I am sure by now that you have heard about and probably read the letter of resignation written by Richard Peppiatt explaining his decision to leave the Daily Star. In many ways the letter is merely stating the obvious – describing the stories he made up and the ‘cascade of shit’ that poured from the offices of the newspaper. We all knew that the Daily Star made up a huge amount of its stories – not just the filler content, but front page after front page of pure fiction usually concerning Muslims or Jordan. Still, it is somewhat a valediction to have it confirmed by a journalist who didn’t just work for the newspaper, but one who also claims responsibility for some of the worst examples of front page lies – such as the ‘Muslim only toilets’ story [which was debunked almost immediately by Jamie Thunder].
The response to the letter was absolutely laughable, with the Star claiming that he worked ‘purely as a casual reporter at the Daily Star for almost two years’ and was only angry because the newspaper passed him over for promotions. It also counters one specific claim, trying to sound as if the newspaper had the real facts and Peppiatt was lying. This would be more convincing if the Star didn’t claim dishonestly during the statement that ‘For the record, the Daily Star editorial policy does not hold any negativity towards Islam and the paper has never, and does not endorse, the EDL’. Once again, the Star cannot stop lying – as even a cursory glance at a few front pages demonstrates the agenda the newspaper has against Muslims – and they cannot sweep their endorsement of the EDL under the carpet either.
The Independent updated the story somewhat today by revealing that it seems that the EDL is now in discussions to become a political party – even claiming that they have “been sitting down with a couple of lads who are posh-speaking, public school boys, who have been in politics before, and we’re discussing with them where it can go.” It also has a brief paragraph on the fallout experienced by Peppiatt since sending the letter:
Since making his resignation letter public, Mr Peppiatt has received numerous emails, phone calls and text messages from unknown sources. One such message says: ‘We r (sic) doing a KISS AND TELL on u.’ Whilst an email reads, ‘I’m one of your FB [Facebook] friends and it’s about time you were honest with people. Stop the bullshit Pepps. We all know everything about you. Meet me at 8pm outside GH.’
In my opinion I cannot see the Star retaliating in public against Peppiatt, to do so would essentially confirm that Peppiatt had really struck a chord with the Star – which would strongly imply that he was being entirely truthful. It would also draw far more attention to Peppiatt and far more people- perhaps even readers of the paper – would search for his letter and read it. Tabloid newspapers – in spite of incessant cost-cutting when it comes to real journalism – can always be very resourceful and powerful when it comes to muck-raking and I would imagine almost everyone has made mistakes in the past that they are not proud of (it is the essence of being human) but no mud-slinging can obscure the verifiable truth of what Peppiatt wrote (thanks to media bloggers such as Tabloid Watch we know just how much Star output is complete fiction). A personal attack on him – irrespective of what was dug up – would only increase the wider support for him – and increase him fame.
I know a lot of media bloggers like to remain anonymous for fear of getting the tabloid treatment (something akin to what happened to the entirely innocent Chris Jefferies) but I think that it would be counter-productive for them – I write for a very limited audience and 99% of tabloid readers probably don’t know I exist, so why would any tabloid want to give me the oxygen of publicity – even if it was intended to ruin my life? Perhaps the sad realisation is that the press don’t need to crush their opposition because their readership is happy to not step outside of the tabloid bubble that surrounds them. I even wonder if any Star reader would stop buying the Star if they read Peppiatt’s letter. I’m not sure they would.