Coughlin’s credibility was left in tatters after a Jones Twitter thread took aim at the journalist and his wife. The thread was instigated by Coughlin’s attendance at a party hosted by the Saudi government at the Natural History Museum, amidst allegations that Saudi agents had killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Following Khashoggi’s disappearance, Coughlin echoed the line of the Saudi government, tweeting: “Was Jamal Khasogghi a liberal or a Muslim Brotherhood lackey who reviled the West?” and linking to his article on the matter.
The writer also took exception with Coughlin’s reporting on Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud.
Jones didn’t only look at Coughlin’s recent work and connections, he also went back into the veteran’s career to expose numerous instances where Coughlin was reportedly fed lines by MI6, writing: “One false story fed to him by MI6 about Saif Gaddafi led to the Sunday Telegraph apologising for libel.”
The Guardian writer then exposed Coughlin for his work in the build up to the Iraq War, posting that he was involved in the pushing of ‘evidence’ of a link between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda, that “Pulizter-winning journalist Ron Suskind claims the Bush administration forged.”
Moving on to his spouse Katharine Bergen, Jones detailed how she “is a former journalist who wrote pro-Bahrain propaganda for publications ranging from The Daily Mail to Standpoint Magazine.”
The Twitter thread subsequently went viral, with thousands re-tweeting and liking Jones’ posts. He was hailed by many, although one former Guardian journalist said his words would be a lot more powerful if he looked at his own employers too. Owen Jones is not ‘criticising’ the corporate media – he is showing a connection between a supposed journalist and the brutal Saudi dictatorship as well as being a parrot for CIA and MI6 war propaganda.
It is unclear as to Coughlin’s response to the attack, other than to delete his Twitter account. The editor did, however, have a story published on Sunday, titled: “Are you smart enough to pass the GCHQ entrance exam? Test your intelligence with these extracts from the world’s toughest puzzle book.”