Those who look in regularly on Zelo Street may recall The Great Man taking particular exception to my conclusion that Spectator Australia may be in trouble after losing a defamation action which cost it somewhere around £500,000. “Blocked for spreading not just fake news but downright lies. Spectator Australia just finished its most profitable year ever. Expansion plans for 2018. Bye, liar” he howled in response.
It was not an isolated occurrence: not long after that, Abi Wilkinson noted “Neil is also involved with Orbán. Tbf the Spectator is equally happy to turn a blind eye to antisemitism *and* Islamophobia”. Neil went ballistic. “Liar. Now a blocked liar. For lying. Which is what you do. But not on my twitter line. Keep your lies to yourself”. Sound familiar? Worse, Ms Wilkinson was right, the Orbán connection appearing in Private Eye magazine.
Now, Brillo has deployed the L-Word once again in response to Owen Jones’ Guardian op-ed on those distancing themselves from Combover Crybaby Donald Trump following the latter inciting a violent attack on the US Capitol. “As Trump falls, rightwing figures such as Fraser Nelson and Douglas Murray have suddenly discovered their consciences” concluded Jones. He also called out Brillo. The Great Man was not happy.
“Owen Jones is a compulsive liar. He lumps me with so called ‘cheerleaders’ for Trump. Yet he cannot produce a single example of me cheerleading for him. If he had a reverence for facts he would reproduce my regular criticisms of Trump” he spluttered.
What say OJ? “Other than making a defamatory statement here, Andrew Neil seems to have no basic reading comprehension. The article says that the publication *he chairs* did more than any other UK media outlet to promote pro-Trump propaganda, including claims the US election was illegitimate”. Sam Freedman agreed with him.
“Owen's absolutely right calling Neil out for presiding over a magazine that publishes racists and cranks. He doesn't get to pretend he has nothing to do with it”. Quoting Neil’s earlier remark “If he really thinks Spectator is [a] facist [sic] rag (absurd idea) he should confront [the] editor directly. As Chairman I would be his court of appeal”, Jonathan Portes pointed out “He's *explicitly* accepted that he has the ultimate responsibility here”.
And after one enterprising Tweeter put together some of the Spectator’s pro-Trump rubbish, the authors including James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole, Doug Murray The K, Brendan O’Neill, Rod “a smile, a song and a four-pack of Stella” Liddle, Charles Moore and the loathsome Toby Young, James O’Brien drew one conclusion.
“It's a tough one, champ. My sympathies. You could order [Fraser Nelson] to defend you but that would make it harder to claim that you aren't in charge. Or you could wait for him to do it 'voluntarily', leaving him solely responsible for publishing all the Nazi apologists & racists”. Brillo not only lost this one. He lost his credibility too. Sad, really.
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