on Quentin Letts’s campaign to get the Lyric’s funding withdrawn went a
bit viral in early December. The link got retweeted on Twitter
something approaching 1300 times and was shared a few hundred times on
Facebook. I was in touch with a couple of newspapers during the day and
was due to debate the role of the critic with Quentin Letts on the Today
programme on BBC Radio 4, but he pulled out.
It was an interesting - and occasionally
unsettling -experience, having a piece go viral. I really had not
intended to make that kind of splash before writing it. I thought the
piece would sneak into the public domain via the blog, be read by a
handful of people, and then disappear. But the extent of the rage was
remarkable. To me, even more remarkable was that I saw not one single
comment anywhere in defence of Quentin Letts. Seriously, not a single
one. When something goes viral on Twitter, after a few hundred mentions
you always start getting aggressive responses, insults, sneering, but
this time nothing but shock and anger at Letts’s campaign.
I don’t suppose it will do much to
change his position. As I say in the article, he’s a troll, not a
critic, and his position is to stir up liberal outrage and send traffic
to the Mail. At least I don’t think I did that, since I don’t link to the Mail anywhere in the article. But he’s just doing his job.
There were a few articles written that touch on the miniature storm.