Just a quick update on recent Mail fails. I always like to keep up to date with how many thousands of pounds gets splurged on legal fees and payouts to people who've had rubbish written about them by Britain's
biggest sack of lying shit most trusted newspaper, so if you see one that I don't know about, please don't hesitate to drop me an email to let me know.
Fail #1 came with Iain 'champion of blogging and free speech (unless I don't like that person, in which case I'll send snotty solicitors' letters)' Dale, who was hauled out of his regular role in linking to complete crap written by Nadine Dorries and John Redwood by the Mail on Sunday at the peak of the Derek Draper / Damien McBride business. The article he wrote was based on a single uncorroborated source, which Dale claims to be a senior Labour figure. But it was wrong:
As the Court heard today, Associated Newspapers Limited now accepts that these allegations are entirely untrue. In fact, Mr Watson was not copied into any of the emails exchanged between Mr McBride and Mr Draper.
Aside from the damage done to Dale's reputation - and how the tears have flowed in my household after hearing the news - it must have dented the Mail's wallet to the tune of several large ones. The poor lambs.
A statement issued today by Carter-Ruck said the article contained a number of "false, defamatory and deeply offensive allegations about the three women" and that the Mail had accepted the allegations were "untrue and should never have been published".
Oopsy now! Here's an intriguing part of the story, though:
The Mail blamed the offending elements on an unnamed executive who controlled a rewrite of the story, the statement from Carter-Ruck said, rather than the journalists who interviewed the women.
Its story was headlined: "For most women, giving birth is the most fulfilling event in their lives. But some are so afraid of missing out on their careers and losing their figures they refuse to go through pregnancy and choose adoption instead. Practical, or just plain selfish?"
So this isn't just a Mail fail, then. It's a Mail fail that came from a senior journalist who decided that a story sympathetic to people who'd been interviewed wasn't good enough - that there wasn't enough boot-sticking-in and this needed to be corrected, even if it risked upsetting the subjects of the story.
Worth remembering for anyone who plans on being interviewed by the Mail, no matter how sympathetic the journalist in question might appear to be - that can all change back at the newsroom.
It's fun to laugh at the Mail being beaten up and haemorrhaging money because of stupid sexism and idiots who don't check their stories properly - and don't get me wrong, I love it - but there's a serious side to all this. Every one of these shit stories could have been a good one. Every penny given to Carter-Ruck and their clients means money can't go to real journalism at the Mail. And at a time when the Mail's profits are falling off a cliff (again, the heart bleeds) then that's at a premium.
As I've always said, I don't want the Mail to disappear. I don't hate it. I just wish it was good. No sign of that happening any time soon, I'm afraid...