What about Richard Littlejohn?

Everyone is talking about Lucy Meadows. Who was she? Just some schoolteacher in the UK. But Richard Littlejohn: he’s a big name. He publishes books and columns and gets his words spread all over the country.

Lucy Meadows was ignored by policy makers…but Richard Littlejohn has clout. We should pay close attention to Richard Littlejohn.

Lucy Meadows was a transexual. Richard Littlejohn was proudly and flamboyantly cis and heterosexual! He has spent years reinforcing his dominant sexual status by railing against poofters, dykes, and buggers. It’s one of his obsessions. Did Lucy Meadows ever have a public forum in which she could suck up to the expectations of a patriarchal society? No!

Lucy Meadows, after all the torment, finally killed herself. Well, we don’t have to worry about her anymore. But notice: Richard Littlejohn is still loudly alive! In fact, his employer, the Daily Mail, has been so friendly and protective that they went into the archives and helpfully deleted all of his past columns in which Richard Littlejohn abused and threatened Lucy Meadows for her crime of identifying as a woman.

So I ask…what about Richard Littlejohn?

More specifically, I’d ask the UK media: do you still hire Richard Littlejohn?

Why?

Comments

  1. rowanvt says

    In fact, his employer, the Daily Mail, has been so friendly and protective that they went into the archives and helpfully deleted all of his past columns in which Richard Littlejohn abused and threatened Lucy Meadows for her crime of identifying as a woman.

    That is so messed up that I want to bite something/one.

  2. Emrysmyrddin says

    Richard Littlejohn is scum, and always will be, and makes me almost wish that there WAS a hell for people to be thrown into /ragehate

  3. pixelfish says

    Ugh. I remember seeing the story earlier this year. I wish I had stopped to register my contempt for Richard Littlejohn or tried to message Lucy Meadows a supportive note. :(

  4. Acolyte of Sagan says

    “What about Richard Littlejohn?” is a question I’ve asked for years. Really, what about him? He writes for the Mail, ’nuff said.

  5. says

    No, that’s not “’nuff said”. Why do we tolerate a vicious asshole simply because he writes for a shitty excuse for a newspaper?

  6. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    To quote The Nerd over at Zinnia’s (link),

    And before someone says “it’s the Daily Mail, what did you expect?”… NO. Just don’t.

    Too bad it wasn’t the first comment here.

  7. Jeremy Shaffer says

    He writes for the Mail, ’nuff said.

    And Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and a host of other shameless, dispicable people are on Fox News but that’s hardly a reason not hold them accountable when (not if but when) they say something reprehensible.

  8. lostintime says

    How awful. I expect Littlejohn to maintain a cowardly silence on this, but it won’t take long until he’s cranking out the homophobia again. BNP leader Nick Griffin described him as his “favourite journalist”. Fortunatley he’s been exposed by Johann Hari a number of times, like in this gratifying video.

  9. Irmin says

    Sometimes I wish there was indeed a hell for people like Richard Littlejohn.
    As there isn’t, I hope Mr. Littlejohn at least doesn’t sleep well from now on.

  10. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    If we could wish Littlejohn into getting a conscience, it might be punishment enough. Since that is not very likely to happen, I would like to see his ass fired and him never getting another article printed, anywhere.

  11. angelakingdom says

    “Why do we tolerate a vicious asshole simply because he writes for a shitty excuse for a newspaper?”

    We can’t silence them because of “freedom of expression”. The Daily Mail has a hard core following of right-wing bigots that it likes to wind up into a frenzy of hate.

    About 20 years the Daily Heil did a two page hate piece on a Trans friend of mine just because she had the temerity to challenge the UK’s [then] discriminatory laws – written by one R Littlejohn.

  12. Moggie says

    Hate sells. The Mail is the UK’s second-highest selling daily paper (apparently, some people do still buy newspapers), and their website gets huge traffic. In large part this is because the loathsome scum who read it enjoy their daily dose of hate and fear, delivered by writers like Littlejohn.

    Maybe a boycott of their advertisers would achieve something – but I suspect not, since running a daily newspaper these days is more about influence than profit.

  13. woggler says

    I’m afraid the Daily Fail will continue to employ Littlejohn because he is exactly the sort of ‘journalist’ they want. Right wing, homophobic, racist and mouth disproportionately bigger than his brain.

  14. Bob Dowling says

    More specifically, I’d ask the UK media: do you still hire Richard Littlejohn?

    Why?

    Because he’s a nasty, viscious piece of shit and so are our readers.

    The trouble is that the alternative is even worse. If legislation was passed to prevent the Littlejohns of this world from writing their bile, you could bet significant money that it would be used to control much, much more than just the hate-mongers.

    The alternative to Litlejohn is censorship. So we tolerate Littlejohn.

    But we don’t have to buy the Daily Mail. Voting with our wallets is the way to get rid of him.

