September 17, 2011

BICOM briefing boob

Many thanks to Mike Cushman on the Just Peace UK list for linking to this Guido Fawkes' blog post about an embarrassing mispost by BICOM CEO, Lorna Fitzsimmons.  It appears that an email from her intended only for the eyes of donors to the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre got sent instead to the media.  As it happens, Fitzsimmons's mistake was first reported in the Daily Mail which, remarkably, stands to the left of the Guido Fawkes' blog but the latter's post is more detailed:

After his story earlier in the week about pro-Israel lobby group BICOM, Guido was tipped that their CEO Lorna Fitzsimons, the former Labour MP, was in some serious trouble. He was tracking down an email that was accidentally sent out on Monday to some of BICOM’s media list instead of the intended recipients – the donors. Annoyingly Ephraim Hardcastle beat him to it this morning and reveals how Lorna blurted to the world that she has been:
“…liaising with BBC and Sky to ensure ‘the most objectively favourable line was taken…I briefed Jonathan Ford, the Financial Times leader writer for his upcoming leading article… BICOM had regular contact with the Editor at Large of Prospect magazine, David Goodhart, helping to inform him about the forthcoming UN vote on Palestinian statehood…”

We have put the whole email online here. It’s standard lobbyist boasting, but Guido imagines the FT editors will take a dim view of any sign of them being influenced by a PR operation. A BICOM source tried to play down the story as“mildly embarrassing”, but it was the comment given to the Mailthat really tickled Guido: “A BICOM spokesman denies that Ms Fitzsimons is to lose her job.” If you have to say it…
There's a little bit more to the post and the pdf of the email is worth a look at.

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