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Monday 19 December 2016

Katie Hopkins Libel - Told You So

[Update at end of post]

Last December, Zelo Street looked at a particularly nasty smear executed by pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins - so poisonous they sacked her from the Sun - in her then-new role as bigot-at-large for Mail Online (note that the print editions of the Mail will not have anything to do with her). This was after a family group, who happened to be Muslim, were prevented from boarding a flight from London’s Gatwick Airport to the USA.
Viewers may want to look away now

I concluded that Ms Hopkins’ claims that the family concerned lived in an area that was “a known hotbed of extremism”, and that the family had “confirmed links with al-Qaeda” were plain flat wrong, and could be disproved by use of the mystical art known as “five minutes’ Googling”. Her suggestion that the group should have aroused suspicion because there were no adult women in it was also provably wrong.

Despite this, she signed off the article with “it is not the discrimination of innocents at Gatwick. It is America protecting its own people. We are weak by comparison … I congratulate the USA Homeland Security Force for a job well done … My opponents can carry on with their lazy labels. Call me racist (Islam is not a race). Report me for my tweets. (You can’t prosecute the truth) and threaten my life. (Nothing new from the peace-loving liberal left.) … But it will not stop me from giving balance to the total mis-telling of a story about this lovely British family off to Disneyland to make dreams come true”.

And no more was heard about her claims - until today. Yes, that’s how long it takes to prise an apology out of the Mail and its website. Not just an apology, though: Mail Online has admitted that the targets of Ms Hopkins’ smear were not extremists, they did not have links to al-Qaeda, and they were only going to the USA to visit Disneyland.

All of which was known at the time Zelo Street posted on the article. And for the Mail it gets worse: the final humiliating paragraph of their “correction” tells “We and Katie Hopkins apologise to the Mahmood family for the distress and embarrassment caused and have agreed to pay them substantial damages and their legal costs”.

Frame that one and lock it away in the glass case: Katie Hopkins has said sorry. More likely is that the Mail prevailed upon Ms Hopkins to say sorry, or has said sorry on her behalf. When she started her rant “that’s the story you’d be believing if you listened to the BBC or Labour’s blond-bobbed maniac Stella Creasy, whinging on about the obvious discrimination against them on religious grounds”, she was mocking the truth.

The Sun has recently removed Ms Hopkins’ vicious and infamous description of refugees as “cockroaches”. Mail Online has now been taken to the cleaners because of another of her research-free Islamophobic tirades - an article which was known to be a pack of lies a year ago. What is not going to be rescinded is this assessment of Hatey Katie: she’s an intolerant, ignorant, racist, Islamophobic, loud-mouthed fascist bigot.

And those, sad to relate, are ten a penny. It’s high time sites like Mail Online desisted from hosting pundits like Katie Hopkins merely because of the clicks it brings in.

Ditto the broadcasters. Time to say goodbye to Hatey Katie.

[UPDATE 1215 hours: Press Gazette has now confirmed that the amount of damages paid by Mail Online was £150,000. As the claimants retained the services of Carter, Ruck it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that the total amount they had to pay out was well over twice that amount.

On top of that, I am reminded that Katie Hopkins is scheduled to be in court on February 27 next to defend a libel action against her brought by writer and campaigner Jack Monroe, after Ms Hopkins claimed Mx Monroe had defaced a war memorial (again, without bothering to check her facts beforehand).

I am also reliably informed by a legal source that Hatey Katey has retained the services of the same firm of solicitors that represented Mazher Mahmood. I'm sure that isn't an omen]


Roy said...

Or she plays one for the clicks.
On the other hand, does it matter why? The words are ad shameful either way

deiseach said...

Your favourite post ever?

Andy McDonald said...

Lovely exchange from this time last year on Radio 4 as they did a review of the year. Among the pundits, the Mail's Stephen Glover:

R4 presenter - "...and Katie Hopkins described them as cockroaches"

SG - "Yes. Vile, deplorabe piece of writing. The Sun was quite right to sack her"

R$ - "And then the Mail hired her".

Seriously though, this is how she's going to be shut up (legally) - she'll go over the top and end up worrying the accounts department once too often. Although I expect she'd do her column for free.

Xexyz said...

As part of the settlement Katie had to publish a tweet linking to the apology. She did so at 2am, then retweeted and republished other tweets to push it down the page.