Morning call: the pick of the papers

The ten must-read pieces from this morning's papers.

1. Out of the 'zone', but still in the soup (Independent on Sunday)

The problems of the euro could sink even those who wanted nothing to do with it, such as the Conservative Party, writes John Rentoul.

2. The banks will be forced to STOP gambling with your money... and they can meet the costs (Mail on Sunday)

Vince Cable pens an-oped.

3. Different century, same old friendship (Independent on Sunday)

In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks a new generation felt the emotional attachment between the UK and US, writes Louis B Susman, the US ambassador to the UK.

4. The fate of the Government is in George Osborne's hands (Sunday Telegraph)

In his Autumn Statement, the Chancellor must face down the Lib Dems, and set out a strategy to rescue us from economic ruin, argues Tim Montgomerie.

5. A simple truth to kill the big lie about 9/11 (Sunday Times) (£)

The lesson from September 11, 2001, is never ignore the obvious -- there is simply no need to introduce complexities to understand it, writes Christopher Hitchens.

6. The American dream, and the missing years (Independent on Sunday)

The terror attacks of 2001 ushered in a decade of wars that shattered Iraq and Afghanistan, leaving the world's only superpower robbed of its confidence and stripped of its illusions, writes Rupert Cornwell.

7. Stroppy Tories seem to have forgotten they didn't actually win (Observer)

Nick Clegg is delighted when Conservatives complain that he's stopping them from being more rightwing, writes Andrew Rawnsley.

8. While Galliano's outburst is publicly condemned, 'hate speech' becomes an online norm (Sunday Telegraph)

In our curiously fractured society, moving from offline to online discourse is like ricocheting from Switzerland to the Wild West, says Jenny McCartney.

9. And the award for the most pointless award goes to... GQ for naming George Osborne as the Politician of the Year! (Mail on Sunday)

Suzanne Moore is unimpressed with George Osborne's performance at the ceremony.

10. And Hate Begat Hate (New York Times)

The wave of anti-Americanism is rising in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, even among many who once admired the United States, writes Ahmed Rashid.

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The economics of outrage: Why you haven't seen the end of Katie Hopkins

Her distasteful tweet may have cost her a job at LBC, but this isn't the last we've seen of Britain's biggest troll. 

Another atrocity, other surge of grief and fear, and there like clockwork was the UK’s biggest troll. Hours after the explosion at the Manchester Arena that killed 22 mostly young and female concert goers, Katie Hopkins weighed in with a very on-brand tweet calling for a “final solution” to the complex issue of terrorism.

She quickly deleted it, replacing the offending phrase with the words “true solution”, but did not tone down the essentially fascist message. Few thought it had been an innocent mistake on the part of someone unaware of the historical connotations of those two words.  And no matter how many urged their fellow web users not to give Hopkins the attention she craved, it still sparked angry tweets, condemnatory news articles and even reports to the police.

Hopkins has lost her presenting job at LBC radio, but she is yet to lose her column at Mail Online, and it’s quite likely she won’t.

Mail Online and its print counterpart The Daily Mail have regularly shown they are prepared to go down the deliberately divisive path Hopkins was signposting. But even if the site's managing editor Martin Clarke was secretly a liberal sandal-wearer, there are also very good economic reasons for Mail Online to stick with her. The extreme and outrageous is great at gaining attention, and attention is what makes money for Mail Online.

It is ironic that Hopkins’s career was initially helped by TV’s attempts to provide balance. Producers could rely on her to provide a counterweight to even the most committed and rational bleeding-heart liberal.

As Patrick Smith, a former media specialist who is currently a senior reporter at BuzzFeed News points out: “It’s very difficult for producers who are legally bound to be balanced, they will sometimes literally have lawyers in the room.”

“That in a way is why some people who are skirting very close or beyond the bounds of taste and decency get on air.”

But while TV may have made Hopkins, it is online where her extreme views perform best.  As digital publishers have learned, the best way to get the shares, clicks and page views that make them money is to provoke an emotional response. And there are few things as good at provoking an emotional response as extreme and outrageous political views.

And in many ways it doesn’t matter whether that response is negative or positive. Those who complain about what Hopkins says are also the ones who draw attention to it – many will read what she writes in order to know exactly why they should hate her.

Of course using outrageous views as a sales tactic is not confined to the web – The Daily Mail prints columns by Sarah Vine for a reason - but the risks of pushing the boundaries of taste and decency are greater in a linear, analogue world. Cancelling a newspaper subscription or changing radio station is a simpler and often longer-lasting act than pledging to never click on a tempting link on Twitter or Facebook. LBC may have had far more to lose from sticking with Hopkins than Mail Online does, and much less to gain. Someone prepared to say what Hopkins says will not be out of work for long. 

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