Whenever it seems that the right-leaning part of the Fourth Estate and its bottom-feeding hangers-on cannot make themselves look worse, when one is convinced that they cannot possibly scrape bedrock any further, they are the ones who come galloping to the rescue. So it has proved for the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, who have inadvertently scored a major own goal today.
Under the heading “FAKE NEWS” - a sensitive area chez Fawkes, given they have been caught out peddling the very same kind of dishonestly by this blog twice in the past week (HERE and HERE) - readers are told “Hospital Admits Sun Man Didn’t Impersonate Grenfell Relatives”. And just in case anyone had difficulty comprehending this, the post helpfully added “Hospital Admits Sun Reporter DID NOTHING WRONG”.
And there’s more: “An allegation made against a reporter working for the The Sun, whipped up by the Guardian and left-wing news sites [yawn], has turned out to be completely untrue. King’s College Hospital had ‘formally written’ to IPSO to complain about a journalist who was accused of impersonating a friend or relative of a Grenfell victim while seeking an interview in the aftermath of the fire”. Yes? Yes yes? Yes yes yes?
“The Sun strongly denied this at the time, and now the complaint has been withdrawn. A News UK spokesman said: ‘They accepted that our reporter did not “impersonate relatives” or “friends”. As a result of this the hospital has withdrawn any IPSO complaint’”.
Which brings us to the inadvertent howler: the Fawkes mob then come over all righteous and demand “Will MediaGuardian, who sent this false allegation viral, ensure their correction is just as prominent?” And, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here.
One, Media Guardian reported the story. They did not make any false allegations. And claiming they “sent it viral” suggests deliberate action, an inference which The Great Guido is unable to stand up. And two, sham press regulator IPSO, to which the Sun has signed up, has declined to order equal prominence corrections when its members get it wrong - and thus far the Guardian has not been shown to have done anything wrong.
There is only one organisation that has consistently advocated for equal prominence corrections - in other words, if the howler is in a front page banner headline, so should the correction - and that is campaigning group Hacked Off. Their submission to IPSO’s “external review” has all the relevant information (HERE).
So The Great Guido has come round to the Hacked Off point of view, and I’m sure Evan Harris, Daisy Cooper and their team will be more than pleased to see this latest example of the One Sinner That Repenteth. What the Fawkes rabble’s press establishment masters will make of such deviant behaviour, though, does not bear thinking about.
There’s nothing like the Fawkes blog to inflate a news soufflé beyond the limits of viability and then put their foot in it. Another fine mess, once again.