“I don’t mind Julie Burchill being on Desert Island Discs, as long as I can choose the island”

So last month Julie Burchill got to write a hate filled column about trans people in The Guardian; this morning she got to have a nice old chinwag with Kirsty Young on Desert Island Discs. Seems wrong somewhat, doesn’t it? The BBC wouldn’t let a Nick Griffin on the programme, so why give somebody who is clearly bigoted against trans people a pass?

To be fair, Burchill isn’t that similar to Nick Griffin, a better comparison would be Christopher Hitchens: a self identified leftist who always was a bit of a bully and who made a sharp rightwing turn once being leftist fell out of fashion. Like him, she’s has always moved in media circles –“queen of the Groucho Club” and such nonsense– and I have the suspicion that this cuts her a lot of slack outsiders, like Griffin, don’t get. It’s annoying as fuck to see those smallminded fools get media attention because of who they know and took coke with twenty years ago when so many much more interesting people are ignored.



  • TACJ

    February 11, 2013 at 8:07 am

    I also noted that a lot of high-level media types on twitter (e.g. Caitlin Moran, David Aaronovitch) were praising her performance, or describing it as “good radio.”

    I think there is a tendency amongst journalists to judge a package at least as much on how its presented as on what it contains. Hence Griffin is out (ugly weirdo), but Julie is in (‘unpredictable’ and ‘value for money’).

    This tendency becomes outright pathological when it’s applied to politics, hence Tony Blair, Boris Johnson, inter alia, who are lauded by the media class for their performances, rather than decried for their monstrosity.

  • Connie Legge

    February 17, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Julie Birchill’s performance could have had her sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Quite unbelievable.

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