NOT FIT FOR FACTS: 20 TIMES THE DAILY MAIL WROTE RUBBISH IN THE PAST YEAR

wikipedia

Yesterday, the editors of the Wikipedia website voted to ban the Daily Mail as a source for referencing in its articles, citing the paper’s ‘reputation for poor fact-checking, sensationalism and flat-out fabrication’.

To commemorate this long-overdue decision, I’ve decided to delve into the Tabloid Corrections archive to find 20 separate occasions when the Daily Mail was caught spouting bulls**t in the past 12 months.

*CLICK ON HEADLINES TO ACCESS STORIES

  1. DAILY MAIL MISLEADS ON STORY ABOUT CHARITY PROJECT FOR REFUGEES

    refugee-children

(Photo: Adam Patterson/Panos/DFID)

The paper slurs a charity project for unaccompanied child refugees as a ‘jolly up’ at the taxpayer’s expense.

  1. WHY THE DAILY MAIL ARTICLE ON LONDON IMMIGRATION IS COMPLETE RUBBISH

judah

The paper misrepresents a book about immigrants in London to make false claims about London’s migrant community

  1. LESSONS IN TABLOID SPIN: HOW THE DAILY MAIL LIED ABOUT AN EU STUDY

europe-1392722_960_720

Statistics are cherry-picked from an EU study to paint a false picture about migrants and refugees in London

  1. THE DOCTOR WHO REPORTED THE MUSLIM SURGEON: THE TRUTH ABOUT HIS SUSPENSION

surgery-79584_960_720

The paper was one of a number of tabloids falsely reporting that a doctor had been suspended for asking a female colleague to remove her hijab before an operation.

  1. TABLOID PRESS REPORTS ON BEGGARS MAKING £43K A YEAR, BUT WHERE DID THEY GET THE FIGURES FROM?

beggars

(Photo: Kenneth Allen)

Story that ran in several tabloids about beggars supposedly making a fortune, backed up with no real evidence

  1. DAILY MAIL LAUNCHES SHAMEFUL AND DESPERATE ATTACK ON SADIQ KHAN

sadiq_khan_november_2016

(Photo: US Embassy London)

The paper makes a series of desperate attempts to link Sadiq Khan to extremism

  1. DAILY MAIL GUILTY OF MISREPORTING ON STATISTICS AGAIN – THIS TIME IT’S BENEFIT CLAIMANTS

job-centre

(Photo: Andrew Writer)

The paper misuses DWP statistics to try and have a go at people on benefits

  1. MORE LIES AND HYPE FROM THE DAILY MAIL ON REFUGEES

refugees_in_transit_from_the_border_with_drc_to_rwamwanja_uganda_9086821264

(Photo: DFID)

The paper slurs refugees as economic migrants coming to sponge off the state.

  1. TABLOID SMEAR CAMPAIGN AGAINST LABOUR CONTINUES

sadiq_khan_november_2016

(Photo: US Embassy London)

More lies written about Sadiq Khan

  1. THE DAILY MAIL, THE TORY MP AND THE LIES ABOUT UK BORDERS

dominic_raab_mp

(Photo: Policy Exchange)

Lies written about border controls to try and have a go at the EU.

  1. PAPERS ACCUSED BY POLICE OF ‘TRIVIALISING’ ABUSE TOWARDS WOMEN

sexism

The paper was one of a number of outlets reporting that a police force would be classifying wolf whistling as a hate crime

  1. TABLOIDS FALLING OVER THEMSELVES TO DRAW OUT NEGATIVES FROM REPORT ON FRENCH MUSLIMS

french-muslims

(Photo: Chris Schuepp)

The paper was among tabloids who chose to focus on a conservative minority of Muslims answering a French questionnaire. Another attempt to whip up anti-Muslim sentiment.

