Archive for the ‘Old Media’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 19, 2009

Category: Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

I’ve noticed on my travels that it’s often the biggest frauds who put the most official sounding names on things.

Like John Beyer, that clown who’s claimed the name ‘Media Watch’ and secured it exclusively for the narrowest of agendas, or a publicity-hungry quack who calls a school for other quacks something like the Royal Global Academy of Alternative Medicine College.

It’s a worrying trend, and I’d hate to be mistaken for any of these people… so I’m calling my new project The Media Watch Rock-a-Hula:

media watch rock-a-hula

Don’t make that face. My mind is made up.

(Besides, I can delete this later… like it never happened.)








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 18, 2009

Category: Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, The Political Weblog Movement

I really wanted to have a better logo ready for today, but hopefully you can see where I’m going with this, and I won’t need a long paragraph explaining exactly what this change in priorities means for ‘Murdoch Watch’:

The Sun: Tabloid Lies needs a tidy up and some focus, but I’m very happy with the ‘document the lies’ strategy so far, and plan to expand on it very shortly with a similar project targeting The Daily Mail.

The latter project will finally stagger into a soft-launch following a post from me within the next week.

I found the time cataloguing the dishonesty of amateur hacks like Iain Dale and Paul Staines to be very useful on this front, because with up-and comers and amateurs it’s not only easier to see the strings, it’s also easier to jiggle them about a bit and watch where/how the puppet show falls apart (and, crucially, where/how it manages to keep the illusion going).

If you can picture the skills/experience/resource gap that exists between Derek Draper and Paul Staines, you can easily appreciate the skills/experience/resource gap that exists between Paul Staines and Rebekah Wade. All that really separates them is practice in (or access to) any given format; the techniques they use are almost identical.

[Psst! Those watching Paul closely these past few years will have noticed where Paul’s character has, for example, evolved from showing casual indifference to torture, to having a more tabloid-like position; selective outrage (depending on who is doing the torturing, natch). Baby P was a watershed moment in this ‘growth’.]

Some of the blow-back from the Glen Jenvey affair (that I’m not at liberty to share with you just yet, but it will blow your effing mind) follows the same attack pattern and plugs in neatly with my wider experience with tabloids especially.

The short version is this:

If you remain calm, and simply document outright lies, they will have very little to throw back at you.

It won’t stop them trying, mind, but they’ll be operating without a scrap of evidence (i.e. they will be forced to make shit up) and anybody who takes 30 seconds to look at your site will see…. evidence, evidence and more evidence.

What also helps is a united front. A group is harder to classify as being a bit mental, which is the usual charge thrown about by someone not wanting people to read clear evidence that they’ve been lying, cheating, stealing etc. (“He’s delusional! And it’s *catching*! Stay away, children!”).

[Note – ‘Boring’ is the other one; it’s ‘mental’-lite. But, I’m working with a variety of writers, each with their own engagement/communication skills. We should be resilient enough, and it’s not a damaging tactic, so there’s room for improvement on the fly.]

The only time this ‘mental’ tag is ever likely to become a problem with a group? When that group strays from the ‘lies only’ mission and editors begin to lose their independence.

Putting what I personally think of them to one side, the fact is that the position of ‘Biased BBC’ is easily undermined because they as a group operate on a single almighty assumption and build every case from this perspective.

‘Bias’ is a perilous area to go into, as many of us will have learned in the past.

It is a slippery slope, and you even need to watch your step near things like hypocrisy, omission and obfuscation. It’s going to be painful to stick with at times, but it is my opinion that you’re better off sticking with cataloguing outright lies, because if you have a worthy target, there will be plenty.

Even if you stick to this, there will be people that won’t believe you.

But that’s OK. I’ve grown beyond unrealistic expectations of stopping this or crushing that, and now work towards speaking to the ‘softs’ in any given audience.

Paul Staines will never admit it, but I’m one of the key reasons why he mainly has “window lickers” on the loose in his comments. His page views may have gone up, but the quality of his (public) feedback has plummeted. Reasonable people started abandoning him in droves once they realised what he’d been up to and Staines reacted by giving his shouty anonymongrels more and more room to play.

MORE SHOUTING! THAT’S THE TICKET!!! ZANU LABOUR! RAH RAH RARRRGH!

