As most readers will know, the SKWAWKBOX was the target of what many have called a ‘doxxing’ attack by the Daily Mail, with libel added for good measure – and the S*n piled on with its own version.
Certainly the articles contained claims that would be expected to be highly damaging to the blog’s credibility, with accusations that the SKWAWKBOX made false claims regarding government attempts to muzzle the media over the Grenfell Tower death toll and a claim that the SKWAWKBOX editor’s ‘day job’ involves profiting from NHS privatisation and selling private services to the NHS.
None of these claims is true, nor is SKWAWKBOX’s editor any kind of ‘tycoon’, as the S*n laughably asserted.
The S*n has since corrected one of its false claims and in doing so inadvertently admitted that the NHS is being privatised – a fact normally denied by Tory politicians and their media allies, as this image that did the rounds on Twitter points out:
The S*n’s fake news accusation has not yet been withdrawn and is the subject of an IPSO complaint, as is the entirety of the Mail’s article as that publication has not bothered even to respond to the complaint submitted by Steve.
However, the journalist who wrote the Mail piece did respond to texts Steve sent to him immediately after the article’s publication. Some of those texts, flagged by Steve as off the record to prevent the Mail using them but now released to the SKWAWKBOX for publication, concerned the allegation of fake news – that this blog had claimed there was a D-notice in place on the Grenfell death toll, when in fact the article merely reported that others were claiming it.
The response by the journalist was revealing:
The ‘defence’ was that this blog did not at any time state that the claims were true. In fact, the article was careful throughout to state that the truth of the claims was not established:
and gave details of attempts to get the government to answer whether it was true. The statement that there were claims of a D-notice by various individuals was a fact.
According to the author of the Mail article, the editor decided such details were unimportant and removed them in favour of flat accusations of making false claims of fact:
The same tactic was also used with regard to a story about a potential conflict of interest affecting Theresa May regarding Brexit:
In fact, the SKWAWKBOX had made no such accusation, but instead reported that Byline Media and others were alleging it:
And again, the blog was careful to make clear that the allegations by others had not been substantiated:
Reporting the existence of allegations is not asserting that the allegations are true – and there is not a mainstream publication that has not done so, usually with similarcaveats to make clear.
Including the Mail:
Of course, few would accuse the Mail of being afraid of hypocrisy.
So we’re left with a situation in which the online version of a national newspaper accuses the SKWAWKBOX of creating fake news and making false claims for doing something any mainstream publication would do without a second thought.
And then edits out references to the fact that the ‘claims’ were not in fact claims, thus presenting a misleading and damaging picture seized on by the SKWAWKBOX’s opponents and critics and which they continue to propagate whenever they wish to attack the blog.
Extraordinary lengths to go to, to attack a publication few had heard of a year ago – and presumably indicative of the extent of ruffled Establishment feathers.
More to follow in due course, including details of the tactics used by the Mail to obtain information.
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