A gathering of white supremacists, including neo-Nazis and the KKK, brought significant disruption to the town of Charlottesville, VA Friday and yesterday. There were counter-demonstrations and scuffles. And then someone drove a car at speed into a group of those opposed to the Mighty White, injuring many and killing one. The Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, has told the white supremacists of his disgust at their actions.
Corbyn: nothing to do with Charlottesville, but ...
“I have a message for all the white supremacists, and the Nazis who came into Charlottesville today. Our message is plain and simple: Go home. You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Shame on you. You pretend that you're patriots, but you are anything but a patriot … You came here today to hurt people. And you did hurt people. But my message is clear: We are stronger than you”.
McAuliffe is a Democrat. The message from many Republicans, though, was equally condemnatory of the far-right. But not all Republicans: Combover Crybaby Donald Trump merely stressed that he condemned “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides”. The violence only came from one side. But Trump has a problem here, and he knows it: many of the white supremacists are his own supporters.
So The Donald has been getting it in the neck for trying to drive it round the houses. But here, the right-leaning Pundit Establishment has had no problem in excusing Trump’s attempted deflection by trying to kick Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, despite Jezza having taken to Twitter to tell “My thoughts are with those killed and injured in #Charlottesville standing up to racism and hatred”. And once again the call was “Venezuela”.
Leading off in no style at all was Iain Dale, not a loud or extreme voice by any stretch of the imagination, who nevertheless took Trump’s statement and sneered “Isn’t this a statement straight out of the Jeremy Corbyn playbook?” QTWTAIN (see above), but have another go. “Love how BBC News reports that Donald Trump has been found wanting for blaming ‘both sides’. Didn’t say that about Corbyn, did they?”
Will Dale be declining the next invite for The Andy Marr Show (tm)? No, thought not. Meanwhile, the loathsome Toby Young was happily Re-tweeting Christopher Snowdon’s snark response to Trump’s bluster: “Otherwise known as the Corbyn Gambit”. And Julia Hartley Dooda, not to be outdone, chose the all-too-similar response “Did Jeremy Corbyn write this tweet?”. But the most egregious nastiness came from Tim Montgomerie.
After responding “Very Jeremy Corbyn” to Trump’s response, the serially clueless Monty rather let himself go: “And the MUCH, MUCH greater violence and social pain caused by Corbyn's Venezuelan regime? Jezza's lobotomised supporters are silent”. Knowledge of Venezuela he doesn’t possess. Calling the régime there Corbyn’s own. And the lowest mental health smear imaginable. The sneering disdain is all too evident.
These four horse people of the media Apocalypse, moreover, are not fringe ranters. They are paid-up members of the Pundit Establishment. They have radio shows, are gifted commissions by reputable newspapers, get invited to pontificate by broadcasters. And they all managed the same false equivalence, right on cue.
Still, the next on-air meeting of Monty and Paul Mason might be a bit tasty, eh?