Putin’s Kremlin-bots are launching an assault on UK media outlets’ comment sections in attempts to shift public opinion, according to a new report by the University of Cardiff. 32 prominent news websites across 16 countries – including the Mail Online, The Express and The Times – have been flooded with pro-Russian state propaganda in desperate attempts to manipulate public opinion. Not the most effective place to start…
While the university’s report was unable to say definitively who was behind the posts, it claimed the actions were “indicative of a Russian state operation”, and although they didn’t put a figure on the total number of comments, it found evidence of the alleged influence operation in 242 articles published between February and mid-April. Incredibly, many of the pro-Putin comments were then picked up by a Russian state-linked website to claim Western support of their dear leader…
Away from Liverpool, a screen malfunction meant Matt Hancock was forced to read an entire speech at the Radio Festival staring into the words “cock gobbler”. Apparently Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills had been playing “innuendo-bingo” on the podium before his speech which is why the message was left on the screen.
Matt Hancock: Cock Gobbler. Audio here: https://t.co/L3CHbzpai6
— Patrick Foster (@patrickfoster2) September 26, 2016
Posted without comment.
The Speccie’s Isabel Hardman was in Nice at the time of the attacks last night, her report can be read here:
Am in Nice. But safe and in flat with a family. No idea what is going on but lots of sirens and people running.
— Isabel Hardman (@IsabelHardman) July 14, 2016
The Mirror meanwhile reports that Labour MP John Woodcock, also in Nice, gave shelter to a Parisian family in his flat:
Tragedy in Nice is devastating. I happen to be in the city at the moment. On Promenade with celebrating crowd last night, now safe indoors.
— John Woodcock (@JWoodcockMP) July 15, 2016
These are all front page headlines from the last seven days. They’re from Remain-backing papers as well as Leave. With three weeks to go immigration is the main story in town – whether it’s net migration rising to 330,000 or the 18 Albanians rescued off the Kent coast. A new Telegraph/ORB poll this morning shows that in the past week Remain’s lead has been cut from 13 points to just five. Immigration was always going to be Vote Leave’s trump card – 23 days to go…
On 2 June Cameron and Gove will take part in an hour-long programme on Sky News, a face-to-face live interview with Faisal Islam followed by a question-and-answer session with Kay Burley and a live studio audience.
On 7 June, Farage and then Cameron will answer questions from a studio audience on ITV, moderated by Julie Etchingham. On 9 June, ITV will host a full debate, guests TBC.
The BBC will then host a special edition of Question Time on 15 June and the box office Wembley Arena debate on 21 June.
Jeremy Paxman is doing a channel 4 EU referendum debate with an invited audience on June 22.
Vote Leave are particularly put out by ITV putting up Farage instead of Boris or Gove. Remember, Peston is best friends with Roland Rudd, impresario of the Remain campaign…
Bravo to Hugh Bonneville, whose new play about press freedom, cover-ups and lying scoundrels has proved a triumph. “Bonneville, champion of free speech”, raves the front page of the Telegraph, while the Sun’s theatre review section – never missed by luvvies – gives it four stars:
“Hugh Bonneville ditches his safe family man image for a performance packed with passion and desire as he fights to reveal a corrosive secret in his first return to the stage in more than a decade… Bonneville, who recently spoke on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs of his deep love for wife of 18 years Lulu, plays brilliant Dr Stockmann… Why should he hide the truth, he demands. “Too many people already know about it,” he rants. “You think you can silence me and the truth but things are not going to go as smoothly as you think”
The Mail meanwhile reports on a triumphant evening for the A-list TV actor:
“The actor’s performance before a packed house was met with a long applause as he bowed multiple times to his adoring public. The stage door was clear for Mr Bonneville as he made his way from the theatre and into the press party, free of autograph hunters and fans. He was seen flashing a big smile as he walked out of the theatre with a group of friends and his wife Lulu Williams. Speaking after the performance people said what a lovely guy Bonneville was because he remembers everyone’s name and ‘speaks to everyone like an old friend.”
Sounds like a quite a party. Bottoms up!