*ahem*

(Hell, I was one of those people once; I bought into Paul Staines’ bullshit, and it took me far too long to snap out of his spell, because I was so focused on the poor souls having their genitals slashed in the name of T.W.A.T. – the turning point came with Oaten and Paul’s attempt to put the whammy on me at a later facetime event. He’s a lying, manipulative scoundrel who will say pretty much anything to get you to do what he wants you to do, and Alex Hilton is a damn fool to trust him.)

So, starting with The Sun and The Daily Mail, I’ll be documenting lies in tabloid newspapers with the help of other talented writers and bloggers.

New projects will emerge as opportunities present themselves and/or priorities make themselves clear, but the prime directive will remain the same; show readers of any given title/broadcaster if/when they are being lied to.

Every day, millions of people in this country needlessly worry, rant and rave about stuff that Just. Isn’t. Real.

Perhaps I can ease their minds on one or two specific matters.

Maybe, just maybe, I can teach some people how to recognise (or identify!) habitual liars; the heartless fuckers who play on your fears to profit monetarily and/or politically.

I’ll probably do no more than dent, deter, or isolate people like Wade and Staines… but I’ll salt great swathes of earth for those who wish to follow them.

Hopefully, especially because it brings other bloggers along on projects, it will also set a better pattern of blogging development than the often shouty, spin-heavy not-at-all-credible strategy folks have been following behind Iain Dale, the grand ambassador of political blogging

(FFS, the sponsor of the UK guide to political blogging for three years running has been APCO. They *astroturf* for a bloody living! We need to step away from such influences if we want blogging to be any different or more democratic than other channels.)

So, just before I get started, does anyone see any downsides to the ‘lies only’ plan? Does anyone think I’m being a wee bit unfair to certain tabloid editors (or bloggers)?

Now’s the time to speak up, because this is where I want to take Bloggerheads for the next year or two at least… and this is not a strictly ‘my site, my rules’ issue.

I’ll be sharing power with a lot of other people, but everything will be built on this framework, and I trust you appreciate that this deliberate landscaping will have an impact on the layout of at least one corner of the playing field.








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 16, 2009

Category: Old Media

Hi folks. I plan on chatting with you about the credibility of old and new media this week. Please bear with me…

(Psst! Or, if it’s more to your speed, perhaps instead check out Sim-O on The Sun and their defence of their reporting on Baby P or, if you can stomach the bile, have a laugh at Donal Blaney attacking Derek Draper over his use of the term ‘window lickers’ when Blaney’s client* Paul Staines is the man most deserving of his criticism, and all Draper is guilty of is outstanding ignorance and a desperation to be part of the ‘in’ crowd.)

[*I say ‘client’, even though there’s a very good chance that the ‘fee’ in this case was a couple of bottles of wine.]

… even if it seems at first that we are going over old ground:

Iain Dale has a self-penned bio that he puts about, and it contains a number of claims that may or may not be true. When this results in a newspaper or broadcaster making a claim that definitely is not true, Iain is fond of claiming that this is something beyond his control (presumably on the basis that his bio is open to interpretation… so when someone takes it at face value, it isn’t entirely his fault).

One claim that definitely isn’t true that was in Iain Dale’s distributed bio until very recently is the claim that Iain Dale has 300,000 to 350,000 readers every month.

This claim was distributed by Iain and repeated in a number of places long after it was revealed that Iain was, at the very least, a little bit confused about the difference between a ‘visit’ and a ‘visitor’ (more).

That claim also (somehow) found its way into this puff-piece in The Independent.

Iain later claimed that (a) this was an error, and (b) not his fault.

But this figure matched the bio claim so very closely, and Iain has been known to be less than forthcoming with the truth, so I emailed the author of the puff-piece (Nigel Morris, Deputy Political Editor of The Independent) and asked how he arrived at the “350,000 readers every month” figure in his article.

There was no answer, so I chased.

It was conference season, I was told. Nigel was busy.

So I waited. Later, I sent a follow-up email or two. But still there was no answer.

A month passed.

Without. So. Much. As. The. Courtesy. Of. A. Reply.

I get this from associates of Iain sometimes – even the loose ones – so I gave up chasing the monkey and emailed his organ-grinder; Roger Alton, the recently-appointed Editor of The Independent

In that email, I pointed out the following:

– The Independent had published (and was still broadcasting) a ridiculously overstated claim
– The most likely source of that figure was known for (ahem) some confusion on this front
– The most likely source of this figure was also acknowledging it was false, but blaming this on a mistake by The Independent

I also repeated my question about the origin of the claim/figure.

Roger Alton took a look at this, and my surprise at being ignored for four weeks, and described me as ‘fixated’.

