AhDinnaeKen is no fan of the Daily Mail. But first and foremost it is a newspaper driven by the agenda of its readers. It reports stories – like every newspaper does. Yesterday it told a story about abusive Cybernats. As with any tabloid styled story, it contained an element of hyperbole. It’s part of the modus operandi of popular newspapers. It’s what keeps readers interested and reading to the end. We* found the Mail feature entitled ‘Cybernats Unmasked’ to be temperate to the point of sanguinity. Which forces AhDinnaeKen to ask the question – just why are all those Cybernats highlighted by the story bleating so much? Will an indy Scotland be a Crybaby Nation full of grieving victims? AhDinnaeKen investigates the Daily Mail version of “social justice”:
By Ahmstill Laffin
THE DAILY Mail chose to expose some alleged Cybernats yesterday.
It was a double page feature introduced by a headline screamer.
Tagged as an “Exclusive”, it highlighted seven Cybernats famous/infamous for their varying independence invective on Twitter and the internet.
By the standards of some of the venom aimed at opponents or sceptics of Indy, the piece was balanced, fair, informative and temperate.
Not that you’d think so judging by the reaction to it.
One of the alleged Cybernats, Melissa Murray aka @meljomur is threatening to sue the Daily Mail for stalking and harrassment.
AhDinnaeKen says, good luck with that Mel, we could do with the laugh – in the public interest of course.
Another exposed Cybernat, ‘Reverend’ Jedi Wingsy Campbell wrote a whole blog about it. Entitled, “The Bully Pulpit“, the author allegedly used “trenchant insights” to “forensically” tear it to pieces.
From where we*’re standing, it read like a page out of the Wingnuts Over Scotland manual on how to write a hate preaching blog. Y’know, for Cybernats like himself and the others featured in the Daily Mail.
Consider the following two paragraphs from the whinging Bully Pulpit blog: [Italics for the Daily Mail, Bold Italics for Wingsy]
“But what marks out the cybernats is their modus operandi: from their disparate locations around the country, on smartphones, laptops and desktop computers in lonely bedrooms, they operate almost as one homogenous body.
There are central figures who spur on or co-ordinate this activity, binding them together and providing inspiration and moral support.”
To which Wingsy said:
Intriguing phrasing there. The “or” in the second sentence is a classic weasel word. It’s a bit like saying “All supporters of Partick Thistle enjoy football or abusing children” – it creates a negative impression while not actually being defamatory, because the “or” means that no one individual is actually being accused of paedophilia.
Which is “intriguing phrasing” itself. Consider this sentence written by ‘Reverend’ Jedi Wingsy Campbell aimed at AhDinnaeKen in a Wingnuts piece entitled “The Personal Touch“:
“…there is no doubt whatsoever the author of the blog responsible for the “dossier” is Murray Brady, or someone acting as a front for him.”
Hmm. AhDinnaeKen says, let’s take a look at that “intriguing phrasing” and consider again, what the use of “or” is for!
That’s right. According to Wingsy, it’s a “classic weasel word” – a bit like saying “All supporters of Partick Thistle enjoy football or abusing children” – it creates a negative impression while not actually being defamatory”.
But it’s only a “weasel word”, apparently, when used by the Dail Mail.
When it’s used by Wingsy it’s “robust polemic” or “trenchant insight” or “forensic analysis” or “professional journalism” or “tribune journalism”. But definitely not a “cowardly disclaimer” or “weasel word”. That accolade is exclusively reserved for the Daily Mail in Wingsy’s world.
To call it Cybernat poison or hate preaching doublespeak would interfere with Wingsy’s victim narrative. Which is always worth remembering when reading anything written by the self styled ‘Reverend’.
The Mail feature further highlighted another five Cybernats. It exposed their background and highlighted their typical modus operandi which, reading between the lines, is that they probably have too much time on their hands or they’re bored.
Andy Ellis who tweets as @ndls61 was one of the five named. It stated that he is a commercial manager for Hewlett Packard.
A recent BBC (biased against indy) report stated that Hewlett Packard was suffering from “falling sales”.
It begs the question, is it coincidence or magic that @ndls61 is a commerical manager there? Maybe he should be spending less time tweeting and more time on his day job.
In all, AhDinnaeKen found the Mail piece to be fair and balanced. It stated on at least a couple of occasions that there is abuse on both sides of the Indy debate.
It gave each of the named individuals the opportunity to defend themselves from the claim that they were poisonous cybernats.
And it printed their replies.
It also stated that the exposed individuals were, in general, more moderate in person than their online personas suggest – with the possible exception of ‘Reverend’ Jedi Wingsy Campbell whom it nailed with this excellent observation:
“On his website, he tells his acolytes: ‘they’ll [undecided voters] be hungry for more truth, and then you can send them our way.’
“The self-aggrandising ‘our’, of course, is slightly misleading, as Wings is more or less a one-man outfit, though he does sometimes commission and publish proindependence submissions.
“A self-publicist of the first order, Wings often boasts about his growing profile and Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham is one of his Twitter correspondents.
Now that’s what we* call true professional journalism.
The Daily Mail, in general, isn’t AhDinnaeKen’s paper of choice. But there’s no denying that it put the cybernats to the sword with its weekend feature and did so fairly and squarely.
The feature was all the more damning because it was written in a textbook professional and balanced manner.
Anyone who thinks it wasn’t needs to go back to media studies classes.
Take heed ‘Reverend’. And your cultish coterie of Cybernats.
Graham Grant of the Daily Mail gave you an abject lesson in ‘professional journalism’.
It just seems a pity that Mr Grant’s efforts have fallen on cloth ears – from the Cybernat camp at least.
AhDinnaeKen’s still laughing.