAL threat to our way of life – the BBC?’.

And why, you might reasonably ask is the BBC a ‘threat to our way of life’ (whatever Phillips’ might mean by ‘our’)? Well, because the BBC:

is a media oligarchy which exercises far more power in Britain than News International…

The BBC’s monopoly over the media is indeed a running scandal. After all, just imagine if News International had been given the legal power to levy a tax on everyone who bought a newspaper in order to fund the Murdoch empire.

So, ignoring the fact that the News of the World has closed down after constant allegations / revelations over phone-hacking, police corruption and political collusion / blind-eye-turning at the highest level we should ignore all of that – and the wider role of News International in creating a culture in which this is all fine – and instead focus on media monopolies as if this is what the story is really about. Even for Melanie Phillips this is stretching credibility beyond breaking point.

She continues:

Indeed, since it is a direct competitor of BSkyB, the disproportion and relish with which the BBC has been reporting the News of the World scandal — allowing it on some current affairs shows to drive out all other news — leaves a very bad taste in the mouth. Moreover, the BBC’s role in all this is even more questionable when you factor in the real reason for Miliband’s double standard.

For his motives surely have precious little to do with any criminal behaviour or monopoly power. No, the real reason is that for the past three decades the Left has been desperate to bring Murdoch down.

For such people, he is a hate figure of diabolical proportions. The venom and hysteria he inspires are truly irrational.

Isn’t it strange to read this version of history about ‘the left’ when I seem to recall Murdoch switching allegiance to Labour when it was clear the Tories were finished in 1997 and Murdoch and Tony Blair having a very cosy relationship. I don’t recall any politician of substance (perhaps because there are so few of them) trying to take down Murdoch or even discuss it. It seems Melanie is just making stuff up to fit her warped world view in which the BBC are the Labour party or more generally ‘the left’ simply because they don’t take the same frothing right-wing editorial line as the Daily Mail or indeed they don’t subscribe to Phillips’ fantasy version of Britain. From what i’ve read – and I could of course be wrong – the real darkness of this scandal is that almost every politician irrespective of party has been either in bed with News International or to fearful to ever question it and that has led to the current situation.

Phillips continues – in an extremely influential right-wing newspaper that holds – in the words of Nick Davies – ‘outstanding political influence':

Murdoch’s real crime in the eyes of the Left-wing intelligentsia is simply that he has stood in the way of their total capture of the culture.

The dominance of Left-wing ideas has been such that even among so-called conservatives, many of them have become accepted as mainstream. And one of the most powerful architects of that shift has been the BBC.

Yes, the Left-wing and their cultural dominance. That cultural dominance so widely-expressed through the Guardian and the Daily Mirror and… well, that’s it. It always amuses me when the overwhelmingly right-wing press claims to be the victim of some kind of left-wing, liberal conspiracy to stop them getting their own way. As far as I can determine the only mass of people capable of stopping right-wing ideas gaining complete dominance is the public. As much as it would pain Phillips to admit, the reality is that (shock horror) her ideas are only supported by a minority of blinkered Daily Mail readers. It isn’t a left-wing liberal elite that is preventing her ideas from spreading, but the fact that her ideas are so utterly repellent and stupid that the public as a whole just ignore her.

She finally does get to the point about why the BBC is the ‘real threat to our way of life':

the BBC’s output rests upon certain articles of faith.

For example, traditional Christians are all fundamentalist bigots; the science of man-made global warming is settled; opponents of mass immigration are racist; Eurosceptics are swivel-eyed fanatics; and all who oppose these opinions and more are Right-wing extremists.

And then to add insult to injury, the BBC forces people to pay for the privilege of being told day in, day out that their own views are stupid or prejudiced.

So, in short, because the BBC has a different opinion to her (even if it is based on science or facts etc) it is a threat to ‘our’ way of life (by which she really means ‘her view of the world’). Wonderful stuff indeed. It really puts the Daily Mail into sharp perspective when you consider it sees fit to pay Melanie Phillips a wage for writing this moronic, self-indulgent drivel.

If you want the full ‘glory’ of the article, you can read it here via istyosty.com.

What about the real news?

