On Wednesday the Daily Record ran this story:
It didn’t have to wait long for the “questions” to be answered.
The article, by the paper’s Westminster correspondent Torcuil Crichton, smelled rather fishy from the off. Citing unnamed “online critics”, it piled innuendo onto McGarry’s fact-finding trip to the troubled Middle Eastern nation. (We’re going to assume nobody suggested it was actually a fun holiday.)
Online critics have accused her of using taxpayers’ money to fund the trip. McGarry took to Twitter to deny that and say the trip was in the Commons register of members’ interests. But a check of the register showed no entries by McGarry since she became an MP in May.
That’s a “story” of remarkable weakness. We don’t know who’s supposedly made these allegations, and the Record admits from the off that the declaration may well simply not have been processed and published by the House Of Commons staff yet.
As it happened, however, the files were updated that very same day:
The Parliamentary records show that McGarry was telling the truth – no taxpayers’ money had been spent on the trip, which was funded by New World Summit, a European artistic and political organisation.
But that’s all very well, because having raised readers’ suspicions over potential wrongdoing on the basis of anonymous internet gossip, the Record immediately cleared the matter up by publishing the correct facts in a new and equally prominent story as soon as possible, right?
Well, okay, but it least amended the original piece on its website, yes?
Must have forgotten. But having been directly told on Twitter by McGarry herself, and also by this site, either the Record account or Crichton’s personal one must have tweeted something – either a proper correction or at least an RT of McGarry’s tweet informing them of the reality. That would obviously be the barest minimum possible for the preservation of, or pretence at, any sort of journalistic ethics. How about that?
That’s strange. Absolutely nothing. It almost seems as if the paper WANTED anyone looking for information about Natalie McGarry to come away with a false impression of potential wrongdoing completely and conclusively disproven by easily-available facts that the Record had been clearly and repeatedly made aware of.
But we’re sure there’s an innocent explanation.