  1. THIS WEEK’S TABLOID NARRATIVE: TREAT CHILDREN FLEEING WARZONES WITH SUSPICION

refugee-1226612_960_720

The Daily Mail was one of a number of papers making unsubstantiated allegations about child refugees

  1. FORGET THE EU: NOW IT’S THE UK PARLIAMENT THAT’S UNDEMOCRATIC, ACCORDING TO THE TABLOIDS

big_ben_i_house_of_commons_londres_2008

(Photo: Carlesmari)

The now infamous ‘enemies of the people’ and ‘war on democracy’ rant about the Brexit decision.

  1. MAIL ON SUNDAY ADOPTS ‘CHINESE WHISPERS’ METHOD OF REVIEWING INTEGRATION REPORT, ENDS UP WRITING MORE RUBBISH ABOUT MUSLIMS

notting_hill_carnival_crowd_-_august_2006

(Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License CC-BY-SA 3.0)

False claim that some British Muslims see the UK as 75% Islamic

  1. DAILY MAIL THINKS THAT BETTER USER PRIVACY RULES COULD DESTROY THE INTERNET

internet-privacy

Another swipe at the EU, this time over an internet privacy directive

  1. IN THE SEASON OF GOODWILL, THE DAILY MAIL LAUNCHES VICIOUS ATTACK ON WOMEN’S SUPPORT GROUP

odara

(Photo: Andrew Parsons/i-Images)

An attempt to smear a Muslim women’s group by linking it to extremism

  1. TABLOIDS LIE ABOUT BANK REPORT ON THE POUND

financial-times

Falsely blaming a plummeting pound on ‘Brexit doomsters’.

  1. THREE LOVE LETTERS TO TRUMP AND AN ATTEMPTED SMEAR OF OBAMA: HOW THE DAILY MAIL COVERED US POLITICS AT THE WEEKEND

donald_trump_august_19_2015_cropped

(Photo: Michael Vadon)

The paper makes its US political allegiances known

  1. THE MAIL ON SUNDAY AND THE LIES ABOUT NHS GUIDELINES: LESSONS IN TABLOID SPIN

pregnant-woman-358779_960_720

Falsely claiming that doctors had been ordered to use gender-neutral terms when dealing with pregnant mothers.

Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.

DAILY MIRROR RUNS OVER-HYPED STORY ABOUT PARLIAMENT BOOZE BILL

parliament

(Photo: Getty)

The Daily Mirror has published a story about ‘Champagne Charlie’ MPs spending ‘astonishing’ amounts of money on alcohol in parliamentary bars – but it turns out to be a big fuss about nothing.

Following a Freedom of Information request, the Mirror published an article titled PARLIAMENT’S BOOZE BILL HAS TRIPLED IN TWO YEARS – TO £1.8 MILLION. The paper paints a picture of booze-guzzling MPs ramping up the bar bill inside the House of Commons and Palace of Westminster.

The story was also picked up by The Sun.

But the reason the bill has tripled in two years is because the House of Commons has increased the number of commercial and private hire events where alcohol is sold to external customers. This has been done in an attempt to reduce the overall running costs of the bars, which are subsidised by the taxpayer unless they make a profit.

A House of Commons spokesman said that external sales made up ‘more than half of alcohol sales in the past two years’.

It’s also worth noting that the bars are used not just by the 650 MPs but by around 14,500 pass-holders (such as civil servants, Peers and contractors) plus non-pass holding visitors.

So even if the external commercial sales are excluded, the whole bill works out at less than £2.50 per week per head.

Like The Sun and the Daily Mail with their tales of ‘shocking’ foreign aid and health tourism costs, the Daily Mirror has tried to bamboozle readers with big numbers. But as is often the case with these things when you scratch beneath the surface, it’s a total non-story.

Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.

THE BIG DAILY EXPRESS EXPOSE ON THE BBC REVEALS… STUFF THE BEEB HAS HAD ON ITS WEBSITE FOR A YEAR

bbc-logo-image-816140

(Photo: Getty)

The Daily Express has tried to dish the dirt on the BBC in an article on EU funding, by revealing information that has been on the BBC website for a year.

