Posts Tagged ‘Correct the Record’

Hillary Clinton, Laura Kuenssberg and ‘Mobying’

May 11, 2016

Kuenssberg Trollface

Laura Kuenssberg and Trollface: Have her supporters been posting misogynist remarks as her opponents, in order to get them silenced?

Yesterday, Mike over at Vox Political reported that the internet petition to get the BBC to sack their political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, for her egregious Conservative bias, had been taken down. It was removed by the man, who had put it up, who did so out of his strong distaste for misogynist comments put their by trolls. The former politics editor at the Independent also mentioned the sexist comments put up on the petition in an interview published in the Guardian. The comments were supposed to have been put up there by supporters of Jeremy Corbyn. Mike was sceptical about this, pointing out that it’s very easy for opponents of the petition to post disgusting comments on it, and then complain to the internet hosts or the petition organisers about its content.

Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-NY, waves to supporters after speaking at a campaign stop in McAllen, Texas, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-NY, waves to supporters after speaking at a campaign stop in McAllen, Texas, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

I share Mike’s scepticism, as this seems to be exactly what Hillary Clinton did in her campaign against her rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Saunders. First of all she accused Sanders’ supporters of sexism, because some of them threw money at her in protest of her taking funds from Wall Street. And then about 12 or 25 pro-Bernie Sanders newsgroups and forums were removed from the web in a single evening by the net hosts, because of complaints about disgusting misogynist comments on them. To some, like Kyle Kulinski on Secular Talk, it looked very much like Shrillary and her supporters had been engaging in cyber-sabotage, as the sheer numbers of the groups taken down in such a short space of time makes it highly unlikely that it was an accident.

And Shrillary does have previous in this. She was caught hiring an internet firm, Correct the Record, to go on-line and argue with Sanders’ supporters. Correct the Record is a purely commercial firm, and this was a straightforward business transaction. They were paid to argue with Sanders’ supporters under the guise of Shrillary supporters, despite the fact that they were nothing of the sort, just a company of internet mercenaries carrying out a contract.

According to a website that Is Best Not Mentioned, the tactic of going onto someone else’s political site and posting unpleasant and inflammatory material there in the guise of being that site’s supporters, is known as ‘mobying’. It’s a term from the Conservative part of the Net, used on sites like Little Green Footballs, Red State and Free Republic. The terms supposed to come from the following Moby quote about wrecking George Bush’s chances with his supporters.

No one’s talking about how to keep the other side home on Election Day. It’s a lot easier than you think and it doesn’t cost that much. This election can be won by 200,000 votes. You target (Bush’s) natural constituencies. For example, you can go on all the pro-life chat rooms and say you’re an outraged right-wing voter and that you know that George Bush drove an ex-girlfriend to an abortion clinic and paid for her to get an abortion.

The site Best Not Mentioned seems to believe that it’s a purely Right-wing phenomenon used by various Conservative groups against each other in the Republican party’s own internal feuds. But looking at the highly suspicious behaviour of Shrillary’s paid trolls on the Net, it looks like it could be used by professed American liberals, and Kuenssberg’s defenders over on this side of the Pond too.

Vox Political: ‘Sack Kuenssberg’ Removed due to Misogynist Trolls

May 10, 2016

Mike over at Vox Political has put up several pieces about the controversy surrounding a 38 Degrees petition to have the Beeb’s politics editor, Laura Kuenssberg, sacked because of her overt Conservative bias. It seems that the fellow, who put up the petition has taken it down because it had in his view been hijacked by sexist trolls.

See the article at: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/05/10/sack-kuenssberg-petition-taken-down-due-to-sexist-trolls/

This follows a piece in the Guardian in which the former political editor of the Independent on Sunday, Jane Merrick, stated that Kuenssberg had faced a level of abuse not directed at male reporters, like Nick Robinson, which was explicitly misogynistic. She reported that Kuenssberg had been called a whore and a bitch on Twitter. She then made general comments about Corbyn’s supporters. They weren’t all sexist misogynists – far from it. But she said that there was a ‘core of hard-left misogyny’ that emerged when he was under pressure. This was the same kind of abuse that had been directed at Stella Creasy and Jess Phillips. She then called on Corbyn, as the advocate of a kinder type of politics, to condemn this abuse of a respected journalist.

See Mike’s article at: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/05/10/sexism-accusation-against-anti-kuenssberg-campaigners-is-a-classic-diversion-tactic/

Mike points out in these articles just how overt Kuenssberg’s political bias is.

