| Richard Littlejohn |
18 January 1954|
Ilford, Essex, UK
|Spouse||Wendy A. Bosworth|
Richard William Littlejohn is a right-wing pro-Israel political columnist at the Daily Mail; previously he was a columnist for The Sun and London's Evening Standard; he is also a contributor to the The Spectator and Punch. On occasion he has produced documentaries and has written a novel. In early 1998, Littlejohn became the UK's best-paid columnist when he returned to The Sun to write a bi-weekly column as part of a £800,000-a-year deal (which also saw him present a regular Sky One TV programme, Littlejohn: Live And Unleashed, where he emulated Rush Limbaugh's type of program; it was eventually cancelled due to poor ratings).
Documentary attacking Muslims
On 9 July 2007, Channel 4 (UK) aired "The War on Britain's Jews?" directed by Littlejohn and produced by Anna Ewart-James. Tony Greenstein summarizes the thrust of the documentary:
- Firstly Channel 4 deserve to be heavily criticised for this programme. At least the BBC does bias subtly; with Littlejohn it's laid on in spades. The bias throughout the programme was unremitting and at times tedious. And that is why Littlejohn's programme will only fool the gullible.
The message was quite simple. Anti-semitism is on the increase and it's mainly the fault of these nasty Muslims and those dupes on the left who oppose Israel. Hizbullah are apparently one of the most anti-semitic groups in the world. (Actually it's their opponents, the Christian Phalange, who were responsible for attacks on Beirut's Jewish community, not Muslim groups, and it was the Palestinian guerrilla group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine who defended the Lebanese Jewish community in the civil war.)
If Channel 4 was seriously concerned about anti-semitism then the last person to present it would have been Richard Littlejohn. This is the same person who said of the Rwandan genocide: "Does anyone really give a monkey's about what happens in Rwanda? If the Mbongo tribe wants to wipe out the Mbingo tribe then as far as I am concerned that is entirely a matter for them" - which is a direct take from the late Alan Clark's infamous remark about "bongo bongo land".
. . .
What made Littlejohn's concern about anti-semitism so grating is that he has never hesitated to demonise asylum seekers as benefit scroungers, malingerers and fakers, using some of the crudest racial stereotypes. He is someone who delights in pillorying different minorities, and he looked startled when I held up a copy of the Daily Mail from August 20, 1938, which proclaimed that "The way stateless Jews from Germany are pouring in from every port of this country is becoming an outrage: the number of aliens entering the country through back door - a problem to which the Daily Mail has repeatedly pointed"
After one article, Littlejohn was reported in the police by the Arab Media Watch's Angharad Yeo. In the article in question, a response to news of high civilian casualties in Israel's assault on Lebanon, Littlejohn wrote:
- "Islamonazis are sophisticated propagandists and they know they'll find a gullible audience in the civilised world for their carefully-strewn teddy bears, strategically-placed 'Baby Milk Factory' signs (in English) and wailing widows from central casting.
- Have you ever noticed how every time a coalition air strike goes astray in Iraq, it always manages to hit a 'wedding party'?
- Why is there only ever one child's shoe in the rubble, never a pair? There always seems to be a broken medicine box, too, with a handy red cross - never a red crescent, mind you - on the lid, just in case we haven't got the message.
- I use a rough rule of thumb whenever I watch television coverage of the Middle East. Anyone who pronounces Hezbollah as 'Hiz-bull-arrrgh' and Israeli as 'Izza-ra-ay-lee' is almost certainly telling lies.
On another occasion, Littlejohn's wrote the followng about Muslims:
- ...here is a simple cut-out-and-keep guide to the two dominant branches of Islam: Sunnis are the peace-loving, Saudi-backed wing who brought you Al Qaeda. Shias are the peace-loving, Iranian-backed strain behind Hamas and Hezbollah. I hope that helps.
Andrew Billen, Last Night's TV, The Times, 10 July 2007.
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