What d'you f***ing mean I took the oath, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay
We soon found out: “Byline, which has received money from Hacked Off, is also seeking to be regulated by IMPRESS, the would-be Press regulator propped up by Max Mosley’s millions”.
Where to start? Byline has not, repeat has not, repeat HAS NOT received money from Hacked Off. Moreover, it isn’t “seeking” to be regulated by IMPRESS - it IS ALREADY regulated by IMPRESS. And IMPRESS isn’t a “would-be press regulator”, it ALREADY IS a press regulator. Well, if you’re going to lie, a few extras won’t come amiss, eh?
And there’s more: “Its article calls on Mr Whittingdale to sign a law which could force newspapers which are not members of a state-approved regulator to pay for both sides in a libel case, even if they win”. The Byline articles - there are two - make no such call. So the Dacre doggies have their trousers well alight.
Byline Media have requested a retraction, but then, the Mail doesn’t do retractions for the little people. Instead, the paper has doubled down on the defamation today in a grotesque hit piece designed to go after Byline, Hacked Off, IMPRESS, and anyone else in range of the Vagina Monologue’s blunderbuss.
“How orgy-loving Max Mosley is using his millions to seek vengeance on the Press: Behind this week's plot to smear the Culture Secretary lies a tale of Left-wing zealots, a tinpot 'watchdog' (given £3m of YOUR cash) and a tycoon trying to muzzle those who exposed his sordid lifestyle” thunders the headline of Richard Pendlebury’s rant.
One sub-heading contains another flat-out lie: “smearing of Culture Secretary by Hacked Off”. Let’s go over this nice and slowly, shall we? Byline broke the Whittingdale story. Hacked Off was not involved, and did not even comment. Private Eye ran the story. Hacked Off and the Eye are, to put it mildly, not the best of friends. Then BBC Newsnight ran an item, and Brian Cathcart of Hacked Off was invited to comment.
Only after that did the mob descend on Hacked Off, making a number of highly creative and pejorative accusations against it, most of which will prove to be plain flat wrong.
But on goes the Mail, repeating its defamatory claim against Byline: “a website called Byline (partly funded by Hacked Off)”. The oldest tactic in the book: keep repeating the lie, knowing that even if the target takes them to the cleaners, the mud will have stuck.
That the lie has been inserted in articles on successive days suggests that this tactic enjoys at least the blessing of Paul Dacre, with the latest hit piece smearing not only Max Mosley, who has had the courage to stand up to the press bullying (instantly differentiating him from Dacre, who is nothing better than a bully, a hypocrite, and a rank coward), but also Jonathan Heawood of IMPRESS, who gets the full smear treatment.
In a routine bout of hypocrisy, the editor who sent his sons to Eton sneers at Heawood for having attended Cambridge University. Oh, the shame! And he’s related by marriage to someone who works at the Guardian! How can he live with himself? He once lived in a house that might be worth a lot of money, but doesn’t own it, and doesn't live there anymore. Er, hello, this is drivel. The lies are blatant and easily disprovable. And the smears are lame.
There is no plot to smear the Culture Secretary. Byline and Hacked Off are totally separate organisations. Hacked Off had no part in breaking the Whittingdale story. The only moderately newsworthy event is that the Daily Mail is living up to Alastair Campbell’s nickname for it - The Dacre Lie Machine. That is all.