Article inverts reality to say libel-ridden rag is under ‘assault’ and the victim of politically-motivated attacks
The Telegraph, often known as the ‘Torygraph’ for its political leanings, has launched an astonishing attempt to whitewash the libel-ridden Jewish Chronicle – which has paid out large sums in damages to multiple left-wing activists and has suffered a string of adverse findings by regulator IPSO, which normally has such a reputation for extreme leniency that the ‘Hacked Off’ group referred to it as a ‘sham’ to create the ‘illusion of reform’.
The ‘Torygraph’ has launched a thinly-veiled attack on those who have suffered from the ‘litany of lies’ of the Chronicle, attempting to portray the source of the vile smears as the real victim of a coordinated ‘assault’ by the evil lefties who had the temerity to find themselves libelled and misrepresented and are demanding that IPSO conduct a full ‘standards’ investigation into the rag’s shoddy journalism.
In contrast, the article only ever refers to “victims” in quotation marks, as if indicating that they did not really suffer at the hands of the right-wing hacks who maligned them – and takes every opportunity to point out anything that might discredit them. And while it attempts to cover itself by stating that it is not suggesting their pursuit of the Chronicle is vexatious, it immediately goes on to imply that the case is politically motivated:
The article adopts a tone suggesting that the “victims” (its quotation marks) did not really suffer anything too bad and that the smears were slips rather than intentional – yet even in this snow-job some of the facts of the horrific libels suffered include:
- an ‘entirely false’ claim that a black activist was involved in ‘tracking down’ Jewish people in their homes to ‘take care of them’. When the rag had to pay damages and apologise to victim (no quotation marks) Marc Wadsworth, he said it was the fifteenth time in five years that it had been forced to retract and/or apologise for false claims about him
- a ‘litany of lies’ about Liverpool pensioner Audrey White in a string of four articles claiming that she had lied and bullied a Jewish MP – lies that led to ‘substantial’ compensation
- a claim that Palestinian charity Interpal had links to terrorism, for which the Chronicle was forced to pay £50,000 in damages
- wrongly claiming that a writer could not comment on the scale of the murder of Jews during the Holocaust and that it might only be ‘thousands’
An unmentioned but equally appalling smear consisted of ‘completely unfounded’ claims that a Muslim Labour member had ‘orchestrated’ a ‘vicious’ campaign against a Jewish MP, leading to a further ‘substantial’ damages payout and an admission that the victim’s conduct had been ‘entirely proper’.
But no real harm done, eh?
The Torygraph also tries to cast doubt on the nine victims’ claim that the Jewish Chronicle has been found by IPSO to have committed at least 28 breaches of the IPSO editors’ code in just three years, by stating that there have only been eight upheld complaints’ In fact, while there were eight judgments, many of them found multiple breaches of the code.
It also ignores or omits a key fact in its eagerness to cast the Jewish Chronicle as the victim: IPSO first said it was referring the rag to its standards committee – on its own initiative and without any request from the victims (again, no quotation marks) of the rag’s vile smears.
While investigating the multiple libels against Audrey White, IPSO found the Chronicle so uncooperative and ‘unacceptable’ during the investigation, that IPSO’s committee wrote in the White judgment that:
The Committee expressed significant concerns about the newspaper’s handling of this complaint. The newspaper had failed, on a number of occasions, to answer questions put to it by IPSO and it was regrettable the newspaper’s responses had been delayed. The Committee considered that the publication’s conduct during IPSO’s investigation was unacceptable. The Committee’s concerns have been drawn to the attention of IPSO’s Standards department.
The Telegraph then quotes disgraced Tory MP and head of Conservative Friends of Israel Stephen Crabb – without a word about the fact that he has twice admitted sending ‘inappropriate’ sexually suggestive messages to young women – categorising the attempt by the Chronicle’s victims to prevent it continuing its appalling conduct as an attempt to ‘silence the free press’:
While IPSO has an important role to play, it should never allow itself to be used as a weaponby those with a political agenda, or those who seek to silence or shackle the free press.
It then concludes its snow-job with a uncriticised comment from the Chronicle that it is ‘proud’ of its record lumping its victims together as ‘extreme elements’ and claiming it has been ‘targeted’ by an attempt ‘to discredit us’:
A spokesman for The Jewish Chronicle said: “The Jewish Chronicle is proud to have exposed many of the more extreme elements of Corbyn’s Labour. It is no surprise that some of those people have targeted The Jewish Chronicle and sought to discredit us. We will not be deterred.”
The Telegraph ‘associate editor’ writing the piece suggests that the left would ‘rejoice’ if the Jewish Chronicle – recently saved from bankruptcy by a consortium including Tories, a BBC journalist and a right-wing former Labour MP – was plunged into another ‘existential crisis’.
Skwawkbox suggests that all who care about standards in journalism, a functioning democracy and preventing the abuse of press power should rejoice if it ceased to exist entirely.
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