Magazine article The Spectator

The Age of Katie Hopkins

Magazine article The Spectator

The Age of Katie Hopkins

Article excerpt

More press regulation will give us more idiotic anti-journalists of the Katie Hopkins variety

Katie Hopkins did something dreadful this week, which is not unusual, because she craves such things. She retweeted praise -- also not unusual, for she is narcissistic for a masochist -- from a Twitter account called AntiJuden SS. The page even featured a swastika, should AntiJuden SS not have been clear indication enough. For Hopkins, however, neo-Nazi praise is a dog making love to your ankle. It would repel most people, but for her it still counts. Fake outrage begat fake outrage and Hopkins de-tweeted the retweet, and apologised: 'My New Year's resolution is to show contrition.' To show contrition, not to be contrite; that is quite precise for Hopkins.

I am not sure that this retweet was deliberate, and part of Hopkins's dimly felt -- but never acknowledged -- strategy to win attention of any kind. (Daddy issues surely, but I would not insult her by suggesting there are lines she will not cross. I am too busy marvelling both at her physical resemblance to Dolores Umbridge of the Harry Potter novels -- a fascist in twinset and pearls -- and her suggestion, also made this week, that she loves 'language', a sentiment disembowelled by every sentence she publishes.) No, I think rather that she retweeted the desolate AntiJuden SS because, essentially, she is not a journalist. She is a brand, a neurosis, a paradigm, a gobshite -- call her what you will -- but she is not a journalist. She is a former contestant on The Apprentice . There were three clues to the agenda of AntiJuden SS but the anti-journalist Hopkins -- an obscurer, not a teller, of truth -- missed them all. She gave neo-Nazism a national platform and, worse, she did it by mistake.

The truth is, rather, that Hopkins will soon cease to be an oddity in British journalism; we can expect to see her impersonators multiply, and the national conversation will regress to mere screaming. There have been women talking rubbish in print for many years but they have, until recently, been a minority, published most often because an editor found them physically exciting, or they sanctified his oblivious misogyny. Now, common narcissism and identity politics (my opinion is as important, and therefore as valuable, as yours), celebrity culture -- the comedian, the actor, the TV presenter columnist -- and the desperate quest to monetise the web throws journalism open to the idiot class; and idiocy begets idiocy. …

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