The right-leaning part of the Fourth Estate is on the lookout for stories that reflect badly on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. In this endeavour, once again, our free and fearless press has taken its cue from the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog. And once again, the story they ran with looked too good to be true - because, surprise surprise, it WAS too good to be true.
Corbyn visited the City of York yesterday. There was, as so often when the Labour leader rocks up in town, a large crowd, and most likely more than even Jezza’s minders and security detail had bargained for. An army veteran wanted to ask a question, but security deemed it too risky for Corbyn to wander into the crowd.
So Jezza was ushered away, and - as even the Mail concedes - his staff took the man’s number so he could be contacted later. This detail, like so much more, was absent from The Great Guido’s account. Instead, the account of an eyewitness called Jayh Karia was featured. He passed severely adverse comment on Corbyn and his staff.
But then, as Mandy Rice Davies said all those years ago, he would, wouldn’t he? What the Fawkes rabble was’t telling readers, or its pals in the press, is that Karia is not exactly a disinterested party. While the Sun howled “POTTY PEACENIK PANNED Northern Ireland veteran brands Jeremy Corbyn a ‘coward’ after Labour leader ran away from his Troubles ‘witch-hunt’ question” and the Mail sneered “Jeremy Corbyn snubs veteran after realising he wants to ask him a question about prosecuting army heroes as his minder BLOCKS his path and a Labour crowd JEER him”, nobody looked at Karia’s Twitter feed.
That was a most unwise move. The first entry in that feed is Karia following Michael “Oiky” Gove, and the Gove for PM accounts. Then it’s on to sneer at Arsenal - a team he doesn’t seem to like - and by association, Jeremy Corbyn. He’s a Tory supporting Corbyn basher.
You think I jest? Let’s look further: there is Karia backing Tory Tom Horwood. Backing a severely negative comment on a Corbyn PMQs performance. Backing a Tory-supporting Tweeter enthusiastic about Ruth Davidson. Sneering “Can you imagine what it must feel like to be an Arsenal supporting Labour voter?”
There is more. Much more. Karia backs Telegraph hack Christopher Hope as he obediently tells his followers that Theresa May is warning of a “coalition of chaos”. He lets his followers know about a vox pop where a voter says Corbyn is “a laugh”.
He follows his local Tory PPC. And he also follows Ross Kempsell - the new gofer at the Fawkes blog. Then, on Tuesday, Jayh Karia Re-Tweets Fawkes teaboy Alex Wickham telling of a young woman who introduced Jezza at a rally having sent a series of appallingly racist Tweets some time ago. And by pure coincidence, the very next day, there he was at the front of the crowd at the Corbyn rally - ready to spill his not unbiased beans.