Almost every time Guido writes about James Macintyre an email arrives in the inbox complaining about everything from mis-spelling his name to not giving the whole truth. Once he complained bitterly that some nuance was wrong (that he hadn’t formally applied for a job with Ed Miliband, but had been considered for a SpAd job with Miliband and was furious when he discovered that his close buddy Derek Draper told Ed not to hire him – if you are really interested).
The tone is often: “Are you going to correct that o’ fearless truth seeker? Or just bathe in inaccuracy as ever? Which one?”
Macintyre’s journalism, such as it is, and Guido is in a position to verify this with documentary evidence, often amounts to little more than emailing a Labour spin doctor, and asking them have they “got any dirt”. He was not so long ago sniffing (pardon the pun) around for cocaine-related dirt on Cameron. Fair enough, Guido is in no position to criticise Macintyre for muck-racking. This was the manner in which he got his famous “Obama thinks Cameron is a lightweight” line. It was fed to him.
Macintyre has been pushing the Labour spin line that Michael Kaminski, the Tory ally in the European parliament, is some kind of anti-semitic, far-right extremist. Some have been urging Kaminski to sue the New Statesman, Kaminski tells Iain Dale in this month’s Total Politics
What I’m facing here in the UK is not only a very disappointing standard of political debate, but very disappointing standards of journalism. Rabbi Schudrich made a statement about the allegations in this magazine. He sent them a statement and they ignored it. They didn’t print it. Rabbi Schudrich made it very clear that he didn’t want to make any political statements about me, but he wanted to make clear that he has nothing against me and does not regard me as an anti-Semite. Come on. Just recently, I came back from Israel where I was received at the top level of government. I had my statement posted on the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs. The Israeli ambassador to Brussels accepted my invitation to visit our group next week; can you imagine that the Israeli state would receive me if they had any doubts about my attitude towards the Jewish people and the state of Israel?
Now it is clear that either Kaminski or Macintyre are not telling the whole truth, and the Rabbi is the one in a position to settle this outright once and for all. The word is that Rabbi Schudric is going to make a definitive statement.