In late October last year, Zelo Street noted that Christi Junior, in a contribution to The Ralph Retort - not exactly a hotbed of the left - had passed severely adverse comment on the behaviour of (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch, who at the time was the head honcho at Murdoch-bankrolled website Heat Street, a sub-Breitbart dustbin of right-wing ranting, conspiracy theory “politics”, and outright Fake News.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
After denouncing Ms Mensch’s interventions - including censoring an article and replacing it with one of her own - as turning Heat Street into “controlled opposition”, he concluded “Considering how Heat Street’s whole business model has basically been to cash in on the Anti-SJW backlash, being exposed like this could actually really hurt it. I would not be the least surprised if the original Keijo article soon gets brought back - and if Rupert Murdoch hasn’t gone senile yet, I expect to see Louise Mensch get fired soon”.
By mid-November, the view on Zelo Street was that Ms Mensch had been removed from her leading role at Heat Street. She disputed this, but no complaint was received, the post stood unaltered, and then two days later came news from The Murdoch Times - a well-informed source in Australia - that she had indeed been fired.
And now it has come to pass that all the parties concerned - the Murdoch empire and Ms Mensch - have put a brave face on it, come clean and ‘fessed up. Hadas Gold at Politico has told “Louise Mensch is no longer leading News Corp.'s libertarian-leaning website Heat Street. The company and Mensch made the change in mid-December … Mensch and News Corp. said the move was made so that Mensch could focus on creating new digital media projects for News Corp”. That’s a kind way of saying she’s been sacked.
Ms Mensch’s excuse for her removal is to claim it was all planned and amicable: “I've been very lucky; requested in August that I move on to create the other two new media properties I had in mind for [NewsCorp.] when I started. At first they said play yourself into the wicket a bit, but when we hit 8 million [in traffic], they said yes”. As if the Murdoch management in New York City would talk about “playing yourself into the wicket”.
The News Corp line is also to claim all is well: “she is working closely with Chief Strategy Officer Anoushka Healy at our headquarters in New York. She has, throughout, been News Corp VP of Creative and Strategy”. She’s been fired, but she’s not really been fired.
However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, Gold swiftly identifies one reason for Ms Mensch’s removal: “a News Corp. source suggested another reason for the change: Mensch's activity on Twitter and elsewhere had become a distraction for the otherwise successful website”. Her Twitter rants and meltdowns were too much even for the Murdoch mafiosi. And despite all the “amicable” talk, she has still been fired.
Heat Street will continue for the time being - but as its traffic has been in decline since the end of October, the remedial work needed to staunch the outward flow of money will have to be in the heroic category in order for it to survive.
As I told you two months ago, Louise Mensch is no longer on Heat Street. As her political heroine might have put it, just rejoice at that news.