Today’s Daily Mail editorial condenses all of the basic arguments that have been trotted out by their ever-so-compliant columnists in the past week as to why we should all forget about hacking and move onto something else: ‘Never mind phone hacking, what about the real issues facing Britain?‘ [istyosty.com link].

In the real world, bleak economic storm clouds are gathering.

The euro crisis, which has already cost the beleaguered British taxpayer £12.5billion in bailout loans – an average of £600 for every family – deepens by the day.

Italy is the latest debt-ridden Eurozone country causing panic in the markets and even the credit-rating of the USA may be cut, which would spark a major crisis on both sides of the Atlantic.

In Britain, rampant fuel and food inflation cripple household budgets, unemployment remains around 2.5million and there’s fear on the High Street as big names like Habitat and HMV go under.

Despite empty promises from Business Secretary Vince Cable, the banks – whose criminal recklessness and greed created this crisis – cynically starve small businesses of vital funds they need to help kick-start the economy.

Even when loans are given, interest rates are usurious.

Mortgages are almost impossible to get for first-time buyers, leading to sclerosis in the housing market. Growth has stalled and we may even be back in recession by the end of the year.

In a sane world, politicians would be working round the clock to help rectify these dire problems. But sadly, they are far too busy enjoying a frenzy of vengeful score-settling against the Murdoch press.

It’s an insidious argument and the editorial reads as if it was written by Richard Littlejohn. One of the key narratives that the Daily Mail has tried to sell for the last week is that the phone-hacking story is only of interest to politicians or those in the media. Richard Littlejohn referred to the ‘politico/media village’ exploding into a frenzy as if the story had no impact outside of this sphere. In today’s editorial the writer falls back on one of Littlejohn’s favourite turn of phrases: ‘In the real world’. Basically this argument is used simply to dismiss one topic by implying that there are far more pressing problems to deal with – it is also used to again distance a topic from being in the public interest. In this case the editorial is clearly suggesting that only money problems impact upon its readership, whilst hacking is something that only politicians or the BBC care about (because it does not take place in the real world).

Clearly, the phone-hacking story is no longer about the actual hacking itself, but rather it is beginning to look at the utterly unchecked power held by a morally reprehensible press. This impacts all of us because we all realise that we are just one incident away from becoming a victim – whether we are a landlord of a murdered girl or the relation of a missing girl or dead soldier; we are all just one piece of bad luck or personal tragedy away from being hacked, smeared or otherwise invaded by a rampant press. This story is real, it is important, it dramatically affects the real world in which we live. The media for far too long have been completely free to lie, distort and attack anything that suits them, vastly impacting on political process and societal harmony. If phone-hacking is the foot in the door that allows us to tackle the wider unaccountability and ethical bankruptcy of the press then it is quite simply one of the most significant stories of our lifetime.

All of this is obviously ignoring the staggering hypocrisy of the Mail editorial telling us what is ‘real world’, important news and what ‘in a sane world’ would be ignored. This is, after all, the newspaper that regularly leads with stories about wheelie bins – followed up by ‘special investigations’ about them:


Tabloid Watch has also covered this as well, go read it.

Dear Paul Dacre: there is more to journalism than sales

Paul Dacre has long tried to assure readers that the freedom of the press is critical to its survival. This includes the right of the press to continue its system of self regulation and to be protected from ‘the scandalous fees charged by lawyers in no-win no-fee cases’ – fees payable when a newspaper loses a libel or defamation case in court. At the same time Paul Dacre has reserved a special level of contempt for any newspaper that dares to criticise the newspaper industry or in general ‘denigrate’ it by daring to have a media section.

One newspaper that the Mail constantly criticises is the Guardian – and the Mail is not alone, the Guardian is almost universally scorned as some kind of lentil-munching-lilly-livered-liberal-cesspit. In an editorial in 2010 the Daily Mail published the following:

The all-party Commons Culture Committee report is to be commended for accepting that self-regulation is the best way of policing Britain’s newspapers and for identifying many of the threats to Press freedom…

And if a certain heavily loss-making, chattering class newspaper spent half the energy it devotes to its almost psychotic hatred of self-regulation and popular newspapers to improving its own lamentable performance, then it and Fleet Street would be in a healthier state.

