Celebrity status is something that most who enjoy it deploy with care: it is not something to abuse, not a means to kick away the more fragile status of the less well-off, and most certainly not a vehicle for deploying falsehood and misinformation. This is the kind of idea that is proving difficult for at least one self-appointed campaigner right now.
To no surprise at all, that campaigner is Countdown numbers person Rachel Riley, who is once again drumming up business for the anonymous and unprincipled Stop Funding Fake News, a campaign which, as far as is known, is still gathering data on its supporters while not clearly complying with the provisions of data protection law.
Still, minor point, eh? Ms Riley and SFFN have ostensibly been even-handed in their approach to what they call Fake News sites, but in reality this is a vicious and baseless attempt to put operations like The Canary out of business. The Canary is not a Fake News outlet. It is regulated by IMPRESS (to whom Ms Riley has not, as yet, complained), and as Zelo Street regulars will know, clearly labels its posts as News or Opinion.
This has not stopped Ms Riley’s latest attack on the site.”Dear [The Law Society], I’m sure you’re not aware but your ads are appearing on, therefore funding a fake news website which promotes anti-Jewish racism. Please check out [SFFN] and join the many organisations who’ve blacklisted them to stop the monetisation of hate” she claimed.
But The Canary does not, repeat does not, repeat DOES NOT “promote anti-Jewish racism”. But on she went. “Here’s some more info on the kind of content [The Law Society]’s brand may be positioned next to. It’s really easy to stop your ads appearing in hateful places, The Government were the last org to do so through [SFFN] last week”.
SFFN is then quoted as claiming “We’ve been following fake news site, The Canary & its editor, Kerry-Anne Mendoza since the start of our campaign. In the last few days she has come out with some of the most frightening language we’ve ever seen from her”. What they show is Ms Mendoza expressing her opinion. What she is saying there is NOT “anti-Jewish racism”. What she IS doing is calling out the legitimising of racism.
So if Ms Riley and SFFN are pursuing those who “promote … racism”, they are going after the wrong target. Sadly, The Law Society has taken SFFN’s witch-hunt as a legitimate campaign, which Ms Riley has applauded. “Thanks brilliant! Thanks for such a speedy and solid response, all organisations should follow your lead. Well done [The Law Society]”.
The Tweeter known as The Controversialist has observed “Look at this for nasty behaviour agree or disagree [The Canary] is not some nasty antisemitic rag. Shame on places [like] the [Law Society] for such weakness”. So why is Ms Riley doing it? Simples. The Canary is perceived as being in the pro-Corbyn camp. And Ms Riley believes he’s an anti-Semite.
This belief is now leading her into forthright defamation and bullying: she’s got the means to threaten legal action, and The Canary hasn’t. What she has claimed would have mainstream media groups reaching for their lawyers, and I suspect she knows it.
Thus the abuse of celebrity status, however minor and transient. That’s not good enough.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at
RR isn't the brightest of those that front what is an often entertaining but hardly brain challenging fluffy TV program.
She seems to have adopted the role of a "professional" antisemitic warrior yet she usually misses the target and often just tilts at windmills of no substance.
I'm still puzzled by her bizarre attack upon a Northern working man/woman's band for having the temerity to belt out Hava Nagila to delighted onlookers (Rachel does know doesn't she, that Britain's working classes have heroically often been the first to front up to would-be British Fascists? (ie: see "East End & Oswald Mosley").
# Ironically Hava Nagila was composed in..Palestine..from an Hassidic tune. Various Hassidic sects are of course virulently anti-Zionist Israel.
# Don't tell Rachel and for G-D's sake don't tell Tracy Ann Oberman.
Riley needs to be taken a peg or ten, she's highly litigious and to be honest I suspect she uses action as a revenue stream. Don't forget that Riley is suing Vox Political's Mike Sivier. The Canary should organise a crowdfunding and then put Riley in her rightful place - in the sewer.
Should Riley litigate about alleged defamation in, for example, this blog, defending against it could cost over £10k just for pre-hearing proceedings. Those who cannot stump up this kind of cash would be obliged to issue grovelling apologies, whether true or not. So free speech could be turned into fake news. I say this hypothetically, but abuse of legal process on Twitter is by no means unknown and free speech would clearly be harmed by it.
That's the same Riley reported in Private Eye 1507 as saying on Radio 3, "Popular science has come a long way. I think Brian Cox has done amazing things for astrology."
Hardly Brain of Britain is she?
Would that The Canary had the money to sue her kecks off. If she wears any...
The Law Society?...The usual gutless gang of M25 wannabe solicitors clerks. All my arse.
One more example of a hypocritical liar supported by cowards. There will be plenty more.
Who is feeding her these stories? I'm sure she doesn't cruise The Canary looking for infractions. It all feels so co-ordinated, but if you mention this suspicion, you're accused of digging up the conspiracy trope.
Not that this means anything *cough* but she did gleefully meet Harvey Weinstein when he visited the UK a few years back and he was until recently a biggish player in IDF fundraising using his various 'stars' to attend and etc etc..
Both Twitter and Facebook have shown they have double standards. Despite numerous complaints Twitter have allowed Riley to continue spewing her ignorant views, along with Gnasherjew and others amongst her followers. If she was pro-Palestine her account would have been suspended
Post a Comment