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Thursday 3 January 2013

Telegraph Moron Attempts Incitement

[Update at end of post]

Here on Zelo Street, the behaviour of those who inhabit the bear pit that is Telegraph Blogs never ceases to amaze, and rarely surprises in its pandering to those who drift around the comments sewer, but today has come an exception: a blatant attempt to not merely misrepresent a rival media source, but to incite hatred against it by so doing. The surprise is that the post has seen the light of day.

More fallout from you-know-who

The one doing the deed is the ostensibly inoffensive presence of the section’s editor, Damian Thompson, who it might be thought would be above such behaviour. He has taken a feature from the Guardian’s Society section, on the ever-sensitive subject of paedophilia, whose sub-heading reads, in part “experts disagree about what causes paedophilia – and even how much harm it causes”.

The article is an attempt by columnist Jon Henley to understand what drives this kind of behaviour (there is, to no surprise, fierce disagreement to be found here), how many adults are, or may be, paedophiles (again, estimates vary significantly), how many of those have a tendency to abuse children, and how that part of the population can be managed without danger or risk for children.

What the piece does not do is to take an overtly supportive position as regards paedophilia, nor a forthrightly judgmental one against it. Henley is clearly aware of the acute sensitivity surrounding this subject, especially given the Jimmy Savile revelations and the continuing Police investigations. But he manages to shed some light on the subject, and especially that experts still disagree on so much.

So what has Damian Thompson done with the article? The headline of his post – “Guardian: Paedophiles are ‘ordinary members of society’ who need moral support” – tells you all you need to know. The editor of Telegraph Blogs is so beside himself with his need to make mischief that he has gone beyond journalistic reinvention to take a stance which he knows will cause a potentially violent reaction.

Thompson quotes very selectively from Henley’s article and in conclusion asserts that what the Guardian has published is “precisely” equivalent to what “persuaded Catholic bishops in the 1980s to adopt a mild, nuanced approach to suspicions of clerical paedophilia”. Except that Henley is not trying to persuade anyone to adopt any particular attitude, and Thompson knows that.

Maybe Damian Thompson believes that he is only having a bit of harmless fun, and at the same time satisfying his editor’s requirement to lay into the Guardian at every opportunity. But the distinct impression is given that he has ventured well beyond the pale, and that these are the actions of a weapons grade shit who does not reach up to the ankles of those he so maliciously misrepresents.

And that tells you all you need to know about Telegraph Blogs.

[UPDATE 4 January 1455 hours: after being prompted by Storying Sheffield (@StoryingShef) to include other views on this subject, I can recommend two follow-ups that have taken a reasoned approach - unlike the usual mob chorus calling for visits to anyone suspected of "deviant behaviour" and associated concepts such as lynching and bodily disfigurement.

Labour MP Tom Watson borrows from the research of Dr Liz Davies, and you can read his extensive observations HERE. Sarah Goode, who was quoted by Jon Henley, has followed up another Guardian bashing rant from the Telegraph's resident clueless US politics "expert" Tim Stanley (who may still be coming to terms with both being conned into believing that Mitt Romney was going to win, and blatantly misleading his readers) with her own comments (timed 0437 hours).

Although it may seem that Watson and Ms Goode are taking differing views, they are in fact both wanting the same outcome: less children being harmed. And we aren't going to get to that point by frothing and ranting]

1 comment:

Cheesy Monkey said...

It’s worth pointing out that Thompson’s blog was one of two on the Telegraph site; the other was a similarly misleading shit smear. So guess what happened on the original article’s comments: reasonable debate first hijacked by ‘victims’ who had misread the piece, followed later by bilious morons who clearly had not read the article mixed in with ‘pro-paedophile’ trolls. I wonder where they came from?

So in short, you had the Telegraph essentially libelling Henley not once, but twice in a day in an attempt to persuade advertisers to withdraw business from a rival newspaper. Oh, and I see that the comments under the Telegraph blogs are all suspiciously brief and one-sided. The Telegraph really is a sad joke these days.