Let me tell you a sorry tale of how fake news, not just any fake news but neo-Nazi fake news, seems to be acceptable to the British left as long as it involves the current Prime Minister of Israel and how it ended up on the timeline of British ‘celebrities’ Stephen Mangan and David Baddiel…
Shortly after the result of the presidential election became clear, Prime Minister Netanyahu offered his congratulations to the President-elect. A normal piece of politicking. Bibi understands that President-elect Biden is going to be an important player in the coming years for Israel. He tweeted his congratulations to President Biden and joined just about every world leader in doing so.
Nothing strange here.
What happened next is far from normal. As we all know President Trump is a Twitter addict. Nothing happens in Trump’s world without it being tweeted. Trump has always maintained a very small ‘follow’ list (those that the former President chooses to ‘follow’ on Twitter) This list consists of family members, assorted members of his cabinet, his own golf courses and hotels, and quite a large number of Fox News presenters; IT HAS NEVER INCLUDED ANY WORLD LEADERS!
This last sentence is important to our story. President Trump has never followed world leaders. He just doesn’t.
You can find more information on those Trump follows here (from 2018 but much still applies):
So that’s clear. Trump doesn’t follow world leaders, he absolutely does not follow the current Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. So imagine my surprise when I saw this tweet from well known British actor, comedian, and the ‘blue ticked’ (verified) account of Stephen Mangan
To be clear, Managan composed and tweeted this to his near half a million followers:
How can Trump ‘unfollow’ Bibi if he didn’t follow him in the first place? A good question and in this era of ‘fake news’ it was worth trying to uncover how such spurious information has found its way to the blue ticked account of a British actor with nearly half a million ‘followers?’
Honestly, uncovering the validity of this story took about 15 seconds. A simple Google search uncovered that Trump had never followed PM Netanyahu and possibly far more worrying, the story seems to have originated on a publication called ‘The Daily Stormer.’ I seriously don’t think that I need to go into detail on the politics of a website called ‘The Daily Stormer!’
The article is here (and note even the ‘Daily Stormer’ are now questioning the substance of their story):
So there we have it. Trump never followed Bibi. Trump never unfollowed Bibi and the whole thing seems to have started on the pages of a neo-Nazi publication!
I of course, along with many others, informed Mr. Mangan of his mistake and suggested he remove the offending tweet but up it remains. This particular tweet has now garnered some 1,000 ‘retweets’ and some 12,000 ‘likes’ and all for a story that has absolutely no basis in truth!
It would be a fair argument to suggest that Mr. Mangan hasn’t seen the very many comments informing him of his ‘mistake,’ (including a number of ‘verified’ accounts) but seeing as Mr. Mangan has tweeted numerous times since I would suggest that is not the case.
So not only is Mr. Mangan now spreading fake news but shortly after his original tweet, well-known British comedian David Baddiel decide that this particular ‘fake news’ was too good to pass up and he retweeted it to his 717k followers. David Baddiel in a recently aired BBC documentary ‘explored the multi-faceted nature of Holocaust denial in an attempt to understand what motivates this dangerous phenomenon and why it is on the rise.’
I would suggest one of the reasons it is on the rise is because of the type of fake news that Mr. Baddiel himself now seems to be sharing.
I can’t imagine that either Mr. Mangan or Mr. Baddiel would contest that they both reside firmly on the left of British politics.
Make no mistake, I certainly don’t think that either Mangan or Baddiel got their information from the pages of ‘The Daily Stormer.’ The truth is that stories like these quickly pollute the rancid airways of Twitter. A story like this quickly gains traction from the left and the right and everyone with a grudge against Trump or Netanyahu and hey presto, it’s tweeted by those like Stephen Mangan.
They saw a story somewhere and ran with it.
I do think that now the truth is known, deleting their tweets is the very least they can do and possibly inform their followers of their mistake. Unless of course lies and fake news are acceptable to them if it involves the Prime Minister of Israel but surely that can’t be the case….can it?
Over to you Stephen/David.