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Sunday 18 October 2015

Sunday Times Sex Case Story Sham

The desire of the right-leaning part of the Fourth Estate to cast doubt on anything and everything to do with Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson knows no bounds, and so it was no surprise to see Murdoch pundit David Aaronovitch trying his best to appear reasonable on today’s Sunday Politics before the inquisition of Andrew “Brillo Pad” Neil, only to be rightly called out by journalist and campaigner Peter Jukes as a conspiracy theorist.
Aaronovitch’s continued inability to understand how Police procedure works (see the Zelo Street takedown of this elementary failing HERE) has, though, been as nothing when put alongside today’s Sunday Times front page article “VIP sex cases link to false memory … Experts slam controversial therapy”. Here, the paper attempts to discredit witnesses who have come forward with complaints of child sexual abuse (CSA).

However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, the standard of journalism in evidence is so lamentable as to render the piece effectively useless. Let us start at the very beginning, as it’s a very good place to start. “Two key witnesses championed by the deputy Labour leader tom Watson” it begins, going wrong immediately. Watson is not “championing” anyone. He is doing nothing more than facilitating.

But do go on: the witnesses “are being helped by a charity that uses a controversial therapy experts fear could generate false memories”. But only “could generate”, and we are not told whether the witnesses are subjected to that technique. If they are not, then why run the story, especially if this refers to an existing Police investigation and could therefore prove prejudicial to its outcome?
It gets worse: readers are told of “Matthew Scott, a leading QC who had worked on a number of child abuse cases”. Scott, otherwise known as the man behind the Barrister Blog, is, you guessed it, a barrister. What he is not is a QC, leading or otherwise. This is a basic research failure, and sadly for the ST it is not the only one.

Rather worse is the assertion “The therapy, in which the victims are given the details of the effects of sex abuse suffered by their own counsellor, has prompted concerns of a repeat of previous scandals in which ‘recovered memory’ played a part in false claims of child abuse in cases such as the Cleveland child abuse scandal in 1987 and the Orkney satanic ritual case in 1991”. Someone has not researched these cases very well.

Recovered memory” therapy did not exist until AFTER both the Cleveland and Orkney cases had become part of the historical record. Add to that the quotation from Matthew Scott is from a blog post he wrote around a year ago on a different subject. All of which suggests that if anyone is suffering the effects of False Memory Syndrome, it is the hacks who cobbled together this appallingly bad piece of “journalism”.

Thus the sad decline of yet another former paper of record. Way to go eh, Rupe?


Anonymous said...

Well, it was only a matter of time before that propaganda blurt Aaronovitch got rolled out by Neill - who himself used to work for, er, Creepy Dirty Digger Murdoch. All pals tossing together, ey?

The Sunday Times has as much credibility as the Sun, which is to say none at all. Beats me why anybody with their brain intact actually PAYS to read that shite.

Any day now MacKenzie, Kavanagh and Mensch will appear like the Thunderbird puppets they are, plus the usual neocon bullshitters and jerk offs.

It's so predictable it's laughable.

Anonymous said...

Putting it on the front page means very many people will see the headline on news stands without reading the article. In this way the desired 'link' is introduced into many peoples minds often without them even consciously considering it, still less reading the article critically, coming across refutations or reading a correction (not that the Times will feel under any pressure to make one at all). Those whose profession is propaganda are well aware of this, of course.

rob said...

Must have been taking lessons from that doyenne of investigative reporting, the former MP now ex pat. Possibly auditioning for the six figure sum apparently available for such reporting and would also allow them to a wider, albeit less discerning, audience?

To paraphrase another ex pat journo, but god forbid not an ex MP, they couldn't make it up successfully but they had a jolly good try.

Richard T said...

A sure sign of mischief and wrong doing in the gutter press (including anything owned by Murcoch) is the use of the word 'experts'. Such experts can more properly be defined as the writer of the story whom I can't really dignify by the profession of journalist except in the useful doggerel

You cannot hope to bribe or twist
the famous British journalist
but seeing what unbribed he'll do
there really is no occasion to.

These days it is of course important to be clear that he applies to all genders.

rob said...

*The Great British hack off*

Team A The scientists

They tested their ingredients first before achieving a reasonable palatable mixture which may be thought "credible" in some quarters.

Team B The Journalists

They tasted their sauces first, and perhaps overdid it, before blending a mixture which competed destroyed any credibility in their finished concoction.

Conclusion - The proofs of the over cooked pudding are in the eating of humble pie?