After the Kerslake Report was published yesterday, giving its assessment of the events following the Manchester Arena bombing last year, the Daily Mail was in particularly righteous mood. “'Those first aiders had to play Roman Emperor by saying who lived and who died': Manchester bomb victim slams 'offensive' report criticising response of emergency services saying it 'does not come close to the truth’” it ranted.
What's so f***ing wrong with a bit of blagging, c***?!?
There was more. “A survivor left paralysed by the Manchester Arena bombing has slammed a report into the work of the emergency services following the terror attack … Martin Hibbert, 41, who was closest to suicide bomber Salman Abedi when he detonated the explosive, said Lord Bob Kerslake's probe was 'offensive' to both victims and survivors … He said the review offered 'no answers to anything’”.
So the report was rubbish, and so was Vodafone: “Vodafone slammed over 'complete failure' of phone system … Vodafone are under fire over the failure of a phone system set up to assist in the event of terror attacks”. And the Fire service: “First responders have been criticised over the chaotic reaction to the bombing as it emerged firefighters were not on the scene of the terror attack for two hours”.
So why is the Mail so keen to trash the Kerslake Report and point the finger at problems with the response of the emergency services? Ah well. The part of the report that the paper is not covering tells you all you need to know about that.
Under the heading “The Experience of Families with the Media”, we soon discover why the Mail should have a problem with Kerslake’s findings. “Following the attack a large number of media, both broadcast, print and online, came to Manchester. In the course of its interviews with families of the bereaved and with those who were injured, the Panel received some strong feedback on the how some of the media had played their role … Most participants who commented on their experience of the media in the attack aftermath were negative. People talked about feeling ‘hounded’ and ‘bombarded’”.
It got worse. A lot worse. This is a selection of quotes from family interviews: “The whole family felt ‘hounded’ by the press … They sneakily took a photo of my sister when we were getting the news … Press and TV journalists went to her school and phoned the hospital pretending to be from the police … I spoke to someone on the phone posing as a bereavement nurse … The most distressing part was the press making statements up … They ... lifted photos and stories from his Facebook page … One tried to push his way into the house, put his foot inside the house to try to get in”.
Subterfuge with no possible public interest defence. Intrusion into grief. Abuse of privacy. Lying. Aggression. And, worst of all, blagging - something they claim they no longer do.
Small wonder the Daily Mail is trying to deflect blame and divert attention this morning. The Kerslake Report has shone a light on the press’ behaviour and discovered that nothing has changed. It’s still the same unprincipled, uncaring, shower.
The Mail just admitted being part of that bad behaviour. Shame on you, Paul Dacre.
It shouldn't be too difficult to find out (rather than guess) the papers actually responsible.
Name them, show them up, remind people what they are reading and how it's obtained. Blaming 'the press' is unfair and plays into the fake news idea that 'they're all as bad as each other'.
We really really need Leveson 2 - NOW!!!!
The Mail said in their article about the report findings that there was press intrusion but the Mail *wasn't reported to IPSO*. Nice swerve that.
I think you've gone a bit soft on them Tim! What about para 2.32 "A member of staff on her ward spoke of a note offering £2,000 for information being included in a tin of biscuits given to the staff." Yes, trying to bribe hospital staff for stories about victims.
For Anon@11.25 the report does basically say they are mostly as bad as each other, it singled out the good ones, basically BBC, Manchester Evening News and some other locals.
But don't forget the postives. How the big bad BBC was held up as an example of GOOD practise for the future that the others could learn from, that won't go down well in some parts of the gutter.
And well up on the awards list, the rail workers from Northern. They stayed on site giving first aid even after the police had advised them to leave for their own safety (para 4.48). And tomorrow some of them will be on strike (again, and probably in vain) to save their careers. And we can guess how the scum from the gutter will write about them.
I've got an idea for the future. After the fire service has sorted out their small but critical comms problem, we adopt a new policy. If this sort of thing happens again the hacks will be sent in FIRST, let them form a protective cordon around the emergency services in return for getting their exclusive front pages. It's a risk but I'm sure they would be willing to take it.......
The sad news that there were 22 deaths was disclosed shortly after the news of the explosion and that number did not change. This means the victims died immediately in the explosion, so no one was made to act the "Roman Emperor".
And the first rule of first aid and emergency response is: Don't rush in, don't become a casualty yourself.
My wife works at one of the schools that lost a child in the bombing. Apparently the headmaster said later to the staff that most of the press behaved pretty decently, but he specifically called out the Daily Mail’s reporter for doorstepping grieving parents and attempting to blag their way into the school.
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