It's easy, when confronted with a slew of articles pointing in the same misguided direction, to simply get angry. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course, but perhaps there's another way to confront a series of false accusations from one particular newspaper as regards one particular issue. Just as the Federation of British Poles managed to convince the Mail to print an article by them after dozens of misleading stories, a suggestion comes from this blogger about what do when it comes to gay adoption stories.
So, at the tail-end of last week, we had the Mail responding to those who had (counterproductively) called homophobes 'retards' with an insult of their own, 'Nazis'. It's a story I covered here and over at Mailwatch, in the latter piece pointing out that Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn wasn't afraid to use the term 'retard' to talk about Gordon Brown. Highly amusing (or indeed hypocritical), then, that Littlejohn pretended to be so offended by the use of the term the next day.
Following on from that, there was Amanda Platell, with a piece so truly reprehensibly awful that in a fair and decent world she would be receiving a P45 by return post. Alone in the Dark points out that not only is Platell as breathtakingly hypocritical as Littlejohn - pretending to be upset by abusiveness when she has been appallingly abusive herself in the past, and got paid for it - she's just plain wrong:
It is not heresy to suggest “that married heterosexual couples make the most suitable candidates to be adoptive parents” – it is merely incorrect, based on an ignorance on the research that shows gay and lesbian couples to be as suitable as straight couples. To suggest that view is “backed by an increasing weight of academic evidence” is factually incorrect, and I would encourage readers to complain to the PCC to ask them to correct this.
Which is the springboard for the Don't Get Mad, Get Accurate blog. The idea is a simple one - complain to the PCC when the Mail consistently runs an editorial line which is not only unsavoury but demonstrably factually incorrect despite being presented as fact. We all know the shortcomings of the PCC, but this is about generating momentum as well as complaints. So if you think that Amanda Platell and and other Mail reporters are wrong to say that there is evidence that gay parents are not as good as heterosexual parents, and if you think it's wrong that only one opinion about gay parenting is allowed in this newspaper, then it's time we asked the PCC to adjudicate, particularly in the light of their being no balancing opinions whatsoever in the Mail, and no evidence cited whatsoever.
I wholeheartedly agree. There is no point in writing directly to Amanda Platell (or indeed Littlejohn) and being abusive. That kind of thing only gives these scumbags the chance to play the victim and pretend that there's some kind of liberal-left conspiracy to silence their dissenting voices. Which isn't the case at all. They're highly paid columnists for a newspaper with a huge circulation, and they deserve to be held to account when they distort the truth - which they are definitely doing over gay adoption. And the newspaper they write for needs to be held to account, too.