Owen Jones kicked off an almighty row yesterday by writing a column that attempted to argue a host of British journalists and commentators, most of whom had been critical of Trump and Trumpism – to the point of arguing it should be defeated at the ballot box, of being cheerleaders who have suddenly U-turned. Anyone who has read Andrew Neil or Dan Hannan’s prose will know that cheerleaders they were not.
When Andrew Neil called him out on his article things got heated.
Owen Jones is a compulsive liar. He lumps me with so called "cheerleaders" for Trump. Yet he cannot produce a single example of me cheerleading for him. If he had a reverence for facts he would reproduce my regular criticisms of Trump. https://t.co/BzJxKKfAoG— Andrew Neil (@afneil) January 13, 2021
He accuses them of turning on Trump after supporting him. He ignores the fact The Spectator has published a variety of views on Trump (unlike the Guardian). He accuses them of inconsistency. For someone who was all over the place when it came to Jeremy Corbyn, that's hilarious.— Andrew Neil (@afneil) January 13, 2021
Owen Jones tried to wriggle out of it by saying that he didn’t technically accuse Andrew Neil of personally cheerleading for Trump directly, only chairing (not editing) a magazine that had published some pro-Trump articles. Handily he forgets the many anti-Trump articles that the Spectator also publishes.
Other than making a defamatory statement here, Andrew Neil seems to have no basic reading comprehension.— Owen Jones 🌹 (@OwenJones84) January 13, 2021
The article says that the publication *he chairs* did more than any other UK media outlet to promote pro-Trump propaganda, including claims the US election was illegitimate. https://t.co/e3NxEGbLUr pic.twitter.com/nGRs4yEQvP
The article holds you to account for the pro-Trump propaganda churned out by the magazine *you* chair, a magazine which also prints articles defending Greek neo-Nazis and anti-Muslim bigotry.— Owen Jones 🌹 (@OwenJones84) January 13, 2021
There are no lies - and the only person running away from accountability is you. https://t.co/GUxDIaieOo
It was Andrew Neil who had the last laugh…
The Spectator is thriving on three continents as a mainstream centre-right publication which publishes a diversity of views, including from the left. It is growing fast, it’s profitable and it’s investing in further expansion. He hates that. So smear it as far right. Won’t work. https://t.co/LyTPK7pbYm— Andrew Neil (@afneil) January 14, 2021
While Owen’s Guardian video series was recently cut, the Spectator keeps on growing. Guido detects more than a little jealousy in this spat…