After the weekend’s revelations, one might have thought that matters could not get any worse for mercenary hack Isabel Oakeshott: that she had openly and aggressively denounced the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr over suggestions that there had been improper behaviour around the Leave campaign in the 2016 EU referendum, while knowing full well that that is exactly what had happened, had to be the last word.
But it is not: Ms Oakeshott’s desperation and technical ignorance have led her to indulge in dirty tricks that have taken her seriously eroded credibility and ground it into the dust along the way. We know this after the Daily Beast published a damning exposé of the Arron Banks email trove whose leaking started the whole panic in the first place.
Nico Hines’ article tells “An email, seen by The Daily Beast, was sent to Banks at 11.57am on Friday by Cadwalladr advising him that The Observer had obtained copies of his emails which laid bare the scale of his interactions with Russia … Banks did not respond to the email until 10.30pm that night, saying he was out of the office and could not respond until Monday”. And then Ms Oakeshott hove into view.
“Within hours, Oakeshott was in touch with Cadwalladr, however. At first she accused The Observer of hacking her archive and stealing the emails - an allegation the reporters deny - but by late afternoon on Saturday she had entered into a discussion about cooperating with The Guardian/The Observer if they agreed to hold the story until Monday”.
The (baseless and untrue) accusation of hacking didn’t work, so then she gave the impression of trying to get herself a piece of the action. And why should the Observer and Guardian hold their story until Monday? You’ll love this: “By then, a team at The Sunday Times, where Oakeshott used to work, was in full swing producing their own version of the stunning story which they managed to break before The Observer late on Saturday”.
That sounds very much like making nice in order to chuck a spanner in the works and thereby give the Sunday Times spoiler a head start. Or, as some might call it, the lowest form of journalistic dirty tricks. After all, the ST’s article “came complete with a commentary from Oakeshott herself, in which she expressed her shock at the revelations”.
Hines observes “Oakeshott has not responded to questions from The Daily Beast, including whether she has passed the emails to the FBI, the Mueller probe or Britain’s Electoral Commission”. But she was happy to see them go to the Murdoch press.
You might have thought it was a pretty low trick to make that claim about the pig’s head in her unauthorised biography of Young Dave. Given what we discovered at the weekend, her behaviour on The Andy Marr Show™ looks downright nasty. But what Isabel Oakeshott appears to have done in the past 72 hours beats both of those hands down.
No credible media outlet should have anything to do with her after these latest revelations. That some in press and broadcast will continue to do just that tells you all you need to know about the state of those organisations right now. I’ll just leave that one there.