I wonder if Paul Dacre and the Daily Mail would like to apologise to the Guardian and to its readers for how it has forgotten that journalism is about more than sales figures. Clearly, the Guardian has been right to investigate the rotten state of journalism and have been noble in accepting that this kind of investigative journalism will not just make them a financial loss, but will also ensure them few friends inside or outside of the industry. It is undeniable that the self-regulation of the newspaper industry has been a complete failure and the dissolution of the Press Complaints Commission is now inevitable – another promised review and more worthless talk of lessons learnt from those at the top of the PCC are utterly out-of-step with reality. The press – like the banks they had so much fun attacking – have demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt that they are not fit to regulate themselves.

The Guardian has devoted some of its energy to uncovering the horrific abuses carried out in the name of journalism by the News of the World and their work has resulted in the unprecedented closure of that newspaper. The Daily Mail website currently leads with this story, quick to jump on the bandwagon set rolling solely by the efforts on the Guardian. Until this week the Daily Mail have been one of the newspapers most keen to smash the wheels off of this bandwagon to ensure it never started rolling in the first place. As ever the Mail is hypocritical and, as ever, they are quick to join in the damning of others – describing the News of the World as ‘THE PAPER THAT DIED OF SHAME’.

Well, some of the shame should be felt by those working for the Daily Mail – and by Paul Dacre who controls so closely the editorial line of the newspaper. Dacre should be ashamed – not to mention utterly embarrassed – that whilst the Guardian struggled to make headway in a long story of hacking – starting with politicians and celebrities – he was editorialising about the scourge of wheelie bins and other inane drivel.

The Guardian having the temerity to investigate the actions of another newspaper is not a sign that the Guardian has a ‘almost psychotic hatred of self-regulation and popular newspapers’. It is merely that thing called journalism. Paul Dacre and the rest of the staff working for the Daily Mail should look that word up some time. Who knows, with enough effort they might even start practicing it again.

Waking-up to the real state of our tabloid press

It is a huge story. The allegations that the News of the World hacked into Milly Dowler’s phone and not only listened to the messages but also deleted some of them to free-up space for new messages which, according to the Guardian, led to:

friends and relatives of Milly concluded wrongly that she might still be alive…

The Dowler family then granted an exclusive interview to the News of the World in which they talked about their hope, quite unaware that it had been falsely kindled by the newspaper’s own intervention.

For many people these allegations are genuinely shocking and many people across the UK and beyond are asking the question: ‘how could they do this?’

However, the real question should be: ‘how are so many people unaware that this isn’t an isolated incident of morally bankrupt journalism, but the norm?’

I’m pleased that people are sitting up and taking notice. I’m pleased that Ford are boycotting advertising with the News of the World and that other big companies are considering doing the same. But I also wonder as to why it has taken so long for public perception and big corporations to draw a line between what is merely accepted as bad journalism and what causes public outrage as being completely unacceptable journalism.

For instance, in September last year YouGov published a poll titled ‘Who do you trust?’ which was covered by Tabloid Watch at the time but failed to gain any significant mainstream coverage. The poll revealed that journalists on ‘mid-market’ newspapers (Mail, Express) only had the total trust of just 21% of the people surveyed (down from 36% in 2003); whilst 71% claimed to have not much/no trust in them. It was even worse for the journalists on ‘red-top tabloid’ newspapers who only had the total trust of just 10% of the people surveyed (down from 14% in 2003); whilst 83% claimed to have not much/no trust in them.

We appear to be in a situation in which the majority of newspaper consumers accept without protest that what they read each day is not or cannot to be trusted. Trust or truth in journalism does not appear to be significant in raising public levels of outrage against newspapers, nor in itself is the invasion of privacy. The general public don’t seem to be concerned with the phone hacking of celebrities or prominent politicians, but they are outraged at the alleged hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone (and the fresh allegations that the families of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman may have been targeted as well).

This, I think, is part of the problem. As consumers we can’t afford to be selectively outraged by an illegal technique depending on who it targets. We can’t keep buying newspapers or logging onto newspaper websites to lap up highly invasive articles / images of celebrities that were obtained through phone-hacking or aggressive journalism that borders on stalking, but then turn around and act shocked that they use the same techniques when dealing with bereaved families or missing 13-year-old girls. If any lesson can be taken away from studying the press it is that they cannot be trusted to regulate their own behaviour and the tools that once may have been used for legitimate investigative journalism are now just as likely to be turned on any unlucky individual who finds his or herself in their spotlight.

