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Friday, 15 April 2016

Sunday Times Hacked Off Smear Busted

[Update at end of post]

The assault on both campaigning group Hacked Off, and the Byline Media website - which are still not in league with one another, despite the pack of lies peddled this morning by the Daily Mail - shows no sign of abating, as news arrives on Zelo Street that the Murdoch shilling takers at the Sunday Times are preparing an allegedly upmarket hatchet job on both groups, to be duly excreted this weekend.
That's what I bladdy think of youse crowd bladdy sourced bladdy website and bladdy press bladdy regulation bladdy campaigning, ya bastard Pommie drongoes!

To this end, the paper’s “Social Affairs Editor”, Nicholas Hellen, has been contacting a number of people, although thus far he has experienced considerable resistance to his product offering. So what will Hellen’s finished article tell all those potential readers?

The answer is that there will be precious little of value, and nor will there be a great deal of factual information. But there will be plenty of inference and nudge-nudgery. For starters, the Murdoch doggies are trying to establish a link between Byline Media and Hacked Off, following the Daily Mail’s totally untrue claim that the latter is funding at least part of the cost of the former. Thus the desperation of the proposition before us.

I’ll take this nice and slowly, for the benefit of the Fourth Estate’s more wilful practitioners. Byline Media has four funders, none of whom is Hacked Off. Those who have columns at the site - Zelo Street reposts material from the blog, and I also run a regular feature on The New Conservatism - get funding from whomever wishes to contribute. The is no connection between Byline Media and Hacked Off.

But, the hacks may protest, Tim Fenton is also a forthright supporter of Hacked Off. This is true. But that is rather like saying a hack from A Major National Newspaper supporting the Tory Party means that A Major National Newspaper supports the Tory Party. It’s a false assertion. Then Hellen has another line of attack.

That, it is clear, is probably A Very Good Thing, given the link between Byline Media and Hacked Off still doesn’t exist. He is contacting anyone who will talk to him who is also a supporter of Hacked Off. The objective is to plant seeds of doubt in supporters’ minds about the direction of the campaign, and especially its part, inasmuch as it exists, in the Whittingdale saga. Then he can claim there are splits and dwindling support.

Hellen’s approaches are typical of the concerted press campaign to damage Byline Media, Hacked Off, the BBC, and anyone who has exposed the Whittingdale story. But there is no split or dissatisfaction among Hacked Off’s supporters, and I fully expect there to be a full house at Committee Room 14 for next Wednesday’s Commons lobby event.

Meanwhile, Nicholas Hellen and those at the Daily Mail who have been working on their Byline Media smears might like to answer one straightforward question: why have they all left Private Eye magazine alone? The Eye ran the Whittingdale story last Tuesday, before BBC Newsnight covered it. But there have been no hatchet jobs directed their way.

Perhaps the perceived softness of the targets has something to do with it. As the Eye might have phrased it, I wonder if the two are in any way connected? I think we should be told.

[UPDATE 16 April 1700 hours: it seems Byline Media is not the only target for Hellen's attempt to make non-existent connections to Hacked Off.

The Sunday Times hack yesterday contacted Natalie Rowe, former disciplinarian of George Osborne, and as she has told, wasted no time in trying to establish a link between her and the group.
Ms Rowe recalls "The same Nicholas Hellen, who when I referred to him as Nicholas corrected me by saying 'it's Nick' contacted me Yesterday ... One of his first questions he put to me were on the lines of 'what's my connection with Hacked Off'. I swiftly made it clear NONE".
It's not exactly a subtle smear campaign the Murdoch doggies are conducting, is it? And it therefore won't be difficult for Hacked Off, Byline Media, or anyone else, to rebut them. Better luck next time, lads]


Anonymous said...

Re the Eye, it's print, silly. If you can't wrap your fish 'n' chips in it, it's not 'proper' journalism, an increasingly quaint myopia.

Anonymous said...

So....what we're saying here is that Hellen is just another gutless lying Murdoch Nazi.

It must be overcrowded down there in the subsidised canteen of the Murdoch Schutzstaffel. Or is that shitzstaffel?

Anonymous said...

This is what another dominatrix penned over ELEVEN months ago:


Around November 2013 a source came to me with information
that John Whittingdale was having a relationship
with a well known prostitute who specialised in S&M.

I them gave the story to a tabloid newspaper


Chapter 27. Page 197 to 200.


Natalie Rowe

Create Space

Published: 3 May 2015

rob said...

I would guess that Private Eye doesn't come in for criticsm like Byline, the BBC and Hacked Off because a lot of right wing peoplem read it to make sure they don't feature in the latest issue. And they would know that Private Eye get it right, most of the time, from their first hand knowledge of their associates who end up as victims of Hislop & Gang.

rob said...

I see our old friend Ms Mensch is still auditioning for the David Mitchell presented "Unbelievable Truth" programme.

Hasn't anyone told her that a few truths have to be added in?