As today’s front pages are read and inwardly digested, with claims of bias by the hated BBC gleefully recycled by our free and fearless press, one group of particularly unsavoury individuals are convulsed in fits of puerile giggling, drunk on power and safe in the knowledge that no-one in the media establishment is going to touch them any time soon.
For The Great Guido, there are never enough biscuits
That group, to no surprise at all, is the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, who have joined their press pals in epitomising Stanley Baldwin’s claim of “power without responsibility - the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages”. They have achieved this by lying about a target, seeing that target come within an inch of losing his job, and then lying to cover their tracks.
Hugh Bennett - Fawkes gofer, wrote the second attack post
You think I jest? Let’s take this one nice and slowly. The Beeb had hosted a debate on Tuesday evening between the then candidates for the Tory Party leadership. As part of that debate, members of the public were invited to submit questions. Two of those questioners were Scary Muslims™. And it is those two on whom The Great Guido focused.
Tom Harwood - Fawkes teaboy who knew the Tweet's context ...
One of the two was Aman Thakar, who put it to the wannabe Prime Ministers that they did not have a democratic mandate. The Fawkes massive discovered that he had worked as a legal assistant to the Labour Party’s General Secretary, although he now works for law firm Leigh Day. Never mind that, the Fawkes blog declared he was “A Labour Staffer”.
Lie Number One: if he works for Leigh Day, he cannot be a “Labour Staffer”. The Fawkes “exclusive” swiftly moves on to Lie Number Two: “A source who worked in Labour’s complaints department at the time says Thakar was ‘uber partisan’ and claims he was brought in by Shami Chakrabarti to help ‘close down’ cases of anti-Semitism”. This is total invention. It is an irrelevance, but hey, Labour, Muslims and anti-Semitism. Nudge nudge.
... because he'd been part of TPUK, who hosted Candace Owens
Moving right along, we come to Lie Number Three: “Aman has now deleted his tweets, unfortunately for him not before Guido got this. Aman describes himself as ‘a nationalist’ in this tweet”. The offending Tweet looks bad on first sight. But it has been stripped of context. And that stripping of context is down to The Great Guido.
Still, by this time, the idea that the BBC had allowed on a “Labour Staffer” had become an established fact, even though it wasn’t true. And so it was that the Fawkes rabble returned to the fray, telling “BBC’s Labour Staffer Guest Suspended From Law Firm”. Lie Number Three was repeated as if it, too, had become fact, with readers told that Aman Thakar was “sending questionable tweets about Hitler. He’s now been suspended from his job at controversial ambulance-chasing law firm Leigh Day”.
Lie Number Four: one Tweet taken out of context has become Tweets plural. Was this enough lies for the Fawkes massive? Er, no. Lie Number Five came with the most shameless slice of projection: “[Rob] Burley’s kiss of death strikes again… two people have lost their jobs over the debate last night, none of them work at the BBC”.
The BBC, with or without Rob Burley’s involvement, had not lost anyone their job. That was down to The Great Guido, who, as is rapidly becoming clear, has leapt from the gutter of playing Gotcha on politicians, to the sewer of shitting all over unsuspecting members of the public - all so their press pals with throw them a few more biscuits.
And as one look at Staines shows, there are some in and around the media for whom there will never be enough biscuits. So it was that the Fawkes massive returned for another kick at the unfortunate Aman Thakar, triumphantly announcing “‘Aman From London’ Apologises For Hitler Joke Tweet”. And it is here that the genuinely jaw-dropping and biggest lie is pulled. Don’t blink - you might miss it.
“Aman Thakar has apologised for joking about Hitler on his Twitter account. In a new Tweet, he expressed his ‘full and sincere apologies for any offence caused’ and provided the full context of his Tweet, where he says he was sarcastically joking about the most harmful parts of Hitler’s legacy”. The Fawkes rabble should know about this, as Thakar was taking the piss out of Candace Owens and her pronouncement on nationalism.
She did this at the launch of Turning Point UK last December - that’s the Turning Point UK whose initial supporters included new Fawkes teaboy Tom Harwood. Harwood wrote that last Fawkes post. He knew the context of Thakar’s Tweet, yet still shamelessly went after him, blame-shifting all the way. So here we are at the last big lie.
“No one could see the context this morning because he took his tweets private”. Lie Number Six. He took his Tweets private AFTER Harwood and his pals extracted the one mentioning Hitler, which they stripped of context at the time. The Fawkes massive is now lying to cover its tracks, having lied in order to get its target almost sacked.
Small wonder that this exercise in not-really-journalism has been widely condemned. Matt Carr was particularly harsh, and justifiably so: “Wow, you lot are quite the bunch of lying scumbags, aren't you? You offer this as 'evidence' - and leave out the fact that he was mocking Candace Owens? Back in the sewer now, you don't belong in decent company”.
Jonathan Fisher was not surprised: “I assume you know that this is a pisstake of Candace Owens, but that you've deliberately cropped what he's responding to. Shameless and irresponsible journalism which is why I'm not even 1% surprised that it's coming from you”.
Ross McCafferty pointed out that Harwood knew the Tweet’s context: "This is clearly a pisstake of Candace Owens' comments about Hitler. Made at the first meeting of a right wing organisation endorsed at its launch by @tomhfh who works for... eh... Guido”.
And Daniel Sugarman of the Jewish Chronicle, who had previously taken the Fawkes rabble on trust, mused “I have deleted this tweet as it has now become clear that it was part of a conversation in which people were mocking a far-right commentator’s statement about Hitler. I can only urge @GuidoFawkes, which originally published it, to do the same”.
He’ll be waiting a long time, though. And Sunny Hundal had seen enough. “These right wing dickbags took his tweets out of context, which were ridiculing a racist, to paint this guy as an anti-Semite and put him out of a job. These same dickbags spend all their time whining about how the Left is attacking free speech … I hope this guy sues Paul Staines for every cent until he's destitute. And I hope he does the same to every dickbag who also shared these tweets to paint him as a racist without spending one minute checking their validity … This episode shows beyond doubt these right-wing charlatans couldn't give a shit about free speech or the right to cause offence. They rail about it to attack the Left. They will happily ruin an innocent person's life if it gets a few clicks”.
The Great Guido is bang out of order. Another fine mess, once again.
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