Daily Archives: March 25, 2011

A bad day for the Sun

From Football365’s Mediawatch page:

The World’s Worst Racist

‘BRUCE IN NEW RACE ROW’ positively screams the back page headline from The Sun in two-inch high letters, reporting that Bruce ‘has been caught up in another race storm.’

Oh lord. Really? It seems that Marcos Angeleri, the Argentine defender signed by Sunderland in the summer, is not happy that he has made only two Premier League appearances this season.

“The boss doesn’t talk to me, he doesn’t even say hello to me when he sees me,” Angeleri told ESPN Radio. “I think he doesn’t like me because I’m not English.”

Let’s ignore for a second the difference between racism and xenophobia, and the wonderful irony of The Sun getting all worked up about such xenophobia, and muse on Angeleri’s accusations.

If Bruce’s team selection is based on xenophobia/racism, then he’s bloody rubbish at it, since just this season he has given starts to an Egyptian, two Paraguayans, two Scots, a Belgian, three Ghanaians, a Frenchman, an Irishman, a Beninian (is that right?), a Nigerian and a Dutchman.

Could your lack of action perhaps be because you’re not very good, Marcos?

As for The Sun, their claim of an EXCLUSIVE! for this story, taken from quotes given to a radio station, is the least of our worries. How about their attempt to paint Bruce as a serial racist, the other example being Gerard Houllier’s equally nonsensical accusation over the Darren Bent transfer?

Still, more fool us for expecting anything better, really.

Amateurs

The Sun also indulges in a round of back-slapping this morning, terribly pleased with themselves for apparently being the ONLY paper to break the news of Gareth Bale’s injury, according to them in training for Wales.

Mediawatch would simply note Gary Speed’s comments in his press conference, in which he insisted that the ‘incompetent amateurs’ that fitness coach/assistant Raymond Verheijen was referring to in his Tweet of Thursday morning were not Spurs, as was claimed, but in fact the hacks from The Sun who reported the story.

Latest PCC resolutions and adjudications

The Press Complaints Commission upheld a complaint against the Scottish Daily Mail under clause 4 (Harassment) of the Editor’s Code of Practice. The newspaper persisted in ‘approaching a man who had repeatedly made clear to the newspaper that he did not wish to comment on a story about his son':

The complainant’s son was a Scottish university student who had attended the demonstrations about tuition fees in London. The newspaper published two articles about his son’s involvement in the protests, including a photograph of him allegedly attempting to take a police officer’s hat. Reporters and photographers representing the newspaper had attended the family home in Scotland four times within 24 hours seeking a comment. On each occasion, the family made clear they did not wish to speak to journalists, and asked them to leave the property. There was one additional approach to the complainant near his home, which led to him contacting the police.

The newspaper’s sole punishment was having to publish the adjudication on page 6 of the Scottish Daily Mail, but:

Following the complaint, the newspaper was willing to write a private letter of regret to the complainant and circulated an internal note making clear that the family would have no comment on future stories.

A complaint was ‘resolved’ by the Scottish Sun:

Councillor Paul Rooney complained to the Press Complaints Commission through Glasgow City Council that an article was misleading when it implied that he was responsible for a Christmas tree being put up by the Council near his home.

Resolution:

The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following clarification:
In an article, dated November 26, we reported that Glasgow City Council had erected a Christmas tree near the home of Councillor Paul Rooney. Although we reported at the time that Cllr Rooney had no involvement, it was not stated by us that the decision to plant the tree there pre-dated his election to the council in May 2007 and that he had explicitly asked for it to be moved away from his home. We are happy to make this clear.

So, the resolution is an appalling piece of journalism is corrected four months after the original article was published, by which point none of the original readers would probably care about the correction. Isn’t the PCC fantastic?

Another councillor (Peter Langdon) complained about the Daily Telegraph which had reported that:

Gosport Borough Council sent ninety-three delegates to Madrid on a waste collection contract visit at a cost of £17,350. In fact, four people went on the visit, which cost £988. The newspaper had subsequently published an inaccurate correction to the article.

The Daily Telegraph published the following correction:

Our reports (25 Jan and 4 Feb) gave the wrong details of Gosport Council’s trips to research future waste management services. In fact, the total cost of 23 visits across the UK and in Spain was £7,350. This included £988 for sending four people to Madrid.

Quite a substantial difference from the original claims.

The Scotsman reported that someone’s partner was a sex offender – they weren’t – and had to issue the following clarification:

This article was amended on February 11. Our original report stated the partner of Child D’s mother was a convicted sex offender. This is not the case and his conviction was for common assault only. The Scotsman apologises for the error.

Daily Mail being dense over fuel duty cut

The Daily Mail’s front-page story today is this: ‘After Osborne’s bid to help drivers… GREEDY GARAGES DEFY THE PETROL PRICE CUT’. It starts:

DRIVERS condemned greedy garages last night for failing to pass on the Chancellor’s cut in fuel duty.

If the Daily Mail had looked into the matter – by which I mean spent just a couple of minutes thinking about it – they would probably have come across the words of Brian Madderson, the chairman of the RMI Independent Petrol Retailers, who pointed out that:

“It seems that the chancellor and the Treasury are unaware that 6,000 independent retailers across the country buy their fuel on duty paid basis from the terminal.”

“That means that old stocks off have to sold off before the duty reduction can come into force.”

As for the claims that many garages put up prices before the budget to negate any real decrease in their prices, I’m sure most drivers will agree that 1p plus rises have been occurring frequently since the start of the year, it’s hardly a conspiracy that they should also be raised this week. As an AA spokesman (normally critical of petrol retailers not passing on lower prices to customers) said:

“My view is there may be a few mavericks out there. But I don’t think there is evidence that there has been large scale fiddling.”

Still, the mass of public perception referred to as ‘DRIVERS’ is front-page news just because they think that all garages are greedy, that the forecourt price cut should have happened at 6pm on the day of the budget even though the garages would not have even had a chance to buy fuel duty-paid at the new ‘low’ price.

It’s a very silly front-page story indeed and one that kind of misses the point: the price of diesel and petrol is forcing people to give up commuting in their cars and a 1p cut in fuel duty is not going to make any difference to those suffering genuine fuel poverty. The real story is that thanks to a chronic lack on investment – caused by consistent government short-sightedness (only concerned with being re-elected) the public transport system is simply not able to cope with rising demand.

Congested, noisy, diesel-hungry trains and buses often reduced to standing-room only added to the fact that it is often surprisingly expensive to use public transport and it can add hours to your working day – that should be the real story here. That every time any kind of revolution in public transport is put forward it is shot down as being ‘too expensive’ so we end up with often prohibitively expensive personal transport options and an expensive, poor public alternative.