Charlie Brooker, TV scheduler of choice, writes a rather near-to-the-bone TV review in The Guardian’s A5, throwaway listings mag, The Guide. It’s astonishingly insulting and very funny. Only this week’s column’s musings on George Bush – “John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr – where are you now that we need you” – gets him picked up on the bleeding Drudge Report as The Guardian advocating assassinating the President. Rightwingers start discussing exactly what they should do about Mr Brooker. I’m guessing his email inbox is going to keep him in fresh new insults for months.
Of course, The Guardian is well aware that it has a substantial American readership via the internet. It brags about it often enough. Its Operation Clark County articles were much noted and the coverage in the paper entirely predictable (it’s fairly obvious that they always wanted the idiot email responses: it helps fill up the paper printing them). The Manchester Guardian left its provincial moorings behind in the wake of the Suez Crisis to become metropolitan. Now another criminally stupid foreign adventure – one actually far worse than Suez – is turning the paper cosmopolitan.