As awful as Hopkins is, the UK media are at least equally to blame (I’d argue they more to blame than Hopkins herself) for all her hateful nonsense. I don’t just mean outlets like The Sun. If anything, the more liberal outlets are even more complicit.
Hopkins has set herself up as a professional troll: professional with a capital P. According to an article I now can’t find, she has a team of people scouring news stories and (it’s presumed) coming up with the objectionable responses they can think of, which are then announced by Hopkins. Media outlets call her office for a rent-a-bigot quote. I wouldn’t be surprised if they called several times a day, regardless of whether they’re working on an article then building an article about whatever fresh horrible opinion she has on something.
One article about her is by a reporter who followed her about for a day. She was due to appear on the wishy-washy mid-morning show This Morning to say blithering things about some issue of the day. She and her staff met with the producers and presenters (and presumably lawyers) of that show and they discussed what she’d be saying. The presenters then feigned outrage on screen at what they’d earlier agreed she would say.
This is the very archetype of manufactured outrage. Her statements are cheap and guaranteed to sell so Hopkins caters to lazy journalists. They get to say awful things that they know will hurt people and blame someone else. It’s a great deal for them.
I don’t know (or much care) whether Hopkins really holds the views she announces. It doesn’t make her any less horrible if she doesn’t. But the press ought to be even more ashamed than she.