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Saturday 6 February 2021

Rachel Riley - A Tweet Too Far?

The Coronavirus pandemic is proving a difficult time for some Slebs: films and TV dramas not being made because of the contact risk, interviews and talk shows not happening for much the same reason, and any kind of entertainment involving a live audience is also out of the question. What’s a Sleb to do in order to score some attention?

Rachel Riley

This conundrum appears to have been taxing the likes of Countdown numbers person Rachel Riley, whose day job is in the third of those categories, with hopefully a little bit in the second as a result. None of that is happening right now. But there is always that social media presence to fall back on. And so it came to pass.

Aaron Bastani

Shortly after noon yesterday, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog posted a pretentiously billedExclusive … Guido Investigation” titled “Labour Sources Say Bastani Out Of The Labour Party”. Readers not yet asleep were told “Labour sources tell Guido that the founder of Novara Media and well known advocate of communism, Aaron Bastani, is no longer a member of the Labour Party”.

Sadly for The Great Guido, there was nothing “exclusive” about this supposed news. Bastani Tweeted later in the afternoon that “In light of claims I was suspended from Labour, which are complete nonsense, here is an email I sent to my local CLP Secretary after ending my membership a while back. This is the reality of politics in real life, mostly civilised & cordial. A million miles away from Twitter!” And that should have been that.

Fawkes over-eggs pudding in order to burnish undeserved reputation, film at 11. But it seems that Ms Riley, who has in the past claimed to be hot on Fake News, had no problem quoting a borderline Fake News site, quote Tweeting the Fawkes massive and adding “One of the biggest ringleaders of left wing antisemitism”.

James Foster was one of many who concluded that Ms Riley may have crossed the defamation line with that one: not merely making a claim that someone had said something that could be construed as anti-Semitic, but that he was a “ringleader”. Foster’s conclusion was put directly: “Wow. Bold claim. Time to speak to legals [Aaron Bastani]”.

Bastani’s response suggested he may do just that: “I just wanted to read a book on Chinese foreign policy today. Ah well”. Ms Riley, meanwhile, appeared confident that she would prevail: “Lots of legal brains … commenting here, so: 1) You can’t sue someone for saying something that is arguably true 2) Yes I do have a lawyer, thanks for asking. He’s the one who forced Bastani to apologise to Maajid for his anti-Muslim bigotry”.

Let’s take that one nice and slowly. One, “arguably true” is not the test. She would have to show that Bastani was part of some kind of organised anti-Semitic behaviour. Two, the apology given to Maajid Nawaz meant that Bastani avoided having to risk losing rather more than his shirt: Ms Riley knows how this game is played. And Three, the Nawaz case is a spectacular false equivalence: “My lawyer won that one, so he wins every time”.

That wasn’t what happened when she and her pal Tracy Ann Oberman went after barrister Jane Heybroek. One day, Rachel Riley will run out of road. I’ll just leave that one there.

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Anonymous said...

At this rate the stupid woman is headed for the same fate as the ineffable loon Hopkins.

She'll deserve it too.

James said...

In my point of view she is no different and is just as dangerous as the celebrities engaging in guruism regarding covid.

Vile piece of work.

Anonymous said...

Am surprised she hasn't been foaming at the mouth over the recent ICC ruling and accusing the court of being full of antisemites.

Jonathan said...

One thing Ms Riley is not to hot on, is doing basic research and checking facts, it usually saves on lawyer fees.

If Aaron decided to engage M'learned friends in legal discussions, sure bet there is enough people out there willing to donate to help take Ms Riley down a peg or two.

Johnspartacusanonymous said...

She used to be decorative and kept quieter (initially) than the gruesome Vordermann. Suspect the grotesque over- ""emuneration" and exposure rots these TV "talents" Brains (assuming any initial possession of same).
In the case of Ms Riley less a tweet than a tw@ too far.