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Monday, 26 October 2015

Sun’s Lee Rigby Shame Exposed

Following the appointment of Guardian writer Seumas Milne as Jeremy Corbyn’s spin chief, there has been much creative reinterpretation of his back catalogue, and none moreso than the claim that Milne had said that “[Lee] Rigby was a British soldier who had taken part in multiple combat operations in Afghanistan. So the attack wasn’t terrorism in the normal sense”. The right-wing press lapped this up with some relish.
The idea that Milne had downplayed the seriousness of the attack on Rigby, or that he was somehow excusing the killers, took hold as journalists who should have known better failed to check the (still available) original article. The quote had, after all, been set running by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, whose tendency to falsehood and misinformation is the stuff of legend.

In the meantime, the Sun on Sunday’s alleged political editor, vacuous creep David Wooding, decided to combine grovelling to Creepy Uncle Rupe with putting the boot in on the rotten lefties, and put the clearly false assertion that Milne said the attack “wasn’t terrorism” to Rigby’s mother Lyn. Understandably, she duly passed severely adverse comment, when presented with something Milne did not say.

So what did Seumas Milne actually say in the article that has been so widely - and so selectively - quoted? Let’s start at the very beginning, as it’s a very good place to start. “The videoed butchery of Fusilier Lee Rigby outside Woolwich barracks last May was a horrific act and his killers' murder conviction a foregone conclusion”. You read that right. Milne was certainly not excusing or downplaying what happened.

Milne was also clear that the attack was as pointless as it was barbaric: “The killing of an unarmed man far from the conflict, however, by self-appointed individuals with non-violent political alternatives, isn't condoned by any significant political or religious tradition. Quite apart from morality, the impact was violently counter-productive for the Muslims that Rigby's killers claimed to be defending, as Islamophobic attacks spiked across Britain”.

You will not read this in the Sun, the Fawkes blog, or any other leftie-bashing outlet. And nor will you read all of this quote: “Rigby was a British soldier who had taken part in multiple combat operations in Afghanistan. So the attack wasn't terrorism in the normal sense of an indiscriminate attack on civilians” [my emphasis]. Yes, Milne has been taken out of context - and hardly anyone has bothered to check.

So Milne did not say the attack “wasn’t terrorism”. Wooding could, and if he was going to approach Rigby’s mother, damn well should have double checked beforehand. Instead, this excuse for a journalist deliberately exploited a grieving mother just so he could claim an exclusive. He should go back to Lyn Rigby, tell her the full story, and hang his head in shame. But David Wooding will not. He isn’t big enough.

Taking the Murdoch shilling means never having to be ashamed. Pass the sick bucket.


Anonymous said...

Tim, you're too gentle with them.

For "...tendency to falsehood and misinformation...." read: a gang of fucking lying cowards bought-and-paid-for by Creepy Rupe.

If everybody got right in their faces they'd soon retreat into their Nazi bunker. As it is they're losing circulation hand over boot boy.

A mob of far right media thugs the lot of them. A sickening disgrace to civilisation, not a scrap of human decency between them.

rob said...

You can take the swamp out of Wapping but you can't get escape the sewage emanating from the lower than gutter level Sun.

Unless of course you don't read it!

Unknown said...

What happened to Lee Rigby was an atrocious act that his family have to bear until the day they die.

So to ring up his mum annd deliberately remind her of what happened by lying about what someone said in order to sell some newspapers is sociopathic and grotesque.

This is going to become like what the tabloids did with the families of the Moors Murderers - a periodic opening of these people's emotional wounds just to boost circulation of their disgraceful rag. I cannot begin to express the depths of contempt I have for these so-called "journalists".

Andy McDonald said...

The same that they did to Denise Feargus, the mother of Jamie Bulger. With the best will in the world, horribly cut up over the murder of her son, not very media-savvy, and the go-to person for an outraged quote on anything law and order related. All media do it, because it works. If you question or disagree with them, you're seen as a heartless bastard. And the hanging and flogging brigade advance their cause a little more.