Scottish Sunday Express big enough to say they’re (kind of) sorry…. eventually

This entry was posted on
Sunday, March 22nd, 2009
9:40 am and is filed
under Old Media.

More than a week too late, deliciously self-serving, no mention of any disciplinary action for anyone, and it contains a claim that many people might regard to be an outright lie.

Sunday Express – DUNBLANE: WE’RE SORRY: It is our belief that nobody was misquoted, but the story was undeniably inappropriate. It has upset the young people we named and caused great distress to their parents. Where possible, we have spoken to the families involved and given them a heartfelt apology. Today we apologise to you, our loyal readers. The Scottish Sunday Express is a big newspaper, with a long and illustrious history. We are also big enough to say we are truly sorry.

Nobody was misquoted? Elizabeth Smith claimed she was clearly quoted out of context, and she maintains this position, even though she may not be keen on saying so and making an enemy of editor Derek Lambie. Omission of vital context certainly counts as misquote, and Smith maintains that she was not talking about Dunblane (or given the impression she was talking about Dunblane) when she was asked by reporter Paula Murray to comment. But I guess as long as editor Derek Lambie keeps believing otherwise, this, technically, is not a lie:

“It is our belief that nobody was misquoted…”

Your typical heartfelt apology does not contain misleading claims, not even cleverly-worded ones. It is also worth noting that this apology from the Scottish Sunday Express contains 6 paragraphs about how great they are and 5 paragraphs about how sorry they are, though the last paragraph tells us how great they are for being willing to apologise (insincerely/eventually), so the count is really 7 to 4. That’s a lot of mitigation.

Here’s how it appeared on page 5 of today’s edition of the Scottish Sunday Express:

scan of apology

[Watch out. Comments are still playing up. Submitted comments may be lost or duplicated.]

UPDATE – Some of you may have missed the 1cm-high mention of this apology on the front page that reads; “The Scottish Sunday Express Extends its Apologies to Dunblane”

Derek Lambie is barely going through the motions, which is a disgrace in itself. If he won’t resign, he should be sacked. Not just for the article itself, but the way he’s conducted himself since.

It’s now the only way to offer what this self-serving apology failed to deliver; a clear indication that measures have been taken to ensure that this will not happen again.

Sacking Lambie removes the editor responsible for the atrocious attack and sends a clear signal to other employees of Richard Desmond that they will be held accountable for their actions (once close to 10,000 people call for disciplinary action against you, that is).

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