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Saturday 27 June 2020

Allison Pearson’s Casual Libel

As realisation dawns on some of those out there on the right who had been hurling abuse at author Priyamvada Gopal that she is prepared to instruct lawyers and come after them, the attempts to delete incriminating evidence have begun. But screen shots have been taken, URLs copied: Dr Gopal has received serious death threats as a result of the torrent of abuse and passing round of fabricated Tweets. So who might be in trouble?
Well, apart from the Daily Mail’s pointless pundit Sarah “Vain” Vine, whose latest faux pas I noted earlier, there is the routinely vicious and deeply unpleasant David Vance, failed Northern Irish politician turned social media smear merchant. Vance has passed around the fake Tweet I covered in relation to Ms Vine. He has now deleted it.
But the evidence had already been captured. Also about to be contacted by Dr Gopal’s lawyers is, yes, the Daily Mail itself. Through the offices of Glenda Emeritus Amanda Platell, the fake Tweet has found its way into today’s edition of that paper. Ms Platell appears to have cobbled it together with a genuine Tweet. Oh dear!
But the best value for money so far is the increasingly wayward Allison Pearson, still inexplicably given a berth by the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph. She has also been circulating the fake Tweet, because she has - most inadvisedly - been striking up a Twitter friendship with Vance. That was not her finest hour.
She asked her new social media pal “David, is that an actual tweet from Gopal? If so deeply disturbing”. Tom Gann attempted to show her the error of her ways. “No, it’s extremely & libellously fake - also, Allison, this is quite an iffy person to be chatting too (& trusting) all normally”. She brushed this aside and dug herself deeper.
Well, it’s been printed in The Mail today and their lawyers will have OK’d it. I will check with them”. TAKE IT DOWN FIRST. No, not listening. Omar Wareich did not appear to believe her. “Oh, that must mean it's true! Honestly”. What say Ms P? “Some of her colleagues tell me it’s true [this is bullshit. She hasn’t talked to any of Dr Gopal’s colleagues]. I’m getting it checked out. We will know if it’s fake because she will sue”.
Note the casual “yeah, whatever, so she’ll sue”. Wareich tried to alert her to the seriousness of the situation. "It was a crude fabrication - a semi-literate tweet, drawn in part from something attributed to Stalin. I don't think [Priyamvada Gopal] has ever flinched from owning what she has actually written”. His message did not get through.
Fine. I must have been misinformed but I am still going to check to make sure. It is OK to still check things out is it?” It’s a fake, you know what’s coming down the track, you’ve been warned, take it down. Meanwhile, Dr Gopal has confirmed that the Police are involved, lawyers are about to be involved, and those hearing from said lawyers include the Mail and Vance. So as Ms Pearson echoed Vance, they will talk to her too.

Any competent journalist will know what happens when you stall for time instead of taking down defamatory material. Which tells you all you need to know about Allison Pearson.
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Malcolm Redfellow said...

Did I read that correctly? —
“We will know if it’s fake because she will sue”.

Is fact-checking now merely what the libel lawyers say?

Did Humbert Woolf have an epigram on the matter?

Derek said...

Dear Zelo ,
What is increasingly encouraging about the left wing blogs (to which I subscribe monthly measly pittances) is the extent that the MSM columnists are getting worked over and flinching (or at least their lawyers are flinching) under the pressure of being forced to accept liability for trafficking ‘fake news’ . I made another of my measly contributions to Chris Williamson in his leading the way on fighting lawfare , and when after he won his damages when he took the Labour Party to the High Court after he was unlawfully suspended by the Party at the behest of the Israel lobby , he’s transformed the fund into the Left Legal Fighting Fund for traduced left-wingers . I’ve indicated I’m prepared to make further of my measly contributions for such causes . Maybe it could translate into the ‘call to arms’ by Ms Kerry-Anne Mendoza in the Canary . Surely solidarity and strength of numbers can transform this situation , where it’s the MSM b’stards who are flinching ?

Arnold said...

“Fine. I must have been misinformed but I am still going to check to make sure. It is OK to still check things out is it?”
Yep. But before you go to print, not after you've libeled someone.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the legal people will dish out some justified vengeance for Pearson's ridiculous lack of judgement.

Got to ask though - what are the odds of her getting any sort of censure for the dubious medical advice she's dishing out each day on Twitter?

There's free speech and then there's endangering thousands and she's veering towards the latter.

Jonathan said...

I am no journalist, but it's the very basics to check ur sources before publishing...
Do the RW rags lawyers not hold training sessions for Vine & co?

Charlie Slater said...

I wonder how much Pearson believes this stuff. She is a clever woman, but writing awful opinions to order will inevitably take its toll. She has become very lax in her thoughts and her follow through.

Malcolm on the Mailwatch forum is a bit like that. Once the smartest in the room, the need to be seen as that, has led him down an awfully dark road. That site loses Lord Kobel, then it's over.