Jared O’Mara’s attitudes toward women appear to have been reprehensible and this blog has no interest in defending them. However, information relating to disturbing omissions from reports concerning that behaviour have reached the SKWAWKBOX.
The S*n reported allegations against Mr O’Mara from two main sources: Sheffield women Sophie Evans and Liz Aspden.
Ms Evans told the BBC’s Daily Politics programme about comments she said O’Mara had made to her but didn’t mention that she had a ‘history’ with him before the events:
But the S*n, of an ilk with the right-wing source of the original story, also seems to have omitted to mention another key piece of information.
A S*n article accuses O’Mara of ‘watch[ing] as his bouncers gave woman a black eye’ before relating a story told by Sheffield woman Liz Aspden. The right-wing blog that crowed about the Evans story mentioned the S*n article in a follow-up with the words:
Meanwhile a second woman, 42 year-old Liz Aspden, has come forward
as if the two women have no connection – and the second has merely ‘come forward’ – but that appears to be anything but the case.
Sources in Sheffield have told the SKWAWKBOX that Ms Aspden is the publican of the Harlequin pub, less than a mile from Jared O’Mara’s club – and that the original complainant, Sophie Evans, is Liz Aspden’s employee.
Not only that, but the pair have a long, busy and familiar Twitter history together, with the earliest tweet between Aspden’s ‘@harlequinpub’ account and Evans’ ‘@drunken_musings’ dating back some eighteen months:
All of which might mean nothing – or might mean a lot. At the very least, these are connections that a serious journalist would pursue. However, they might not be conducive to an outright, anti-Labour attack article.
Neither woman has been reachable for comment. There appears to be no reason to doubt either’s account of what O’Mara said or did, but if one complainant owns a potentially rival establishment to his and the second complainant works for her (and has history with O’Mara), then that information is absolutely pertinent to the story, raising questions about motivation and other possible background.
At its mildest, the omission of such obviously pertinent facts would represent a failure of journalism, especially with both publications – openly opposed to Labour’s aims and values, especially under Jeremy Corbyn – relating the accusations with such obvious relish and an apparent desire to damage the Labour Party through them.
If the outlets in question didn’t know that their two complainants were linked, they should have – the link can be uncovered via a simple Twitter search. If they knew and failed to include the information, that’s a different order of failure.
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