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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Daily Mail"

Iain Dale: The arrogance of Cummings, the failures of the Guardian and Mirror. And why we all need to keep a sense of proportion.

Iain Dale presents the evening show on LBC Radio and the For the Many podcast with Jacqui Smith.

Everyone has an opinion on Dominic Cummings. And each one of all those opinions is perfectly valid.

I happen to believe that he was wrong to travel to Durham, and even more wrong to test out his eyesight with his family in the car. No matter: I am very happy to accept there are other views.

What has been totally unacceptable since Saturday is for one side to the other to decry the motives of the other, and just hurl insults. I suppose we’ve all come to expect it on social media, but it’s unedifying at best.

So apparently, for expressing doubts about his story I have proved my “animus” towards Cummings and Boris Johnson. Furthermore, I have no right to an opinion since I don’t have a four year old child.

And, furthermore, I am a lefty who wants rid of Cummings to scupper Brexit. Yup, just like Julia Hartley-Brewer, Tim Montgomerie, Iain Martin and many others, I suppose. That really stacks up, doesn’t it?

Unlike the others, I have never actually called for Dominic Cummings to resign or be sacked, but that little detail seems to have escaped everyone, and it’s assumed that I have.

What I said on Saturday night was that there were a lot of unanswered questions, and I could perfectly see why people were calling into question what appeared to have happened. I never thought that Cummings would give a press conference to explain himself, but that’s what happened on Monday.

I thought a sit-down interview with someone might have been better because, as is usual with these things, his explanation provoked yet more questions.

To top it all, he said he had never considered offering his resignation. I think that’s a fairly mind-blowing thing to have said.

An advisor who is a distraction and gets himself into the headlines cannot possibly have his mind on the job. It also displayed a certain arrogance – as if he isn’t touchable.

All politicians need to have people they trust around them but, in Cummings’ case, it’s almost as if he’s more powerful than the man he is supposed to serve. Johnson wants to throw a protective cloak around him, and in many ways that’s a laudable character trait. But when you expend so much political capital on what might still turn out to be a hopeless case, it makes you weaker.

You can dismiss the 44 Conservative MPs who have come out against Cummings as being ‘the usual suspects’. But they’re not all the usual troublemakers, are they? When you have the Guardian and the Daily Mail on the same side, you’d be a fool not to realise that you’re in deep doo-doo.

As I write this on Thursday morning, there are certainly signs that the story is slipping from top of the headlines. But the damage is done. And for someone who is a political strategist, surely Cummings realises that.

– – – – – – – – – –

One thing in this story puzzles me.

Well, quite a lot of things do, but one question no one has ever asked is why it took the Guardian and the Daily Mirror six weeks to publish the story. They only published when they thought they had evidence he’d made a second trip to Durham, a front page headline which turned out to have no foundation whatsoever.

Indeed, quite a few of their other allegations have turned out to be completely false too. The police, contrary to The Guardian splash, did not warn Cummings or his family about breaching lockdown. The only conversation with the family was one with Cummings’ father about security.

But no hint of an apology from either newspaper about this. I fully admit that the fact they got both of these things wrong doesn’t detract from the central allegation – that he broke lockdown – but even so, it’s pretty shoddy journalism.

– – – – – – – – – –

And talking about shoddy journalism, this week we’ve seen the advent of the hasthtag #scummedia.

It’s an awful expression, and every time I see it I slightly recoil. I am the first to admit some parts of the media haven’t covered themselves in glory in recent years, especially over Brexit and the current crisis.

But does anyone think that if they tweet the hashtag #scummedia to a journalist they don’t approve of, it will actually persuade them to indulge in some self-reflection about how they have conducted themselves? I doubt it very much.

If anyone accuses me of being part of a #scummedia they’re likely to get blocked PDQ. That doesn’t mean I can’t brook criticism; I absolutely can, and if it’s constructive, I welcome and embrace it and hopefully learn from it.

But if you come from the point of view that you think I’m scum, don’t expect me to engage in any way apart from pressing a block button.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Buffoonery, suffused sex and Latinate evasion: how Johnson’s language helped him become Prime Minister

The Borisaurus: The Dictionary of Boris Johnson by Simon Walters

Westlake Legal Group borisaurus-pic-199x300 Buffoonery, suffused sex and Latinate evasion: how Johnson’s language helped him become Prime Minister Tony Blair Simon Walters Roy Jenkins Puritans Michael Portillo Michael Binyon Mail on Sunday Ken Clarke Iain Duncan Smith MP Highlights EU Referendum David Cameron Daily Telegraph Daily Mail Conservative Party Boris Johnson MP Book Reviews

Simon Walters has thought of an amusing pretext for collecting some of Boris Johnson’s most bizarre remarks. He will tell us what the classical and other references actually mean.

Walters, who is now assistant editor of The Daily Mail, is brilliant at working out what politicians actually mean: at cutting through the verbiage and obfuscation and writing the splash, which is what for 19 years he did as political editor of The Mail on Sunday.

But he does not, thank heaven, begin his brief introduction by dwelling on scoops past. He instead remarks that in August 2008 he “first experienced Latinate evasion” at Johnson’s hands.

They were at the closing ceremony for the Olympic Games in Peking, where Johnson as Mayor of London delivered his “ping-pong is coming home” speech, a scene-stealing comic masterpiece which one can enjoy watching on YouTube.

