Éric Zemmour ...
There is also the magazine’s summer party, which many in our media class who should know better fall over themselves in order to secure an invite. Sadly, though, the veneer of respectability has fractured badly of late after the Speccy went on a grovelling promo-fest in order to tell Brits who may not have wanted to know about Éric Zemmour.
... and a magazine that's right on his wavelength
Zemmour, as Zelo Street regulars will already know, is a convicted racist bigot. But he has also declared himself to be a candidate for the French Presidency, though his polling numbers have begun to decline of late. That last fact passed Freddy Gray by as he conducted his fawning “interview” of The Great Man. But some journalists were not happy.
It’s not every day that pundits openly call out fellow pundits, so when Helen Lewis passed severely adverse comment on Gray’s less than elegy, those at the Speccy should have taken notice: “The Spectator has made a bad call in commissioning and printing this softball interview with far right French presidential candidate Eric Zemmour”.
It was an interview that followed the Speccy’s modus operandi all too well: Taki praising the Nazis, Murray demonising Muslims, platforming Andy Ngo (that was Gray once more), and so Jonathan Portes was not surprised. “From Golden Dawn to Thierry Baudet to the AFD to the Sweden Democrats, what racist/fascist/far-right European political movement has the [Spectator] *not* endorsed? Responsibility for this lies not with Gray but with editor [Fraser Nelson] and Chairman [Andrew Neil]”. So it does.
But the establishment turns a blind eye, not least followers of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. Pawel Swidlicki noted “Last week [Liz] Truss was at Spectator awards praising the Spectator which then published laudatory softball interview with Eric Zemmour who has been described by France's chief rabbi as an anti-Semite. Today Truss writes that ‘There is no place for anti-Semitism anywhere in the world’”.
That, though, may be about to end, as Daniel Sugarman, who is public affairs officer for the Board of Deputies of British Jews, signalled his significant displeasure. “I will certainly accuse the Spectator of giving a platform to a Holocaust revisionist … I will also accuse the Spectator of giving a platform to a man who said that the 4 Jewish victims of the 2012 antisemitic terror attack in Toulouse were ‘foreigners first and foremost’ because their families decided to bury them in Israel” (thread HERE).
The Spectator chasing around Europe to find far-right figures which it can shamelessly promote is one Wild West Show on which time ought to be called, but will not be: when those in charge at the magazine discover André Ventura, it would surprise no-one to see Freddy Gray hot-footing it to Lisbon to continue his grovelfest.
It’s high time our media class stopped supping with the Speccy and thereby giving credibility to the mag’s promotion of bigotry. But they won’t. Cos party invites.
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