I can’t help but feel that the general public should have been outraged an awful long time ago – and not just about individual cases of press abuse, but the general expectations we all have when we pick up any paper. For example, how is it that we live in a society where we feel it is acceptable to routinely not trust what we read in newspapers? Why do even seasoned, loyal newspaper readers always feel the need to inform you – with a knowing nod – if you question their choice of newspaper that you shouldn’t worry about them because they take it all with a pinch of salt?

The Milly Dowler story – and the fresh allegations that will be breaking from now on – should be the catalyst that finally awakens the realisation that our press is no longer fit for purpose – and hasn’t been for an awful long time. This isn’t just the concern of media bloggers or the Guardian, it is the concern of all of us who care about the society we live in and the huge impact that media narratives have on influencing our daily interactions with those around us. Any one of us could be the next Christopher Jefferies, who has had to resort to the courts to pursue some form of redress for the smears he suffered for a crime of which he was found entirely innocent. As BBC Legal correspondent Clive Coleman points out:

It’s an indication of the significance of these contempt proceedings that the Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC has appeared in person to outline the case in front of the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge.

Mr Grieve described the material published about Christopher Jefferies as being so exceptional and memorable in its impact as to risk prejudicing and impeding a fair trial.

He pointed in particular to suggestions that Mr Jefferies was a sexually perverted voyeur, that he had possibly been involved in a previous murder and that he was a close friend of a known paedophile.

For what it’s worth, the ‘Sun and Daily Mirror dispute Mr Grieve’s claims, and deny contempt’.

What should not be forgotten in all of this is that it is easy to humanise and sympathise with the victims of this latest alleged hacking. Whilst the majority might – and seemingly do – generally accept the hacking of politicians and celebrities for whatever dubious justification of misunderstood public interest, almost everyone seems to draw the line when the victim is a 13-year-old girl and her family. However, we must also face up to our responsibility to stand up and be counted not just when the victims are easily identifiable and real to us, but also when the victims are a much larger group who – although we cannot instantly identify with in the same way that we can do when we have names, ages, photos and context – are no less deserving of our collective outrage, action and support.

For example any Muslim or perceived Muslim who has suffered racial abuse or other actions as a result of a systematic smear campaign conducted by a range of newspapers. I don’t recall politicians calling for press reform when Radio 4’s excellent Face the Facts program so searingly covered Islamophobia in the media and the consequences for its victims. According to Roy Greenslade, Lord Rothermere – chairman of the Daily Mail & General Trust – was ‘appalled’ at the Milly Dowler hacking allegations and he felt compelled to make sure the Daily Mail doesn’t use hacking in its journalism. Apparently Paul Dacre – Daily Mail editor-in-chief – answered that (according to Greenslade) ‘the Mail has never done anything so disgusting’.

Although it is noticeable that the lawyers of Associated Newspapers haven’t contacted the New Statesman over the allegations made in a Hugh Grant article in which he bugs former News of the World executive Paul McMullan. Grant recorded McMullan claim that the Mail did use stories based on hacking:

For about four or five years they’ve absolutely been cleaner than clean. And before that they weren’t. They were as dirty as anyone . . . They had the most money.

Paul Dacre became editor in 1992. Who knows, perhaps all editors just do not know what their journalists get up to.

The important point is that Lord Rothermere sat idly by whilst Littlejohn attacked dead women and the rest of the Mail’s journalists go after just about every form of minority using a variety of lies to stir up racial and religious hatred in much the same way as the general public has.

Do we really value 13-year-old girls more than any other human beings? If we don’t then it’s about time we got a lot angrier about an awful lot more and we finally make it absolutely clear that the behaviour of our press is completely unacceptable. This means we boycott them, en masse, whilst pursuing the dissolution of the Press Complaints Comission and the formation of a proper regulator in the mould of Ofcom.

