This was a post I wrote last week about being on the receiving end of a very brief and slightly boring media shitstorm. It didn’t last for long (about an hour or so) but it was the first time I’d been called an anti-Semite so I wrote down some thoughts for preservations sake. I didn’t publish it because…
A) It wasn’t very funny.
B) I kind of forgotten about it.
However, by writing an Israel / Palestine joke this evening and then being on the receiving end of twattish abuse from both sides (I’m a Nazi / no Jews are Nazis / no Hamas are Nazis / I think we can all agree you hate some kind of race and that makes you racist, you Nazi) I remember that the post was sat here unloved and unpublished, so I thought I’d pop it out.
So, expectations sufficiently lowered and the anger from being lured here under an inappropriately salacious title hopefully dulled, here’s the whole goddamned shebang….
I have a confession to make. And it’s a big one. I had hoped to keep it secret for a bit longer but recent newspaper articles have forced my hand.
The sordid truth is that I hate Jews. Broadly speaking, I hate all races apart from the white race but I really really hate the Jews. They way they do Jewish things, being all Jewishy. It’s madness. They drive me crazy they do.
But, as you know, there’s nothing I love more than sticking it to the Mail – so when the opportunity arose to attack the Mail AND a Jew in one tweet…? Well, I was ruddy delighted I was, absolutely ruddy delighted.
One of the “leading lights of the leftwing Twitterati?” I’m flattered, Harry. Better that than ‘tosspot of all trades’ I suppose.
On the 4th of July a new user called ‘Abuaisha10’ posted a pretty obviously fake call to Jihadist arms on the Muslim community forum Ummah. The thread has now been taken down but you can see a cached version of it here.
Pretty swiftly the message was chased back to a Daily Mail IP address with one user naming the former Daily Mail writer Richard Ferrer as the source. I didn’t know who Richard Ferrer was. I probably should have Googled him.
I was sent the link, I sat on it overnight to see it gain a little bit of traction, checked it hadn’t been immediately discredited and then posted it on the morning of the 6th. This was my tweet:
Since it was pretty obvious (right, right?) that Richard Ferrer was unlikely to be trolling Muslims there was two options; a low-level intern at the Mail was using an old IP address and had done something stupid, or the whole thing was fake. There was a really interesting Reddit thread running which deconstructed it well and the general consensus was that it was at least plausible.
What was fascinating was that it was broadly agreed that it was probably fake, but what was stopping people from outright calling it was that it genuinely seemed like something the Mail might do. Any other paper? No doubt a spoofed IP address. The Daily Mail? Well, y’know, we wouldn’t put it past them…
However, it turned out that Richard Ferrer is editor of the Jewish News and conspiracy theorists were taking great delight in throwing all manner of abuse at him. They thought he was race-baiting and that this dodgy-looking forum posting was all the smoking gun evidence they needed. Suddenly this was proof of the New World Order, of the Jewish drive towards race war, of the Zionist somethingorother, and by God were they going to let him know it. In the worst way possible.
He wrote an article about it for the Independent, and it’s really good – even though it tries to guilt me by association into having spearheaded a racist hate mob. I’ll let that one slide as he was having a bad day.
Now, as we know – the only people on the internet who aren’t reactionary fucknuggets are you and me – and while we’re grown up enough to understand how compooters and inturnets work most people will still, in the words of David St. Hubbins, believe virtually everything they read. Is that my fault? No. I’m a comedy Twitter account who takes great pride in not being trustworthy. If you take anything I tweet as any more than frustrated abyss screaming then you get what you deserve, frankly.
Speaking of reactionary fuckwits, let’s see if Harry Cole has calmed down yet.
Apparently I’ve made up a smear on a random journalist. My very own media swirlstorm. How exciting. If pounced on in the street by journos I must remember to give my name as Raoul Duke. Unless, that is, ol’ Guido is accusing me of spoofing an IP address and writing that post… ah, I give up. On their deathbed no-one ever wished they’d spent more time arguing on the internet.
So I got a bit of abuse, Harry Cole got some abuse, Richard Ferrer got some more abuse – everyone got abuse, basically. The Daily Mail confirmed it didn’t come from their server and no-one really knows who spoofed the their IP address. Either it was a nutjob subtly race baiting or a hacker who picked an ex-employee name at random. Whoever it was, they played us well and I congratulate them. It’s nice to know we’re all as predictable as each other.
The other reason I posted the first tweet was because I wanted to set up this joke for two days later.
However it bombed heavily, so I can’t really use that as an excuse.