In its article titled BRUSSELS BROADCASTING CORPORATION? THE EU MILLIONS BEING BANKED BY THE IMPARTIAL BBC, the paper tries to claim the corporation’s impartiality has been compromised by £2.3 million of EU funding over the past three years.

The paper calls the amount of money ‘worryingly large’ although it amounts to less than 0.1% of the money the BBC receives each year from the license fee.

The BBC has information about the external funding on its website. None of the money has gone towards its public service news programmes, which are not allowed funding from external sources.

EU funding has been granted in three areas:

BBC Media Action – an independent charity focusing on international development set up by the BBC, which receives 5% of its funding from the EU.

Research and Development – the BBC received an EU grant of £472,197 towards research into broadcasting technologies.

Independent production companies – around 2% of companies that have produced programmes (mostly drama-based) for the BBC have received EU grants towards their budgets, averaging around 6% of the overall programme budget in each case.

So all that’s happened is our state-run broadcaster has received a bit of money from the EU media budget, which it is perfectly entitled to and has been completely transparent about. Surely it would be a bigger scandal if the UK hadn’t received this money, given our EU contributions?

Would the Daily Express prefer it if the Beeb got nothing? No doubt it would then run a front-page headline UNELECTED EUROCRATS STARVE OUR MEDIA WHILE YOUR MONEY FUNDS TV STATIONS ABROAD.

No, the Daily Express has cynically brought this up in a cheap attempt to accuse the BBC of pro-EU bias. It’s a surreal stance to take – complain that we pay millions a week to the EU and get nothing back, while simultaneously denouncing those that do get something back as being biased towards the EU.

It’s also interesting that the Daily Express has attacked another news outlet on its stance over the EU in a week when it has been sanctioned not once but twice by IPSO for ‘seriously inaccurate information’ on the EU.

An investigation into the impartiality of the Daily Express – now that would be interesting.

Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.

HEALTH TOURISM AND OUR’SOFT TOUCH’ NHS: THE SUN’S LATEST ATTEMPT TO BLAME EVERYTHING ON FOREIGNERS

sun-health-tourist

Watch out, The Sun is on the warpath again. Seemingly done with raging about the 0.7% of our annual budget spent on foreign aid putting an unbearable drain on our economy, the paper has now turned its attention to ‘health tourism’.

Three articles have been published within the last week, starting with a front page story expressing outrage at a Nigerian woman giving birth in this country. This was followed with two more articles keen to emphasise to all that our ‘soft touch’ NHS is being ‘rinsed’ by health tourists at the taxpayer’s expense.

Now I’m not saying health tourism doesn’t exist. It does, and it’s right that the government should be putting appropriate measures into place to tackle it. It’s also true that the UK visa system might need adjusting to reduce the amount of money that ends up getting owed to the NHS in the first place.

But rather than being a big drain on the cash-strapped NHS, the cost of health tourism per year is tiny. It amounts to 0.3% of the total NHS budget. This figure has been independently fact-checked. Health tourism is not the cause of current NHS problems. It’s almost irrelevant. Yet papers like The Sun peddle the narrative that our health service is in crisis because of foreigners. As with so much else, they make an easy scapegoat for lazy tabloid journalists.

But, as studies have shown, the impact of immigration – whether from the EU or from outside the EU – on the NHS is minor when compared to other factors such as population ageing and expanding treatment.

nhs-costs

If The Sun was really concerned about the state of the NHS, perhaps it could turn its attention to the fact that it is chronically badly underfunded. Analysis has shown how the UK is a low spender on public health, both in EU and OECD terms, and has been for years.

But then that would mean raising taxes, or tightening things up to stop the wealthy avoiding tax. Given that the Murdoch empire was once found to have avoided at least £350 million in corporation tax – enough money to build seven new hospitals – it’s easy to see why that might be a tricky option for the paper.

