The attacks on Byline Media by the press establishment, and by proxy via their hangers-on, yesterday went from the merely abusive to the borderline defamatory, as the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog chose to do their masters' bidding once more.
told the headline, as the Fawkes folks reached for the crudest smear in the book, one beloved of such sad obsessives as (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch and her fetcher and carrier Jeremy Duns. The intention is plain: to suggest Byline backer Eric Li is an anti-Semite.
There was, though, as Captain Blackadder might have observed, only one thing wrong with this idea - it was bollocks. The Fawkes rabble were indulging in a guilt by association tactic, and closer inspection of this steaming and not at all fresh pile of bullpucky shows that they have found a total of zero evidence to stand up the smear.
A site that has published articles by Eric Li has, surprise surprise, published articles by lots of other contributors. The Fawkes suggestion is rather like saying anyone who blogs at the Huffington Post shares the views of any other contributor.
That isn't a bit of sport, or the normal rough and tumble of the New Media, but a clear and calculated attempt to take out Byline by so damaging it that contributors and readers are frightened off. It is therefore potentially highly defamatory. And it shows the level of press establishment desperation.
The personal abuse meted out to the likes of Peter Jukes is one thing; what the Fawkes rabble have done is quite another. This is beyond the pale, and they should accept Byline as a New Media presence - then desist from the lies and smears. End of story.