He then went on to say that the ridiculously overstated claim meant very little to him because his own website received far too many visitors for a figure/error of this size to be significant to him.

The question about where the figure came from was entirely ignored.

I’ll let my response at this stage of proceedings speak for itself:

It seems like such a small thing; you would think that answering a small question about it would be no bother.

And yet here I am, a month later, really quite annoyed that I have to take it to this level just to have you ask why I bother.

Thanks for that, by the way.

So is it seriously your position that numbers that seem inconsequential to you personally will be allowed to stand uncorrected (and not even investigated) in your publication, no matter how incorrect they may be?

I ask because my trust in the Independent has been seriously shaken by the failure to address a really quite straightforward question and your reply has taken me quite by surprise.

I dread to think what would happen if you got your figures wrong on an article about the minimum wage, for example, and delivered this as your response.

Tim Ireland

(PS – Bloggers with integrity take readership figures quite seriously; just as seriously as you do circulation figures. I am sure that you would have something to say about another newspaper vastly inflating their circulation estimates, not least because such behaviour undermines trust in all figures, including your own.)

Roger Alton skipped over all of these points and responded with an email suggesting that I “write a letter to the editor”…!

That was over three months ago, and I haven’t bought a copy of The Independent since.

I was a regular reader, buyer and supporter of that newspaper for a decade prior to this, and must admit to initially having some reservations about the measure, but I felt more than a little vindicated when the ‘grooming’ spin on Damian Green’s arrest emerged, and The Independent led on it.

I may return to the paper once Nigel Morris and Roger Alton have moved on, or there are other signs of improvement or renewal, but until then, they’ll not get a penny from me.

UPDATE – The article in question used to carry a series of comments underneath. Those comments have now been retro-moderated out of existence. It looks like The Independent, like most other newspapers, can’t be trusted to maintain an honest comments facility, either… but for further comment on that subject from moi, you’ll have to wait until later in the week.

UPDATE – It surprises me not at all that a selective listener like Roger Alton supported the invasion of Iraq.








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 9, 2009

Category: Old Media, The Political Weblog Movement

Jeremy Reynalds is an interesting man whose mind works in interesting ways.

Take, for example, his reaction to the Abu Ghraib scandal; which *so* obviously raised questions about homosexuals in the military and the way CBS conduct themselves.

So when he is presented with evidence that Glen Jenvey posed as an extremist on Ummah.com, we should not be surprised that he asks questions about the way Ummah.com conduct themselves, and we should count ourselves lucky that he’s not speculating about their sexuality:

Jeremy Reynalds – Large Islamic Website Still Carries Material Advocating Destruction of Israel Ummah forum administrators posted a vocal defense of their site (www.ummah.com/forum/showthread.php?t=197121), headlined “Ummah forum detest today’s misleading article in ‘The Sun,'” and alleged that Abuislam is really Jenvey, claiming confirmation from his IP and email addresses. In an e-mailed statement, Jenvey denied being Abu Islam, adding that some inflammatory posts formerly on the site have now been either removed or manipulated to the forum administrators’ advantage. He said, “Over the years I have monitored both www.ummah.net and www.ummah.com and their chat rooms. I know they hate me enough to try and discredit me.” (via)

That’s not much of a denial, and I reject it for two main reasons:

1) That Ummah.com alone/initially declared a direct link between ‘abuislam’ and Glen Jenvey is a false premise; Ummah.com declared a link between ‘abuislam’ and a post by ‘Richard Tims’. The link between ‘Richard Tims’ and Glen Jenvey was later revealed at Bloggerheads, and involved otherwise-innocuous spam submitted some 6+ months previous to multiple websites, including the website of a close ally of Jenvey’s.

2) If Jenvey is claiming or suggesting that he’s the victim of a set-up, he’ll have to do better than establish possible motive. As Richard Bartholomew points out here; “Rather more is required than simply asserting (or even proving) that Ummah.com is run by bad people.” (more)

But the main point I wish to raise in this post involves declarations of interest.

Right toward the end of the article, there’s a passage where Jeremy Reynalds refers to “Jenvey and former colleague Johnathan Galt”, but there is no mention at all of any past or present relationship Jeremy Reynalds might have with Glen Jenvey. In fact, that sentence could be read to mean that it is Jenvey and Galt who are former colleagues (i.e. connected professionally to each other and not to Reynalds).