Far more convenient to keep blaming everything on Nigerian mothers giving birth.

Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.

THE MAIL ON SUNDAY AND THE LIES ABOUT NHS GUIDELINES: LESSONS IN TABLOID SPIN

pregnant-woman-358779_960_720

(Picture: PA – Press)

The Mail on Sunday published a front page article this week consisting of cynical and calculated lies which reveals a lot about how the tabloid press works in this country.

On a weekend when there was rather a lot going on globally that might have merited front page coverage, the paper opted to lead with a suspicious-sounding and rather flimsy story about NHS doctors apparently being ordered to use gender-neutral terms when dealing with pregnant patients in the hospital.

The headline screamed DON’T CALL PREGNANT PATIENTS ‘MOTHERS’. The sub-header called it a ‘ludicrously politically correct directive to placate the transgender lobby’ while the Mail Online edition asserted that ‘doctors are banned from using the word’.

The article ran as an exclusive about an apparent British Medical Association (BMA) directive and featured an array of angry commentators calling the decision ‘anti-science’ and ‘Orwellian’.

The story was also picked up by The Sun, the Sunday Mirror and the Daily Telegraph, all of whom ran it with a similar tone.

It may all sound like something from a comedy sketch about political correctness and staff being ordered by management to toe an extreme equality and diversity line. But there are two big problems with the Mail on Sunday piece. It’s not true and it’s not news.

First, no doctors – NHS or otherwise – have been told anything about how to address pregnant patients. The information the paper is referring to comes from an internal BMA publication called A guide to effective communication: inclusive language in the workplace (available here – file:///C:/Users/user/Downloads/BMA-guide-to-effective-communication-2016.pdf).

As a BMA spokesperson makes clear: ‘It is not a workplace guidance for doctors, which is clear from the fact it does not refer to patients’.

So whatever your views on such guidance, it is aimed purely at BMA internal staff and representatives and not doctors. Yet all of the papers mentioned above apart from the Telegraph stated in their headline that doctors had been ‘banned’ or ‘warned’ or ‘told’ how to deal with patients.

Second, as can be seen in the document title, it’s not an order or an instruction. It’s just guidelines, a suggestion on what language could be used to avoid any upset or confusion.

The sentence which has caused such outrage in the papers is this: ‘We can include intersex men and transmen who may get pregnant by saying ‘pregnant people’ instead of ‘expectant mothers”.

That’s it. Just a one line suggestion in a document about how the BMA might refer to pregnancy in general, not an order to doctors to refuse to address pregnant women as mothers. Yet the Mail on Sunday saw fit to run with this as a front page story.

Finally, it’s not news. The BMA guidance is a year old. It seems a tad suspicious that it’s surfaced on the very weekend that the president of the most powerful nation on earth announces a ban on refugees and citizens from various Muslim-majority countries. But whether the timing was deliberate or not, the fact that the second biggest newspaper in the UK thinks that an inoffensive sentence in a year-old internal medical document is the weekend’s biggest story is pretty shameful really.

Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.

MIRROR GUILTY OF TRYING TO SCORE POLITICAL POINTS IN SOCIAL CARE ARTICLE

woman-sitting-in-a-wheelchair

(Photo: Getty)

There have been plenty of occasions over the past few years where the Tories have been justly taken to task over their programme of cuts to social services in this country. The Daily Mirror has been the tabloid paper that has most consistently held the government up to scrutiny in this area.

However, an article on social care fees in the paper this week was a bit manipulative with the facts. In fact, it verged on Labour Party anti-Tory propaganda.

The article was titled ‘SICK AND DISABLED FORCED ‘TO PAY FOR OWN CARE ASSESSMENTS’ BY SHAMELESS TORY COUNCIL’ and raged at ‘plans by Tory-run Northamptonshire County Council to force people in need of social services to pay £50 for a needs assessment before they can access care’.