  15. Ulysses says

    I sent the following to the Daily Mail:

    Who is Richard Littlejohn’s next target now that he’s hounded Lucy Meadows to death?

  16. laurentweppe says

    No, that’s not “’nuff said”. Why do we tolerate a vicious asshole simply because he writes for a shitty excuse for a newspaper?

    Because the shitty newspaper readership wants to read prose coming from vicious assholes. Of course, you could use a less “All Hail the Hallowed Free Speech Which For Some Reason Includes Lying And Bullying People Into Killing Themselves So Long As It Is Presented as Opinion” and start actually punishing vicious bullies who use pens as their murder weapon of choice

  17. Ze Madmax says

    angelakingdom @ #14

    We can’t silence them because of “freedom of expression”. The Daily Mail has a hard core following of right-wing bigots that it likes to wind up into a frenzy of hate.

    Bob Dowling @ #18

    The alternative to Litlejohn is censorship. So we tolerate Littlejohn.

    I wanted to thank you both for illustrating how the only two alternatives are tolerating bigots whose filth lead to people killing themselves or ZOMG GOVERNMENT CENSORSHIP IS TEH EVIL. No other option, clearly.

    (Also, if you could point to me where PZ suggested that Littlejohn should be dealt with through government restrictions, that would be appreciated)

  18. Beatrice (looking for a happy thought) says

    I’m going to invent a punch-through-the-screen* just for assholes invoking FREE SPEECH and OH NOES; CENSORSHIP when they don’t apply.

    *is the hyperbole hyperbolic enough to make it obvious I’m not advocating actual violence against these people?

  19. wondering says

    More specifically, I’d ask the UK media: do you still hire Richard Littlejohn?

    Why?

    Because he’s a nasty, viscious piece of shit and so are our readers.

    The trouble is that the alternative is even worse. If legislation was passed to prevent the Littlejohns of this world from writing their bile, you could bet significant money that it would be used to control much, much more than just the hate-mongers.

    The alternative to Litlejohn is censorship. So we tolerate Littlejohn.

    But we don’t have to buy the Daily Mail. Voting with our wallets is the way to get rid of him.

    The alternative isn’t worse. Littlejohn’s free speech rights do not extend to anyone providing him a public platform and even paying him to spread his hate speech. Let him whisper his hate into a dark closet somewhere, if you must. But there ought to be laws against public bullying and hate speech. At the very least, there should be a venue where hate speech can be reported, have it investigated, and those who offer that public platform should get fined.

    In happier news, the Canadian House of Commons just passed a bill to make it illegal to discriminate against people because of their gender identity. Now it just has to pass the Senate (who have blocked bills before – but as 18 Conservatives in the HoC actually voted for this bill, it’s possible that the Cons in the Senate will let it go through as well).

  20. Gregory Greenwood says

    That repugnant, bigoted, contemptible arseholes like Richard Littlejohn exist is bad enough, but the fact that they are afforded high profile platforms from which to spew their hatred is even worse. As observed upthread, hatred sells as well (in some cases even better) than sex, and Littlejohn knows how to massage the egos and fan the prejudices of his readership because they are just like him.

    I don’t expect any ethical behaviour from the Daily Heil, but hounding an innocent woman to death in pursuit of mere sales stands among the most horrifying things that evil little rag has ever done. Which is saying a lot given its abominable track record of evil.

    I know that they can’t be silenced, because that would set an unacceptably dangerous precedent, but still there are times when I wish that their capacity to produce their poison-in-print would just inexplicably fail them, and when replaced would oh so sadly fail again… and again… and again until the nasty nest of bigots simply faded into the more unpleasant annals of media history.

  21. doublereed says

    Why are people so abusive to transexuals???? Seriously, wtf? What compels these people???

  22. Gregory Greenwood says

    Of course, as pointed out by other commenter upthread, if anti-hate speech laws could actually be enforced effectively against the Daily Heil, then Littlejohn could be prevented from pursuing his hate campaigns without harming freeze peach. Perhaps the recommendations of the Leveson Report might help with mobilising the political will to do that?

  23. carlie says

    And there’s one of the big pitfalls with digital archiving. All they have to do is delete it all from their own, and it’s gone from every database that links to them. Anybody who didn’t save a copy is SOL.

    What a totally awful excuse for a human being. I can only wish that some little, withered, remnant part of his empathy won’t let him sleep at night, ever.

  24. robpowell says

    Welp. I did not know who either of these people were. I now know that Richard Littlejohn is a contemptible, lying profiteer of the misery of others. If there were any damn justice in the world, no employer in their right mind would hire him, and he would be sued for damages and possibly harassment. Alas, I’ve come to take a new, saddened appreciation for Niven’s favorite epithet in ringworld: Tanj.

    There ain’t no justice.