There are many ways that Glen Jenvey and Jeremy Reynalds (and Jonathan Galt) have intersected online, but in an effort to convince Mr Reynalds to take a closer look at the evidence linking ‘Richard Tims’ to Glen Jenvey, I have decided to use the following single example, that also includes a heck of a lot of spam:

Over the weekend, D-Notice kindly got the ball rolling on a Wikipedia investigation into the PCCLIES sock puppet, which led me to browse through Wikipedia edits made under Glen Jenvey’s old profile.

When doing so, I noticed that Glen Jenvey had link-spammed Wikipedia to promote Jeremy Reynalds’ (now out of print) book War of the Web: Fighting the Online Jihad, here on this page about Islam.

Oh, and here on this page about Islamic terrorism, here on this page about the Tamil Tigers, here on this page about Al Qaeda, here on this page about Abu Hamza, here on this page about Hizb ut-Tahrir, here on this page about Osama Bin Laden, here on this page about ‘espionage’, , here on this page about the PLO, here on this page about Terrorism, here on this page about Cyberterrorism, here on this page about the September 11 attacks, and, quite hilariously, here on this page about ‘bestsellers’.

[Note – Jenvey made several attempts to spam some entries, most persistently on the entry for Al Qaeda. Many of these spam entries include crimes against the apostrophe that have since become Jenvey’s trademark, and though the relevant ‘talk’ page was deleted a long time ago, it’s a fair bet that this activity led to him being banned or flagged as a spammer, and subsequently starting one or more replacement accounts to edit his own entry, promote his websites at glen-jenvey.com, abuhamza.org.uk & sellyourstory.org, plug the literary works of Jeremy Reynalds, and/or ‘set the record straight’ on his relationship with the FBI. There’s one hell of a vapour trail waiting to be uncovered, by the looks of things. If I find myself with a spare hour or two I may go browsing again later.]

I will remind readers again that this is only one visible way in which Glen Jenvey and Jeremy Reynalds have intersected online.

If there is a past, present, personal and/or professional link between Jeremy Reynalds and Glen Jenvey, then Reynalds should have declared it in his article… even if only to claim that Jenvey is merely one of his biggest fans.

After all, Reynalds is a CEO and he has a master’s degree in communication; he should know what a conflict of interest is.

PS – Link-spamming the entry for the 7 July 2005 London bombings was a class act… but I’m sure Jenvey was thinking of the victims in his own special way when he did it.








Posted by Tim Ireland at February 6, 2009

Category: Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, The Political Weblog Movement

Hi folks! Regulars at Bloggerheads will know by now that I’m simply fascinated by the craft of sock-puppetry, and I have a cracker of a sock-puppet to show you.

[Note – If this is of little to no interest to you, then I invite you to instead enjoy the exciting events currently unfolding over at the Bad Science weblog; copyright claims are being used to dodge scrutiny. Hat-tip to Thomas for the heads-up.]

So far, an unknown number of anonymous web users operating primarily via the Lionheart weblog have been attempting to muddy the waters on the Glen Jenvey affair by claiming that the website hosted at Ummah.com is a terrorist/fundamentalist/extremist hive, hostel, hotbed, and what have you, as Jenvey himself was busy claiming after posing as an extremist on that website and passing off his planted comments as genuine.

I encountered a fresh pro-Jenvey sock-puppet this morning when I saw it being used to remove the following text from the Wikipedia entry for Glen Jenvey:

Criticism

Jenvey has been accused of falsifying evidence of Islamist threats. On 7 January 2009 the UK tabloid newspaper The Sun ran an exclusive front page story claiming that participants in a discussion on Ummah.com, a British Muslim internet forum, had made a “hate hit list” of British Jews to be targeted by extremists over the 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza conflict. Jenvey was quoted in the article as an anti-terror expert, stating, “Those listed [on the forum] should treat it very seriously. Expect a hate campaign and intimidation by 20 or 30 thugs.”

The UK magazine Private Eye discovered that Jenvey, posting to the forum under the pseudonym “Abuislam”, was the only forum member promoting a hate campaign, while other members promoted peaceful advocacy. The story has since been removed from The Sun’s website following complaints to the UK’s Press Complaints Commission.[5][6]

The name of the profile used for the removal of this text is PCCLIES, and as that name suggests, the person behind it seeks to clear Jenvey’s name not only by hurling accusations at his accusers, but also by hurling accusations at the industry body currently investigating their accusations.

Clear so far? Good.

