The acute discomfort felt by our free and fearless press at the prospect of their readers indulging in an act of free will and taking their custom elsewhere - or merely making requests of advertisers that they reconsider placing their offer alongside the hate speech that papers like the Sun, Mail and Express churn out on a daily basis - has been boiling up for a while now. But today it finally boiled over.
What had begun with the snippy and entitled Sarah Baxter of the Murdoch Sunday Times shouting down someone from Stop Funding Hate on BBC Newsnight, and had then been taken up by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog - in a style which bore an uncanny resemblance to a Sun editorial - has now gone mainstream, as the Murdoch goons have gone postal on campaigners.
The result has been an article allegedly written by London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson - jumping at the command of the twinkle-toed yet domestically combative Rebekah Brooks, readers should note - in the Sun, where Bozza, someone who knows all about lying, as he’s spent a significant part of his life doing it, smears and defames SFH in no style at all.
The one who gave the order to smear ...
“It is one of the most worrying features of the modern world that free speech is coming under attack - even in societies that claim to be liberal and tolerant” he blusters, before going totally gaga and protesting “So far in 2017 there have been 51 journalists murdered simply for doing their job, and 181 have been jailed”. None of them in the UK.
Do go on. “We are seeing newspapers collapsing, and as good journalism becomes tougher to fund we are seeing people become ever more vulnerable to government propaganda and fake news”. Both of which Bozza knows all about, because right now he is involved in pushing the former, and spent years peddling the latter at the Telegraph.
... the clown who did as he was told ...
Have another go. “We believe that a free press is not only morally right; without a free press any society will eventually suffer from corruption and economic decay”. If only we in the UK had a genuinely free press, but we do not. Five billionaires control most of it: Rupert Murdoch, Viscount Rothermere, the Barclay Brothers and Richard Desmond.
Then come the lies: “A small but dedicated group of left-wing activists has launched a campaign to undermine the financial base of some newspapers whose views they dislike … They have attacked the advertisers who help to fund those newspapers, and who make it possible for reporters to bring new facts into the public domain”. Yeah, right.
Stop Funding Hate has no political orientation. It is only in the fevered and paranoid minds of the Murdoch goons that it does. And as for “bringing facts into the public domain”, the papers being criticised for also bringing hate speech - needlessly and gratuitously - have a lamentable track record, holding back more facts than they publish.
... the faithful gofer who backed it up ...
But back to Bozza’s lies: “The tactic of this campaign - misleadingly called ‘Stop Funding Hate’ - is to urge a boycott of all companies who place advertisements in the Sun, the Daily Mail or the Daily Express”. Its name is not misleading, and it isn’t urging a boycott of all advertisers. Oh, and “This week they even attacked the NSPCC”. SFH does not “attack” anyone. The group’s supporters ask advertisers if they will reconsider placing adverts.
So what’s his problem? “I believe that these decisions are sad and mistaken and indeed cowardly”. Did Bozza actually write this? Because it sure as hell doesn’t look like it.
And more lies: “It is not as if this internet campaign commands overwhelming public support. Despite all the noise and virulence of their campaign, there are said to be fewer than a thousand people who are actively involved”. Invention. They don’t know.
“And these companies should realise that they are bowing to a ruse - the attack on advertisers - that comes straight from some of the worst authoritarian regimes in the world”. Bullshit. That’s just protesting too much - playing the victim again.
Then comes another whopper: “As for those who are mounting the campaigns, they do not seem to appreciate the irony of what they are doing … They may not like the editorial line of these publications, or the way in which they cover certain issues … But this country has the world’s strongest laws against libel and defamation”. No it doesn’t.
... and the one who's really calling the shots
There is no criminal law covering libel nowadays. And taking legal action is only for those with the deepest of pockets - as the press, and Bozza in particular, know all too well. Bozza is lying - or whoever wrote the article is. Still, there is more: “By attempting to drive some newspapers underground they risk fomenting a further sense of alienation in the public - and pushing some into the arms of extremists”. Drive newspapers underground? What does this buffoon think he is, part of a heroic struggle to bring truth to the masses?
Moreover, the Sun is already in the hands of extremists - those who pump out racist, Islamophobic, sexist, misogynist bigotry designed to whip up hatred. Extremists who don’t give a flying foxtrot about our country, but are interested only in business advancement and personal enrichment of Themselves Personally Now.
But this does not stop the Sun’s non-bullying political editor Tom Newton Dunn from enthusiastically backing up this drivel, telling hyperbolically “BORIS Johnson has lashed out at businesses who give in to online lynch mobs for being ‘sad, mistaken and cowardly’”. Online lynch mobs. Poor Tom, he’s another victim, sat there in that luxury office with only his final written warning to keep him company.
On he drones: “The Foreign Secretary’s intervention came as he mounts a withering attack on the controversial Stop Funding Hate campaign”. His attack wouldn’t have withered an autumn leaf. And SFH is not controversial. It’s genuine grass roots campaigning, to persuade advertisers that their implicit support of hate speech is not a good look.
That the campaign has gained ground so rapidly shows SFH has struck a chord - across the political spectrum. The crybaby response from what are supposed to be grown men shows also that the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker are scared shitless of it.
Stop Funding Hate shows no sign of being cowed by this vicious outpouring of lies. You can donate to that campaign HERE. Meanwhile, Don’t Buy The Sun.