If there is any subject guaranteed to get Richard Freeman's goat it is foxhunting. Last week whilst Richard was here indulging in pre-weirdweekendery the news broke that a gang of `urban foxhunters` had posted a video of themselves beating a fox to death in a park in Hackney onto YouTube. The result from Richard and indeed the media in general was predictably horrified. I began to smell a rat when a spokesman from the group said that the fox had been dosed up with a sedative called Xanax so that it did not suffer. Not only was that a ridiculous thing to say, but Xanax - a benzodiazepine - is not available through the NHS and, although a well known drug in the US, is hardly heard of here.
Well, it all turned out to be a massively succesful hoax, which, according to the director: "We wanted to create something that would be so ridiculous that in any other area it would be immediately dismissed as a spoof, but that news outlets desperate to continue the media narrative against foxes would leap on without any thought as to its authenticity."