The Latinate evasion had come 24 hours earlier, when Walters interviewed Johnson, and already knew, as a good journalist does, what story he was looking for:

“With his Old Etonian rival David Cameron yet to make his mark as Tory leader, the obvious way to skewer the new mayor was to ask if his sights were now set on the Conservative leadership. 

“After playfully dodging the question once or twice, Johnson muttered: ‘Were I to be pulled like Cincinnatus from my plough, it would be a great privilege…’ and sauntered off.”

Walters has to get a wifi connection in order to learn that Cincinnatus was a Roman statesman of great virtue who had given up public life but returned from his farm to save Rome from invasion:

“The denarius dropped: Boris did want to oust Dave. But Johnson had couched his disloyalty in such heroic lyricism it made you want to smile, not scowl; to admire his ambition and erudition, not admonish him.”

Johnson puts a smile on people’s faces, while also producing good copy with such prodigality that long before he became Prime Minister, or even looked as if he had much chance of becoming Prime Minister, television shows yearned to have him on and journalists were anxious to interview him.

To tell the truth without adornment sounds like a good idea, but in practise can become dull. Voters want a performance which goes beyond what the cautious careerists can provide – if you doubt that, look at Donald Trump.

Some of Johnson’s performances have been thoroughly disreputable. Towards the end of 2004, when news of his affair with Petronella Wyatt broke, Walters asked him if the story was true and Johnson dismissed it as “an inverted pyramid of piffle”.

This memorable expression was not, unfortunately, true, and gave the tabloids the chance to seize the moral high ground and prove him a liar.

In this dictionary of expressions used by Johnson, Walters has an entry for “Inverted pyramid of piffle”, even though there is no obscurity about what it means.

We learn, however, that Johnson used the phrase on at least two previous occasions, and that it qualifies as a “Borisism”, the term Walters uses for what appears to be an original coinage, of which there are many.

I looked up the Telegraph article in 2001 in which “an inverted pyramid of  piffle” is first found, as the final flourish in a vibrant paragraph in which Johnson suggests it would be wrong to over-interpret the defeat of Michael Portillo in that year’s Tory leadership race.

He goes on to suggest that although the two remaining candidates, Ken Clarke and Iain Duncan Smith, disagree about Europe, the victory of either would probably leave the result of any referendum Tony Blair calls about Europe completely unaffected:

“The experience of other countries’ euro-referendums is that the best way to achieve a ‘No’ is to ensure that the political establishment is in favour of a ‘Yes’, in which case the public has the exquisite pleasure of telling them all to go to hell.”

That observation was proved correct 15 years later, when Cameron held the referendum Blair had avoided. And here are Johnson’s final remarks in that piece:

“Whatever happens, let no one say that this is a struggle for the Tory party’s soul. There is no such thing. The Tory party is a vast organism animated by a few vague common principles such as tradition and love of country, and above all by the pursuit and retention of power.”

How free that leaves a traditional Tory statesman, such as Johnson, to pursue the pragmatic course the country requires.

Before writing my life of Johnson, first published in 2006, I reread a great many of his articles, was impressed by how little effort was needed to get through that curious autobiographical mixture of Rabelais and P.G. Wodehouse, and found that in most of his commentaries, however much energy he may devote to keeping the tone light, he does actually say something.

A few classical terms whose meaning it is hard to hold in one’s head – Anaphora, Chiasmus, Ignoratio elenchi – are defined here, which is helpful.

Many other terms – Feckless, Filching, Gobsmacked, Laggard, Sclerotic, Scrumple, Scum, Snooty, to give only a few examples – need no elucidation.

But the words themselves are enjoyable words, and each is followed by a short passage in which Johnson has made striking use of them.

In his Autobiography, Edward Gibbon said of his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:

“My English text is chaste, and all licentious passages are left in the obscurity of a learned language.”

The same cannot be said of Johnson. Walters’ compilation is a reminder that licentious expressions occur with remarkable frequency in his work, both in English and in about a dozen foreign languages.

In an article in 2001 for The Daily Telegraph calling for the speed limit to be raised from 70 mph, Johnson related that “I found myself at the wheel of a Ferrari Testadicazzo, or some such name, capable of 220 mph.”

Walters cannot recall a model called that, and discovers it is Italian for “dickhead”. The car reviews Johnson wrote for GQ are suffused with sex.

Johnson is a Chaucerian, a vulgarian, a Merry Englander who revels in his freedom to use sexual imagery whenever he feels like using it.

He delights in teasing the Puritans who, the moment they condemn him for using expressions which are in dubious taste, reveal themselves as joyless, censorious and self-important, so just the sort of people Johnson’s voters would like to annoy.

His language puts him on the side of those who want to laugh at the powers that be: a remarkable feat, when one considers that he himself is one of the powers that be.

Dante, Molesworth and Roy Jenkins are among the influences on Johnson’s speech patterns which receive inadequate acknowledgement in these pages, but one of the good things about Walters is that he is not trying to be a pedant.

He says “Johnson can recite entire Shakespearean sonnets”, an amusing understatement.

Not mentioned here is the story of how, while working for The Daily Telegraph as a young man in Brussels, Johnson entered – after a disagreement in Strasbourg with Michael Binyon of The Times about where “the true, the blushful Hippocrene” comes from (Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale) – a challenge to see which of them could recite 130 of the greatest poems in English.

