Thus far the Murdoch press has not gained much, if any, traction with its attempts to intervene in the Labour leadership contest. But that has not left Rupe’s troops downhearted, especially after their pundit, (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch, expended so much energy in recent days trying to stand up her claim that veteran left-winger Jeremy Corbyn was anti-Semitic.
The Murdoch Empire is officially scared of this man
At the allegedly upmarket Sunday Times, it has been decided that Ms Mensch’s supposition is something that they would very much like to stand up, and to this end one of their hacks has been tasked with doing just that. His name is Josh Boswell, and he has been beavering away with apparently little effect, except to let the world know that tomorrow’s edition of the ST will run an anti-Semitism smear on Corbyn.
Boswell approached David Carter to ask “Hi David, I'm a reporter from Sunday Times, looking to include you in an article about Jeremy Corbyn this weekend. Can I DM you?” Carter, whose Twitter bio states “Routinely block Zionist pro-Israelis”, has made such radical statements as “What do I know about Jeremy Corbyn? Unlike past leaders in Britain he will never send young men to die in pointless wars for other countries”.
Meanwhile, Boswell had approached comedy writer and performer Rober Webb to ask “Hi, Sunday Times reporter, can I speak to you/your agent about Corbyn? What's best contact details?”. By now, word was getting round about his apparent intentions, with Kieran Morris Tweeting “Looking at who else he's approached, @JoshTBoswell seems to be deliberately pursuing anti-Semites sympathetic to Corbyn”.
Or perhaps that should be people who he could portray as anti-Semites, something Joel Rayner had sussed: “Times Reporter @JoshTBoswell is doing the rounds for a Corbyn article trying to find anyone that can link him to antisemitism. Steer clear”. Adnan Sadiq was not even slightly impressed: “The Sunday Times and its gutter attempt to discredit #Corbyn. Nice work @JoshTBoswell”.
As one Tweeter called Owais put it, “So @JoshTBoswell are you deliberately being dumb or do you have comprehension issues … How is it anti-Semitic if a tweep says, 'for once a UK political leader won't be in israel's pocket’?!” Quite. And the questions kept on coming.
So did the adverse comment: “@JoshTBoswell your gutter tactics are a lame effort in trying to discredit @jeremycorbyn supporters as Anti-Semitic. Shoddy journalism” declared one Tweeter, while another noted simply “.@JoshTBoswell I presume therefore that you're reporting those 'anti semitic' tweets you have found to police? No? Oh…”.
[UPDATE 16 August 1910 hours: the print article, of which Boswell is cited on the by-line as co-author, is titled "Kendall and Cooper rise above trolls' 'frenzied bullying'". It features no interviews, or directly relevant comment, from either of the candidates mentioned.
All that has been done is some trawling of Twitter, with the sole intention of smearing Jeremy Corbyn by association. The idea that he can command the public at large to either stop supporting him, or behave in a particular manner, is risible. But that's the downhill slide of a former paper of record into doing something that bloggers and online news sources do for free.
If the Murdoch empire wants to justify charging for its product, it should make sure that product is worth paying for. On this evidence, it isn't]