Worst Journalist of 2008

Goes to Max Hastings of the Daily Mail.

What the sacking of Posh Ed tells us about the BBC’s hang-ups over class

Now it’s a pretty shoddy piece of journalism all round, but my attention was particularly drawn to the following paragraph:

In the case of Stourton, BBC gossip suggests that he has been dismissed from his role as a presenter at the Today programme because he sounds too ‘toffish’. I have no idea whether this is true. But it is very believable.

This is astonishing for a journalist to admit. He has no idea at all about the premise his whole article is based on? He made no effort whatsoever to investigate it? Hastings is a former editor of the Daily Telegraph and Evening Standard, so it isn’t as if he doesn’t have any contacts at all he could try to speak to. I just think it is stunning for a journalist to admit he hasn’t done any work, and that he’s making massive assumptions for the sake of his snotty little article. At least most other columnists pretend they made an effort.