Binyon made an alarming discovery about his opponent: “To my horror he had a considerable knowledge of long poems. He could recite reams of Milton.”

This light-hearted book went to press before the pandemic. Walters quotes an interview with Piers Morgan in 2007 in which, after being told by that stern figure that he must stop playing the buffoon if he aspires to lead the country, Johnson says:

“It will get easier when there is a big job to do and I can get on and do it. These points you make about image and buffoonery will fall away.”

Johnson’s critics tend not to realise that it is possible for someone to be at one and the same time entranced by jokes and deeply serious. They will not enjoy this compilation. Other people will.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Daniel Hannan: Alarmism, doom-mongering, panic – and the coronavirus. We are nowhere near a 1919-style catastrophe.

Daniel Hannan is a writer and columnist. He was a Conservative MEP from 1999 to 2020, and is now President of the Initiative for Free Trade.

“Hospitals prepare for epidemic to sweep Britain” was the Sunday Times headline. The article beneath informed us that “up to 50 per cent of Britons could be affected” by the coronavirus. The Sunday Telegraph’s lead was “Millions told to stay at home if coronavirus spreads”.

Well, maybe. But I’m going to stick my neck out here. You’re unlikely to be killed by the coronavirus. Yes, the disease is unpleasant; and, yes, in some circumstances, it can cause complications that lead to fatalities. But it is unlikely to be as lethal as the more common forms of influenza that we take for granted, let alone as lethal as, say, stroke or heart disease. We are nowhere near a 1919-style global catastrophe.

Let me put on the record right up front that I am not an epidemiologist, an immunologist or a pathologist. Indeed, I have no medical qualifications whatever. I know nothing about virology beyond the brilliant insight offered by the Nobel Prizewinning biologist, Sir Peter Medawar, that a virus is “a piece of nucleic acid surrounded by bad news”.

But I do know a bit about how incentives work in government and in the media. Politicians, like most people, are bad at calculating risk, and almost every Minister would rather be accused of over-reacting to a threat than of having done too little. There is a similar bias, albeit a less pronounced one, among the various medical advisory bodies: epidemics are what they exist for, and they wouldn’t be human if they didn’t have a subliminal desire to talk them up.

When it comes to the media, the déformation professionelle is more obvious. I have worked under nine editors, and I can’t remember any of them ever saying: “Let’s run a front-page lead suggesting that, all in all, things aren’t so bad”. Finally – and I am sorry to be blunt – companies that manufacture ’flu vaccines have every reason to exaggerate the danger.

We have been here before. Fifteen years ago, the headlines were every bit as panicky as today. There was, we were told a “deadly new strain” of bird ’flu. Hundreds of millions were at risk. New cases were reported in gruesome detail. Maps showed the relentless spread of the virus. One article likened migratory birds to inter-continental ballistic missiles.

As today, those newspaper reports were based on genuine briefings. In November 2005, Dr Lee Jong-wook, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, declared: “It is only a matter of time before an avian ’flu virus—most likely H5N1—acquires the ability to be transmitted from human to human, sparking the outbreak of human pandemic influenza.”

The technical definition of a pandemic is a disease that has broken out across many parts of the world: it doesn’t have to be an especially serious disease. But, in the case of bird ’flu, the experts were genuinely worried.

David Nabbaro, a World Health Organization official, claimed that the H5N1 virus was “like a combination of global warming and HIV/Aids”, and predicted that as many as 150 million people might die. The US announced an avian flu response plan that foresaw the deaths of up to two million Americans. The actual number of confirmed H5N1 fatalities? Less than 500 worldwide.

You might think that that experience would have chastened the headline writers. But when the swine ’flu outbreak came three years later, it was reported in exactly the same apocalyptic tone.

“Killer swine flu, UK on alert” was the Sunday Times lead on 26 April 2009. Three days later, the Daily Mail’s front page announced: “Hundreds will be ill in weeks and a swine flu pandemic could strike 40 per cent of us”.

Again, these headlines were based on real warnings. The then Chief Medical Officer for England suggested that, in a worst-case scenario, 30 per cent of the UK population could be infected by the A/H1N1 virus, resulting 65,000 fatalities. Even in his best-case scenario (which the newspapers naturally ignored) five per cent of would contract the virus, resulting in 3,100 deaths.

How many confirmed deaths were there in England in the event? One hundred and thirty eight. Each of those deaths, of course, was a tragedy. We just need to be clear about scale: fewer people have died from swine ’flu than succumb annually to seasonal ’flu.

Of course, no one likes to point these things out. When the first reports of swine ’flu came out in 2009, I wrote a Daily Telegraph blog which referred back to the earlier bird ’flu panic, and argued that the menace was exaggerated. I don’t think I have ever had so much abuse from readers – not even in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum. I was, they told me, irresponsible, complacent and ignorant. I would have millions of deaths on my hands. Those responses (which I think fairly reflected public opinion during those fraught early days) are why politicians and journalists err on the side of extreme caution.

How does the coronavirus compare with the two previous scares? Its symptoms, generally, are those of a heavy cold. As a rule, viruses that are transmitted by casual contact can’t be too virulent, for solid evolutionary reasons. If they incapacitate their hosts, they make it hard for those hosts to infect others. The successful strategy for a rhinovirus, an adenovirus or a coronavirus is to therefore let their human carriers stay active, so that they continue to interact with other people. Indeed, those viruses are widespread in the human population: we generally call them “colds”. The really nasty diseases are, by and large, spread in ways that don’t limit their virulence – malaria, for example, is transmitted by insects.