Mike writes:

This Writer considers the BBC’s political editor to be hopelessly prejudiced in favour of the Conservative Party. It is an issue that has nothing to do with her gender, skin colour, religion or any other such defining factor.

She simply can’t keep her own politics out of her work. For a reporter, that is a fatal error and This Writer cannot understand why anybody would want to support her in it – least of all a Labour MP like Ms Phillips.

If Kuenssberg wants to turn every report into a pro-Tory opinion piece, then let her become a pundit. Stick her on the Daily Politics or This Week with Andrew Neil and give the political editor’s job to somebody who can do it impartially.

He also posts a piece from one of his commenters, who has a nephew, who did some number crunching of his own, which flatly contradicts Kuenssberg’s assertions. Kuenssberg has claimed that these elections are ‘mid-term’, when they are not, and that Labour should be winning hundreds of seats, which they haven’t. Looking at the evidence, the commenter’s nephew says that actually Labour have done quite well, and it is the Tories who have taken the hardest blows. The commenter states:

“In fact this is the worse Tory performance in the local elections since 1996 when John Major only got 29% which was an improvement from 1995 when they only got 25% of the vote. But again this is not being reported.”

Mike also condemns the sexist abuse of Kuenssberg. Not only are such views vile in themselves, but they bring into disrepute everyone, who genuinely wants the Beeb to report fairly and accurately, and have allowed Kuenssberg to get away with her biased journalism.

Mike in his article also suggests that the sexist comments might be a deliberate strategy to torpedo the complaints about her bias. He states that all a political stooge has to do is get their supporters to sign the petition and leave offensive messages on it. Then all they have to do is make complaints about it. He makes clear that this may not have happened in Kuenssberg case, but it is a possibility, at least from now on.

In fact, this is exactly the tactics Hillary Clinton’s supporters have used against her rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders. She accused Sanders’ supporters of being sexist, especially after a group of them threw money at her in protest at her accepting funding from Wall Street. She also hired an internet company to go online to tackle Bernie’s supporters posing as her supporters. The Company was ironically called Correct the Record. And I’ve posted up a piece a week or so ago from Secular Talk, which reported how a string of pro-Bernie websites got taken down after complaints from Clinton to the host company about sexism and misogyny. The numbers of websites taken down – something like 12, or perhaps as high as 25, I can’t really remember, all in one evening, make it highly suspicious that this was really due to sexism by the sites’ members.

As for Corbyn and the ‘hard Left’ having a misogynist core, well, perhaps. It wouldn’t surprise me. Obnoxious trolls are, after all, found everywhere. But it’s not typical of the hard Left in my experience. In the 1980s the Left was reviled and abused for being PC. This was the decade when alternative comedians like Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson, French and Saunders, the Young Ones, Alexei Sayle and Ben Elton burst onto our screens from the London comedy clubs. They refused to make the same sexist and racist jokes as the previous generation, reared in the working men’s clubs, like Bernard Manning. They were explicitly Left-wing, and actually made jokes about the chauvinistic treatment of women and at the expense of comedians like Manning.

They were part of a general trend in the Labour party of the time. Part of what had Ken Livingstone sneered at as ‘Red Ken’ was the fact that the-then leader of the GLC gave his support to a whole plethora of organisations for women and minorities. In his 1987 book, Livingstone’s Labour, the bane of Margaret Thatcher talks about the evolution of human society from primordial matriarchy, and argues for a nationwide network of women’s support offices. This naturally drove Thatcher nuts. At one of the Tory conferences she delivered a foam-flecked rant about ‘Fabian champagne Socialist’ teachers corrupting the minds of their tiny charges with homosexual propaganda and ‘anti-racist mathematics’. Now, thirty or so years later, we have the Tories claiming to be okay with gay marriage. As for misogyny, one of the lads I knew at College, who was a very committed Labour party supporter, was very far from being either racist or misogynist. This was also characteristic of much of the Left outside the Labour party. I can remember reading a piece in the Express about one of the Marxist sects – possible either the Communist Party are the Socialist Workers, or perhaps just Militant in the Labour party, which explicitly noted how anti-sexist the men were, and their rejection of certain forms of traditional masculinity.

I’m not saying that there haven’t been sexist trolls spouting vile abuse at Kuenssberg, who are genuinely left-wing. But after the tactics used by Hillary Clinton to smear Sanders’ supporters, I’m more than a little suspicious.