Melanie Phillips 'smeared' over Breivik's manifesto
Anders Breivik on his way to court
Journalist and commentator Melanie Phillips has criticised crude smear tactics after she was linked to the man behind the Norway massacre because he had quoted from her in his "manifesto".
Ms Phillips, who writes a column for the Jewish Chronicle, responded to a post on the website Liberal Conspiracy, in which Sunny Hundal highlighted the fact that Anders Breivik had quoted from two separate pieces she had written for the Daily Mail.
Mr Hundal acknowledged that there was no suggestion that his actions, which led to the deaths of more than 90 people, were inspired by the writer.
But on her personal blog Ms Phillips said his post still gave that impression and pointed out that as she was one of many people quoted in Breivik's 1,500 page missive – others included Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Jeremy Clarkson and George Orwell – it was wrong to single her out.
"It looks like yet another crude attempt to smear me," she said, adding that the political left was delighted by "this apparently heaven-sent opportunity to take down those who fight for life, liberty and western civilisation against those who would destroy it".
She said of the manifesto: "If it is indeed the work of a psychopath, it doesn't bear examination for a single minute.
"And yet the words of a deranged individual are being cited by people like Hundal who are taking them entirely seriously. Since when did people ever use the ravings of a madman in public debate?"
She also said that the "distortion" of her place in Breivik's writings had prompted supporters of his actions to write and congratulate her.