The tendency of some in and around the right-wing press to take quotations out of context in order to make the author look bad is becoming both habitual, and easy to pick up on. And the go-to people for the selective quote, backed by the certainty that their pals out there on the right will pile on and gleefully abuse the chosen target, are the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog.
Abi Wilkinson ((c) Guardian)
The Fawkes massive honed their craft when smearing Jeremy Corbyn’s spinner Seumas Milne over comments he made about the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby, which they heavily edited to make it look as if Milne had downplayed the incident, although he had not. Now, their chosen victim is freelance Abi Wilkinson, who has written a polemic about efforts being made in the USA to repeal part or all of the Obama era health care reforms.
Behold the moral arbiter of the right
Ms Wilkinson’s piece, for the Staggers, is titled “This is no time for civility towards Republicans - even John McCain”, although it is not all about McCain, but about ordinary peoples’ struggles to preserve what health care gains they have made under the previous Presidency. The Fawkes rabble ignores this, and claims that she is purely being nasty to a senior politician who has recently been diagnosed with a brain tumour.
They also ignore her point that, for many across the USA right now, this is literally a life or death issue. But it is the third time in five days that The Great Guido has gone for Ms Wilkinson, and this sudden redirection of anger towards a young woman journalist should worry those who work in the profession. Sadly for some of them, it does not.
Also, seeing anything penned by the Fawkes blog’s newly anointed teaboy Alex Wickham, as I’ve said previously, should cause anyone looking to pass judgment to stop and think. For former MP - Labour MP - Tom Harris, that thought was not allowed to enter. He took the creepy Fawkes obsession at face value and declared “Guido is right about the appalling Abi Wilkinson”. There’s a good honest floor-crosser for you.
Also looking to put the boot in was the Mail on Sunday’s not at all celebrated blues artiste Whinging Dan Hodges, who was suddenly concerned about journalistic standards: “Isn't the real question how did the NS came to publish this rubbish? All I know is when I was writing for the NS there's no way a piece like that would have seen the light of day”.
Hodges knows all about lacking civility and wishing death on others: soon after fetching up at the Northcliffe House bunker, he penned the infamous “Labour MUST Kill Vampire Jezza”. And his pals at the Fawkes blog have little room to talk, either: quite apart from Staines’ deep and loving relationship with the falling over water, which has yielded four convictions including two for drinking and driving, his attitude to taking life is also suspect.
How did the MoS come to publish this rubbish?
Staines had no compunctions raising money to kill others, providing they were Commies, you understand. Death squads, human rights abuses, random killing sprees, all were fine with The Great Guido. But when a young woman says something that incurs his displeasure, everyone has to pile in and give her the proverbial Good Going Over.
Staines, Wickham, Harris, Hodges and their leering, sneering pals should give it a rest and say sorry. But they won’t. Because they’re not big enough.