Richard Littlejohn is probably the UK's best paid newspaper columnist. So perhaps it is fair enough to suggest he makes a few calls to ensure he gets his facts right.
Axegrinder always thought it a basic courtesy if you are writing a substantial story about someone, especially one in which you are subjecting them to heavy criticism, that you put a call into them first.
His monstering of the author of the A Girl Called Jack blog, and her effective rebuttal speak for themselves – 'just in case you wanted to attempt to polish that turd of an article with something that resembles the truth', as she puts it. And is surely one of the great joys of the internet age that it puts a millionaire journalist and poverty blogger on something like a level playing field (Monroe's response for The Guardian actually has four times as many comments as Littlejohn's original).
In short, Littlejohn makes a few assumptions in his piece headlined 'These poverty poster girls of Welfare Britain want the gravy too… without having to pay for it' – and as all journalists know assumptions are the mother of all mistakes (to put it politely).
Columnists are paid to be spikey and opinionated. But even from his pad in Florida it would have been easy to get in touch with Jack Monroe in advance of publication to make for a rather more informed piece.
Email email@example.com to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog