There has been a disturbing trend of late for the right-wing press to go after anyone perceived to query the establishment line on any matter du jour, and especially anything related to Russia and Syria. As Zelo Street regulars will already know, the Murdoch Times ran “Apologists for Assad working in Universities”, and in doing so deliberately defamed one of its targets, an academic called Louis Allday.
Totally independent. Or rather not
The resorting to Cold War smears - the idea that those who are not with us must therefore be against us - is clearly meant to silence dissent, which in any free society should be a cause for concern. What may also concern media watchers is the manner in which the likes of the Murdoch press is pressing home its attack.
Louis Allday is a member of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media, as is fellow member Tim Hayward of the University of Edinburgh, who has responded to claims that he and his colleagues are “pro-Assad” by stressing that he is “simply ‘pro-‘ getting at the truth”. Also in that group is Professor Piers Robinson of the University of Sheffield, and it is through him that we see the darker side of the Murdoch operation.
Immediately after the Times had gone after Robinson and his colleagues, Alex “Billy Liar” Wickham, teaboy to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines at the Guido Fawkes blog, followed up with the claim “This is what the University of Manchester said when I asked them about Prof Piers Robinson in 2016. Robinson is a lunatic obsessed with sick conspiracy theories from extreme websites and Russia Today”.
Milk, no sugar, hold the smears
“A lunatic obsessed with sick conspiracy theories”. So the usual Wickham smears and dishonesty, then. But this was not a coincidence. The Fawkes teaboy has previous when it comes to lying about Robinson, kicking off with “Well well. Piers Robinson, who wrote that Guardian article spinning for Russia, is a big fan of the Canary”. He commented favourably on two posts appearing there. But there was more.
“His Twitter feed is filled with links to conspiracy theory sites. This man writes for the Guardian and is employed by @sheffielduni…”. No citations are provided, but then, research sometimes proves challenging when there aren’t any real facts available.
Then comes the customary Fawkes smear: anti-Semitism by association: “You'll be shocked to learn Piers Robinson also tweeted an article dismissing Labour's anti-Semitism row”. He Tweeted a link to Open Democracy. Which is not a conspiracy theory site. Open Democracy deals in real journalism, so must be attacked by those who don’t.
[The now-legendary Fawkes hypocrisy on anti-Semitism is summarised HERE]
All of which is so routine for Fawkes watchers, but the truly disturbing part is that Wickham has returned to attack Robinson at the same time as the Murdoch press is delivering punishment beating to others in the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media. As I said earlier, this is not a coincidence. It confirms the Fawkes-Murdoch link.
There was a good reason I previously told that the Fawkes rabble was the sub-boot boy arm of the Murdoch press. And that’s because that’s exactly what they are.