Does that mean that we have nothing to fear? No. Any new disease is a potential danger. Occasionally, a pathogen jumps the species barrier with lethal effect: smallpox and measles resulted from this process (“zoonosis”), and both were deadly. Because the Chinese authorities have been opaque in their handling of the coronavirus outbreak, we have less to go on than we would like. Nothing I have written should be taken as a suggestion that we drop our guard or stop taking precautions. But, assuming we do that, there is no reason to panic. Cheer up.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

James Frayne: The BBC’s growing problem isn’t public hostility. It’s apathy. Fewer people see the point of it.

James Frayne is Director of Public First and author of Meet the People, a guide to moving public opinion.

My first focus group was in Watford in 2000. In those days, virtually every other group seemed to take place there. Partly because it was seen as a bell weather seat. But also because it was the nearest vaguely normal place to London that could be reached in an evening.

In those days, people were stuffed full of sandwiches and crisps, beer and wine – unlike now when it’s generally more austere. And every focus group tended to begin with the same ice-breaker: tell us where you get your news from.

The news question provoked a bunch of different answers, depending on the make-up of the group or its location. Older people read the Daily Mail, working class people read The Sun or sometimes the The Daily Mirror, middle class people read The Times or The Daily Telegraph – and yes teachers read The Guardian. Most people in the Midlands and North read a local paper.

But everyone – almost without exception – relied primarily on the BBC1 nightly news bulletins for their daily news. And most supplemented this by dipping into other BBC news sources such as Today, Newsnight or On the Record (the main Sunday interview show, as it then was). For the English, the BBC was ubiquitous.

Over the years that followed, I was often asked to test public trust in the corporation – usually for campaigns that complained bitterly about the BBC’s attitudes towards their cause – on everything from Europe to economic policy. These campaigns hoped that people would share their concerns about BBC bias.

They never did; people almost always said they trusted BBC News in absolute terms, and relatively far more than most political parties and campaigns. Trying to make people question BBC News’ values and motives was a pointless exercise.

It was always hard to say, but the trust the public had in BBC News seemed partly to derive from their wider trust and affection for the BBC as a whole. When you asked people what they thought was so good about the BBC, they generally said wildlife and factual programmes, local programmes (including news) and the fact that there were no ads. Some would talk about the blockbuster shows like Only Fools & Horses. The BBC was interwoven through the lives of ordinary working class and lower middle class life.

Broadly speaking, in my experience, I’d say this was the reality consistently until a couple of years ago. Now, when you ask where people get their news from, it’s almost always Facebook and other social media channels – in turn, directing them to an array of sites (by no means usually the BBC).

Hardly anyone says they make time to watch the main BBC1 news bulletins, and fewer and fewer people say they watch or listen to the main news analysis shows. Furthermore, when you ask people about the shows they watch, they generally reply with an answer about the platform, not the shows themselves. So, they’ll say “Netflix” or “Amazon Prime” or whatever. They never say they “put the telly on” like they did even a decade ago.

Again, in my experience, I have not found that trust has fallen per se – although post the referendum and two brutal election campaigns, there is now a larger minority of people who moan about “BBC bias”. But “trust” has become become less relevant people as the BBC has become less relevant.

By that I mean that they don’t view trust as a negating factor in their views on the decreasing relevance of the institution. This is the big problem that the BBC has: it could always fall back on the trust argument, even as it was getting a kicking from usually right-leaning activists about its output. Now, trust doesn’t cut it because, increasingly, people are saying “so what?”

They’re increasingly saying “so what?” about everything regarding the BBC. When so many people are forking out for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Sky and other niche content on their phones and tablets, more people (but not all, see below) are starting to view the BBC as “just another service” that’s competing for their attention. In my experience, this is particularly true amongst younger audiences – they just don’t see the point of it, and they don’t even share the nostalgia to “better times”.

This is my experience from the focus groups, but what of the polling? The polling bears this out to a significant extent. My agency Public First polled directly on the question as to whether the licence fee should exist, which got a bit of attention at Christmas.

It showed a clear majority overall favouring its abolition – by 74 per cent to 14 per cent overall – and this was true across all the key demographics. And the poll also showed that people favour decriminalising non-payment of the licence fee.

But it also showed that people were unsure about how the BBC should be funded in the future. Younger people were quite positive about the idea of the BBC being funded like Netflix, through subscriptions, but older people were hostile. More people liked the idea, they said, of the BBC being funded commercially, like ITV. Interestingly, the poll also showed that more people disagreed that the BBC was “neutral”, than agreed with it. Either way, the lesson is clear: very few people support the status quo.

The BBC’s perfectly reasonable pushback to this poll was that it didn’t give sufficient context – that it didn’t present enough alternatives, essentially. Their view is that the BBC always looks better when people are confronted with the alternatives or with the prospect of no BBC at all.

We had never intended this to be any sort of detailed look at public attitudes to the BBC; we ran it because one of our staff was being interviewed about the future of the BBC, and we wanted to have something to say about it. But the problem with the BBC’s pushback is that it almost acknowledges that the status quo is, at best, just the least worst option. They seem to be waiting for the future to make them entirely irrelevant.

