Written on: 14. 5. 2021 in the category: Uncategorized

Lynch Mob Journalism Triumphs Once More

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The purge continues. With Eoghan Harris on the tumbril, and with Irish Times columnists once again baying in sanctimonious glee as he’s hauled away, the area of freedom remaining in Irish journalism is about the width of a narrow-gauge railway.  The tracks have been set this close together by an extraordinary alliance of dedicated Sfira fascists, sabre-toothed PC liberals and the Kingstown & Dalkey Children’s Woke Brigade. The few plucky commentators who remain outside those tracks – such as Eilis O’Hanlon and Mairia Cahill – are still tolerated, just about, but the guillotine for them is doubtless being readied, while alongside its basket the crones croon murderously, their needles rattling in joyous expectation.

Knit one, purl one, mes jolies tricoteuse

Meanwhile, the massed ranks of the politico-media classes are saying nothing, because for the most part they are mediocrities and cowards who are content to sup at the custard of the consensus: it is yellow, it is sweet and it stands for nothing.  

It was an act of irreversible idiocy of The Sunday Independent – for which I have been a very occasional contributor – to have publicly sacked and humiliated their best and best-known columnist on grounds that would only be possible in this deranged era of journalistic self-excoriation and career-assassination. However, it was not unprecedented, for the US is much further down the tracks to perdition. Last year, a senior editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Stan Wischnowski was forced by his colleagues to resign merely for using a headline, “Buildings Matter”.  In true Red Guards manner, an editorial in The New York Times urged its readers to break contact with family members who did not support “Black Lives Matter”.  So, the Harris affair is just the Irish dialect of a worldwide language of journalistic nihilism, but with this profound caveat: nowhere else is there a fascist party ready to take control of the state.

Deplorable though INM’s conduct has been, it is nothing compared to the body of Dublin journalists who have said nothing about this scandalous affair, presumably because they don’t want to be next. But by their silence, they are making “next” a certainty for one of their number. And then another. And then another….

What has Harris’s great crime been? He has anonymously contributed to a website named “Barbara Pym” that is critical of Sinn Fein. Do we know which contributions he made? We don’t. That some of the anonymous contributions might have been unseemly and distasteful is possible, but since they were anonymous, we don’t know who the authors were. Even if some of the nastier ones were by him, how does this justify the reputational ruin and the public execration that was so ruthlessly visited on him? What contract with INM did he violate? What law did he break? What code of conduct exists in the social media that apparently applies to him but not to others? A Belfast law firm has taken action against Twitter demanding to know the names and addresses of people associated with Harris’s twitter account. All very well, but when will we ever hear of who is behind the daily plethora of pro-IRA tweets viciously attacking Harris and other opponents of the Sfira agenda?

In Dublin, leading the media mob gathered around Harris’s crumpled figure were Fintan O’Toole and Kathy Sheridan of “The Witch Hunters Gazette”, formerly known as The Irish Times. Four years ago, this gallant duo got stuck into my corpse after The Sunday Times sacked me over a column that it had sought, approved and published. The lynching began on social media in London, with various utterly spurious allegations that I was a misogynist, anti-Semite, Holocaust-denier and anti-African racist et cetera.

Indeed, I might very well be all of those things, but the funny thing is that neither O’Toole or Sheridan had ever made any such allegations about me throughout the many hundreds of columns that they had written this century. Not once. Only when I was fatally wounded did they summon up the nerve to attack me, O’Toole dedicating two entire columns in under a week to vent his loathing of me.

Plucky, eh?

Over the past few days, O’Toole has done little to persuade those of us who think he is a thoroughly vile piece of work that we are wrong. Now Harris might well indeed be a horrible person and an enemy of all decency, one who deserves to be denounced, execrated and vilified. But once again, the gallant O’Toole only summoned up the nerve to use his Irish Times column to attack him once his body was lying in the gutter and his reputation had been filleted by his employers in INM, whereupon O’Toole’s courage was boundless.

O’Toole’s standard technique is to throw in a historical reference or two to give his columns some fake-gravitas. This time he contrasted the frequent use of anonymity in the 18th century, usually for reasons of personal safety, with the “freedom” of expression that exists today. But virtually the opposite is true. True freedom of expression exists solely for the politically correct: stray too far from the consensus, and the lynch-mob awaits. And just as there is safety in anonymity so also is there in the mob, which is precisely where O’Toole chose to place himself in his attacks on me four years ago and then on Harris in the past week. He finished the latter with this simpering, sanctimonious bile: “Journalists should be at least as careful of their own good names.”

What? WHAT? This is from a man who so frequently misrepresents the hapless, the powerless and the friendless, and then denounces the misrepresentation of his own creation. Indeed, he has done this so often that one wonders: how could he possibly mention the terms “journalists” and “good names” in the same sentence without inserting a personal disclaimer?

Sheridan too could have attacked Harris for his opinions and his character in her Irish Times columns any time this century. She chose not to do so. Not once. Only when the mob had felled him did she move in. She finished her column with a piece of sanctimonious drivel that matched that of O’Toole: “There is a distinction between robust commentary and vitriolic abuse. The lesson is to name it, fearlessly, loudly and repeatedly.”

What? WHAT? This is from a woman who four years ago alleged that I ‘denigrated women as dull, mediocre, workshy wasters and shriekers and men as the pitiful victims of feminazi justice”, a perfect example of vitriolic abuse, for I had never said any of those things or used any of those words.

My legal advice was that these base and false accusations were defamatory, and The Irish Times would be unable to defend them in court. However, I decided not to sue her and it, and for two main reasons: the first was that I had a larger action on my hands against RTE which had called me a Holocaust-denier, which I won in a major out of court settlement, (though of course, neither The Irish Times nor RTE news reported this) and the second (which I have never disclosed until now) was that Sheridan at that point was suffering from a potentially fatal cancer. Not wishing to add to her stress, I stayed my hand.

This is the final point. Sheridan and O’Toole must surely know that Eoghan has serious, life-threatening cancer – and if they don’t, they’re even worse journalists than I thought – yet neither chose to hold off on him. No decent person would want to add unnecessarily to the stress and agony of this man’s terrible life crisis, and of course, no decent person did.

The night is dark and growing darker. Truth is hidden in plain sight. Codes of honour, decency, precision and kindness are inverted and turned into cudgels for use against the opponent of the hour. Watching all this with unbridled joy are Sfira, of whom O’Toole is a declared ally. “There can be no progressive government in Ireland without Sinn Fein,” is how he began a column in February last year.

Eoghan Harris is gone from mainstream columnar journalism. So too is Ruth Dudley-Edwards. So too am I. What we have in common is a fierce and unmitigated hostility to the entire agenda of the still-armed, IRA army council-controlled Sfira movement. We have paid the price. You hear a strange clanking sound? That’s the winch hauling up the blade for the next dissident. And when they’ve run out dissidents, as soon they will, they’ll turn on those not loud enough in their praises for the Sfira and the glorious future that awaits us all.

Meanwhile, the tracks of the narrow-gauge railway are getting closer and closer and closer. One morning soon we’ll all wake up to find that, by a Sfira edict, an ideological monorail will suit us all admirably. And if you don’t like it, why, please join the queue…

Knit one, purl one, mes jolies tricoteuses.

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