It has been clear for some time that many who work as journalists at certain so-called quality papers would not, in times past, have been allowed in the door. This has been true of the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph for years; more recently it is clear that the Murdoch Times is similarly blessed. And one who would not have featured in the paper’s pre-Murdoch era is political correspondent Henry Zeffman.
Zeffman has his name on the by-line of today’s smear of the Labour leadership, creatively titled “Former KKK wizard praised Corbyn victory”. Here, he tells “A white supremacist and former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan praised the election of Jeremy Corbyn to the Labour leadership as a sign that people were recognising ‘Zionist power’ and ‘Jewish establishment power’”. And when, pray, did this “endorsement” occur?
“David Duke, who led a branch of the KKK based in Louisiana in the 1970s, told listeners to his radio show in 2015: ‘It’s a really good kind of evolutionary thing, isn’t it, when people are beginning to recognise Zionist power and ultimately the Jewish establishment power in Britain and in the western world.’”. Duke said this in 2015. Three years ago.
Then Zeffman’s trousers reach ignition point as he claims “His endorsement was unearthed as splits deepened between Mr Corbyn’s most vocal supporters over how to respond to allegations of anti-Semitism in Labour’s ranks”. No, no, no, no, no.
The so-called “endorsement” was “unearthed”, as Zeffman puts it, by the Murdoch Sun (what a coincidence) last year, in an article which told “A FORMER KKK leader who took part in the Charlottesville race riot is a fan of Jeremy Corbyn and claimed the Labour leader helps his cause find "sunshine in the world … Neo-Nazi David Duke heaped praise on him after the General Election for battling against the ‘Zionists’”.
That Zeffman was unable to invoke the mystical art known as “five minutes’ Googling” was not lost on those passing adverse comment, such as Sol Hughes, who asked “Does the old story get ‘unearthed’ every August ? Neither ‘unearthed’ Duke calling Corbyn ‘Marxist filth’ on Twitter”. Moreover, Duke’s “Marxist filth” attack, which he made in February 2017, is rather more recent than the claim on which the Times story is based.
And the Sun having run the same story a year earlier generated yet more cynicism, with one Tweeter musing “Old news, buddy. Still, if you are now resorting to rehashing old Sun content, you must be running out of things to say. What next? A photo of Corbyn taking part in a black mass?” Also, this was a very old kind of smear.
It was at least 73 years old, as Mikey Rains pointed out. Above the infamous 1945 Daily Express headline “GESTAPO IN BRITAIN IF SOCIALISTS WIN”, he observed “This is how the press tried to stop Attlee’s government gaining power in 1945. It’s exactly the same tactic being used by some now: ‘the far left are identical to the far right’ (that absolute bullshit about the ‘horseshoe’ of politics) & ‘The left will take away personal freedom’”.
But good to see Henry Zeffman being an obedient Murdoch droid and doing as he’s told.
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