I’ve saved a screen capture of three of the main edits of five used to make this latest accusation, and you can follow those edits yourself in this order – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 – but I thought you might like to see what the final accusation would look like if it had been written in red crayon:

Tch. What is it about Jenvey’s many anonymous supporters than their uniform difficulty with spelling and apostrophes?

[Psst! I know the claim about Private Eye discovering the Jenvey/Abuislam link is highly questionable, but there’s not a lot I can do about it until Private Eye admits in print that perhaps the anonymous tipster they’ve claimed elsewhere as their source obtained their information by the novel means of reading my website. There’s also the small matter of one of Private Eye’s own people emailing me and seeking help with the story prior to their publication, a hitherto-unpublished fact that I’m far more inclined to go public with now that I’ve emailed them about this and not had so much as the courtesy of a reply. Anyway, the short version is this is the way Wikipedia works, and not a lot can be done about it until the peeps at Private Eye decide to be a little more reasonable. Please do not try to correct this anomaly via Wikipedia, no matter how unfair it may seem.]








Posted by Tim Ireland at January 30, 2009

Category: Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

Press Gazette – Revised Sun freelance rates ‘lowest on Fleet Street’: The Sun and The Times have cut the freelance rates paid for stories and pictures to levels condemned as “completely unacceptable” by the National Association of News and Picture Agencies. The move follows a review of operations which could also see widespread cuts to staff journalists across News International – especially among production staff, according to sources at Wapping… Sun deputy managing editor Richard Barun has informed news agencies of the cuts to rates in a letter in which he insists that The Sun remains the “the biggest overall payer in the business”. He said: “I’m please to say that The Sun will continue to pay more than any of our rivals for great exclusive words and pictures.”

The Sun, by their own admission, concentrate their spending on splash at the expense of substance, to a greater extent than any competitor… and they seem quite proud of it.

You know what this story needs for that added human touch? This story needs an extra quote or two… preferably from a member of the National Association of News and Picture Agencies.

Say… the South West News Service, if I were to choose a member agency at random.

/cheeky








Posted by Tim Ireland at January 29, 2009

Category: Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

My original point stands; if it comes to a choice between the BBC and Murdoch, I still choose the BBC and will continue to wear this button myself…

Click here to find out why.

…but it’s not a happy state of affairs if that’s about the only comparison that works out in the BBC’s favour:

Doctor Vee – A BBC scared of its own shadow isn’t worth it

The BBC’s primary problems date back, as we all know, to this same event. (Take another bow, Gilligan.) In their since-weakened state, they’ve capitulated needlessly – in varying degrees – to tabloid newspapers, pressure groups, and even clearly-confused nuisances.

The refusal to run the Gaza appeal, a move matched step-for-step by Murdoch-owned rival SKY, is a new low in this unmistakable pattern of decline. Their only defence of their position on the appeal is that they are afraid of how it will look, and as a result they damage their reputation further by being just a little too sensitive about it.

And I don’t expect the Conservatives to act as a positive, rejuvenating force, do you?

In as little as a year or two, we could be looking at the first real fruit of the liberal media myth; a fully-crippled BBC.

A pathetic beast brought down by a mob of monstrous moguls screaming ‘monster’.

(Of course, if this were a movie, we would all gang together, there’d be a musical montage*, and a tougher, more strident BBC would emerge, immediately ready to kick arse. But this isn’t a movie, and right now it looks like our starting point is a hospital room. Critical ward.)

[edit: Double-post fixed. Thanks to poons for the heads-up.]

(*alt)








Posted by Tim Ireland at January 27, 2009

Category: Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

Guardian – Only quality journalism can save us, says Sun editor Rebekah Wade: Sun editor Rebekah Wade used her first public speech to warn that only journalism could save the newspaper industry from the recession. After six years as editor of the red-top she delivered a passionate defence of tabloids while railing against industry doomsayers at the Cudlipp Lecture at the London College of Communications.

Can this be the same editor who so readily published the lies of Glen Jenvey? The same editor who still refuses to clean up the mess she left behind after dumping the story?

UPDATE – A more detailed response and rebuttal from Septicisle.








The character is fiction, but the horror is real; Sick Days

D-Notice on The Sun v the Criminal Justice System.

Paulie has a different opinion to mine on MPs and their expenses. I readily accept that my opinion on this could be skewed by my MP being a right piece of work.

Unity and Septicisle on the ‘Al Qaeda has bio weapons’ claim from the tabloid you can trust.

