Thanks to everybody who complained to the Mail on Sunday about its malicious and misleading article about our meeting ‘Defend the Left’ on March 25. On April 4, the rag has finally apologised to Ken Livingstone (which was printed in the April 7 edition of the Mail on Sunday):
Ken Livingstone said: “A massive thank you to the 1000s of people who gave their support over the last few days & to those who complained to the Mail on Sunday regarding their complete distortion of my recent remarks.
The correction is welcome, but does not change the fact that 1000s of people saw – & other media outlets reprinted – these lies.
We must continue to challenge how parts of the media act, spreading lie after lie, with little regard for the truth, and not be deterred in our campaigning for a better society, for the many not the few.”
The Mail apology reads: “An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that Mr Livingstone had said it was not anti-Semitic to hate the Jews of Israel. In fact he told the meeting the claim he had said such a thing was one of the lies being spread about him. We apologise for this error.”
This is how we broke the story on Sunday March 31:
Glen Owen, political editor of the Mail on Sunday (March 31) has watched the video of our excellent meeting ‘Defend the Left’ – and still manages to utterly and dishonestly misquote Ken Livingstone.
Even in the headline, he charges Ken with having said: “It is not anti-Semitic to hate the Jews of Israel.” But clearly, Ken only listed this as one of the ridiculous charges made against him!
This is how the Mail on Sunday quotes Ken in its full article:
“‘Jeremy Corbyn’s office did not want it to happen. It was about distracting … this is endemic if you have a genuine socialist leader who is going to transform things for ordinary people and make the bloody corporations pay their fair share of tax – they will do whatever is necessary to stop you. And that means lies and smears in most of the West. In other parts of the world it can mean assassination.’
The former Mayor of London continued: ‘It’s not anti-Semitic to hate the Jews of Israel and you can’t have a proper functioning democracy in a world in which the media, whether it’s the press or internet, can just spread lie after lie after lie.”
This is gutter journalism of the worst kind. Here is what Ken Livingstone actually said at our meeting – in the correct context (while discussing John Mann MP harassing him):
“He [John Mann] starts shouting in my face that I’m a Nazi apologist. He then goes on television and says that I said Hitler was a Zionist. How can a man who loathes Jews be a Zionist? But because it was all filmed on telly, it went global. And it wasn’t just that, soon you could see it all over on the internet that I said, ‘Jews are like Nazis’ and ‘It’s not anti-Semitic to hate Jews of Israel.’
You can’t have a proper functioning democracy in a world in which the media can spread lie after lie after lie.”
Clearly, Ken Livingstone was reporting what John Mann MP had accused him of – he ridiculed these charges, because they were so absurd! This article clearly underlines the point that Ken was making: The media “can spread lie after lie after lie.”
Proof of Ken Livingstone’s speech can be found in our video here, from 14.20mins.