Allow me to repeat myself yet again. Deja Vu all over again. The name is Emwazi, not Jihadi John. In the wake of last night’s terrible atrocity in Paris, it is time for the media to get real and get responsible. This is not a comedy show or a pop group.
As we know, the Sun in its first edition and the Star in all its editions led with the oh so cliched and contrived “Jihad it coming” headline about the reported death of Mohammed Emwazi. It’s all a big laugh for them. You can just see the sub-editors, sitting round trying to come up with the jokiest headline possible. “I’ve got a good one here. Jihad it coming!” Collapse of newsroom into mild hysteria. “That’s genius, that is. Hold the front page and tell Kelvin McKenzie. He’ll love that one.
It’s not just the Sun, is it, though? I watched BBC and Sky this morning, and it was all Jihadi John this and Jihadi John that. You know: “The terrorist known as Jihadi John.” Well, no he isn’t, actually. This is only what the media is saying. Talk to friends and family; no one calls him that. Ordinary people use far more industrial language towards Mohammed Emwazi.
You might think that this is a little OTT on my part, an unnecessary obsession, and you’d probably be right.But there you are. It just bugs me. I have seen the photos of David Haines, Alan Henning and others and I see no reason to confer on this low life an affectionate kind of nickname. I do not care if the nickname originated by some of those taken hostage in Syria, regarding the British ISIS terrorists as being some kind of Beatles tribute act. And John Lennon, as we have noted on numerous occasions, was a man of peace. It is an insult to the memory of the man who wrote Imagine, Give Peace A Chance and Happy Christmas (War is Over) to even put his name in the same sentence of a sick, barbaric murderer like Mohammed Emwazi.
The nickname is lazy, slovenly journalism. You might expect it from the red tops, but from reputable broadcasters, broadsheet newspapers and even once great newspapers like the Times?
The prime minister delivered the right note in his statement today. I praise him unreservedly for capturing the national mood. We stand four square behind the French people, we offer them whatever support we can. And we do not demean a critical set of circumstances by making a joke about it.
Dead or alive, there is nothing remotely funny about Mohammed Emeazi, never was, never will be. Stop this stupid Jihadi John nonsense. Now.