I love the Labour party and hope Jeremy Corbyn is the next PM [March 2018 Update — errrr]. But the good ship doesn’t half carry some lowlifes in its wake. Here’s a quick summary of a sorry episode that got a bit long-winded on Twitter.
- The Canary publishes an article stating Laura Kuenssberg is listed as a speaker at the Tory conference. Clear implication is she is *actually speaking*, on two counts: one, just look at it; two, if she wasn’t, why publish the story and why would we “need to talk about” it? Mere invites are commonplace.
- Others do C’s work for them and verify LK isn’t speaking. Basic check that should have been done, especially before running what is plainly a hate piece (look at the photo they used, for example). C revises the article, rendering it even more pointless than it already was.
- Evolve Politics writes a timely piece of clickbait carefully avoiding implying that LK is speaking, yet still trying to make news out of what is now a verified nonevent.
- EP seeks to defend C in two contradictory ways. On one hand, they claim C never actually said LK would be speaking, so was accurate. On the other, they claim C was right to assume and to imply in its article that LK *was* speaking, based on a sloppy PR listing that wrongly indicates this is the case — why shouldn’t C take it on face value?
Either of these defences is weak on its own.
For the first, nobody honest could claim there was a news story here unless LK was actually speaking at the conference. Without that, it’s a story about a routine declined invite and an incorrect PR advertisement. (EP did indeed print such a non-story, but only after the fact, for clicks.)
For the second, C could have checked easily if LK was speaking, and if they had received verification, could have been less mealy-mouthed in their original article. As it was, they stuck to an implication, although an obvious one.
Most importantly, each defence contradicts the other anyway. EP can’t get its story straight: was it right to say, as C originally implied, LK was speaking, or not? They simultaneously argued “they never said that” and “they were right to say it, here’s a screenshot”.
The parsimonious explanation: the Canary article was research-free piece of incitement, for clicks, and the Evolve Politics article was opportunistic, vacuous pinhead-dancing, for clicks. Neither remotely resembles news reporting. If so-called progressive outlets offer this nonsense, how can we tell people they shouldn’t listen to Paul Joseph Watson, Infowars, or Fox? These sites are not worth reading, and certainly not worth writing for.
Finally, the wider context here is a coordinated hate campaign against a very good female journalist. Toxic stuff. Quit your jobs, guys.