Not so much a dog whistle in this Morning Star editorial, and more of a foghorn. Apparently “wealthy and powerfulcircles” are traducing the Palestinian cause and exploiting “the bogus anti-semitism furore” surrounding Jeremy Corbyn. The editorial then goes on to attack the Munich widows. Who could they possibly mean by “wealthy and powerful circles”?
A new #BBCswitchoff hashtag is sweping across the more loopy sections of Twitter, as Corbynistas attempt to organise a mass boycott of the Beeb tonight. Supporters are saying the BBC is ‘infested’ with ‘Zionists’, is a tool of ‘Conservative propaganda’, and that the licence fee should go to Channel 4 instead. Some are even calling on each other to throw their TVs in the bin…
And of course Corbynistas’ favourite impartial TV channel is chiming in on the act:
It seems to Guido that everyone on Twitter could do with being a bit nicer to each other. Take this almighty brouhaha between Owen Jones and Matt Kelly, editor of the Remoaner newspaper The New European. The paper’s front page depicted OJ in tears, imagery Owen denounced as homophobic:
But of course the only one crying on this cover is the gay guy, in no way is the overly emotional / hysterical gay man one of the oldest homophobic tropes in the book https://t.co/amxKQ9fD45
He accused his Remainer critics of Trumpian rhetoric:
Finally, I genuinely don’t give a toss how @TheNewEuropean portray me, fill their boots, about 85 people read that magazine anyway, but it’s important not to let this sort of Trumpian stuff get normalised.
Before editor Kelly called top Corbynista Aaron Bastani a “pr*ck” and accused the New Statesman’s Stephen Bush of “bullsh*t”, and locked his account. Time for this lot to take a couple of weeks off and come back in September relaxed and refreshed…
Guido is instinctively uncomfortable with censorship, even of liars. In the marketplace of ideas, good ideas should best bad ideas in free debate. That is the theory. So the exiling of Alex Jones from Facebook, Apple’s iTunes, YouTube, Vimeo, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Flickr, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn and MailChimp seems to be shutting down open debate. Twitter have now put Alex Jones in a half-way house where he is unable to tweet. That cuts off Alex Jones from most of his audience.
He’s not completely exiled from public discourse, the InfoWars apps are available to download, his website is running. His freedom of speech has not been taken away, Big Tech has just exiled him from their huge social media audiences. They are it seems to Guido making an example of him because he is the highest profile “fake news” outlet associated with Trump. The tech titans are of course completely within their rights to purge InfoWars from their platforms.
Jones says “Mass censorship of conservatives and libertarians is exploding. You’ve already seen this with the demonetization and ultimate purge of Infowars and other alternative media outlets by mega-corporations working in tangent to stifle competition.” He is right in that it really does seem that it is right-of-centre voices that are being purged disproportionately, the left argues that is because the right are disproportionately “haters”. The alt-right does revel in being provocatively confrontational. Milo being kicked off Twitter was an early sign of this reaction.
If the social media platforms are going to start discriminating about what content they will host and distribute they will become like the US TV networks, seen as partisan and thus subject to partisan heckling. The left are hard-wired to “no platform” people, banning voices they don’t like, the right are not so temperamentally inclined. This means there is a continuous lobbying from the left to silence people they don’t like; the ceaseless effort to get advertiser boycotts of the popular press, to get Nigel Farage off LBC, Owen Jones’ shrill screeching about Andrew Neil (nothing to do with his humiliation at Brillo’s hands). Does all this matter much to voters? Only at the margins, those who want Alex Jones will still be able to get Alex Jones. It increases the self-filtering effect on public discourse. As our information sources become ever more filtered we live in our own increasingly polarised social media echo chambers, that is not good for democracy.
Six anti-Boris stories on the BBC Politics homepage this afternoon. Not one mention of Corbyn’s Munich Massacre row, despite it leading on other broadcasters, featuring in every newspaper, and Corbyn recording a piece to camera about it today.
The BBC website isn’t even pretending to be impartial now.