  25. jand says

    (From the Universal declaration of Human Rights)

    On the one hand,

    Article 19.
    • Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

    but on the other hand:

    Article 12.
    • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

  26. angelakingdom says

    @ Ze Madmax “I wanted to thank you both for illustrating how the only two alternatives are tolerating bigots whose filth lead to people killing themselves or ZOMG GOVERNMENT CENSORSHIP IS TEH EVIL. No other option, clearly.

    (Also, if you could point to me where PZ suggested that Littlejohn should be dealt with through government restrictions, that would be appreciated)”

    Did we say no other option?

    And perhaps you could enlighten us with your suggestion for dealing with the likes of Littlejohn.

  27. David Marjanović says

    They deleted all the…

    I’m with comment 2.

    You could all write to the Daily Mail and tell them to fire the rotten fuck, too.

    And the people who deleted the stuff, and the people who ordered that.

  28. David Marjanović says

    I posted:

    Fire Richard Littlejohn for having driven Lucy Meadows to suicide. Then fire the people who deleted Littlejohn’s columns (don’t deny it, everything is still at web.archive.org), and fire the people who ordered the deletions.

    Or what?

    Or you might as well walk around with “EVIL” branded on your foreheads and printed in large letters on all sides of your clothes.

    Thank you!
    Thank you for giving us your feedback.”

  29. Jimmy Boy says

    My experience of writing to the DM about their scum-baggery is that they just lap it up: I wonder if they see it’s like a badge of honour for them to be called out on this stuff. Probably doesn’t hurt for them to know he’s stepped over the mark though…

    But perhaps just as importantly, we can continue to point out what scum that paper is to everyone who reads it anywhere near us?

    The DM has caused a pretty serious rift in our house: my MiL gets it, reads it every day and comes out with the stuff it fills her head with (notoriously once: “why don’t those rastafarians just go home”?). If it weren’t part of establishing that mind-numbing racism tolerence we have here, it might be laughable.

    If this were some estate scene, where someone had been harassed till they committed suicide the DM would be demanding jail sentences for the chavs…

  30. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Letter sent. The words adequate to describe this suppurating pustule on the face of humanity simply don’t exist.

  31. says

    Ah, if only some of us were high up in social circles in Britain.

    The man should never be invited to another party. People should turn away and refuse to speak when they see him. Anyone quoting him should find that people are suddenly walking away from them. His employers should likewise be shunned. Let public disapproval be so universal that it devastates them. If the creep can’t take it and commits suicide, maybe he should have thought before he drove someone else to despair for living a life that harmed no one.

  32. thetalkingstove says

    And perhaps you could enlighten us with your suggestion for dealing with the likes of Littlejohn.

    How about using the hate speech laws?

    Littlejohn wrote ‘But has anyone stopped for a moment to think of the devastating effect all this is having on those who really matter?’ (the children)

    This is the kind of ‘argument’ that someone might once have made in a newspaper on the subject of a gay school teacher (and there are likely plenty who still would given the chance). We’d recognise that as bigoted hate that has no place in the press today, so why not this?

    There’s so much bullshit in that article.

    “The head teacher denies that pupils will be punished for referring to the teacher as Mr Upton but added ominously that they would be ‘expected to behave properly around her.’”

    Ominously. Yes, its truly a portent of doom when schoolchildren are expected to treat their teachers with respect. Gah.

  33. shouldbeworking says

    The letter has been sent but I had trouble finding the words to adequately describe my revulsion of those scum.

  34. Rey Fox says

    Trouble is that I would personally suggest that the Daily Mail just stop publishing.

  35. Usernames are smart says

    If the creep can’t take it and commits suicide ~.Samantha Vimes #37

    Oh, no. I hope he lives a very LONG life.

    I hope you can’t sleep and you dream about it
    And when you dream I hope you can’t sleep and you SCREAM about it
    I hope your conscience EATS AT YOU and you can’t BREATHE …

    And his legacy — his legacy! — will be similar to Sandusky’s/Paternos’, Benedict, Pistorius’ and OJ. All of those folks did some good in their lives, and could’ve been great, but threw it all away forever.

    No matter what he does from here on out, I want everyone to remember what he did to Meadows. I want the sum of his life’s work to be distilled down to, “Oh, that was the hate-guy who make that teacher kill herself.” I want the balance of his long career to be crossed out by the legacy of his hateful screed. I want his children to be reluctant to bring up their father (“So what did your dad do?” “Oh, uh, he wrote some stuff, not very much.”) for fear of being painted with the same brush.

    Littlejohn is a sad, angry little man, and I want him to live a long life so he can be sad and angry for a long time.

  36. kantalope says

    Let me get this straight about English Newspapers:

    Suggesting that Chiropractors might be engaged in some slightly dodgy marketing can get them sued for tons o money.

