The current media phrase du jour is Fake News. What has for some time now been touted as mere opinion, “edgy”, “challenging”, or “telling it like it is” is now getting called out for what it is - propagandising, misinformation, and most often, lying. And now we have those who have made their names peddling Fake News playing “look over there” in order to smear reputable news sites for personal gain.
To no surprise at all, this sly and creepy tactic has not taken long to be deployed by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, where newly anointed teaboy Alex “Billy Liar” Wickham was full value for his nickname yesterday as he tried - and failed miserably - to pin the Fake News tag on the Guardian.
Under the heading “Murdoch Requests Correction Over Guardian Fake News”, readers of the Fawkes blog were told “Anyone with a Twitter account will at some point have seen one of the many memes quoting Rupert Murdoch on why he backs Brexit: ‘When I go into Downing Street they do what I say; when I go to Brussels they take no notice’. The quote was first attributed to him by Anthony Hilton in the Standard and repeated in the Guardian and Indy, as well has being shared thousands and thousands of times on social media by the usual Murdophobes. Today Rupert has written to the Guardian to demand a correction”. A sentence from Murdoch’s letter to the paper was then quoted.
Milk, no sugar, there's a good teaboy
The post was a pack of lies from start to finish. Let’s itemise the Wickham whoppers.
Murdoch did not request a correction from the Guardian. He merely stated that he had not used the form of words quoted in his letter.
It was not a Guardian story. As Wickham concedes, the attribution of the quote was first made in the Evening Standard. So why not kick them?
It is not provably false news. Murdoch may have said something with the same meaning; he may not. But Wickham is not in a position to say one way or the other.
Murdoch’s claim is directly contradicted by a former Prime Minister. John Major, in testimony given before the Leveson Inquiry (video HERE) asserted that Murdoch told him that he wished the then Tory Government to change its policies on Europe, and that if it did not, News International’s papers “could not, and would not, support him”.
. Considering it’s the Guardian that has been targeted, one might expect the Fawkes blog to link to the paper’s website. But the only link provided is to the Standard. That’s not good enough.
That the quote was widely shared is not down to the Guardian. If the Standard puts a story out there and it gets shared, how can you blame another outlet for it?
No citation from the Independent is given. Wickham claims the Indy also ran the quote, but again, gives no citation. That’s just lazy.
Murdoch did not write to the Guardian to demand a correction. See first point above.
The objective of the post is not to kick the Guardian. Wickham’s true purpose can be gleaned from the final sentence in the paragraph quoted: “Today Rupert has written to the Guardian …”. Yes, the real objective of this smear is crawling.
Alex Wickham is trying to ingratiate himself with Rupert Murdoch in the most fawning, grovelling, simpering manner. “Please Rupert, see I’ve kicked the Guardian for you Rupert, give me a job Rupert, you gave Harry a job Rupert, I’ll fit in anywhere Rupert, I’ll even lick the crap out of the crack in your jacksy Rupert”. Pass the sick bucket.
Rupert Murdoch, as any fule kno, is known, even to those who know him personally, as KRM. And Alex Wickham is about to exhaust the contents of yet another fire extinguisher, as his pants are once again well alight.
The only false news in this story is the kind coming from the Fawkes rabble. Another fine mess, once again.
Good evisceration of Wixy's reprobate yellow sub-journalism again.
The Guardian did however publish the letter, and as this appeared to be pressure (further whipped up with added porkies by Wixy, as you explain), I thought there was a point to be answered there as well.
So I posted this (via Twitlonger) on Twitter last night: ...
Let’s be clear: Murdoch is meddling & muddying waters yet again. Original source of the now-viral quote is Anthony Hilton, es 26.02.2016: http://www.standard.co.uk/comment/comment/anthony-hilton-stay-or-go-the-lack-of-solid-facts-means-it-s-all-a-leap-of-faith-a3189151.html
Murdoch is effectively labelling Hilton’s account a lie: but choosing to scapegoat a different newspaper instead. It would be good to know if Mr Hilton @standardcity could take a position on having his claim publicly denied?
Meanwhile, a careful search reveals that the quote has been used in Guardian articles twice since February: despite Murdoch’s claim, NOT “on a number of occasions”; and in reality, fewer times than at least two other publications a google search would reveal.
Let's consider the two uses in the Guardian: 1) 2 days before EURef, w proper acknowledgement 2Hilton source (see end/article) https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/jun/21/daily-mail-backs-brexit-on-eve-referendum; 2) 29 Sept, again properly acknowledging same source: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/sep/29/theresa-may-meeting-rupert-murdoch-times-sun
As a newspaper hound, Murdoch will duly have noted the quote’s true source, while exaggerating (indeed, lying – “on a number of occasions”) about the subsequent use of the quote in the Guardian.
So why, well aware he is muddying the waters, is he intervening in public life – yet again – and targeting the Guardian? The most likely answers are not hard to find.
Look again at article 2) above. Anxious to smash any barriers to his - apparently imminent - peremptory takeover of SKY, the veteran ever-expanding multinational mogul presumably desires to discredit a detested enemy - one of a number of publications/sites/individuals expressing objections to such a swift takeover, but THE favourite butt of the political/media types Murdoch attracts in his power orbit - with the evident particular and immediate aim of hushing & burying discussion of his meeting w Theresa May - w its undisclosed agenda.
Of course, he is not open enough to reveal any of this covert meeting, nor any of his deeper (and actual) motives for attacking the viral quote launched by Anthony Hilton, for which he chooses instead to take the Guardian to task. He targets that newspaper as the offensive party, and portrays himself as if the innocent victim of a scurrilous & entirely baseless rumour.
Meanwhile, he rubs his hands & licks his lips over the Government's decision re: SKY.
Rupert the Bare Faced Liar grovelling and quibbling over a form of words.
Well I never.
Then Arslikhan Tea Boy trying to "help" him. And making it worse.
Well I double never.
When the wizened old prune whinged about said phrase his reaction told you more about HIS cowardly far right stance than anything else. Like all bullies - McFilth and Neil spring to mind - he can dish it out but not take it.
The Tea Boy was, well, just a Tea Boy wheedling for a step up from the bottom rung. Not to be taken seriously.
As for the phrase, the words may or may not be accurate. Like many others I simply don't know. But Murdoch's political intentions are obvious enough, words or no words. For him to come out of his bunker to complain means a nerve has been touched. Pour salt on it I say, and then rub it in.
Cue Neil Wallis to corroborate the fake news! The bullies are #allinittigether.
Give me a wedgie. Spank me and give me a right good seeing to.
You know it's my bag, baby ....YEAH!
"Oh I wish it could be Christmas everydaaaay".
Been starting celebrations early. Actually, I never really stopped after last Christmas!
If I see you divulging what we get up to in the office with locked doors and closed doors again, I'll fu***ng replace you with a teasmaid!
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