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Thursday 5 May 2022

Rayner Smear - IPSO Wipes Mail’s Arse

After the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker, overseen once more by the boiling rage of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, span a wholly fictitious claim that Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner was emulating Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct in oder to put alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson off his stride at PMQs, the complaints rolled in to press non-regulator IPSO. Thousands of them!

This should surprise no-one: the attacks on Ms Rayner were not merely tasteless, they were mostly untrue, wholly misogynistic, viciously classist, and designed to whip up the mob against a female politician who, let us not forget, had done nothing wrong, save to incur the displeasure of Dacre and his wretched coterie of grovelling underlings.

So what did IPSO do with all those complaints? But anyone who has seen this craven and ineffectual body at work knew the answer even before its official confirmation: they threw out every last one of them. All 6,000 complaints. Straight in the 3-2-1.

Here’s the excuse note. “IPSO’s regulations do not allow us to take forward complaints about issues other than accuracy from people with no connection to an alleged breach of the Code … Before deciding to accept complaints from third-party complaints about accuracy, we need to consider the position of the party most closely involved”. Do go on.

In order to decide whether the Editors’ Code was breached, IPSO would need to investigate and make findings about things which Ms Rayner is claimed to have said and done. Such an investigation would not be possible without her involvement, and because of this, we declined to consider complaints made under this Code clause”.

There was more. “Complainants also made complaints under other clauses of the Editors’ Code. IPSO can only take forward complaints under Clauses 2–16 of the Code from anyone directly affected by editorial material or a journalist’s behaviour (or, with their permission, a representative) … Complainants said the article intruded into Ms Rayner’s private life and could lead to stalking or harassment. As no complainant was acting as an authorised representative, we were not able to consider these complaints”.

Think about that: the Mail can publish articles that are intrusive and could lead to stalking or other forms of harassment, and IPSO will do nothing - unless their target complains personally. Their hacks can mislead, or even flat-out lie, and get away with it. They can debase their targets, and all that happens is that they get their arses wiped in return.

How can this happen? Simples. The press (well, most of it) pays for IPSO, effectively controls it, and the IPSO editor’s code is written by, well, editors. The body is overseen by a politician - a Tory politician. The code is packed with loopholes which allow papers to smear groups of people - like all those Scary Muslims™ - with no comeback. No complaints of racism, sexism or homophobia have been upheld by IPSO. None. Ever.

It is a body which enables the big press groups (mainly those run by Rupert Murdoch and the Rothermeres) to mark their own homework. In 2020, only 0.3% of complaints considered were upheld in full (see campaigning group Hacked Off’s thread HERE).

Most of our free and fearless press is out of control. But you knew that already.

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1 comment:

Mr Larrington said...

It’s been more than thirty years since David Mellor warned the tabloids that they were “drinking in the last chance saloon”.

That went well…