A dishonest press must hold itself to account

I know this blog has been very quiet as of late and I am going to be honest with you about the reason: Harry Potter. Being an old romantic I didn’t take any reading material on my honeymoon, so after wondering around New York for the first week the second week was designed to be a chance to relax by the pool. Well, relaxing next to the pool is much better with a book and the only book available was the first Harry Potter book that the wife had packed. So, I read it and then felt obliged to the read the rest of them. Which I have done in the past couple of weeks, hence why I have not been posting on here.

So, now that is behind me I hope to start blogging again as well as starting some related projects that I’ll announce on here in due course.

Now, this post does have a point as I wanted to comment briefly on the News of the World phone tapping, which seems to have been routine practice at that newspaper for quite some time (and I’m fairly certain they are not the only tabloid newspaper who have done this either). Newspapers still laughably claim to be our moral arbiters and they’ll be the first to criticise a politician who dodges questions about any kind of dodgy behaviour. Yet, the NOTW has maintained a sturdy defence of ‘blame it all on one guy’ whilst everyone else either had no knowledge or memory of any phone tapping whatsoever.

The whole argument is pathetic and will hopefully be cast aside by some form of proper police investigation. Andy Coulson deserves no place in politics irrespective of whether he was aware of or involved in phone-tapping but he shouldn’t be made a scapegoat for what is rife within an industry, not merely one office or organisation.

I will not attempt to comment further given that the below bloggers have already done a great job of highlighting this issue:

Tabloid Watch: New York Times investigates what most of the British media won’t and ‘Inconceivable no-one else knew’

Five Chinese Crackers: What would the Met get in return for not looking hard at News of the World phone hacking?

News of the World pays damages to Brad and Jolie

The BBC have reported that:

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have accepted an undisclosed sum in settlement of their privacy claim against the News of the World.

The stars sued the newspaper in January over a story saying they would separate and had agreed custody arrangements.

Appearing in London’s High Court, the couple’s lawyer said that News Group Newspapers now accepted the allegations were “false and intrusive”.

Furthermore, not only did some publications identify a divorce lawyer who had never even met the couple, the News of the World saw fit to wheel out the old ‘reported in good faith argument:

In court on Thursday morning, lawyer Keith Schilling said the News of the World, which argued that it had acted in good faith, had now agreed to publish an apology.

Again, I thought reporters and journalists received a salary precisely because they do not simply report things in good faith and actually attempt to verify and fact check stories.

You Know You’re Bad When…

Bill Akass, managing Editor of the News of the World, today confirmed on Radio 4 that he turned down the Lord Triesman sting because:

We were not satisfied that it was justified and we felt the information was thin.

It didn’t meet the tests which we set ourselves for justification…

Is it in the public interest? Are we operating within the law? Are we operating within the PCC code, which says that use of subterfuge can only be used in the public interest when the material cannot be obtained by any other means?… Do we have credible information to suggest that this person is already engaged in these activities?

This is from the paper that was recently criticised by a Judge for setting-up John Terry’s dad, as reported by Tabloid Watch the judge commented:

“It is a very, very clear case of entrapment solely to create a newspaper story…

“The facts in this case are highly unusual. In fact the offence was actually created by the actions of the newspaper sending a journalist to set you up. It is clearly an entrapment case and the only reason they did this was to create a story because of your connections to a well known footballer.”

It also has had to apologise in the last few days about completely making-up a story about Peter Sutcliffe. Not to mention – as today’s F365 Mediawatch column takes great delight in doing – that this:

is also the paper that, in the latest edition alone, decided that a soap star allegedly cheating on his girlfriend, some nonsense about Jordan and that boxer fella, and Cristiano Ronaldo doing rude things with an underwear model were all in the public interest.

That this pathetic excuse for a newspaper decides a story is ‘not justified’ and ‘thin’ you just know something must be very wrong with it. However, as we all know: the Mail on Sunday were happy to run it.