So what does all this mean for Number Ten’s future combat with the BBC? My sense is that the BBC is extremely vulnerable to massive change if Downing Street simply and narrowly questions whether its relevance to people’s lives justifies the licence fee. This is where people are. On the other hand, if Number Ten tries to turn change into an ideological battle, it would leave most people cold but probably light up metropolitan lefties in ways that would be problematic.

Which takes us back to the BBC. As I note above, the it was interwoven in the lives of the English working class and lower middle class. This is no longer true – practically or culturally – and the Corporation will struggle to mobilise these people.

All the BBC has probably got left is the hope that at some point the public will view this Government as “just another set of politicians” who mess everything up. And of course the Corporation should seek to mobilise metropolitan lefties who aren’t terribly influential in Number Ten’s thinking. You have to start somewhere. 

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Daily Mail claim: The Ghislaine Maxwell In-n-Out photo was staged

Westlake Legal Group in Daily Mail claim: The Ghislaine Maxwell In-n-Out photo was staged The Blog Meadowgate Media Investments Leah Saffian In-N-Out ghislaine maxwell epstein Daily Mail burger

I realize there are more important news stories in the world to write about this evening, but —-

You know what? Let’s not even pretend.

There’s nothing more important than The Case Of The Fry-Guzzling Pedo Procurer.

Out: Wondering if there’s a Clinton angle to Epstein’s death. In: Wondering if there’s a Clinton angle to Maxwell being photographed at an Orange County In-n-Out.

The first picture of Ghislaine Maxwell in more than three years was staged by her close friend and attorney, Leah Saffian, DailyMail.com has learned exclusively…

The In-N-Out burger joint picture was published by the New York Post on Thursday after they obtained it from Saffian, 60…

According to the photograph’s metadata, reviewed by DailyMail.com, the photograph is tagged with ‘Meadowgate’. Metadata provides information about the rights of the photograph to users.

Saffian is president of Meadowgate Media Investments Inc, according to public records.

The clincher? The dog sitting at Maxwell’s feet in the photo that was taken of her from the side (which is featured at the Daily Mail link up top) appears to be Saffian’s own dog, Dexter. You can fashion an innocent explanation for that if you like — maybe she’s staying with Saffian, who lives in California, and took the dog out for a walk and lunch — but how did “Meadowgate” end up in the metadata? Remember, according to the Post, the photo was supposedly taken “by an eagle-eyed diner at the burger joint” who’s “at In-N-Out every single day.” Allegedly Maxwell was dining alone, too. It’s not like Saffian was there and bought the rights to the photos from some guy on the spot.

We have enough now to formulate a theory. Maxwell and Saffian wanted to throw the public off Maxwell’s trial by creating the false impression that she’s in L.A. So they engineered a meet-cute incident in which Maxwell is spotted and photographed out in the wild in Orange County by some observant bystander who’s following the Epstein story. (Supposedly she even admits who she is to the bystander, which would be insanely dangerous given what she’s accused of.) In order to make sure people believe the photo is contemporaneous, they photoshop the poster for a film that’s currently in theaters into the background. Suddenly, the recent reports that Maxwell has been hiding out in Massachusetts vanish, replaced by the news that she’s chilling in California, carefree enough to drop by the local fast-food joint for some lunch in the middle of the day.

They even added the cheeky detail in leaking the photos to the Post that she was reading a book about the mysterious deaths of CIA operatives, an allusion to the theories floating around (and reportedly advanced by none other than Alex Acosta) that Epstein was some sort of intelligence asset.

So we have a who, a what, a where, a why, and a how. But … not a when. When were the photos actually taken? My guess is that they’re old, possibly taken by Saffian herself during a trip with Maxwell to In-n-Out years ago. (That would also explain why there were two drinks on the table.) Hence the need to photoshop in a movie poster to date the pics to this month. Maxwell might have asked Saffian to see if she had any photos of her saved from their visits together when they were out in public, where the location might be discernible, and to put those out to the media as a red herring about where she was. That’s the only logical explanation for why Saffian’s dog is included, as the dog made it easy for the Daily Mail to link the pics back to Saffian. Plus, if the photos were taken recently, it’d make no sense to put Maxwell at risk of being accosted by angry bystanders by having her linger at a crowded place like an In-n-Out. If she were free to move about with a photographer, it’d be easier and safer to just drive around, find a street with something in the background that identifies the approximate date (like a movie poster), and then hop out and stage a scene of her walking. That could be done in 30 seconds with no photoshop required and minimal risk to Maxwell of being spotted, then passed off to a newspaper as if it were a cell phone pic taken by some rando who happened to recognize her in passing.

Wherever she is, she must be afraid to travel and show her face in public. Good.

The post Daily Mail claim: The Ghislaine Maxwell In-n-Out photo was staged appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group in-300x153 Daily Mail claim: The Ghislaine Maxwell In-n-Out photo was staged The Blog Meadowgate Media Investments Leah Saffian In-N-Out ghislaine maxwell epstein Daily Mail burger  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Daily Mail: Ghislaine Maxwell is alive and lying low — in the U.S.?

Westlake Legal Group Jeffrey-Epstein-mugshot Daily Mail: Ghislaine Maxwell is alive and lying low — in the U.S.? The Blog Scott Borgerson pedophile Massachusetts Manchester-by-the-Sea ghislaine maxwell Federal Bureau of Investigation epstein Daily Mail Boston arrest araoz

This is the sex-trafficking equivalent of learning that Ayman al-Zawahiri is hiding out in a duplex outside Chicago.