MediaGuido has never quite understood why Sky News, an impartial broadcaster bound by Ofcom rules, allows its political correspondents to opine about how much they don’t like the Tories and Brexit on the “Sky Views” section of its website. Suppose it doesn’t make much difference from their output on telly…
Today, Sky’s Lewis Goodall has written a long attack on Boris. Goodall has decided that Boris “surely knew” what he was doing from the start and that he “intended” the whole row to play out as it did. No actual evidence of this, naturally, and no reporting to justify the claim. Goodall goes on to argue Boris only got away with it because he is posh, compares him to Enoch Powell and says “I give the suggestion that there has been an increase in the numbers of attacks on women wearing the niqab in recent days absolute credibility”. No statistics or reporting to reasonably measure this, obviously.
Some other Goodall classics include “Brexit talks cannot succeed”, written in September 2017. If you’ve ever got the impression that Sky’s political correspondents are a bunch of left-leaning Remainers, you might be onto something… Goodall is a former Labour Party activist and researcher at the Labour wonk shop the IPPR.
Lewis is entitled to his partisan pro-Labour Party views, but why are they being aired by a supposedly impartial broadcaster?
Indeed, as a Sky News output prod I was categorically told I could not write for a certain conservative leaning professional blog lest there be any impartiality issues. So surprised my former employers are now allowing opinion pieces by reporters with party connections
You don’t hear the outraged of Twitter going on about the BBC and the Guardian mocking the burka. Stephen Fry made the same joke as Boris on Have I Got News For You, before Ian Hislop and Paul Merton joined in:
Stephen Fry: “I just posted something in that.”
Ian Hislop: “We must stop meeting like this, Camilla.”
Paul Merton: “Prince Charles is surprised when a pint of Guinness looks at him in a funny way.”
Something horrible flits across the background in scenes from Afghanistan, scuttling out of sight. There it is, a brief blue or black flash, a grotesque Scream 1, 2 and 3 personified – a woman. The top-to-toe burka, with its sinister, airless little grille, is more than an instrument of persecution, it is a public tarring and feathering of female sexuality. It transforms any woman into an object of defilement too untouchably disgusting to be seen. It is a garment of lurid sexual suggestiveness: what rampant desire and desirability lurks and leers beneath its dark mysteries? In its objectifying of women, it turns them into cowering creatures demanding and expecting violence and victimisation. Forget cultural sensibilities
Steerpike has found this Guardianpiece offering an alternate use of the Burka, as a ‘relaunched postbox’.
So when lefties joke about the burka it’s funny, when Tories do it it’s a five day news story…
Alarmist newspaper headlines told us to prepare for heatwave armageddon. The Express and the Mirror told us that the summer heatwave had turned “killer” with “nearly 1,000 more Brits” dying due to the warm weather.
In reality, the ONS has confirmed that “fewer deaths were registered [this summer] than during the same weeks of the last two years”. This is particularly impressive given the UK’s ageing and growing population.
Despite the impression given by media alarmism, tens of thousands more deaths are registered during the cold weather of the winter than the hot weather of the summer.
Remainer rag Private Eye has clearly been reading Guido again, with their satirical take on Darren Grimes’ righteous crusade to fight the biased Electoral Commission. Guido thinks that Private Eye’s public schoolboys should try punching up at the cheating monied remainers rather than kicking down at the working class kid from County Durham.
Remainers have been making plenty of this front page story in the Times this morning which claimed that the police have warned Sajid Javid that a no-deal Brexit would “pose a risk to public safety.” However, any super-sleuth detectives who investigated the story themselves will have pieced together the clues that this was not in fact a letter from the Old Bill themselves but from a small group of Police and Crime Commissioners – politicians, not police. ‘Ello ‘ello…
There are 40 PCCs altogether – 20 of whom are Conservative – but the letter itself is from the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, which in fact counts only 2 Conservative PCCs out of its 7 board members. It’s chaired by Labour’s Mark Burns-Williamson, while one of the Independent PCCs on its board, Martin Surl, is a former EU advisor. Wot’s going on ‘ere then?
