Those who look in regularly on Zelo Street will know that one gift that keeps on giving is the detachment from reality of (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch, who has inexplicably persuaded Rupert Murdoch to bankroll her piss-poor website Heat Street, a dustbin of sub-Breitbart right-wing ranting where the targets are predictable to the point of terminal boredom, and use of facts is occasional, as well as purely incidental.
As I told recently, Ms Mensch had been exposed by a recent Wikileaks email release as shilling for Hillary Clinton at the same time as she was claiming to be a champion of the “Alt-Right”, backing the GamerGate crowd and jumping on any and every bandwagon going after Social Justice Warriors, or SJWs, a favourite right-wing target. That would have been enough to harm the Heat Street brand, but now it has got worse - a lot worse.
The Ralph Retort - not exactly a hotbed of leftism - which had previously passed adverse comment on Ms Mensch’s attempts to get respected Vice News contributor Michael Tracey sacked, telling “Louise Mensch has certainly been exposed as a vile individual, pushing censorship and trying to silence ‘wrongthinkers’ as aggressively as any SJW I’ve seen. If you still had any faith in Heat Street (which Louise founded and is the editor of) being anything more than Controlled Opposition, last night’s meltdown ought to disabuse you of that notion”, has now caught her messing around her own contributors.
In “Heat Street’s Louise Mensch Befuddled by Lewd Anime”, Christi Junior describes a new Japanese anime thus: “Keijo is basically a Shounen sports series, but revolving around a sport that involves girls fighting each other using their butts and boobs (the emphasis being mainly on the butts), the competitors using their assets to knock their opponents out [of] bounds, or even to knock them out. Oh, Japan…”. There is more.
“One site did however cover Kotaku’s article critically, that being Heat Street. This was in the form of a short piece written by William Hicks, definitely tongue in cheek, yet calling attention to the interesting fact that Keijo passes the Bechdel Test (basically the SJW gold standard for female representation in fiction) with flying colors”.
But see what happened next: “if you follow the archived link I posted and check out the active link provided, you won’t be met with William Hicks’ piece, but instead a completely different article written by Loony Louise herself, claiming that Keijo isn’t just misogynistic, but actually qualifies as child porn!” Wait, what? “And no, this isn’t even a case of the original article having been moved – Louise’s smear piece, going far beyond what even Kotaku dared, is now the only article about Keijo available on Heat Street”.
That means? Yes, “she took an already-published article by one writer and straight up replaced it with an article of her own, that has a completely different message. And none of this was even disclosed by Mensch! In fact, Mensch’s new article has the exact same date as the original article, which is patently false”. Oh dear!
Ms Mensch’s former fans are not taking this well: “The normally SJW-sympathetic Mods over at the GamerGate Reddit sub KotakuInAction, which Heat Street has been pandering to hard these past months, ended up Blacklisting the whole site over Louise’s antics”. The GamerGate crowd, as well as those who backed her over Tim Hunt, are departing.
The article concludes “As someone who has considered Heat Street to be Controlled Opposition ever since their ‘Pepe is Anti-Semitic’ article … I’m happy to see so many other people now seeing the site for what it is. Considering how Heat Street’s whole business model has basically been to cash in on the Anti-SJW backlash, being exposed like this could actually really hurt it. I would not be the least surprised if the original Keijo article soon gets brought back – and if Rupert Murdoch hasn’t gone senile yet, I expect to see Louise Mensch get fired soon”. That is not beyond the bounds of possibility.
Why so? Consider the rankings for Heat Street, which have begun to decline. Although Ms Mensch claimed a ranking of 265 ten days ago, ten places ahead of The Daily Dot, the latter is now twelve places ahead of Heat Street. Worse is the site’s performance in the UK, where its rank of 465 is behind local Government sites for the London Boroughs of Wandsworth and Ealing - and almost 60 places behind the Basingstoke Gazette!
And that is with 18 full-time staff. Heat Street started off in a blaze of publicity, but when journalists like Miles Goslett, whose contribution to the Jimmy Savile saga is well-known, is reduced to spinning the news that Shami Chakrabarti did her report for the Labour Party on anti-Semitism for free as something bad (this, apparently, makes her “rich”, and that’s a bad thing. Hello Louise Mensch, sitting there in NYC on your pile of money), you know that something is badly wrong. And that something is Ms Mensch.
Rupert Murdoch will not continue throwing money at Heat Street indefinitely. He did not get where he is today by bankrolling what is becoming a joke, a comedy genre, a source of sustained and justifiable ridicule. He can fire her, kick her upstairs (a nicer way of firing her), or just pull the plug on the whole shebang and cut his losses.
Either way, Heat Street has lost all credibility, and as such it is well and truly bust. It’s looking like there might not even be a first birthday party. Sad, really.