Thursday, 17 August 2017

Media Quotes of the Week: From Kavanagh hits back in Sun racism row to only one journalist was in court to hear how police paid a child rapist

Trevor Kavanagh in the Sun: "SOME Sun readers may have missed the concocted explosion of Labour and Islamic hysteria over a column I wrote on Monday about Muslim sex gangs.This fake fury was largely confined to a small circulation, mostly-online newspaper and a letter from Labour lefties dragooned by the Muslim Council of Britain. My offence was to write about the attitude of predatory Muslim men towards white women – what I called “the Muslim Problem”.I was instantly denounced for fomenting a Nazi-style “Final Solution” comparable only with the Jewish Holocaust. It was a ludicrous, offensive and perverse distortion of the truth. A letter calling for my dismissal signed by 105 cross-party MPs was led by Labour’s Naz Shah, the Bradford MP suspended last year for anti-Semitism."

From the letter sent to Sun editor Tony Gallagher, signed by107 MPs, as reported by the Independent“It is shocking that in the 21st century a columnist is using such Nazi-like terminology about a minority community...We implore you to not only retract this article but given the sacking of Mr Myers following his disgraceful anti-Semitic article in the The [Sunday] Times, strongly consider whether Mr Kavanagh’s brand of bigotry fits with your vision for the paper.”

Brendan O'Neill on Spiked on the MPs letter to the Sun's editor: "They want the article taken down and Kavanagh taken down too: the letter asks the Sun’s editor to think about whether ‘Mr Kavanagh’s brand of bigotry fits with your vision for the paper’. Who do they think they are? For 350 years Britain has had a press largely free from state interference, independent of the political class, and yet here we have a significant section of the legislative arm of government — a sixth of it — issuing dire warnings to a newspaper. The arrogance and disregard for historically hard-won liberties are astonishing. And the precedent set is a potentially lethal one: if politicians get the idea that they can bully the press whenever it says something they don’t like, then we’re all in trouble."

NUJ ethics council chair Chris Frost, in a statement, calling for the Independent Press Standards Organisation to investigate racism in the press following Trevor Kavanagh's Sun article which referred to "The Muslim Problem": "Trevor Kavanagh's comments are an abuse of free speech and the press standards watchdog should accept complaints that traduce social groups in our society. Kavanagh is using the actions of a small group of individuals to place blame on a whole religion of 1.8 billion people.  IPSO should launch an immediate investigation into the prevalence of Islamophobia, racism and hatred espoused in the press. IPSO claim to be set apart from their predecessor, the Press Complaints Commission, because they can run investigations and do monitoring - now is the time to prove it."

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion resigning as shadow secretary for women and equalities after writing an article in the Sun about grooming gangs, as reported by BBC News: "I apologise for the offence caused by the extremely poor choice of words in the Sun article on Friday. I am concerned that my continued position in the shadow cabinet would distract from the crucial issues around child protection which I have campaigned on my entire political career. It is therefore with regret that I tender my resignation as shadow secretary of state for women and equalities."

Mo Farah, as reported by the Telegraph: “I find it bizarre how certain ­people write certain things to suit how they want to sell the story. Sometimes, you guys get to me – you never write the facts. The fact is, over the years, I have achieved a lot through hard work and pain. If I have crossed the line – ‘Mo Farah has done something wrong’ – then prove it. I've achieved what I have achieved - you're trying to destroy it.”

Tony Blair, interviewed by Patrick Hennessy, on BBC Radio 4: "What we should've been doing is trying to get to a situation where the media was not so empowered and instead what we did was empower them significantly because we played into that theme or that climate they operated in. This is something now with social media has become a bigger bigger media so far from being a discipline on conventional media has put a booster rocket on the worst aspects of the conventional media...We back then were determined not to be kicked around like Neil [Kinnock] and his team had been."

HoldTheFrontPage reports"A council rejected a weekly newspaper’s Freedom of Information request because of the 'unnecessary distress' it would cause to the authority’s former chief executive. Teignbridge Council has knocked back two requests from the Mid-Devon Advertiser for the details of the pay-off given to Nicola Bulbeck, who served as the authority’s chief executive until June. In turning down the Advertiser’s latest request, the authority said the information concerned Ms Bulbeck’s private life because it related to her 'identity and financial standing'."

The Society of Editors: "The publisher and CEO of the world’s most popular English-language newspaper website will deliver this year’s Society of Editors’ Lecture. Martin Clarke, who launched MailOnline in its current form in 2008, will deliver the prestigious address at the Society’s ‘Fighting for Real News’ conference on 12 November in Cambridge."

Roy Greenslade in the Guardian: "If you want a definition of irony, then consider this. Martin Clarke, publisher of Mail Online, is to deliver the keynote lecture at the coming Society of Editors’ conference on 'fighting for real news'. According to a press release, the agenda will focus on 'the importance of original reporting, analysis and comment on both print and digital platforms'. Original reporting? Many of my former students who have worked for Mail Online have told me that their entire shifts were taken up by rewriting articles from newspapers and magazines...Yes, he can point to the fact that his site has a vast readership. But what 'real news' will he be able publish in future when all the ripped-off media outlets are forced out of business because of Mail Online’s activities?"

Jacqui Hodgson, editor of BBC factual programmes North East, on the About the BBC Blog reveals how there was only one reporter, Inside Out producer Dan Farthingin court to hear how police paid £10,000 to XY, a child rapist to go undercover: "Dan was following a series of interlinked trials of more than twenty Asian men, accused of grooming vulnerable young teenagers in the west end of Newcastle. Reporting restrictions banning broadcasts until the conclusion of the final trial meant we’d seen little early evidence of Dan’s regular days on the press bench. Then, out of the blue, the prosecution revealed Northumbria Police had used a CHIS - a covert human intelligence source - to supply information on so-called 'parties' where teenagers were plied with drink and drugs and sexually assaulted. And in this case, the CHIS chosen by Northumbria Police was a man convicted as part of a group who raped a child in 2002. In an extraordinary turn of events, XY, as he was known, had fallen out with his police handler and was threatening to go to the press - alleging he’d been asked to plant drugs and even drive girls to the 'parties'. His fee from the public purse? More than ten thousand pounds. For the lone figure on the press bench it was a red flag moment...had producer Dan not been paying attention in his lone press bench vigil - perhaps none of us would have been any the wiser."

Northumbria Police in a warning to journalists after the Newcastle grooming trial, as published by Press Gazette: “Despite issuing two notes to media requesting journalists do not directly contact victims we are aware that some media are still continuing to do this and have provided them with an update from court. We would like to make it clear that we are incredibly concerned this is having a damaging effect on the victims and has the potential to cause them psychological harm. If we become aware any further approaches are made by journalists to contact victims and they have been previously asked to stop that journalist will be served with a harassment notice.”

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