One of the signatories to the letter itself is Lord (Willy) Bach, a former Labour Shadow Attorney General who made exactly the same claims about Brexit before the referendum. It’s a political intervention through and through. Turns out the Times scoop was not much cop…
Footage has emerged of Corbyn giving an interview to the Iranian state television channel Press TV in which he says the BBC is biased on Israel’s right to exist.
“There seems to be a great deal pressure on the BBC from the Israeli government and the Israeli embassy and they are very assertive towards all journalists and to the BBC itself… I think there is a bias towards saying that Israel is a democracy in the Middle East, that Israel has a right to exist, that Israel has its security concerns.”
Now about that IHRA definition, Jez…
UPDATE:A Labour spokesman says:
“Jeremy was arguing that despite the occupation of Palestinian territory and the lack of a Palestinian state, Israeli concerns and perspectives are more likely to appear prominently in news reporting than Palestinian ones. Jeremy is committed to a comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on a two-state solution – a secure Israel alongside a secure and viable state of Palestine.”
Owen Jones is really outdoing himself in the charm stakes this morning. First, Owen is seriously trying to smear Andrew Neil as having far-right links. He is actually trying to get people to believe Brillo is some far-right sympathiser.
Then, Owen asked his 750,000 Twitter followers to bombard BBC politics chief Rob Burley, a man who already gets huge Twitter abuse, with the same insane nonsense about the BBC “legitimising far right movements”. Owen tagged the wrong Rob Burley, ruining some poor random bloke’s day.
So he instigated the pile-on for a second time – this time with the correct handle – knowing full well what his unhinged followers would do, because Owen does this deliberately to people he doesn’t like all the time. And of course he hasn’t deleted the first tweet.
This is properly mental stuff from Owen. Step away from the keyboard, get a grip, go out and enjoy the sun…
The Guardian has quietly changed its online copy of today’s newspaper story about the People’s Vote campaign for a second referendum. In the paper they refer to “the Remain campaign, now called the People’s Vote”. The corrected version now says: “The People’s Vote campaign, which is supported by prominent anti-Brexit groups”. Could it be that someone at the continuity Remain campaign (now called the People’s Vote) was angry at the first more accurate description of their organisation and demanded a change?
Mike Sivier is a Labour member who is on the record claiming it “may be entirely justified” to say Tony Blair was “unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisers”. He has also he suggested the SWP omitted Jews from the list of Holocaust victims because they were being “politically correct”, defended Ken Livingstone and Malia Bouattia’s anti-Semitic comments and got into an almighty row discussing whether “thousands or millions” died in the Holocaust. A real charmer, we can all agree (well, except Labour’s compliance unit).
The Sunday Times broke the story of Sivier’s re-admittance to Labour back in February. Their piece was followed up by MailOnline. Sivier then submitted a complaint against MailOnline to the press regulator IPSO, which they have – farcically – partially upheld. Here is the IPSO ruling:
The complainant had not directly said that he was “’not going to comment’ on whether thousands or millions of Jews died in the Holocaust as ‘I don’t know’”. There was no reference in the discussion surrounding the leaflet to “whether thousands or millions of Jews died in the Holocaust”, because the leaflet had explicitly not referred to Jews among the victims of the Holocaust. The publication may have inferred this meaning from the complainant’s comments, but it reported this as something he had said. The article did not make clear that it was reporting the publication’s interpretation of the complainant’s comments; they were presented as direct quotations. Because the comment thread was publicly available, this represented a failure to take care, in breach of Clause 1(i). The article gave the impression that the complainant had said something which he had not, on a subject liable to cause widespread offence, a clarification was required to avoid a breach of Clause 1(ii).
This is a patently ridiculous ruling by IPSO. This is the full quote from Sivier in question regarding the Holocaust:
“I’m not going to comment on ‘thousands’ instead of ‘millions’ because I don’t know.”
What do IPSO think he meant? It is very clear he is a total wrong ‘un. Why are IPSO going out to bat for people like this?
Today I am announcing a series of changes to the Sky News political team that will give us the ability to aim more firepower at on the day political stories, more space to deliver original and exclusive stories and crucially an ability to get out of Westminster and uncover how policy decisions made in SW1 impact on people across the country.