    Writing vicious comments about a non-public person gets…nada?

    WTF?

  37. zibble says

    @43 kantalope

    The UK was working on a libel reform law to address that very problem. It passed with multi-party support in the House of Commons (the body of elected MPs) but was defeated in the House of Lords (like our US Senate, except no one can vote on its members, it’s made up of unelected aristocrats, many of whom inherited the position, with 26 seats reserved for Anglican priests).

    Also, the Murdoch owned UK newspapers are being investigated for crimes including hacking the phones of 9/11 victims – that actually IS illegal, but nothing’s going to be done about it.

    To wit: in some ways, Britain’s way more borked than the US.

  38. zibble says

    I’m especially angry about this.

    Today, I happened to be watching an episode of Question Time with Peter Hitchens (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rc3aIyF5mS8 if you can stomach it) where he cries about liberal bullying and bigotry against “people with conservative moral opinions”. He also writes for the Daily Mail.

    The lack of perspective these people have is nauseating.

  39. vaiyt says

    Littlejohn is a sad, angry little man, and I want him to live a long life so he can be sad and angry for a long time.

    I don’t, because every minute he spends alive is a minute where he can bully and hound other people.

  40. mephit says

    @Samantha Vimes I rather think that Littlejohn lives in Florida most of the time. He likes to opine on the state of Britain from a distance.

  41. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    The words adequate to describe this suppurating pustule on the face of humanity simply don’t exist.

    I meant Littlejohn, but of course this also applies to the Daily Heil!* itself.

    *Nickname derived from it’s 1930s headline Hurrah for the Blackshirts!

  42. faustus says

    @ zibble

    Notjust a lack of perspective, I’d also say it takes a lack of self-awareness to be given a national platform and cry about not being given a place n the debate; as P Hitchens is known to do.

  43. thumper1990 says

    My “feedback” (which apparently they greatly appreciate) to the Daily Mail:

    “I, and I’m sure the vast majority of the British public, would very much appreciate an explanation as to why Richard Littlejohn still has a job after using your paper as a platform to bully a transgender woman into committing suicide.

    While Mr. Littlejohn is entitled to his opinions, you are in no way obligated to provide a public platform from which he can spread his hate and allowing him to use your newspaper for just that purpose indicates tacit endorsement of his position. I am obviously concerned that a national newspaper would endorse any opinions as disgusting and out of touch as those displayed by Mr. Littlejohn, let alone continue to support him after he has caused demonstrable harm to another human being.”

  44. feedmybrain says

    He truly is awful and to make it worse he doesn’t really believe a lot if it. Or at least not the extent that it appears from his writing.

  45. Sassafras says

    And now Zinnia’s comments page is full of Littlejohn’s supporters, crying about free speech and making fun of Miss Meadows for committing suicide. Wonderful.

  46. anchor says

    Caine, Fleur du mal, #1:

    “There are times I deeply loathe people. This is one of those times.”

    same here

    it alarms me even more that those times are chugging along on the increase

  47. gromz says

    As deeply loathesome as Littlejohn is, what we really have worry about is his constituency – the Daily Mail readership – and their willing acceptance of his vile concoction of half-truths, prejudice and wearisome despising of fellow human beings. My own parents number among this readership, and this fact has been the cause of many a domestic conflagration; yet, they are relatively normal people who I can vouch have never done anyone an ill deed in their lives. True, they are in their ninth decade and their world-view is docked somewhere in the mid 1950s. They are, I imagine, absolutely typical Mail readers; white, aspirant working class with dated post Victorian values. As such I suppose this part of the Mail demographic will naturally disappear. It appears to me much of the consensus among Mail readers is simply due to uncritical acceptance of the twisted misinformation peddled by their hacks. Plus, it seems they derive some sort of comfort in believing that the world is going to hell in a handcart. A resolute refusal to see any good in any one or any-thing/service/system. The NHS is one of their favourite targets.
    The Mail of course recognise this vast fertile conservative-with-a-small (and large) C market and simply pander to it, churning out reactionary guff by the boatload, in amongst alternately toadying to and lambasting the greater and lesser Royals. It is at once a sickening and entrancing spectacle – which is why “people like us” are discussing rather than dismissing it.
    The particular case of Lucy Meadows is a disgraceful example of cheap-shot bullying by an invulnerable media personality which apparently has led to a real tragedy. However, the wider message of the Daily Mail – that a large percentage of our fellow human beings are scrounging, devious, lazy probably-foreigners who are supported by a loony leftist welfare conspiracy is an utterly pernicious lie which is shameful and infuriating to behold in a 21st century democracy.

  48. David Marjanović says

    My experience of writing to the DM about their scum-baggery is that they just lap it up: I wonder if they see it’s like a badge of honour for them to be called out on this stuff.

    Are you saying we shouldn’t feed the trolls? :-)