A new organisation has sprung up over the last few days calling itself the “Fair Vote Project”, committed to “publishing whistleblower evidence connected to possible cheating in the referendum”. It seems to exist solely to provide angry quotes at the bottom of Remainer newspaper articles claiming the referendum result is invalid. Given the “Fair Vote Project” is only interested in talking about alleged Leave overspending – not the overwhelming evidence of much greater Remain overspending – it will come as absolutely no surprise that it is run by Kyle Taylor, who used to work for ultra-Remain spin shop Best for Britain. And who is putting up the money for the Fair Vote Project? Only Byline Festival, run by Peter Jukes, the tin-foil hatted Twitter conspiracy theorist who makes Carole Cadwalladr look sensible. This is the level of conspiratorial nonsense ultra-Remainers are pushing…
Guido is sad to report that Peter Jukes and his Byline Media outfit have finally gone off the deep end. To the concern of their Twitter followers, over the last few days Jukes and Byline have been pushing increasingly deranged conspiracy theories that would make David Icke think twice. First, Jukes and his Byline colleague J.J Patrick suggested the Momentum agitators at the Rees-Mogg event were actually right-wing imposters, that the fracas was staged and that the Mogg was in on it. Just read this… it is worryingly delusional.
Jukes then doubled down on the conspiracy theory, implying that Steve Bannon taught Rees-Mogg about “creating events to trigger culture wars”.
This morning Jukes’ delusions have taken another turn for the worse. He is now suggesting on Twitter that the death threat sent to Zac Goldsmith’s 80 year-old constituent was faked, and that the death threat, the Rees-Mogg event and the new Tory campaign against intimidation have been “orchestrated” at the behest of Steve Bannon:
Try not to laugh too hard. The Leveson-compliant press regulator Impress has made its first adjudication, ruling against Byline Media, one of its most vocal defenders. Byline, the conspiracy theory site with tinfoil mad-hatter Peter Jukes as CEO, was found guilty of defaming tabloid journalist Dennis Rice and ordered to pay him £2,500 in damages.The irony is just too delicious. Byline signed up to Impress as part of its campaign against the tabloid press. Now Impress has ruled against them and forced them to write a £2,500 cheque to one of their main critics.
“Dennis Rice, the claimant, contacted IMPRESS to make a request for arbitration to settle a legal claim of defamation, harassment and malicious falsehood, arising from two tweets sent out from the Byline Media Twitter account on 6th March 2017. On 7th April, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators appointed Clive Thorne as independent arbitrator for the case. In the award, Mr Thorne upheld the claim in part. He found one of the two tweets to be defamatory and ordered that damages of £2,500 be awarded to Mr Rice.”
Byline – which campaigns for higher media standards – has been officially found to publish fake news…
Byline Media, the website run by anti-free press obsessive Peter Jukes, is organising a festival on journalism in the “post truth era”… with The Canary. Over three days in June Byline will be hosting a line-up of press-hating speakers including John Cleese and Hugh Grant in a tent in Sussex, which they are genuinely billing as a “Woodstock for the Facebook generation”. The festival promises to “fight back against fakenews” found in the mainstream media. Who best to lead the charge? Byline will be welcoming in Kerry Anne Mendoza, editor-in-chief of the infamous fake news site The Canary, which was behind the Portland coup conspiracy theory. Tells you all you need to know about the credibility of Byline and Jukes…
Peter Jukes, the tin foil hatter behind conspiracy site Byline, has had a complaint to the press regulator about the Sunday Telegraph rejected. Jukes claimed Andrew Gilligan’s article exposing the murky truth about Byline was riddled with inaccuracies. His complaint to IPSO insisted it was wrong for the Telegraph to say he was Byline’s “manager”, wrong to say the site was funded by billionaires, wrong to say it had pushed the Westminster paedo ring conspiracy, wrong to say Jukes had been paid by Hacked Off, and wrong to say Byline worked with Hacked Off to promote the Whittingdale hooker story. Humiliatingly, IPSO rejected all of these complaints by Jukes. They ruled:
Calling Jukes Byline’s manager was not a breach of the editor’s code
It was “not misleading” to say the site had been funded by billionaires
“Not misleading” to say Byline had “promoted and defended” the paedo ring conspiracy, it had in fact published several articles supporting the theory
“Not inaccurate” to report Jukes had been paid by Hacked Off, he admitted he had received money from them
“Not misleading” to say Hacked Off and Byline worked to promote the Whitto story
In other words, IPSO say Jukes’ complaint was itself inaccurate and misleading. Embarrassing.
Peter Jukes, the man behind conspiracy site Byline, has claimed the Telegraph are secretly plotting to undermine him. Last night, an emotional Jukes alleged the Telegraph and LinkedIn are using “bots” in a “campaign” to target his contacts:
That would be a pretty extraordinary way for a newspaper to behave. Jukes nonetheless is convinced he is the victim of a conspiracy:
Indeed he believes “dark arts” are at play:
Could he be correct? Alas, as Phil Hendren explains, the LinkedIn emails are simply an algorithm used by the social media network:
“When our algorithm identifies a news story that mentions you, you’ll receive a You Made the News email. This email includes the news stories about you that are shared with your LinkedIn connections and followers, should your privacy settings allow such sharing.”