Joining the team as POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT is KATE McCANN. Kate is currently senior political correspondent at the Telegraph and a rising star in the political firmament. Kate is well known for her ability to deliver news making stories that her rivals need to follow and will work alongside LEWIS GOODALL and TOM RAYNER at the heart of the unit. Her appointment demonstrates the quality of the line of talent keen to work at Sky News.
In an exciting new role NICK MARTIN is to join the political team as POLITICS & PEOPLE CORRESPONDENT which will see him bring his 24 years of reporting experience to exploring issues and stories that are affecting people, north and south, rich and poor and look at how politicians’ decisions affect the lives of citizens in this country. This marks a serious commitment from Sky News to make sure the views of those outside of the ‘bubble’ are discussed and explored.
BETH RIGBY is to become DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR. Since joining Sky News just over two years ago from The Times, Beth has made a real impact on our political coverage. Her experience in the lobby, political contacts and ability to interpret complicated political narratives and explain them in a simple way will be crucial as we enter such uncertain political times.
Working alongside FAISAL ISLAM, our POLITICAL EDITOR, the two of them will continue to attack the core political stories hard whilst dove tailing in order to provide more space for each other to chase news lines, key interviews and original lines.
JON CRAIG will continue as CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT whose expertise on parliamentary affairs and encyclopaedic knowledge of British politicians is unrivalled in the industry.
We will also have a new approach to politics on sunrise. On her return from maternity leave TAMARA COHEN will be dedicated to the programme giving us continuity and an opportunity to approach politics in a different way for a breakfast audience. We will also create a new role that will see weekend Sunrise have a committed reporter.
After the build-up it was a bit of a disappointment from Jon Snow last night when the Channel 4 News allegations of a coup planned in Lesotho by Arron Banks financed SAS Mercenaries was caveated with “Channel 4 has seen no evidence of any mercenary activity”. The programme conceded they had no evidence for the most startling of claims its eccentric report – first revealed on this website) – last night. Snow also seemed upset that Guido had reported the allegations before he had, mentioning us without naming us three times. Snow, you know nothing…
Whoever wrote this news article for the BBC website about Vote Leave’s Facebook adverts is going to have some explaining to do to their editor. The article talks about how Vote Leave and BeLeave“micro-targeted” adverts during the referendum, “with 252 of them seen fewer than 1,000 times”. Just one problem: it’s total nonsense. The adverts were never requested by Vote Leave or BeLeave. They never ran. That is why they appear in the “0-999” impressions box in the DCMS select committee’s numbers. The true number is zero. A glaring factual error completely demolishing the BBC’s story that Vote Leave “micro-targeted” adverts to data sets of fewer than 1,000 people.
This fake news has come about because the DCMS select committee refused to publish evidence that would have clearly explained what happened. Aggregate IQ wrote to the committee with the explanation back in May. The committee refused to publish the letter, and now off the back of that the BBC has ended up publishing nonsense. Yet more evidence of Damian Collins’ Remoaner select committee, which is supposed to be impartial, losing touch with reality as they peddle their conspiracy theories about Vote Leave…
UPDATE:Carole is going on about there being no imprint – on the ads that didn’t run – “That look completely illegal”. There is no legal requirement for imprints on online adverts. This is not a “whole new massive can of worms”. It is Carole showing her complete lack of knowledge of the rules.
The reason online adverts don’t require an imprint is because generally they are too small and when viewers click they will in any event be taken to a site that generally says clearly who the advertiser is by advocating a vote for them.
After 19 years at the Mail on Sunday Lobby legend Simon Walters is off to their bitterest rival paper, the Daily Mail. The four times Political Journalist of the Year becomes the Assistant Editor (Politics). He will be spending most of his time in Northcliffe House and leaving the Lobby.[…] Read the rest
Paul Dacre on the Daily Mail’s future support for Brexit…
“…what moves me most are the countless messages from readers worried about whether the Mail will continue its support for EU withdrawal. My answer to them — and others — is unequivocal. Support for Brexit is in the DNA of both the Daily Mail and, more pertinently, its readers. Any move to reverse this would be editorial and commercial suicide.”