Back to the Tabloid world of fear

Well I’m back after a few drunken days away in a tent. At no point during these few days was I made angry by the rubbish published by the Tabloid newspapers and somehow, life seemed all the better for this. The sun shone, people smiled, I wasn’t raped, mugged, stabbed, shot or abused for being a ‘poor indigenous white’. I didn’t catch swine flu and far as I can tell my trip didn’t cause or cure cancer either. Life really is a wonderful thing, if only we all take a step back and enjoy it once in a while the world might be a better place. Nonetheless, I cannot escape from the clutches of the tabloid papers for too long and regrettably tabloid lies and hypocrisy are getting harder and harder to ignore. For example, Twitter provided me with a link to this gem on the Mail website today: ‘Scared to death? The REAL worry is today’s culture of fear‘. Essentially the author of the piece opens with: ‘Do you ever feel as if The Authorities are doing their damnedest to scare us all to death?’. This is said without any irony; no acknowledgement that Tabloid newspapers exist to whip up baseless fear. As commentators point out:

Ahem, it`s not “the Authorities”, it`s the MEDIA….- Sherry, Kent, 27/7/2009 9:08 Click to rate Rating 60 Agreed with Sherry in Kent – the media makes more of these ”panics” than anyone I know – I haven’t met anyone who’s panicking about swine flu, for example, but the media manage to make it sound like we’re all in a terrified frenzy and losing sleep over it. There is no culture of fear outside the media, which keeps trying to whip it up. – Ruth, Glasgow, Scotland, 27/7/2009 12:09 Click to rate Rating 24

The reason why The Daily Mail can spread fear and panic one minute, then accuse ‘The Authorities’ of doing the same the next is that they have no accountability and therefore no need to even pretend to be consistant. It isn’t just a matter of hypocrisy though, the Daily Mail has no accountability when it comes to facts either, as the Enemies of reason points out

:

The Mail gets it wrong again, and again, and again, and again. They’re not the only newspaper to do so, but they do pop up in the PCC adjudications time and time again. Sometimes it’s not too serious, merely entirely misrepresenting a scientific study for example; sometimes it’s really serious and unpleasant, for example making peaceful Muslims out to be rowdy protesters, or smearing the good name of someone who has recently been through a terrible tragedy. The PCC says this is all perfectly fine so long as they make tiny amends afterwards, and then everything’s tickety-boo, isn’t it? And there you have it. This is the redress available to those who can’t hire the top legal lawyers. A tiny correction shoved away in the middle of nowhere, and no apology at all.

Tabloid newspapers are consistently lying, hypocritical and utterly inconsistent yet somehow people still exchange their ‘hard-earned’ money for this. People look to newspapers to confirm their worst fears, and the newspapers are only happy to oblige. If, for example, you have a fear of foreigners and you stupidly believe in spite of facts that immigrants get free houses, free cars and a massive wad of cash as soon as they set foot on British soil, you can find a journalist that will agree with you completely. I can understand why an individual might believe that immigrants receive such things, they might not be that bright, they might not be terrible literate and therefore they do not have the ability to assimilate information or differentiate fact from fiction. Such a person might turn to a newspaper, where a journalist is paid to present them with a piece of opinion that should be factual – after all they are paid and have time to assimilate information and establish what the facts are. But they don’t. The poor misinformed person struggling to find out the truth might unfortunately pick up a newspaper like The News of the World (once edited by shit-stain Andy Coulson) and read a column by an utter piece of shit like Carole Malone. Thankfully Tabloid Watch has taken this apart – so I don’t have to try to engage my brain with such an ignorant tabloid turd:

In today’s News of the World, she has written a column so bereft of intellect or evidence or sound argument, it’s hard to imagine anyone getting paid for such crap. And not just crap – full of wild exaggerations and lies – but noxious and inflammatory crap.

Go read the rest here. A while ago I argued that Andy Coulson didn’t deserve a place in politics because he had edited a tabloid newspaper. My reasoning was that how can anyone be responsible for fuck-n-tell stories, lies, racism and the general cultural abyss that is a tabloid newspaper and then be responsible for running the PR campaign of a political party? How the hell is he supposed to help redress the apathy of voters, given his own shameful treatment of the general public when he edited a tabloid paper. I argued that anyone who had edited (or is editing) a tabloid newspaper should be ostracised from society, for they are the lowest form of human being. I’d now like to extend this to the majority of the shit-for-brains tabloid columnists who profiteer from increasing ignorance and hatred when they have the perfect platform to dispel it.

To paraphrase Bill Hicks, I bet they sleep like fucking babies to.