Barry George has denied pestering the entire eastern seaboard of Kay 'Journalist' Burley. Not that the Mail waited to hear his version of events before stating:
'Obsessed' Barry George in stalking probe after TV star Kay Burley collapses with stress over his visit to TV studio
Christ, nothing like a concise and punchy headline, is there? Anyway, was George obsessed? Via Mailwatch, we can catch a glimpse of what readers think, as the hacks intelligently allowed comments to be posted on the rather contentious story:
Just because he was aquitted of the murder dosn,t mean he did not do it it just means that our liberal justic system failed again.
- rp Daventry, Daventry, 17/10/2008 10:10
Ah but they removed the comment hours later. That makes it all all right, doesn't it? That means it never happened.
And while the Mail says:
TV presenter Kay Burley has called in Scotland Yard amid fears that she is being stalked by Barry George, the man cleared of murdering Jill Dando.
the evil Stalinist BBCCCP has a rather different take, not only including George's side of the story but also adding this:
Privately, Sky sources are attempting to play down newspaper speculation that stress caused by the alleged harassment may have been directly responsible for her illness.
Said a source: "People are saying the two things are linked, but that is not necessarily the case. The truth is that Kay has been feeling unwell and needs to rest for a couple of days."
Funny, can't see that anywhere in the Mail story. Oh well, they must have just accidentally forgotten to 'balance' the article, despite the new information. Sure, it appears to be a smear against George to continue to imply that his behaviour has made her ill, even though her employers are denying this, but well, I'm sure the Mail knows best.
But what does the Mail really think about stalking? Would they consider it wrong for a woman to be followed around 24 hours a day? While one visit to Isleworth by Barry George is considered 'stalking', what about a woman being harassed and followed constantly, and every detail of her life being published, along with long-lens photos? Is that stalking or vital newsgathering? You be the judge...
October 16: Woman goes out, with other woman.
October 11: Woman may be seeking help for drinking, according to someone.
October 9 (11.20pm): Woman walks down road, in what appear to be pyjamas.
October 9 (8.49pm): Woman buys tights.
October 8: Woman gets visa allowing her to go to USA.
October 6: Woman goes out, with other woman.
October 3: Woman goes shopping.
September 30: Woman wears shoes.
September 27: Woman buys tights.
September 26: Woman wears necklace.
September 22: Woman forgets keys.
September 16: Woman wears shoes.
September 14: Woman goes to party.
September 12: Woman wears shoes.
September 11: Woman wears shoes.
September 10: Woman wears clothes.
September 9: Woman wears clothes AND shoes.
I know, I know, the public interest defence is considerable. It really is vital that we know about what shoes and clothes this woman wears, so that we can write "Ooh, she looks fat" in the comments below the article. The Mail is providing a public service, in that sense. But isn't it a bit... well, you know... stalkery? It's not as if Lily Allen has actually done anything groundbreaking in any of these stories, is it? (If she'd released a new record then fine, that's kind of interesting - I won't be buying the fucking thing, but that's just me, isn't it?) But these are photos of someone walking down the street, going to shops, going out for a drink... is that not stalking, and if not, why not?
What's the betting there are long lenses outside Kay Burley's house right now, waiting for her to walk to the front gate?