The Murdoch-bankrolled website Heat Street continues to churn out woefully researched copy on the narrow range of subjects that projects the constrained world view of its leader, (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch. Ranting at anyone exercising their right to protest, Scary Muslims (tm), the EU, young people, and anyone who does not declare their agreement with her every utterance, Ms Mensch’s over-amplified gob rules.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
But here a problem enters: Heat Street cannot be taken seriously while she contributes copy for it, and the reason for this is straightforward: while Ms Mensch is first to call “liar” on anyone and everyone else, her articles contain so much casual dishonesty as to render them unfit to be called journalism. We need look no further than her recent hatchet job on the meeting between Donald Trump and Nigel “Thirsty” Farage.
Take this gem, which is typical of Mensch-level “journalism”: “Farage fought and lost a bitter battle to run the Vote Leave side of the Brexit Campaign”. Farage never fought to run Vote Leave - he tried to get Grassroots Out the designation as the “official” Out campaign, but this lost out to Vote Leave. That sloppiness typifies Ms Mensch.
And, as might be expected, there is more: “His own monetary backers poured scorn on him when, apparently drunk, he instantly conceded Brexit as lost on the night of the vote when polls closed”. If in doubt, call “drunk” on others. “He’s an alcoholic with rotten brown teeth and a figure of fun and contempt in Britain”. Farage’s thirst may be legendary, but what relevance do his teeth have? What a strange obsession she has. And he isn’t so much a “figure of fun and contempt” as a polarising politician. Sloppy again.
It gets worse: “Pro-Remain media like the BBC were forever inviting Farage to argue for Brexit because voters dislike him so much”. Accusing the BBC of something they are not, then once again misunderstanding Farage’s appeal, which Ms Mensch may not like - or understand - but which exists. And worse: “Tiny and insignificant though UKIP was under Nigel Farage”. UKIP achieved its greatest successes with Farage as leader.
There is also a total lack of self-awareness: “And what about Trump’s outrageous statements on Muslims and people of colour?” Er, right, how also about Heat Street’s attempts at incitement against Muslims, specifically the claims that many victims of the Bataclan Theatre massacre were tortured, or that a mentally ill man who stabbed someone in London’s Russell Square was a “jihadi student”?
She doesn’t know much about the referendum campaign either, talking of “the Brexit campaign, whose official leaders were pro-immigrant and pro-free trade”. Explain, then, the leaflet delivered to almost every UK household telling how many people lived in Turkey, suggesting that they were all coming here, and that Syria and Iraq were just next door. For some value of “pro-immigrant”, then.
That kind of “journalism” wouldn’t even get Ms Mensch in the door at a red-top tabloid. How long Murdoch and his family will put up with her making their name a laughing stock is not known.