Doctor, I can't keep my mouth shut
The timeline can be put directly: “Lord” John Mann, the Tories’ unfortunately-titled “Anti-Semitism Czar”, commissioned research from Daniel Allington of King’s College London. The subsequent report, Antisemitism and the alternative media, can be seen HERE. Four publishers were examined: Radio Albion and TR News out there on the far right, alongside The Canary and Skwawkbox on the left. The selection may look familiar.
That is because the tactic used is the same as that used by Stop Funding Fake News, a self-appointed judge and jury representing no-one and hiding its funders behind a wall of anonymity. This, too, used the tactic of throwing in a couple of far-right outlets for alleged balance, but it was all too clear who the real targets were - the left.
One more run out for this faux equivalence
SFFN was enthusiastically endorsed by Countdown numbers person Rachel Riley. It went after The Canary with some vigour, attempting to demonetise the site by frightening off advertisers. And, surprise surprise, the KCL report also talks demonetisation. That report made sufficient noise for IMPRESS to proactively intervene.
It regulated The Canary and Skwawkbox. Did the sites discriminate against Jews? Was there evidence of anti-Semitism? The conclusion from IMPRESS was damning. “The Committee decided that, of the material in remit, none of it reached the threshold which would engage the discrimination clause and, therefore, further investigation would be unjustified. The matter was therefore dismissed”. Publishers exonerated.
Smeared and cleared: The Canary ...
But that will not be the end of it. “Lord” John Mann, who has been so vocal on the subject of anti-Semitism, has also been highly selective in who he pursues: not for him the steady drip of Tories lapsing into anti-Semitic tropes. Worse for him is that he appears to have been prompted, either directly or via his own research, by the SFFN faux campaign.
He also has a grim track record for racism, having been interviewed by the Police over material attacking the GRT Community. Moreover, he has to his name an intervention in an alleged case of anti-Semitic bias that showed a laughable lack of intellectual heft.
... and Skwawkbox
As for Ms Riley and SFFN, the latter apparently linked to the Centre for Countering Digital Hate, they should count themselves lucky: the “fake news” smear against The Canary is potentially actionable, should the publisher find anyone to take on the case. Rachel Riley does not hesitate to instruct lawyers herself: it would be singularly delicious to see how she likes it when the boot is so firmly on the other foot.
One other casualty of the IMPRESS investigation has not yet been named, so I will name it. The Government of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his coterie of ineptitude, by appointing “Lord” John Mann, is also responsible for the smears and the distress caused to two publishers who turned out to have done nothing wrong. The credibility of “Lord” John Mann has finally expired. Put a fork in him, he’s done.
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