Katie Hopkins from LBC is radio silence that was long overdue, writes Alice Jones.
So that’s where the line is.
Five terse sentences and a hashtag fired off less than 12 hours after a suicide bomber killed 22 people at Manchester Arena.
A tweet sent out to 736,000 followers (and the many thousands more who can’t bring themselves to follow but saw it anyway) in the early hours of Tuesday morning when the blue lights were still flashing, parents were still looking for their children, friends were still sharing pictures of their missing friends online, hoping for good news.
An opinion launched into the world before a single victim had been identified, and Salman Abedi’s name was still unknown. “22 dead – number rising. Schofield.
Don’t you even dare.
Do not be part of the problem. We need a final solution. #Manchester”, wrote Katie Hopkins, a self-made celebrity column-spawner, opinion-spewer, and, according to the CV on her website, Guest Judge at Gay Porn Idol.
It is telling that in the wobbly, nauseating aftermath of an atrocity targeted at young girls, Hopkins’ first impulse was to open up Twitter and pour out some on-brand slush from inside her own brain, her second was to rile a morning television presenter [Philip Schofield] and her third was genocide.
It is for this third “thought” – with its unmistakable echo of the Holocaust – that Hopkins has been censured, again.
On Friday morning, she was fired from LBC, where she has hosted a talkshow for the last 13 months.
The police are now investigating her tweet. Ding dong the witch is dead!
Or, more likely, she’s just regenerating; her weekly column on the most visited English-language newspaper website in the world still stands.
How to get ahead
Hopkins has form with Nazi rhetoric – an attribute for a columnist, which might act as a “red flag” for most editors.
In 2015, she called migrants “cockroaches”, the “norovirus” and “a plague of feral humans” in her column for The Sun. “Rescue boats? I’d use gunships to stop migrants,” she wrote.
As was pointed out at the time, “cockroaches” was how the Third Reich referred to people they wished to exterminate.
She left The Sun shortly afterwards for a better paid, more widely read berth at Mail Online. How to get ahead in journalism.
In four short years, Hopkins has gone from reality TV runner-up railing against parents calling their children Chardonnay to calling for ethnic cleansing in the mainstream media.
It isn’t surprising, really. Give an attention-seeking loon a platform and they’ll seize it, jump up and down and do all manner of grotesque gyrations on it, just to keep you looking.
Jesus of the outspoken
The prevailing wisdom is that right-minded people should ignore Hopkins, that writing or talking about the blonde troll in pearls, signing petitions or getting upset by her is all grist to her hate mill.
She is the self-styled “Jesus of the Outspoken” – a martyr to the cause of the freedom to post racist tweets and mean things about red-headed babies.
On her website there’s a diagram in which she breaks down her media personality: “Entertainment value, 98; Diplomacy, 2; Prisoners taken, 0.” I don’t think so.
When her views are legitimised by radio stations, newspapers and television networks, when the President of the United States – a fellow Twitter addict – lauds her as a “respected columnist”, and “her powerful writing on the UK’s Muslim problems”, it is time to say no. And that is what LBC have done.
The question is, what took them so long? Since April 2016, when she took the job at the radio station, Hopkins has, among a cornucopia of vileness, called the victim in the Adam Johnson rape case a “slag”, blamed Angela Merkel for the bombings in Brussels (“Jihadi central”), had to apologise for suggesting a Muslim family had links to al-Qaeda in her column (costing the Daily Mail £150,000), been found guilty of libel against a fellow journalist and asked, “black people. If your lives matter why do you stab and shoot each other so much?”
Just one of those would be enough to get the sack from a normal job – and yet she carries on, enabled and emboldened by the brave new media.
The daily drivel continues to gush out of her social channels – sneering at obese people or observers of Ramadan, working women or full-time mothers, liberals or the PC brigade – depending on which way the wind is blowing. Free speech, bellow the people whose every darkest prejudice has found fleshy form in Hopkins.
If your argument is that people should be allowed to call for genocide, then you are on the wrong side of the argument.
Not to mention the fact that if LBC don’t want to pay Hopkins anymore, they are free to do so. No-one is owed a public platform. Take it away and you see Hopkins for what she is – an Apprentice has-been whose business plan is peddling hate.
This column was originall featured on our sister site.