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Wednesday 15 April 2020

Crowdfunder - Support Paddy French

Some journalists have lots of money. Some have relatively little. Some have the skin of a rhinoceros. Others are so thin-skinned that the thought occurs they might have been better advised finding a more sheltered way of earning a living. And looking rather like he may be perilously close to the latter category is the former BBC journalist John Ware, who is now a freelance, and who has suddenly come over all litigious.
John Ware

Ware fronted a Panorama special - an extended edition, no less, last year titled “Is Labour anti-Semitic?” As a quick perusal of Wikipedia reveals, it “was described by Labour as containing ‘deliberate and malicious representations designed to mislead’ and the party alleged that ‘Panorama has pre-determined the outcome of its investigation and is relying on unsubstantiated allegations and misrepresentation to come to its conclusions’ and that ‘No proper attempt has been made by Panorama to understand Labour's current processes and procedures’”. The party made a formal complaint to the BBC.

In the meantime, freelance journalist Paddy French, who runs the excellent Press Gang site, took an interest in the Panorama programme and passed trenchant and adverse comment upon it, publishing a series of posts on the subject.
Some months after the event, French is now being targeted by Ware in a proposed legal action. Ware claims he has been defamed, but the specifics of that seem thus far elusive. What is not in doubt is that Ware has instructed one Mark Lewis, who is now at Patron Law. Lewis made a significant part of his reputation during the phone hacking scandal, but has since parted company with campaigning group Hacked Off.

Why this happened is not clear, except that Lewis has recently made an outrageous and provably untrue claim about Hacked Off: after the group announced last year that they were launching a fundraising drive, he snipedDon’t bother giving. They do not care about people affected by the press, just about themselves. They use genuine victims”.
Lawyer Mark Lewis ...

I’m sure this has had no bearing on Lewis’ attitude to French, who has supported Hacked Off in the past, and as far as is known, continues to do so. In the meantime, French, who falls into the category of more modestly funded journalists - one can readily identify with that - has launched a JustGiving crowdfunder to help with potential legal costs.

You can give to that crowdfunder HERE. I have already done so. You can also read Paddy French’s statement on the threat to him and his finances HERE. This is what he has said so far: “It’s clear John Ware feels our report is an attack on his professional integrity … Press Gang feels equally strongly that the report met the highest standards of ethical journalism - and we’ll be defending it strongly … We’re confident it was a fair criticism of a contentious piece of broadcasting and that a court will agree with us … But we cannot get to that point without your help”. The BBC has not commented on Ware’s action.
... and an interesting treatment of his former friends

In the meantime, it would be good to know exactly what Ware considers defamatory, and indeed why it has apparently taken him until now to go after French over it.

I’m sure that information will be readily and swiftly made available. Sooner or later.
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Anonymous said...

Good luck to Paddy French.

I'd love to see low-life Ware taken to the cleaners for costs.

Anonymous said...

Tim, for your readers, Lewis and Ware are both hard-line supporters of Israel