Diary: Murdoch's laureate of lunacy goes too far

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The Independent Online

Will this vile persecution of Andy Coulson never cease? What days these have been for any PhD student researching the thesis entitled "Conspiracy Theory and the Murdoch Empire: Seeking a Common Thread". We'll come to Sky Box Office at the end, but first to Glenn Beck, Fox's lachrymose laureate of lunacy, who last week launched the most overtly anti-semitic attack any mainstream media in any western democracy has known in decades against George Soros, a hate figure to the far right for championing progressive causes.

On the one hand, Beck dug into the storehouse of Nazi propaganda to describe him as a "puppet-master", "the creator of a shadow government", and so on. With more originality, he also labelled the Holocaust survivor a Nazi collaborator because his father sent him, as a 14-year-old in Hungary, to live with a non-Jewish friend who passed him off as his gentile godson. Whether Beck's refusal to take an equally trenchant line on the Hitler Youth Pope is connected to Rupert Murdoch's papal knighthood, who can say?

But if Rupert sanctions this grotesquerie by continuing to employ Glenn Beck, it won't just focus British thinking on how allowing him to buy a 100 per cent stake in Sky will hasten the Foxification of Sky News. It will beg grave questions about Rupert's status as the global media's most remarkable man of God.

* As for Melanie Phillips, she faces a conundrum. Although she obviously loathes Mr Soros and admires Beck, who is quite a fan of hers, it will count as an irony should the latter's reworking of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion fail to activate her anti-semitism early warning system (the klaxon that goes off in Mad Mel's head whenever a Danepak lorry strays within 2 miles of Stamford Hill). All will become clear on her blog, where she has now taken to using imaginary discussions between badly animated Liberals and Conservatives to prove how astoundingly right she is about absolutely everything.

* Is there any more self-sacrificial public servant than Lembit Opik? "Perhaps more than any other reality programme," wrote the asteroid-bothering London mayoral wannabe before entering I'm A Celebrity... last night, "it does tend to reveal character". But enough with the bad news. "I'm hoping this will be of use as we try to ensure that the Liberal Democrats aren't forgotten in the mayoral campaign." Oh yes. Worked a treat for Brian Paddick, that one.

* Great to see David Miliband underlining his love for Ed by not only writing a letter of support to the repugnant Phil Woolas, but leaking that he had done so. The Milibands become 100-30 second favourites for our own reality show Nuclear Families: Britain's Most Toxic Clans. The Ramsays – Gordon, Tana, Chris and Greta – are quoted at a prohibitive 1-5.

* Apologies for this, but an appreciation of Field Marshall the Lord (David) Aaronovitch's Times column in praise of George W Bush's adaptability and judgement is delayed. Bletchley Park has returned it with a stern note and an invoice for the repair of the Engima machine, which gave up the ghost as the fourth paragraph was being typed in, and exploded.

* Thanks to bitterwallet.com for highlighting the Bromley News Shopper report about opposition to plans for a new nursery on paedophile grounds. And the evidence? "Shariff and Hussaina Syed fear paedophiles could move into the flats overlooking the property to be close to the children. Mrs Syed, 61, said ... 'It is a possibility. It could happen'." And Lembit Opik could be King of the Jungle.

* Finally, to the afermath of that heavyweight title bout pastiche in which David Haye said he delayed knocking out Audrey "Fraudley" Harrison, because friends and family had bet heavily on a third-round stoppage. This sort of admission is generally saved for plush hotel rooms featuring hidden cameras and the Fake Sheikh, yet no one on Sky saw fit to explore it. So the Murdoch rule of thumb regarding conspiracy appears to be this. The more outlandishly vindictive the conspiracy theory, the more air time it deserves. When it is a conspiracy fact, as officially confirmed by the conspirer, not a dickie bird. What a mystical kingdom it is.