A few notes:
- I never named Richard Ferrer – I didn’t know who he was. If you’re unable to grasp that everything I tweet (yes, even the ‘serious’ ones) is to be seen through the simplified, blame based prism of the rightwing press then, frankly, you should probably stay away from my feed.
- I do offer my apologies to Richard Ferrer though – no-one should receive the sort of abuse he did, and while I do think that blaming me for anti-Semitic hatechains is a bit like blaming Russell Brand for UKIP, I do acknowledge that the sheer ubiquity of my tweet did ramp up attention on the story. However, it was also a fucking fascinating story – ‘real’ or not, and since I’m not a journalist I can tweet whatever I want however I want.
- Another perk of not being a journalist is that I can call Harry Cole a “reactionary fuckwit” without falling foul of an editor. I’d also add “shit-stirring little weasel” too.
- I still really massively hate Jews. Like, loads. Proper hate them.
PS: I hate Jews.
Simon Heffer has a book coming out all about the sloppy use of English language. Hooray for him. Judging by the excerpt in today’s Daily Mail, though, it’s less of a joyous romp through the intricacies of word play and more a list of things he doesn’t like. You know, like Katie Hopkins does.
I know it’s a Daily Mail link, and I apologise, but you may need to see this one for reference. Note, if you will, the titled mention of Harry Potter – designed to make you feel that Heffer is taking a swipe at falling standards in literature but, no, it’s just that he happened to notice a grammatical mistake in one of the books once.
All spelling and factual errors aside, I thought I’d check to see how the Daily Mail stood up to Heffer’s exacting standards.
Click here for more details.
My own opinion of the Daily Mail changes so often that I barely pay any attention to the mood swings any more. I’ve moved from hatred, to fear, to amusement, to admiration and back again so many times that I’ve accepted it as a hazard of the job. Today, though, I experienced a new one – pity.
Maybe it was the hot day, maybe it was the enveloping tiredness, maybe I was stoned (just threw that one in for Peter Hitchens – it’ll make the criticisms of me easier for him) but today I somehow looked at the website with eyes anew, and kind of saw it for the pathetic dad-dancer of a publication that is.
A cursory glance of the front page reveals a story about a man who collects irons, three separate stories about three separate members of the Saturdays shooting the same music video, two articles on Jeremy Kyle being on holiday, several pieces describing what’s been happening on reality TV shows, a half dozen notable rapes and murders in exotic locations, the heroic story of a lady who campaigned to have a lamppost removed from outside her house, countless descriptions of celebrity tweets or Instagrams, God knows how many conflicting predictions of extreme weather and a weird preoccupation with someone called Farrah Abraham who appears to just run around in a bikini with her daughter after having filmed a porno.
I’m not going to deny that they don’t sometimes write important stories, and they do indeed cover most newsworthy events in one shape or the other, but it all seems so secondary to this churning cycle of bullshit – unimportant, recycled, painfully reaching tat – that it smothers any good work they actually do.
It occurred to me just how sad the whole publication is; how it must be awful writing for them when 75% of the content is pulled from Reddit, or Twitter, or is just finding ways to describe tabloid long lens intrusions into Jennifer Garner’s children, or watching Big Brother just so you can repeat what happened, or rewriting stories that we found in other newspapers. I’ve lost count of how many articles include the sentence “in an article with the Sun…” or “…as the Guardian has claimed.” It’s not Fleet Street, it’s not hotfooting it around town looking for the hot scoop – it’s reading Reddit and following Ashton Kutcher on Twitter.
Two quotes I’ve heard recently which pretty much sum up their whole ethos:
It has no sense of remorse or humility. It’s fuelled by hatred. It hates people who are successful. It hates people who are not.
It hates people who are fat just as much as it hates people who are thin. It hates everybody. But for some reason it seems especially to hate me…
Obviously the Daily Mail is not going to care one way or another if I’m the kind of performance artist or musician that gets naked. They just know they’ve caught a photograph of a woman with her breast slightly exposed and actually the context is irrelevant Whether they knew that I was the sort of performance artist that gets naked at other times doesn’t matter to them because they know it doesn’t really matter to their readers.
The same sad tiredness is also showing in their columnists work. In the same way in which the news content is driven by a need to write something – anything – to keep the cycle going, the opinion pieces echo the desperation for content that is provoking and plentiful, but with virtually no thought behind them.