The paper quoted Labour MPs and campaigners from charities such as the Alzheimer’s Society on the issue.

However, the fee is means-tested and only applies to those with savings or assets above £23,250. Those with savings and assets below this amount won’t be charged.

This is consistent with the general social care fee structure across the whole country, under Labour-run councils as well as Tory ones. Unlike NHS healthcare, adult social care services are not universally free. Under the 2014 Care Act, those with savings and assets above £23,250 have to pay full care costs. Those with between £14,250 and £23,250 have to make some payment towards costs. Those with less than £14,250 are entitled to free care.

Assets include the property that you live in, if it is owned and nobody else lives there, which means that owner-occupiers living alone are currently eligible to pay full costs. The means-test threshold is due to rise to £118,000 in 2020.

Northamptonshire Council hasn’t brought in the £50 charge yet. The plans are undergoing a public consultation before a final decision is made next month.

So a council has asked the public whether it should include a £50 charge among its fees to those not eligible for local authority-provided social care. It’s up for debate whether or not this is a fair idea but it hardly qualifies them as ‘shameless’. Especially when compared to some of the other things the Tories have done since coming to power.

Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.

THREE LOVE LETTERS TO TRUMP AND AN ATTEMPTED SMEAR OF OBAMA: HOW THE DAILY MAIL COVERED US POLITICS AT THE WEEKEND

donald_trump_august_19_2015_cropped

(Photo: Michael Vadon)

Never let it be said that the Daily Mail is a paper afraid to pick sides when it comes to politics.

The famously right-wing tabloid was more than a little bit partisan in its coverage of events surrounding the US presidential inauguration at the weekend.

The paper has been cagey up to now in its coverage of Donald Trump’s election victory last November, perhaps aware that The Donald is a bit too much for some of the populist right-wingers in the UK.

But it nailed its colours to the mast over the weekend with not one, not two, but three opinion columns gushing about how great Mr Trump’s entry into the White House is for the US and the world in general.

First up was rent-a-gob Katie Hopkins, still on the payroll at the Mail despite costing them £150,000 last month for libelling a Muslim family, who rejoiced that the American people had ‘finally found someone who will put their country first’ (as if the US has never had a president who has pursued national interests).

Then Trumpophile and self-confessed personal friend to the president Piers Morgan penned a personal letter praising Mr Trump for ‘one of the most astonishing speeches I have ever heard’ and referring to his presidency as ‘power to the people!’.

Both of these essays, however, were dry and emotionless pieces compared to the column from Richard Littlejohn who gleefully proclaimed that Trump’s victory ‘may be the best thing to happen to Britain since America joined World War Two’.

There was no evidence anywhere in the paper of any critical analysis of Mr Trump, no voices to counterbalance the pro-Trump fanfare.

Compare this to the coverage given to outgoing president Barack Obama. On Monday, the Mail published an article claiming that Mr Obama’s last act as president had been to ‘defy Congress’ and ‘quietly release’ $220 million of funding to the Palestinian Authority.

The paper stated that Congress had voted to block the payment – intended for humanitarian aid in the West Bank and Gaza as well as support for political reforms in Palestine – and portrayed the decision to release the money as a shady back-door deal.

But this is untrue as Congress had approved the funds from both the 2015 and 2016 national budgets. The money had just been held up due to two Republican Congressmen voting to place a hold on the money.

Such congressional holds are usually respected but are not legally binding if funding has already been approved, as it had been in this case.

As the fact-checking website Snopes states in its analysis of the decision: ‘the monies had already been set aside for the purpose for which they were ultimately distributed’.

If the Trump administration is looking for an ally among the British press, looks like the Daily Mail already has the welcome mat out. It makes sense – the paper has been producing ‘alternative facts’ for years.

Tabloid Corrections Facebook page: here.