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Monday 21 January 2013

The Natalija Belova Story Unravels

[Update at end of post]

The exclusive revelation in yesterday’s Sun that a Lithuanian single mother was on benefits, on an apparently taxpayer funded spending spree, and over here, was too tempting to allow the Murdoch press to have it all to itself. So the Mail decided to lift the story and, in the process, add its own rant-provoking embellishments. And it is these that have been its downfall.

Facts?!? Who f***ing cares about those, c***?!?

A single mother from Lithuania who lives a life of luxury at the expense of Britain's taxpayers takes home more than £1,000 a month in handouts which funds her love of designer clothes and holidays” is the first paragraph of the Mail piece, published without by-line, and it is characteristically and blatantly untrue. But it speaks to the agenda of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, which is the priority here.

And, as with the Sun article, there is no mention of Ms Belova being an actress, nor that she has easily searchable CVs out there which confirm the fact, as well as her recent studies at Kingston University, from where she graduated with a BA in Business Administration in 2011. But where the Mail lets it slip is not in the body of its copy, but in the photographs it has used.

The Dacre attack doggies have to show that they are different, so those four photos provided by news agency INS were out. In came two photos from a different source, the copyright shown being held by one Nicholas Razzell. Sound familiar? Nick Razzell is a regular member of the High Court press snapper pack. He has advised representatives of the British Press Photographers’ Association (BPPA).

Razzell helped organise a last minute press pen before the BPPA delegation appeared before the Leveson Inquiry. Put simply, Nick Razzell does not just go around asking benefit-claiming single mums if they’d like him to take their picture. He is a pro, and he does snapping for a living. Natalija Belova did not just appear in his portfolio by chance.

Spot the difference: before ...

Nor did Razzell just happen across Ms Belova in Fuerteventura back in 2008, the time and location of the second of those photos. Either there is some personal connection (less likely), or she was otherwise worthy of him taking time out to photograph her (more likely). The Mail, by using Razzell’s photos, has blown the lid on its own conceit: no wonder nobody wanted their by-line on that piece.

... and after yesterday's edit

Meanwhile, Ms Belova has been at work editing her entry on CastingCallPro: she has subtly amended her first name from Natalija to the more usual Natalia. That can only be in an attempt to head off any searches resulting from the Sun and Mail articles, but she’ll have to do better than that. And so will the Mail, along with an explanation of how benefit-claiming single mothers have their own portfolio.

Time to come clean, press people. You’ve been rumbled once again.

[UPDATE 22 January 1310 hours: my thanks to the commenters who have taken time out to update me on this story. It seems that ITV's This Morning was also taken in - one might have thought they would stop and think after Philip Schofield's encounter with Young Dave backfired on them - but one media outlet has had second thoughts.

Yes, after jumping on the bandwagon and stoking up the mob, the Mail has pulled its version of the Sun's anti-EU and scrounger bashing hatchet job (the latter is still live as I type). No reason has been given, but then, none ever is by Dacre's finest]


deedee said...

I tried to comment on the story about her in the daily mail saying who she was but surprise surprise my comments were not published

Anonymous said...

I also tried - several times - to post a comment, on The Sun's website, but none of my comments were posted. I went to their FB page, and commented there, as did several others. I took a screen capture, just in case...and sure enough, all comments related to this work of fiction have been removed. So, not only does the Sun present fiction as truth, and IDS condones it, as evidenced by his follow-up comment, but they also practice blatant censorship!! I've sent an email to the PCC (complaints@pcc.co.uk) and encourage anyone who is as angry and disgusted as I am by this fictitious, hate-inciting "article", and the censorship of dissenting opinion, to do the same.

Unknown said...

Seems that the mail has taken that story down ....


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Clivegsd said...

I was the first one to pick up on this story and asked Ms Belova about it. My blog here-> http://uk-carers.org.uk/blog/ contains a screencap of her reply before the page got pulled.

People should ask their MP's to ask IDS about his comments on a fake story.

Oh and http://fullfact.org/ aren't interested in the fake article, just so people know.

Chris said...

The Daily Fail probably pulled the story as they also have her in another story where her Millionaire husband was 'assassinated'. He happened to work in media too... This Morning have already deleted one comment I posted with this link in it. I can't see how she would even need to claim any benefits as would surely have enough from her husband to cover her lifestyle.