Friday 4 September 2009

Littlejohn doesn't do research shock

Today's Littlejohn column includes a story about Kate Pong in Shropshire, who gave birth to five babies who were named Beyone, Barack, Bobbi, Tyra and Earl. Here's the Mail's 'star' columnist:

My first reaction was that this must be a wind-up, probably placed for a bet by someone at the swine flu hotline with nothing better to do.

We rang The Times advertising department and they assured us it was genuine.

There’s no mention of a Mr Pong, or any father’s name for that matter.

If true, which I still doubt, somewhere out there in Shropshire is a single mother called Kate Pong with quins, variously named after an American pop singer, a model and the U.S. President.

You couldn’t make it up.

Why didn't he just enter Kate Pong in Google and find out from the Newport Advertiser that it's a labrador?

He says 'we' rang the Times, which suggests he couldn't even do that himself either. And notice how he even includes a snide remark about single mothers. In a story about a dog.

As Ben in Chelmsford comments:

Wow, Richard, the level of your research on "Kate Pong" tells us all we need to know about the level of your research on climate change.

Indeed, in his curious rant about John Prescott and climate change he includes the admission:

I’ve no idea what a rapporteur does

Well Google it and the first result will give you a definition Richard.

Of course, it's almost impossible to believe he doesn't know what a rapporteur is (although it is one of those dirty foreign words that come over here and take the meanings of indigenous British words) but he just wants to say that to pretend someone has got a meaningless, do-gooding job that Guardian readers do.

And he includes that idea in his latest pop at Gypsies and Travellers. St Austell Council have advertisied for a Gypsy and Traveller Support Worker. In his typically 'hilarious' and not-in-the-least cliched way, he headlines the story:

And a year’s worth of clothes pegs to the right applicant

Brilliant. How original. He repeats false claims about Gypsies getting preferential treatment and then says:

Once a group of people is classified as a vulnerable minority, there’s no limit to the largesse available - or to the jobs created for Guardian readers.

Except, this job wasn't advertised in the Guardian.

But it's an interesting use of the word 'largesse' and later suggests this is wasted money:

Salary is up to £21,306 a year.

I hope the people of St Austell remember that next time the council bleats about ‘lack of resources’.

In fact, the starting salary is only £16,799 - considerably less than the average wage of around £25,000 and a small percentage of Littlejohn's reported £800,000 salary.

In any case, a support worker for a minority group who are on the end of repeated insults and bullying by Littlejohn and his paper isn't a waste of money.

Back to his climate change rant (what is his obsession with polar bears?) and his previous claim he 'merely reports the facts'. He shows again this isn't true, by claiming:

All you need to know about the Kyoto ‘deal’ is that the rest of the world ignored it, while here in Britain it has been used as a catch-all excuse for everything from the extortionate tax on petrol to fining people £500 for putting out their dustbins on the wrong day.

As proved here the other day, that wheelie bin statement is not true, and could be proved untrue by a bit of research - which is clearly beyond him. But it's a claim that has been repeated twice in a few days now and that is how urban myths are born. Sigh.

One more comment from the messageboards that it's worth quoting because it does highlight how intellectually empty Littlejohn is. He spends 877 words discussing John Prescott's travel arrangements and his 'yeti-sized carbon footprints' but calls global warming 'nonexistent'.

As one of the comments says:
I don't get it. If you think global warming is a myth, why do you keep going on about Prescott's carbon footprint?
- Siobhan, Teddington, 4/9/2009 3:53

As further evidence of his lack of research, his column includes an apology (yes, really) that he said on Tuesday Dobwells was in Devon when it is actually in Cornwall.

Shame he will correct that, but not more serious errors such as the 'all burglars are Eastern Europeans' one.


  1. Nice work, fantastically churned

  2. Excellent work, the blog is spreading, on twitter, and Urban75

  3. "Why didn't he just enter Kate Pong in google and find out from the Newport Advertiser that it's a labrador?"

    Well, to be fair, the articles seem to have both come out today, which wouldn't have given him much chance of that.

  4. I don't mind that he doesn't know what a rapporteur does, but does he know what a reporter does?

  5. Littlejohn for 'Churnalist of the Year'!!

  6. Fantastic analysis (i.e. ripping him a new one).

  7. ""Why didn't he just enter Kate Pong in google and find out from the Newport Advertiser that it's a labrador?"

    Well, to be fair, the articles seem to have both come out today, which wouldn't have given him much chance of that."

    Fair enough, but he could have erm, actually read the article before passing comment on it? Old-fashioned I know...

  8. OK, the Labrador story does it for me. I'm now convinced Littlejohn is in fact 'one of us' and enjoys deliberately winding up right-wing tossers from the comfort of his Florida home and getting paid (reportedly) £800,000 to do it.

  9. You couldn't make it up.

  10. Richard Littlebrain!

  11. Thanks for all the comments and welcome to all the new readers.

  12. Christ, would it kill an journalist to do a little research before publishing a story?

  13. littlejohn is king, the best and most frank reporter prepared to dare say the truth. Legend

  14. I have a feeling this is all made up. littlejohn and his editorial team are there just to create sensationalism to hit the news and want to be talked about. Talk about trying 2 get mindshare. I am not giving any.

  15. Tabloids are to papers, what AIDS is to humans.

  16. Nice hatchet job.

    Couldn't happen to a nicer guy than the award winning author of To Hell In A Handjob.

  17. Excellent post - I'm adding you to my blog roll.


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