How the mighty have fallen: back in its great days under the editorship of Harry Evans, the Sunday Times was the gold standard of investigative journalism, breaking stories and exposing wrongdoing without fear or favour. Now, after all those years under the less than totally benign proprietorship of Rupert Murdoch, it has become just another right-leaning propaganda sheet, doing the bidding of His Master’s Voice.
Nowhere has this been more starkly illustrated than in today’s alleged front page, which proclaims “Exposed: Corbyn’s Hate Factory”. A whole factory of it? How did Jezza keep that hidden? Is it on his allotment? Has the ST got him bang to rights on planning permission? Does it employ people on less than the minimum wage?
Sadly, this article is not about a real factory, or indeed anything run by Jeremy Corbyn. All that has been unearthed is a number of social media groups not under the control of the Labour Party - and therefore outside its disciplinary structure - where some of those participating have made racist and indeed anti-Semitic statements.
The ST claims “Twelve senior staff working for the Labour leader and the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, are members of groups containing anti-Semitic and violent comments, including praise for Adolf Hitler and threats to kill Theresa May, the Prime Minister”. The paper has looked at 20 Facebook groups with 400,000 members.
Kevin Myers, the Holocaust Deniers
How many messages were found? “More than 2,000 racist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, violent and abusive messages”. Unacceptable for certain - but in groups with a total membership of 400,000, the possibility of those “Twelve senior staff” even being aware that someone in their group was posting hate speech is vanishingly small.
Add on the mildly inconvenient fact that the groups are not connected to the Labour Party, and the question has to be asked: just exactly how does the Murdoch press expect Jezza to police the internet? Also, before anyone says “well, if senior Tories were slagging off black people, it would be a national scandal”, the ST hasn’t looked there.
This appeared in the Sunday Times only last July
Worse, the Murdoch press, and the Sunday Times specifically, has no room to call anti-Semitism on anyone, as Zelo Street regulars will know all too well. Last July, Kevin Myers, a known Holocaust denier (anyone missed that? He was A KNOWN HOLOCAUST DENIER), penned the ST column “Sorry ladies - equal pay has to be earned”.
Here, quite apart from the reek of misogyny, he opined “Presenters in the BBC - Claudia Winkelman and Vanessa Feltz, with whose, no doubt, sterling work I am tragically unacquainted - are Jewish. Good for them. Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price, which is the most useful measure there is of inveterate, lost-with-all-hands stupidity.”
This is what the Sunday Times' owner thinks
Nailed-on anti-Semitism, and unlike the Facebook groups the ST is crowing over today, totally under the control of the Murdoch press. But then, Rupert Murdoch is on record moaning “Why is Jewish owned press so consistently anti-Israel in every crisis?”
Jeremy Corbyn does not own the internet. But Rupert Murdoch does own the Sunday Times, a paper which has no problem publishing nailed-on anti-Semitism.