All week I’ve been reading about how Epstein’s alleged chief procurer hasn’t been seen publicly in three years and is believed to have gone underground in Europe, where she’s presumably on the run from international dragnets, state spy services, and of course the occasional team of elite assassins hired by some rich degenerate or another to silence those who could ruin him.

Nope, says the Daily Mail. She’s hanging out at a mansion outside Boston with her tech CEO boyfriend.

Uhhhhh, do the feds know?

Ghislaine Maxwell, long-time consort of Jeffrey Epstein and the alleged procurer of victims in his underage sex trafficking ring, has been laying low in a New England beach town, DailyMail.com has learned exclusively.

Maxwell, 57, is in a relationship with Scott Borgerson, 43, and has been living with him at his secluded oceanfront property at the end of a long private road in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts.

The British socialite has been loath to leave the $3 million mansion, a source told DailyMail.com amid heightened focus on Epstein’s alleged co-conspirators following the convicted pedophile’s apparent suicide on Saturday.

‘She’s become a real homebody, rarely ventures out. She’s the antithesis of the woman who traveled extensively and partied constantly with Epstein,’ said a source familiar with Maxwell’s new life.

It was also the Daily Mail that reported a few days ago that Maxwell was allegedly ready to cooperate with federal prosecutors in their case against Epstein, before that case ended at the bottom of a makeshift noose. If that’s true then one would assume they do know where she is. But with Epstein now gone, what’s left for them to cooperate on? Maxwell’s the biggest cheese left in the alleged pedophile ring (that we know of) and the public is hungry for justice after Epstein cheated them. No less a figure than Bill Barr warned on Monday that Epstein’s co-conspirators shouldn’t rest easy, as the investigation will continue. She has no reason to hang around and hope for mercy.

Imagine if the feds *didn’t* know where Maxwell is and the Daily Mail story today caused her to bug out before they could get to her.

Even if they knew her location, could they charge her with anything? Don’t be so sure, says former prosecutor Renato Mariotti:

To make a case against the Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, who is suspected of recruiting young girls for him, prosecutors would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she knew that the girls she recruited were underage and would be abused by Mr. Epstein. Her legal team will likely argue that she would not have helped him if she knew he would abuse underage girls. After all, it’s not a crime to work for a criminal unless you are in on the crime. Jurors might believe prosecutors set her up to take the fall because Mr. Epstein eluded their grasp.

State prosecutors would have a larger universe of sex crimes they could charge her with, like solicitation, but the statute of limitations has likely run on most of those given that the crimes alleged by Epstein’s victims happened years ago. To get Maxwell they’d need to nail her on something so grave that the statute of limitations doesn’t apply — rape, for instance. How would they prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Maxwell’s guilty of that?

As for why she would be hiding in the U.S. instead of abroad, it may be that the U.S. is the safest place for her, ironically. Remember that Prince Andrew from her native UK is tangled up with Epstein too, and the Daily Mail notes that she and her family are loathed back home for having lived lavishly on pension funds which her father pilfered from his publishing empire. If she’s in fear for her life, she may be marginally safer here than there — although possibly not after today’s Daily Mail story. Meanwhile, I’m curious about her supposed relationship with Borgerson. What does he see in a disgraced accused sex trafficker who’s nearly 15 years his senior?

Here’s the latest drone video from that guy who’s flying recon missions over Pedophile Island — this time catching the FBI and NYPD in action inside Epstein’s home. Exit quotation from one of Epstein’s accusers:

Eventually, she got the camera and was soon flying to Jeffrey’s private island with other teen girls, to meet other men.

“[Maxwell] called us her children,” Sjoberg recalled. “At one point when we were in the islands we were all watching a movie and she called us her children.”

“Did she ever refer to herself as a mother?” the lawyer asked.

“Yes, like a mother hen.”

Calling the girls “children” suggests that she did have a pretty firm idea about their ages, right?

The post Daily Mail: Ghislaine Maxwell is alive and lying low — in the U.S.? appeared first on Hot Air.

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“You just want me to say the words”: Biden won’t call Trump a white supremacist

Westlake Legal Group jb “You just want me to say the words”: Biden won’t call Trump a white supremacist Working Class white warren Trump The Blog supremacist Iowa Daily Mail biden Beto O'Rourke

The rest of the field had no trouble saying it.

Elizabeth Warren told the New York Times “without hesitation” that Trump gave white supremacists aid and comfort. “He’s done the wink and a nod,” she said. “He has talked about white supremacists as fine people. He’s done everything he can to stir up racial conflict and hatred in this country.”

Beto O’Rourke told MSNBC Trump made it “very clear” that he’s a white supremacist.

Bernie Sanders told CNN’s Jake Tapper over the weekend that he believes Trump is a white supremacist.

But Biden is reluctant, interestingly:

‘Why are you so hooked on that?,’ he responded to DailyMail.com during his visit to the Iowa State Fair [when asked if Trump is a white supremacist].

‘You just want me to say the words so I sound like everybody else. I’m not everybody else. I’m Joe Biden. I’ve always been who I am. I’m staying that way,’ he added…

‘He is encouraging white supremacy. You can determine what that means,’ he said. ‘I know it’s like everybody wants everybody to call somebody a liar. I don’t call people liars. I said they don’t tell the truth. Okay? You want to hear me say liars so you can put out that Biden called someone a liar. That’s not who I am. You got the wrong guy.’

