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Sunday 7 April 2013

Gilligan Goofs Again

Once again, Andrew “Transcription Error” Gilligan has mounted a charge against anyone that he can link to Hacked Off, and once again it is selective and dishonest in equal measure. “How Leveson was denied the full facts” he asserts in the Telegraph (warning: there is now a limit on the number of articles you can view on the site before being charged to continue). His target is Full Fact.

And of this group, Gilligan tells “how high-profile campaigners for press regulation were economical with the truth”, which in case you didn’t get that, means that a proven peddler of rank dishonesty is calling out someone else for doing what he does on an all too regular basis. And it’s even better than that: he is accusing Will Moy of committing perjury. Oh yes he is.

A director of Hacked Off, the campaign against the ‘lies’ of the press, gave false evidence under oath to the Leveson Inquiry, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose” he asserts. And, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here. Hacked Off is a “Campaign for a free and accountable press” and nothing more. And what Moy said at Leveson is not false evidence.

Gilligan’s sole card is that Full Fact was refused charitable status, although Moy asserted that it was constituted as a charity and in the process of registering as one. But the two are not incompatible: achieving charitable status can require several iterations of the acceptance process. And that is, more or less, the only weapon emerging from the legendary Gilligan arsenal.

The Great Man is also apparently unhappy that Full Fact complains about inaccuracy in the press. A word in your shell-like, Gillers: that is what it’s there for. And I won’t buy your rebuttal of its analysis of specific Ken Livingstone claims made during the London Mayoral campaign without third party endorsement, which is one of those things that never seems to happen.

And how’s this for a Gilligan smear? “However, examination of its fact-checks shows that several have subtle Left-wing bias and 80 per cent of its complaints to the PCC have been against Right-wing newspapers”. That “subtle Left-wing bias” is what, exactly? But we don’t get to find out. And there are probably more complaints made about right-leaning papers as there are more of them.

Finally, Gilligan links Full Fact, Hacked Off and the Media Standards Trust together, so that he can call them “linked” – yes, by him (same as his use of “extremist linked” description of Lutfur Rahman). Then he asserts that these groups are “broadly partisan and entirely self-appointed” before segueing into an attack on Hacked Off, which is nothing to do with where he started.

Another series of cheap smears masquerading as fact. No change there, then.

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