'The justice system decided Salmond and Leslie weren't guilty of rape, Depp wasn't guilty of domestic violence and Edwards had no case to even answer – but none of these will work again in the same way, due to the sin of being human, and messing up in one way or other.'
Following Huw Edwards' wife Vicky Flind's statement on her husband's mental health status, I tweeted:
'In my position as editor of False Allegations Watch, I'm seeing the Huw Edwards affair as more a watershed for the media than any particular individual. The plethora of 'mental health card' hashtags yesterday, after his wife made her statement, showed me what an amoral, strange creature social media has become.
Who can blame him, or Kevin Spacey, or ex-MP John Warburton, for checking themselves in? These things used to to be called a mid-life crisis, but they've become punishments for anyone in the public eye, from which there is no return. Caroline Flack (RIP) was an outlier; men are far more likely to engage in these kind of out-of-character behaviours - how dare anybody change as they grow older! And apparently lying to your spouse has become the new cardinal sin.
Figures and broadcasters whose work I otherwise support outed themselves as callous, cruel reactionaries - and that's so sad, as independent spirit is essential. But no, on this one I'm with Huw and the BBC, in support of anybody who has possibly been blackmailed while going through a difficult period. I report on them all the time - and the cases are increasing.'
Edwards has been at the Beeb for over 40 years, and has been considered the voice of calm, Welsh authority for much of the last two decades. He has announced the arrivals and departures of monarchs, and the outbreaks of wars, in a manner that lets the country it's all going to be OK. But, he has had mental health issues over the last few years. It appears that over lockdown, he started getting involved in the murky world of exchanging semi-naked photos and love heart emojis in texts, culminating in a payment of £35,000 to a 'young person' – either for a photo, or possibly as blackmail.
Where Philip Schofield had been a few weeks before, so went Edwards, jollied on to out himself by Jeremy Vine, supported after the fact by Dan Walker. While American Beauty/Bristol Old Vic actor Kevin Spacey was on trial for multiple sexual assault allegations at Southwark Crown Court, Schofield was licking his silver fox wounds somewhere, as John Warburton presumably checked himself out of hospital, and the internet screamed 'Nonce!' at all of them, constantly.
Another gay presenter, GB News' Dan Wootton was straight under the bus as soon as Edwards' wife's ink was dry on the parchment, and that famed sensation-reporter was to feel how Johnny Depp had for years (and John Leslie, and Alex Salmond, all multiple exonerees). So in this trial-by-allegation culture, driven by who-has-the-most-views social media - not that the presenters don't do a similar thing about their ratings - actual charges and convictions have become an afterthought.
The merest sniff of anything except missionary position sex with a long term partner is met with cries of 'Pervert!' from Twitter et al, as the online public, dancing as two blob masses, deigns not to look into the mirror but to project their own doubtless sinning onto their new idols – because those accused knew this was coming, right? Well I don't think so, and it could indeed be the end of celebrity culture (for better or worse).
The justice system decided Salmond and Leslie weren't guilty of rape, Depp wasn't guilty of domestic violence and Edwards had no case to even answer – but none of these will work again in the same way, due to the sin of being human, and messing up in one way or other. The highly monetised victim-survivor narrative – by now having been pursued by many years in all corners of the Ministry of Justice - has no place here, as it is more about money, ratings and reputational damage than law.
A collar would be handy of course, but who needs to spend all that on legal fees when politicised loons on Twitter are there to do the heavy-lifting for free: the GB News haters here slagging off the Guardian/BBC wokesters there, all brandishing their own brands of pitchfork or flamethrower.
People identifying as legal dominance feminists are dictating messaging policy from the top of every institution, after fifty years of gender studies across Western education. What was once a sex divide has become a class divide since they tend to comprise the identitarian elite. Power ideologues have achieved the democratisation of sexual assault, and the role of the media in the new presumption of guilt is that everyone is thinking in headlines.
Most safeguarding is nothing more than a cover for snitch-culture, and social media coverage of the Depp-Heard in the US (and Brittany Higgins case in Australia) exposed the nuance in sex allegations ensured that conspiracy theories became 'the new normal'. The presumption of heteronormative sex is now essentially as a criminal act, with the 2003 Criminal Justice Act being the putative start of a war on men.
The children of the sexual revolution are now all under suspicion, while critical identity theory has made people chronically more divided, not less. Intersectionality in a politicised media means we are inverting nature in the name of equal rights, themselves increasingly dictated by mental distress, policy dictated by tears. Criticising one element means that group thinks you're having a go at them directly, and the establishment media has now relabelled any deeper analysis of narratives with which it disagrees 'conspiracy theory'.
A free press is vital in a progressive liberal democracy, but the agreed terms about what progressive means have been torn up. The traditional right are the new cultural opposition, creating counter-discourse against an internationalist 'blob' left, commonly described as woke, and seemingly hell-bent on a multiracial, vegan transhumanism - unmandated at best by indigenous national populations. This left is dictating laws not necessarily by statute but by the mainstream media, ensuring that due process is secondary to group-think opinioneering. Where that leaves once-trusted, famous faces with no case to answer is anyone's guess.
By Sean Bw Parker