What’s the difference between “Trump is a white supremacist,” which is no-go for Joe, and “Trump encourages white supremacy,” which is fine? Dave Weigel thinks it’s a function of Biden’s respect for institutions. Just like how he’s more likely to refer to Trump as “Mr. President” than the rest of the field is, he’s more reluctant to call the president of the United States a white supremacist. Noah Rothman believes it’s a subtle bit of strategy aimed at Trump’s voters: “Telling voters they backed an overt white supremacist makes them culpable, defensive. The latter gives them plausible deniability.” If you’re Joe Biden and your strategy depends upon picking off some of Trump’s working-class white support, you need to be careful about accusing them of having voted for a racist in 2016. That might come off a bit too much like Hillary’s “deplorables” comment. Focusing on Trump’s actions as president (“encouraging white supremacy”) creates some distance from that accusation. Trump voters can’t be blamed for not foreseeing how Trump might misuse the bully pulpit as president, or so Biden means to imply.

Jeryl Bier points to this distinction drawn a few days ago by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:

Trump fans haven’t been infected with “the virus,” Biden is suggesting, even if their hero is helping to propagate it. Emphasizing Trump’s actions (“encouraging white supremacy”) instead of branding his beliefs (“white supremacist”) also makes it harder for Trump to dodge the accusation, notes Benjy Sarlin. He can flatly deny what’s in his heart, but if you’re pointing to a specific tweet, like the “go back where you came from” knock on Ilhan Omar, he has to defend it on the merits.

Biden said this at an event in Iowa, incidentally, where Monmouth has been polling this week. Result:

Westlake Legal Group u “You just want me to say the words”: Biden won’t call Trump a white supremacist Working Class white warren Trump The Blog supremacist Iowa Daily Mail biden Beto O'Rourke

Grandpa Joe is steady. Warren is on the rise. Bernie, who finished just a whisker behind Hillary in Iowa in 2016, is vanishing from the race. (As is Beto O’Rourke, who dropped from six percent there in April to … <1 percent now.) An interesting question: If Sanders were to drop out, who would benefit most? My hunch is Warren because they’re progressive peas in pods, but friends on Twitter reminded me today that it’s actually Biden who’s the second choice of a plurality of Bernie voters in various polls, as they overlap in appealing mainly to older white working-class voters. Would Biden still be their second choice over Warren if Bernie endorsed her, though? We’ll probably get to find out.

One more number. Note the trend:

Westlake Legal Group r “You just want me to say the words”: Biden won’t call Trump a white supremacist Working Class white warren Trump The Blog supremacist Iowa Daily Mail biden Beto O'Rourke

Democrats are leaning more heavily towards electability in a nominee as the race progresses, which is good news for Biden. And not just in Iowa.

Here he is today elaborating on how Trump “encourages” white supremacy. Exit quotation from Grandpa Joe: “We choose truth over facts!” Er, what?

The post “You just want me to say the words”: Biden won’t call Trump a white supremacist appeared first on Hot Air.

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In ‘Send Her Back’ Fallout, Trump Amplifies Praise From Right-Wing British Commentator

Westlake Legal Group 20dc-trump1-facebookJumbo In ‘Send Her Back’ Fallout, Trump Amplifies Praise From Right-Wing British Commentator United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Tree of Life (Pittsburgh, Pa, Synagogue) Race and Ethnicity House of Representatives Daily Mail

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Trump on Saturday extended the debate over a chant of “send her back!” at his campaign rally in North Carolina this week when he retweeted a right-wing British commentator who has drawn repeated outrage and condemnation over a long history of anti-Muslim remarks and for casting blame on a Jewish leader for provoking a synagogue shooting.

Sending fresh mixed signals about his view of the chant directed at a Democratic lawmaker, Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Mr. Trump shared video of the episode posted by the commentator, Katie Hopkins, who has said “Islam disgusts me” and who last year appeared to link a rabbi’s pro-migrant work to the mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Ms. Hopkins was celebrating the moment in Greenville, N.C., on Wednesday, suggesting that the crowd’s chant could be a new slogan for Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign. “Send her back is the new lock her up,” she wrote, referring to a refrain from the 2016 campaign directed at Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

“Well done to #TeamTrump,” she added.

Mr. Trump, who has shifted his account of how he responded to the chant about Ms. Omar, posted Ms. Hopkins’s tweet on his own feed while adding commentary that placed some distance between himself and his supporters that night in Greenville.

“As you can see, I did nothing to lead people on, nor was I particularly happy with their chant. Just a very big and patriotic crowd. They love the USA!” Mr. Trump wrote early Saturday.

The chant followed Mr. Trump’s attack on Ms. Omar and three of her fellow Democratic congresswomen of color — Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — in which the president called on the lawmakers to “go back” to their countries. All of them are American citizens, and all but Ms. Omar, a Somali refugee, were born in the United States.

A day after the Greenville rally, Mr. Trump, under pressure from congressional Republicans and even his own daughter, falsely claimed that he had tried to interrupt the chant, something clearly disproved by the video. Speaking to reporters on Friday, he declined an opportunity to criticize the chant, calling his supporters “incredible patriots” and saying he was unhappy that Ms. Omar “can hate our country.”

