Some of the slebs who use social media platforms know their limitations. Others know the old adage often attributed to the late Denis Thatcher - “better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt”. One Z-lister who seems to disregard both is Countdown numbers person Rachel Riley.
Ms Riley, as Zelo Street regulars will know, has tried to smear the Labour Party leadership, and indeed many of those who support it, as being anti-Semitic, only for it to be discovered that she had previously backed Mark Meechan, who styles himself Count Dankula, the amateur provocateur who got himself into trouble by training his partner’s dog to do a Nazi-style salute when he shouted “Gas the Jews”.
After this had been publicised, Ms Riley then declared “Defending this view is not a hill I will choose to die on”, and then did exactly that, as she endorsed some deeply unpleasant Twitter accounts, presumably after once again not doing her research. After that fiasco, others might have paused for thought. Not Ms Riley.
After she had once again protested about what others say on Twitter, “More personal attacks on me by people joining in … This guy using my previous attempts to stand up for Jews as evidence I’m questionable Jewish and obliquely implying I could be Antisemitic” (why she doesn’t just block the account is not told), she then decided to go the whole nine yards and gratuitously smear a few more individuals.
“Some of the messages were replying to tweets I couldn’t see, as the tweeter had blocked me [so block them back and move on] As far as I know, I’ve never had any dealings with this person, but their timeline shows support of those known to promote Antisemitism Loach, Bastani, Chomski [sic]. No surprise pro-Corbyn”. You read that right.
While Ken Loach has been accused of all manner of views he does not hold, he is not a promoter of anti-Semitism. Nor is Aaron Bastani of Novara Media. They are, however, both supportive of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of Labour, and as Ms Riley has already smeared him - wrongly - as an anti-Semite, they have to be smeared too.
But the real howler is for her to include Noam Chomsky in her list of anti-Semitism promoters. Why make such a foolish error? Why smear someone of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage as a promoter of anti-Semitism? It can only be because he, too, has made comments supportive of, and sympathetic to, the Labour leader.
Indeed, Noam Chomsky was the target of anti-Semitism during his childhood, as his native Philadelphia had a sizeable German community (Chomsky grew up in the city during the 1930s). Once more, Rachel Riley has opened mouth and inserted foot in no style at all. One can only wonder at the response of Channel 4 bosses to one of their minor slebs tarnishing one of their longest-established brands.
Needlessly associating Countdown with smear campaigns and appallingly bad research might not be the best of career moves. I’ll just leave that one there.
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