Meanwhile, The Sun appear to be holding back on reports that Israel has been using white phosphorus as a weapon. For some reason.

(During the assault on Fallujah in Iraq, the Americans used white phosphorus as a weapon, and denied doing so. The Sun later dutifully reported when the cat was out of the bag that; “It was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants, not against civilians” At around the same time, I talked to a British soldier who told me that Our Boys were officially trained in the handling and deployment of white phosphorus as an illumination device, but briefed “off the books, of course” in their use as a room-clearing or “bunker cleansing” device. Which is nice.)

Kevin Maguire driven home in expensive hire-car shock. It’s called a perk, and Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’) is acting like he’s never seen one before. You can hear Paul’s high-pitched nasal whine asking about mansions in Richmond and delivering a sarky “James, home!”… meanwhile, Maguire appears to be quite jovial, and taking it all in good humour. I doubt that I’d be quite so genial with a camera waved in my face, plus I know from experience that Staines hides from cameras, and is all-too-quick to scream ‘stalker’ if caught in any compromising situation. Staines, much like Derek Draper, is also censoring inconvenient comments under this video. If you must comment yourself, don’t do anything futile like mention that Staines has a personal beef with Maguire or that he himself has to pedal everywhere when not being chauffeured, on account of his driving while drunk (and without insurance). On that note, Maguire can count himself lucky that Staines didn’t make an issue of his drinking… after sobering up himself. What a tosser.

OMG! Homo milk! Watch out, Paul! Don’t let it near the children!

Speaking of such things, Jeremy Hunt is having a little difficulty answering questions about homophobic attacks by local Conservative activists (background). He’s trying the old ‘it’s off my patch’ dodge (not that this has ever stopped him from propping up fellow Tory Anne Milton), and using an old technique of Dale’s; allowing anonymous comment contributors to attack me as a form of defence (only gently, mind… but it’s still clear to see).

I would be a great pity if Jeremy Hunt decides to leave this matter hanging. Again.

He dodged the issue when he could have done something to stop the attacks; now he’s promoting himself as a blogger with standards, I would expect him to at least have an opinion on two grown men creating and promoting an anonymous website claiming that their political opponent is a paedophile.

By now, most of you have seen Ninja Cat.

Now check out how Ninja Cat would look with Derek Draper in charge of the project.

Also via /links a game that all the kids will be playing this time next week; Bush or Batman?

Via Carl Eve; Woodward and Bernstein on the Bush era and ‘moving on’ with Obama.

In my experience, trying to move on just encourages some people to further take the piss, but I guess we’ll see.

Finally, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; Ian Hislop owes me a lunch.








Posted by Tim Ireland at January 12, 2009

Category: Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

1. The Sun’s article claiming that ‘top jews’ were being targeted by Muslims (that was in fact based on forum comments written by their quoted terrorism ‘expert’ posing as a Muslim) has been removed [404] from The Sun’s website without explanation.

2. Before their Jenvey-reliant article was withdrawn this morning, it carried 74 comments. The article carried 74 comments before it was discovered that it was based on fraudulent comments made by their quoted ‘expert’, and it carried 74 comments after it was discovered that it was based on fraudulent comments made by their quoted ‘expert’. In other words, no comments were published that would give any indication that something might be wrong with the story.

Below are the two comments I submitted, and the time/date of submission. These comments were not published.

The Sun were aware that something was wrong with the story, and they were specifically aware of the evidence proving exactly what was wrong with the story… and yet they refused to engage under comments, or even publish the questions/challenges that they still refuse to answer.

Comment submitted @ 15:13 on 08-01-2009 (and not published):

Misrepresentation of content aside, what do you say to the allegations that the key comments you condemn in this story were actually submitted to the Ummah.com forums by (a) a freelance journalist (b) who isn’t really a Muslim?

I can offer clear evidence of the latter if you feel you need it. The forum authors will already have been in touch about the former, I’m sure.

Comment submitted @ 22:38 on 08-01-2009 (and not published):

I now have evidence that the forum entries you express the most concern about here were actually written by Glen Jenvey. Do you have any response to that, or will you be discarding this comment also?

The Sun: no comment

Newspapers: Don’t purport to accept comments if you plan to refuse any meaningful criticism or scrutiny or, like pseudo-blogging losers ranging from David Miliband to Paul Staines, you will be cheating your readers by giving the impression that a channel for accountability exists where it is in fact refused outright.

Try an ‘applause’ button instead, and stop pretending to be something that you’re not.








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