So no Telegraph conspiracy, just a LinkedIn algorithm that Jukes himself permitted in his privacy settings…
Tin foil hat wearing Jukes responded by making another allegation, that Hendren is an agent of Andy Coulson. Unfortunately, that theory also turned out to be false. Hendren has never met Coulson.
Remember, this is the man claiming the existence of a vast media conspiracy to cover up Whittingdale’s private life…
Over a period of six months, Media Guardian campaigned to stitch up the Sunday Mirror, consistently falling short of the journalistic standards it sets for others. In an extraordinary series of factually incorrect articles, Roy Greenslade alleged that “at least seven other Tory MPs were also offered similar lures” in “a giant trawl“. It is completely untrue to suggest that we “offered similar lures” to a “giant” number of MPs. If we had only tweeted at Brooks Newmark he would have seen the sting coming a mile off. The account followed and tweeted at many MPs, male and female, as well as celebrities and news organisations. Prior to the investigation we had a specific tip-off about Newmark. We only ever had a private conversation with one MP – Newmark – and it was instigated by him.
Media Guardianclaimed on multiple occasions that “Wickham approached the Mail on Sunday’s political editor, Simon Walters”, and that “the MoS was concerned about the methodology employed to obtain the story, believing that it amounted to entrapment and also involved a fishing expedition”. We can now reveal this to be 100% untrue. Alex Wickham never spoke to anyone from the MoS about the story. A very brief conversation was had between Paul Staines and the MoS, where the detail was not discussed and it was agreed that the story would not work for the mid-market paper on the grounds of taste – Lady Rothermere’s taste. Despite the innuendo and factually incorrect reporting of Media Guardian, at no point was the methodology ever considered by the MoS as the prime stumbling block to running the story. Whatever may have been subsequently briefed.
Greenslade then wrote in the Standard that “the net had been spread wide in the hope of a juicy catch”, concluding “It is impossible to disentangle the public interest from the methodology. Given that we have a code of practice, we cannot argue that the end justifies the means”. Again, we had a specific tip-off about Newmark, and IPSO has found that the methods employed did not breach the code of practice.
Much of Media Guardian’s error-strewn reporting can be explained by their reliance on unfounded innuendos made by less popular parts of the Twitterphere. Peter Jukes claimed “there are many abuses being perpetrated here“, accusing us of “fishing others”, and again suggesting that two other newspapers “knocked back the subterfuge”. Our position has now been vindicated by IPSO.
A Buzzfeed report named a number of MPs with whom our account had interacted, implying they were targeted: “If you’re a middle-aged Conservative MP and a young attractive researcher starts taking an interest in you on Twitter, then be careful”. These MPs were not targeted, Buzzfeed’s irresponsible report was factually incorrect and responsible for much of the bad reporting that followed.
Finally those doyens of press accuracy at Hacked Off also made a series of untrue allegations about the story. They suggested there was no “prima facie evidence that any of the six MPs approached were engaging in inappropriate conduct on the internet”. This is clearly incorrect and the IPSO ruling has found that to be the case. They concluded: “There appears to have been nothing to justify the use of subterfuge by the freelance reporter”. This was always disputed by us and the Sunday Mirror, because we were in possession of the facts and we have now been vindicated by IPSO.
Press regulator IPSO has slammed claims made by Peter Jukes, Twitter’s self-appointed upholder of press accuracy, finding they breached Clause 1 of the Code of Practice: Accuracy. An extract from his book “Beyond Contempt” published in the Press Gazette alleged that in June 2014, journalist Dennis Rice had “threatened to investigate” Jukes over a donation from Hacked Off. Jukes claimed Rice tweeted: “I’m now going to blog about [Jukes] & his family”. In fact, Rice’s tweet had been sent on 31 January 2014, six months earlier, in response to comments posted by Jukes which had referred to the Rice’s family. As today’s IPSO statement says: “The article therefore contained the misleading impression that the complainant had mounted an unprovoked attack on the journalist and his family.”
IPSO’s findings are highly critical:
additional steps should have been taken to ensure the accuracy of the claim
the journalist [Jukes] was relying on second-hand information from a highly flexible medium in which misunderstandings can occur
the complainant should have been contacted to check the claims, or other steps should have been taken to verify the nature and timing of the tweet
The failure to do so breached Clause 1 (i) [The press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information]
Press Gazette has now apologised for publishing the Jukes extract. Rice tells MediaGuido in a statement:
“This is a judgement which underlines the importance of journalists checking facts – even ones who are sponsored by Hacked Off. Peter Jukes deserves credit for his crowd funding initiative, but no credit for his inability to check the date of a simple tweet.”
“the letter from IPSO I have says it specifically doesn’t refer to my journalism by PG editorial process [sic]”
Perhaps it is worth re-reading this tweet of his from last June:
I admire Fleet St journalists for holding power to account: but not so much today on their own accuracy, or accountability
Emily Thornberry tells Labour activists some home truths…
“…we must all acknowledge, that there are sickening individuals on the fringes of our movement, who use our legitimate support for Palestine as a cloak and a cover for their despicable hatred of Jewish people, and their desire to see Israel destroyed.”