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Sep. 6th, 2010

I’ll be honest, I’m kicking myself. When I listed the fabrications about Jean-Charles de Menezes that had emanated from the Met, I had not noticed an apparent pattern—the regular first appearance of these helpful lies in the Sun and the News of the World. The Five Chinese Crackers blog runs through some useful examples here, along with similar tactics regarding the brothers arrested and, in one case, shot and wounded in Forest Gate:
Guess which paper reported that the police didn't shoot Kahar in the raid, but his own brother did—an allegation that turned out to be totally false, by the way.

Later, after the police bungling was revealed for what it was, allegations that Abdul Kahar had been found with child porn on his mobile phone was leaked to the press. Guess which paper broke the story.

Another allegation that appeared in the press that had the handy effect of making the brothers look a bit dodgy was the revelation that they were found with large amounts of cash—not so odd when you realise that devout Muslims often avoid banks as interest is seen as forbidden. Which paper broke this news, I wonder?

A week after the raid, one paper alleged, falsely, that one brother had a criminal record, while another alleged, falsely, that one committed an offence as a juvenile. Guess which company owns these papers.
Hint: it’s News International.

Policing and investigative journalism obviously share some common territory and it’s no surprise that that should lead to some co-operation, but we ought to be concerned about the exchange rate for favours. The New York Times piece that has kicked off this renewed interest in the phone-hacking story cites a Scotland Yard press officer urging caution on investigating officers due to the Met’s “long-term relationship with News International”. If NI has indeed been mouthpiecing for the police to this extent, is it possible that in return the Met has been, as Index on Censorship has memorably put it, “tiptoeing around News International as if in the presence of a sleeping baby”?

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
chiller
Sep. 6th, 2010 01:11 pm (UTC)
Brrr. Did it just get cold in here?
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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