The rewriters of history

Posted by Tim Ireland at July 4, 2008

Category: UK Libel Law

This entry was posted on
Friday, July 4th, 2008
at
5:41 pm and is filed
under UK Libel Law.

I’ve had my differences* with some of the peeps over at Harry’s Place, too (over bullying and bullshit under comments if you can believe that) but I’ll stand with them over this:

Ministry of Truth – Harry’s Place threatened with legal action: Now, as I see it and on the basis of the material in these articles, especially the screenshot in the original post, then as long as the allegation is not that Harry’s Place mistranslated the contention passage then the BMI has no cause for genuine complaint against anyone but Al Jazeera. Not only that, but any dispute over exactly what was said could be readily cleared up if Al Jazeera were simply to give an explanation for why the article was retrospectively altered. Either it made a mistake, that David responded to in good faith, in which case [it] should say so, allowing him to amend his remarks accordingly, or it got the original report right only then to cave in and make changes under some sort of pressure. In neither scenario is litigation justified or warranted against HP as any issue that BMI might have over the text published by Al Jazeera is with Al Jazeera itself – or it should be and would be were it not for our berzerker libel laws.

Please be warned that linking to the original article at Harry’s Place makes you a potential target of legal threats.

UPDATE – Here’s a useful round-up of events from Melanie Philips.

(*I’ve just had a quick read-through of the relevant article from 2005 – i.e. long before Dale, Staines etc. declared themselves to be the fathers and rulers of the blogosphere – and I’ve noticed some startling parallels, but now’s not the time. I’ll link it later.)








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