The other day, I got over 1.5 million hits. “They’ve come from Twitter,” explained the digital editor, “to tell you what a repulsive pustule on the face of journalism you are.”
You’re probably thinking, “What a lovely surprise!” But while it was lovely, it wasn’t a surprise. At least, not for me.
Throughout my online life, I’ve regularly had hordes of readers sent my way by people who think they’re better than me and want their friends and followers to share in the glow of moral superiority that only right-wing rags can shed over liberal-leaning punters.
Once, I got several days of heavy traffic from anti-homophobia campaigners – simply for saying that a young gay man was a pervert who died an unnatural death! Another time, anti-racism campaigners gleefully shared a revolting caricature of a gypsy I’d published – just so they could say how wrong it was!
Every day, people fall helplessly into my sidebar of shame, grimacing with contempt as they eyeball up every scrap of bikini-hoiked cleavage and cellulite-marred thigh. And when I ask what I did to deserve this incredible volume of pageviews, the donors of these gifts always say the same thing: my revolting hypocrisy and sneering misogyny were so disgusting, they just had to drive other people towards me.
Of course, there’s a downside to being this horrendous – the main one being, other papers hate me for no reason other than my tremendous advertising revenues.
You’d think we papers would applaud each other for making money. I work at my profitable status. I tend to my SEO. I cultivate my celebrity content. I never miss any opportunity to shape my columnists into bile-seeking hate bags. Unfortunately, other papers find nothing more annoying than someone else being the richest title on the newsstand!
So now I’m 126 and probably one of the very few media outlets looking forward to becoming even more grotesquely hate-filled in my old age. I just can’t wait for the dog-whistle racism and shameless lady baiting (too bitchy! too frumpy! too vain!) to get truly, incredibly ugly. Because then you just won’t be able to take your eyes off me.