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Sunday 31 March 2013

Gilligan’s Hacked Off Goof

[Update at end of post]

Clearly not fully occupied by his Mayoral sinecure, Andrew “transcription error” Gilligan has turned his attention to the campaigning group Hacked Off, obediently penning a hatchet job for today’s Sunday Telegraph in defence of that free speech which does not extend to the Telegraph titles ever mentioning their owners David and Frederick Barclay (aka The Fabulous Bingo Brothers).

The truth about Hacked Off’s media coup” proclaims the headline, which, given Gilligan’s previously transient relationship with those pesky things called facts, should put anyone reading the article on their guard. A number of dubious assertions about the relationship between Hacked Off and the Leveson Inquiry follow, and then we get to the main Gilligan villain: the “authoritarian Left”.

Who they? Well, there are a number of academics, who as any fule kno are all rotten lefties, apart from Tim Luckhurst of course, because he says what Gilligan wants to hear. All other academics’ views and selective quotations are then projected on to Hacked Off. And, just to make sure, anyone speaking in favour of Hacked Off automatically becomes a “supporter” with their views also duly projected.

At one point, there is a jaw-dropping logic leap as Gilligan takes one supporter’s view that newspapers should reflect “a fair selection of the day’s events” and proclaims “a regulator, in other words, would decide what stories they covered”. It’s a cracker! Then readers are told of an event whose speakers – you guessed it – have their opinions duly selected and projected on to Hacked Off.

Most of the organisation’s staff and those credited on its website are firmly of the Left” says Gilligan of Hacked Off, before, er, finding one who is a Labour member. But not to worry, Brian Cathcart once expressed a pro-European viewpoint, so another leap of logic and he becomes a leftie too! And a firm supporting Hacked Off is run by someone who used to work for Tone, so, er, well, so what?

And then come the howlers. Gilligan claims that Martin Moore of the Media Standards Trust (MST) is a director of Hacked Off (he isn’t), that the MST launched FullFact (it didn’t) and the MST “as early as 2009, long before the scandal broke, declared the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) unfit for purpose – claiming, without much evidence, that its ‘ineffectiveness’ had reduced trust in the media”.

A word in your shell-like, Gillers: 2009 was when the scandal broke. And the PCC was indeed ineffective – as well as absent – as Phonehackgate blew up in the face of the Fourth Estate. “This was a sort of coup, by people even more unaccountable and unrepresentative than the average newspaper owner” says Gilligan of Hacked Off. Like the owners you can’t mention? He does talk the most unmitigated crap.

So Gilligan’s still having problems, even with Google. No change there, then.

[UPDATE 1 April 1010 hours: just to give a more rounded picture of The Great Gilligan, I'd commend to anyone wanting to know the discovery made by the Guardian's Dave Hill a while back that the man from the Tel was sockpuppeting. Hill's discovery was of a sockpuppet called Kennite.

Gilligan's excuse was that Kennite was his partner. Tim Ireland at Bloggerheads has more detail on this aspect of Gilligan's less than stellar contribution to journalism, as well as the excellent Octopuppet video, which explains sockpuppeting and Gilligan's involvement in it. Enjoy!]


Martin said...

Nothing wrong with a bit of sockpuppetry, why are you so bigoted about it?

Tim Fenton said...

There is everything wrong with a "bit of sockpuppetry", and the content in this post is factual, thanks.

Kennite said...

This is blog is not so credible. Don't read this article!

Martin said...

Have you ever tried it, Tim? Or are you too scared?

Tim Fenton said...

No, and it's nothing to do with being scared. You sockpuppet and you spray your credibility up the wall - as Gilligan has done.

Martin said...

Never mind Gilligan, why would your own credibility be sprayed up the wall?

Tim Fenton said...

For the same reason that Gilligan's was. Sockpuppeting shreds cred whoever you are.

Martin said...

Sockpuppeting shreds cred whoever you are.

Is it too much to ask for evidence to back up your very bold assertions, or is that a bridge too far?

Tim Fenton said...

I refer the Hon Commentnaut to the update to this post, especially Tim Ireland's excellent video, which makes the point for me.

Martin said...

Peer-reviewed research is a little too much to ask for, I guess.

In what sense is Gilligan's reputation destroyed? He still seems to hold down a job and write for a national newspaper. Huhne is an example of a reputation destroyed, not Gilligan. Ireland is sadly deluded about the whole topic, what makes you think that his copyright plundering effort helps you to make your case?

Hon Commentnaut? I think you are lapsing into passive/aggressive language here, a sure sign you are losing the argument.

Tim Fenton said...

You are being given the honour of being humoured. For that you make wild accusations about others' motives before openly defaming someone for reasons best known to yourself.

No more of your comments will be published. Enough.

Anonymous said...

If I google for "Andrew Gilligan" "transcription error" I only find your blog entries about him! What was the transcription error?

Tim Fenton said...

The transcription error was what landed Gilligan in trouble with the Hutton Inquiry.

It has to do with his notes being "incomplete", and that his story about the Iraq dossier could therefore not be relied upon to be accurate.

What Gilligan also does not tend to let on is that he had been briefing members of a Select Committee in order to pressure David Kelly. The one who usually gets it in the neck on the subject of Kelly's alleged suicide is Alastair Campbell.

In summary, Gilligan has form for selective disclosure and dishonesty.