Jeremy Duns+ Your Authors @JeremyDuns Author of Free Agent, Song of Treason, The Moscow Option, Spy Out The Land and non-fiction Dead Drop (Codename: HERO in the US). Reviews thrillers for @thetimes Jun. 29, 2019 3 min read + Your Authors

While I wait to hear back from Twitter whether they're going to do anything about an antisemite calling me a child rapist on here, a thread on this article in the Spanish press: 

The writer of the article sent me a DM here yesterday asking if he could interview me about the book. ABC is one of Spain's major newspapers, his Twitter feed, checked out, and I said yes. But I was wary about it, wondering if I was going to be stitched up. I have been, subtly.

I was wary because they're writing for a Spanish newspaper, interviewing me in English - a lot can be lost in translation. But beyond that, it's easy enough to frame things in a certain way. The article appears fairly matter-of-fact, but isn't really. It has an agenda.

The first hint of this is the headline, which frames Penguin pulling the book as a mystery. It's not really a mystery, but the word plants the idea that something dark is afoot, some kind of shenanigans, a plot perhaps.

Near the top, it goes through how successful Baños's book has been in Spain, and quotes his Spanish publisher as saying the decision to cease publication in the UK as madness, and Baños himself as saying they found nothing concrete.

The journalist asked me very clearly for what was concrete antisemitic in the book, and I gave him a very specific and concrete answer:

I also pointed out to him in detail why the Rothschild conspiracy theory is false, linking him to an article on it. He didn't included any of what I said about the book, despite asking about it - just quoting the couple of lines I screenshot for him would have altered the piece.

Because it is much harder to deny that screenshot from the book is antisemitic than it is if you are much vaguer about it, as he is. Also if you note that he has given an exclusive interview to a Holocaust-denying website, which I showed the links to (the denial and interview).

But you can also see he's misquoted me, by claiming I said that the book has material on Soros «cercanas a teorías conspiranoicas antisemitas» - 'close to antisemitic conspiracy theories' I didn't write that. At all.

This is what I wrote - I said that while he phrased it to be deniable, that material clearly subscribes to antisemitic theories on Soros. The quote is invented. He's fabricated a quote. Easier to do in translation, but not on.

This might all seem petty, but a major Spanish newspaper has fabricated a quote by me. There's little I could do about it, I suspect. Too much hassle. And rather like Baños repeating antisemitic theories about Soros and leaving them there without addressing that, it's deniable.

Despite it being quotes, he was paraphrasing my meaning, etc. But the effect is, I think, deliberate - and you can see this in the comments beneath the article. Some are openly antisemitic: the first asks if 'they' still deny the Shoah was the best thing that happened to Europe.

But most aren't as open about it as that - a few point out that some Jewish families are indeed rich and powerful, so it's censorship to say otherwise. This is where including my answer to his own question on precisely what is antisemitic in the book would have helped.

Claiming I merely said references to Soros were close to antisemitic, rather than in fact antisemitic but phrased in a way that could be denied, may seem a small change, but the effect is to make this seem vexatious. Not even antisemitism and the book's pulled!

Of course, the journalist can claim he had no space to include the Holocaust denial website, debunking of the Rothschild theory, the quote in the book about the Rothschilds, and didn't mean to invent a quote. But I suspect - but can't prove - that he had an agenda all along.

Oh, here's that interview I linked the journalist to - see the final answer  Quoting that would have given a rather different complexion to the piece. Anyway, there we go. A lesson in how to be stitched up, perhaps.

You can follow @JeremyDuns.


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