It is unclear whether Mr. Trump was aware of the background of Ms. Hopkins, who is a notorious right-wing agitator and former columnist for The Daily Mail whose attacks on Muslims in particular have largely exiled her from the mainstream news media. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Trump has often amplified, through retweets, the voices of white nationalists, fierce critics of Islam, conspiracy theorists and other activists and commentators from the far-right fringe. In May, Mr. Trump retweeted a conspiracy-theory account under the handle Deep State Exposed — whose Twitter profile claims 10 retweets by the president in all — that declared: “The ‘elite’ proclaim America must submit to Islam or else!!! #Trump2020.” That month he also retweeted a message ending with an A-O.K. emoji, which has become a symbol of the white nationalist movement.

After a terrorist attack in May 2017 at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, Ms. Hopkins tweeted, “We need a final solution Manchester.” Soon after that, she left a job as a talk-show host with LBC radio in London.

After a Tunisian man living in France killed 86 people in 2016 by driving a truck through a crowd in Nice, France, Ms. Hopkins incited another backlash by calling for mass deportations of Muslims. “I am not Islamophobic,” she wrote. “Islam disgusts me. This is entirely rational.”

After the mass shooting last year at the Tree of Life synagogue that left 11 people dead, Ms. Hopkins suggested that the killer, who expressed fury online over a Jewish charity’s support for Muslim immigrants, had been provoked.

“Look to the Chief Rabbi and his support for mass migration across the Med,” she wrote. “There you will find your truths.”

It was unclear to whom Ms Hopkins was referring, but Britain’s most senior rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, has advocated welcoming immigrants from south of the Mediterranean Sea.

In response to an online uproar Saturday over the president’s retweet of her post, Ms. Hopkins followed up with another message.

“Call me what you wish. Islamophobe. Bigot. Racist. Vile. It matters not,” she wrote. “What matters is the fight back for our Christian culture we desperately need to defend.”

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Two 14-Year-Old Girls Have Been Arrested at a Middle School in Florida. Their Mass-Murderous Plan is Terrifying

Westlake Legal Group taxi-driver-gun-SCREENSHOT Two 14-Year-Old Girls Have Been Arrested at a Middle School in Florida. Their Mass-Murderous Plan is Terrifying wtsp Uncategorized tampa school shooting murder mass shooting juvenile justice facility Guns Front Page Stories Fox 13 Florida Featured Story Education Daily Mail Culture crime bartow avon park middle school Allow Media Exception




According to affidavits obtained by Tampa’s WTSP, on Wednesday, a middle school teacher in Florida noticed two female students frantically searching for a folder.

Middle school — a time of fun and frivolity. Biggest concerns:

  • Who likes who
  • Are your clothes cool?

The teacher overheard one of the teenyboppers say she’d be arrested if anyone else discovered the file. The other replied, “I’m just going to tell them it’s a prank if they call me or if they find it.”

But neither of them found it; the teacher did.

And holy moley.

The folder was labeled “Private Info,” “Do Not Open,” and “Project 11/19.”

It also could’ve also been stickered “Project Murder.”

Eight pages within outlined plans for a mass killing. Nine targeted students were listed by their full names or initials. Also mentioned: guns.


[I]ncluded in the folder were hand-written notes describing the clothing the girls would wear during the killing spree, such as gloves, and how they would look.

Two of the directives: “No nails” and “No hair showing from the moment we put on our clothes.”

Apparently, for some murderous middle school missies, it’s the little things. The Daily Mail lays out more of the precocious pyros’ pernicious plan:

[T]he papers described how the juvenile suspects would obtain firearms to kill the victims and dispose of their remains, “specifically burning and burying their bodies.”

“The plans were written in great detail as to how they would lure the victims, kill the victims, and dispose of the victims’ bodies,” the report states.

The girls are currently fantasizin’ about dreamboat guys and mastermindin’ their next hangout at the skating rink from secure bunks at the Juvenile Justice Facility in Bartow.

Oh — and they’re facing nine counts each of criminal attempt to conspire a capital felony for premeditated homicide and kidnapping.

Way to go, chicks.

What in the world is happening to our society?? As we hear of more of these kinds of stories, surely their proliferation makes it more reasonable to those who may wish to follow suit. Meanwhile, the adults in the room aren’t necessarily doing better: in New York and Virginia, grown men and women have declared the murder of an infant A-Okay (here, here, and here).

When the most innocent lives become extinguishable, it’s open season on the guilty.

And we’re all guilty.

Though, most of us aren’t as guilty as two 14-year-old girls at Avon Park Middle School in the Sunshine State. Thank goodness their plans weren’t carried out.

The families of the would-be victims have all been contacted.

Perhaps most disturbing — and perplexing — is this:

A parent at the school told Fox 13 that news of the girls’ arrests came as a shock because they both were friendly and popular in school.

We’ve got a lot of work to do.


Relevant RedState links in this article: here, here, and here.

See 3 more pieces from me: 

‘Racist’ Obama Tweet Gets Unearthed, Trump Pounces

WATCH AN IDIOT: Store Clerk Refuses To Serve Trump Supporter, Shrieks (& Pees?) In F-Bomb Come-Apart

Cher Sounds An URGENT ALARM: NO ONE IS SAFE In America, Except Whites & MAGA Wearers

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

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The post Two 14-Year-Old Girls Have Been Arrested at a Middle School in Florida. Their Mass-Murderous Plan is Terrifying appeared first on RedState.

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