But Newton Dunn knows one thing instinctively: to remain on message not only for the Murdoch mafiosi, but the press generally. So he is not backwards in coming forwards to put the boot into social media providers when they incur his displeasure, as Twitter has done following propagation of a Fake News Item about Labour MP Jess Phillips.
Ms Phillips had told her followers “Yesterday I was alerted to a completely fake headline that was being put on @Twitter about me, that puts me my family and staff at risk of violence. It is completely fake”. So it is not being reproduced here. What is being reproduced is Newton Dunn’s riposte: “This wouldn’t happen if [Twitter] took responsibility for its content, like broadcast, print and digital media must”.
Really, O wise one? That’s an interesting, not to say very brave statement, coming from someone whose ability to create falsehood and misinformation is the stuff of legend. Take, for instance, the Sun front page splash “1 in 5 Brit Muslims’ sympathy for jihadis” juxtaposed with an image of one of those alleged to have performed beheadings. This story merely fiddled the results of a poll. But then it got worse.
Newton Dunn later had his name on the by-line of the infamous Sun “QUEEN BACKS BREXIT” splash. There was no actual evidence ponied up to support the claim, and after looking at the list of those present when Her Maj is alleged to have made her pronouncement, the conclusion was reached by many that his informant was most likely Michael “Oiky” Gove, who has not always found dishonesty to be inconvenient.trying to stand up the claims by fantasist Jan Sarkocy that former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had been a Czech asset during the last years of the Cold War. Sadly for the Sun man, Sarkocy also claimed that he’d helped organise either Live Aid, or the Nelson Mandela concert. He was a fraud, and Newton Dunn was bust.
And that should have been the end of it, but the pièce de résistance was yet to come: only last year, once again under his by-line, the Sun briefly told readers “Ex-Spooks say Corbyn is at the centre of a hard-left extremist network … Jeremy Corbyn is at the centre of an extraordinary network of hard-left extremists pieced together by former British intelligence officers”. So hard left it included the Guardian, the BBC, and the People’s Assembly.
It was a far-right conspiracy wackjob. Newton Dunn had, willingly or otherwise, lent his name to endorsing a hoax. This was the level of veracity that had seen alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson sacked from his first job in journalism.
Tom Newton Dunn has no room to call out Twitter for enabling Fake News. He has, after all, enabled plenty of it himself. I’ll just leave that one there.