This week has yielded the most magnificently awful column I’ve read in nearly three years of running this account. Dominic Sandbrook’s Buck House sold to Qatar. The King lives in a small flat. The only people who marry are gay is a beautiful failure of satire at its most basic level – a kind of apocalyptic re-imagining of Richard Littlejohn’s To Hell in a Handcart but written by a rightwing evangelical who’s taken 2 grams of mescaline and has an hard-on that just won’t go away.
It charts a future vision of a Britain ruled by our new baby king, in which the internet porn addled minds of a drugged population wallow in the fiery depths of gay marriage and EU dictatorships where poverty and foreigners benefits are our only business. I’ve paused at that point to take a breath, Sandbrook doesn’t. It’s meant to be satire, it’s meant to be funny but it is neither. There’s a simple reason for this, it’s that RIGHTWING HUMOUR IS NEVER FUNNY.
I have a friend who used to work in the Sky News newsroom. He always flatly refuted any theories about a Murdoch controlled newsopoly because the newsroom was run in such a state of chaos and disarray that the idea they could even produce a workable production schedule was laughable.
I’m beginning to feel that way about the Daily Mail. They’re just teenagers in the corner giggling at boobs, but everyone’s paying attention to them because they’re the loudest.
To end on, here’s a picture of Amanda Palmer’s boob so that this blog will be banned by the porn filter.
British politics has rarely been in a more shambolic and fumbling state than it is right now. Sure, we’ve had fuck-ups, corruption and catastrophically stupid decisions in the past but I don’t think the mechanisms behind them have ever been so exposed. We basically have a government that is one step away from fistfights in the street. Frankly, it’s pathetic.
I may not agree with the Coalition government I want to at least know they have a plan. I may not support the opposition but I want to hear that they are standing vigilant. I may welcome a fringe party if they are cognitive and considered. Governing isn’t just about policies, it’s about providing the public with a sense of trust that at the very core of whomever is in power is a promise to makes people’s lives better.
What I see right now is a political class that can barely function as grown adults. These aren’t merit badges they’re playing with, it’s people’s lives, and they need to start behaving as if they are capable of organising themselves so as to at least appear in control. So much division does make the public feel better, it does not inspire trust in the system, and then things fall further apart.
Basically, I don’t want a government who use Premier Inn surveys to dictate education policy. I don’t care if your plan is to turn schools into sweatshops for Primark, just don’t use a fucking Lenny Henry promoted brand to justify it.
Throughout the past 3 years I’ve waited for Labour to gain some kind of momentum as a force for good. This is a nasty government often flying against public opinion and yet no credible opposition has appeared. Never before has one leader inspired so little in so few – Ed Miliband is vacuum, barely registering as present let alone liked or disliked. Labour were once the party of the working man and surely a little firebrand heralding of support for the people would be all it needed?
The Coalition government has marginalised the poor, the unemployed, the sick and the vulnerable – how can a party that was once of the people not seize this opportunity to bring a sense of protection back? Why weren’t Labour at the front of the marches, at the protests? Standing up for the values which are meant to be at their core? They shouldn’t have been doing it for future votes, but to remind everyone that’s there’s still, theoretically, a party which hasn’t forgotten them.
The same argument stands for the EU debate. To leave would be idiotic, and every politician with a sensible mind knows that, but now the debate has gone public it has become uncontrollable What was once a sure-fire doozy of a no-vote has now become a lot more precarious.
At least UKIP have brought a bit of character and drama back. Backward, vaguely racist character and drama maybe, but at least you know where they stand. The Lib Dems have also made their position known although, really, who listens to a word they say anymore?
The benefits of the EU are now so familiar we barely think of them as benefits, and so the argument always turns to the negatives. There is no clear and concise information in the public realm that isn’t tainted. I don’t feel qualified to vote on our membership to the EU, although I do know that they hate the size of our milk jugs and want to ban bacon butties. Newspaper headlines have painted the EU as the villain for so long it’s hard not to accept BARMY EU MADNESS as the default.
I want some clarity. I want to know where they stand. I want to know that all sides have some faith in their chosen direction. I want to know that they actually have the interests of their people at heart. I want to know that they’re not all morons.
If none of that is achievable then I will accept fistfights in the street.
Time: Wednesday June 6, 2012 at 10:36 pm
IP Address: xx.xxx.x.x
Contact Form URL: https://dmreporter.wordpress.com/about/
Name: James XXXXX
How do i submit my CV and work samples to be considered for the Daily Mail,
My masters is in broadcast journalism and i have six years experience in radio and tv in the US, UK and Ireland and feel i can bring a more video and audio role to the Daily Mail as well as my print and online work.
Principle Target of Hatred: Fat Cat Bankers