John Coles and the Theme of Terrorism

As has been widely blogged, UK Sun hack John Coles has caused disgust across the Brit blogosphere with a nasty hachet job aimed at Steve Nutt, a young man of no interest to the wider public. This is because Nutt’s father is David Nutt, who until recently was the government’s main drugs advisor before being sacked after suggesting that some of the risks around drug taking had been overstated in comparison with other potentially dangerous activities. This prompted Coles to bring all his investigative skills to bear for a background piece – which in his case meant accessing the Facebook accounts of Nutt’s children for a shocking exposé:

THE youngest son of Professor David Nutt – sacked as government drugs adviser – has posted pictures of himself on Facebook apparently smoking dope…

…It was not known if the professor at London’s elite Imperial College has been privy to his daughter Lydia’s Facebook pages.

Photos show her and girl pals cavorting with a bottle of spirits in hand – and were uploaded two years before she turned 18.

Meanwhile older lad Johnny, 26, has posted photos of himself prancing NAKED in the snow in Sweden.


Steve Nutt thinks his dad is probably more famous than he’ll ever be, BARRING A TERRORIST ATROCITY THAT IS… “

Terrorism is a theme that regularly crops up in his messages.

Shockingly, instead of sticking a portrait of himself in his “profile” photo slot like most Facebook users, his image is of an orange labelled “product of Israel” – one half of which is a GRENADE.

But terrorism is also a theme that “regularly crops up”  in Coles’ lazy hackery; let us remember this Guardian article:

On 7 January the Sun’s front page splash, under the headline “Terror Target Sugar”, quoted claims by “anti-terror expert” Glen Jenvey that online Muslim forum was being used by extremists to target leading British Jews in revenge for Israel’s invasion of Gaza.

The Sun subsequently removed the story, which carried the bylines of John Coles and Mike Sullivan, from its website.

Coles and Sullivan were spoonfed bogus information that had in fact been generated by Jenvey himself (see here); in fairness, it came to them via a news agency, and Jenvey had an endorsement from Patrick Mercer MP (which still needs further explanation), but they took responsibility for the Sun piece with their bylines – and the story fell apart thanks to a bit of on-line digging by Tim Ireland that put the hacks to shame. So now we’ve twice seen Coles trying to puff up fears over “terrorism”; in the first instance by using material that a competent journalist would have rejected, and in  the second by absurdly over-egging a non-story about a private individual using material found on Facebook.

Of course, Facebook offers endless fields of easy gleanings for hacks looking to cobble together easy copy – see Paula Murray.

Flip Benham: “Richard Bartholomew has the Spiritual Depth of a Pie Tin”

Flip Benham

Rev. Flip Benham

Here’s one I missed from the end of September – a blog post attributed to none other than Rev Flip Benham, Director of Operation Save America and Operation Rescue and famous as the man who baptized a repentant Norma McCorvey (“Roe” of “Roe vs Wade”), discussing my spiritual state (see here, scroll down – for some reason there’s no permalink):

Richard Bartholomew has the spiritual depth of a pie tin when it comes to understanding the Gospel battle we are involved in.  He has a tremendous amount of knowledge but little spiritual depth.  He is like a swamp – a mile wide but only an inch deep. 

Benham is annoyed at a short blog entry I did concerning Operation Save America’s protest against a Muslim group holding a open-air prayer meeting at the Capitol in Washington DC. He goes on to explain the true spiritual depths of the event:

What took place in Washington D.C., this past Friday, September 25, 2009, was no attempt at all for Muslims to approach Almighty God in prayer.  They can’t reach God for there is no other Name by which men must approach God but the Name of Jesus.  It was a strategic attempt by the devil to dethrone the God of the Bible.  It was an attempt to replace or level the playing field between the living and true God of the Bible with the false god Allah.  It was an attempt to declare that God and Allah are one and the same – they are not!  Islam is a lie birthed in the deepest pits of hell.  It will not be tolerated by God and it certainly must not be tolerated by Christians…When Muslims gathered on the lawn of our nation’s Capital, they were declaring that “Allah is God and there is no other, and Mohammed is his prophet.”  This is the first pillar of Islam.  It is a contradiction and violation of the first Commandment of Almighty God, “Thou shalt have no other God’s before me.”  We Christians have allowed God’s House to become a den of robbers.  We refuse to wield the sharp double edged Sword of the Spirit and stand for God’s Truth in the Name of Jesus.

By the way, the backs of the t-shirts are even better…

Operation Save America T-Shirts

(Second t-shirt reads “Abortion is Murder; Homosexuality is Sin; Islam is a Lie; Evolution is a Delusion; Feminism is Rebellion; Liberalism is a False Religion; Conservativism is [Pretend] Salt” – thanks to a commentator for identifying the missing word)

Benham’s denunciation comes in the wake of a rebuke from the Official Street Preachers I received in February.