James Harding’s resignation as editor of the Times has ruffled feathers in the British media world, and, given his position as a leading light in efforts to establish a new press regulator in the spirit of Leveson but without state interference, journalists are doubly concerned. As well as regulation we are worried about jobs, with the prospect of large numbers of redundancies following a merger between the Times and Sunday Times.
Within the Wapping home of Rupert Murdoch’s UK press titles there is wailing and gnashing of teeth, for Harding was a popular editor who enjoyed the support of his staff, and did a pretty good job of maintaining standards in the face of the usual management interference. Still, Harding was just a newspaper editor, and not everyone sees his ousting as worthy of great fanfare.
The angst among Times staff has taken various forms, including the following eloquent tribute from columnist, restaurant critic and Bad Sex Award-winning novelist Giles Coren…
“I am gutted about @hardingthehack, the best editor I have ever worked for. The Times has fucked itself in the arse. Merry fucking Christmas.”
From the anally-obsessed Giles’ reaction to Harding’s departure it is evident that sister Victoria inherited all the Coren family’s intelligence genes as well as its beauty. Giles is like a middle-class Danny Dyer. One wonders what newly hitched David Mitchell thinks of his in-law. Daddy Coren will be spinning in his grave.
Merry fucking Christmas to you too, Master Coren.