Alert readers will remember that last month we debunked a front-page story from the Scottish Daily Mail about SNP MPs’ expenses, which made the spectacularly untrue claim that they were more expensive than their Unionist predecessors, when in fact they cost significantly less and did far more work.
A couple of days ago the Mail finally ran a “clarification”. And we thought you might like to know exactly how much more the Mail values lies than truth.
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As alert readers will know, one of the primary purposes of this website isn’t just to tell people when the Scottish and UK media is lying to them, but to teach readers how to spot that for themselves. And one of the keys to learning that is to ask yourself what a story in the press is leaving out as well as what it’s telling you.
So last week, when several newspapers went on an orgy of shock-horror reporting about SNP MPs’ expenses – focusing mostly on aeroplane flights and only quoting figures for a small handful of MPs who’d allegedly been claiming far more taxpayers’ money than their Unionist predecessors – alarm bells started ringing everywhere.
And just as we’ve taught them to, Wings readers leapt into action to do the hard work that Scotland’s professional journalists don’t want to do, in order to provide Scots with the facts that the media doesn’t want them to know.
An article by Nick Cohen in the Spectator last night fairly had social media ablaze with a heady brew of anger and mockery.
It’s the most extraordinary outpouring of deranged, spittle-flecked arsewash we’ve seen outside of a Daily Express comment thread in a very considerable time, and it merits attention solely because we think it might have broken a world record for the number of empirical falsehoods contained in an article in a respectable media outlet.
Get your clickers out, readers. You’re going to need a fast trigger finger.
To be honest, readers, we gave up on taking any notice of David Torrance‘s mundane attempts at trolling in the Herald some time ago. But some alert readers pointed us towards this week’s column, suggesting that it was a bald rewriting of history some way beyond their usual bland irritancy.
This was the passage they objected to:
It’s a patronising piece of “shut up and eat your cereal” condescension for sure. But to be fair to Torrance, it does also happen to be true. Wait, not true. The other thing.
Daily Express hack Siobhan McFadyen had a quite extraordinary meltdown on Twitter last night and this morning after we highlighted an appalling article that she’d written for Saturday’s paper.
After angrily attacking other users for a few hours, by the end she’d declared a full-on DefCon One, sending out a desperate plea for hauners from entities as diverse as the Times, the New York Times, the Telegraph, the NUJ, the Washington Post, Guardian Scotland, BBC Radio 4, the Drudge Report, the CEO of Twitter and JK Rowling.
Fear and lies work. Over many decades (and really for centuries) the Unionist parties and the media have succeeded in persuading a large percentage of Scots that they’re beggars, scroungers, vagrants and “subsidy junkies” dependent on the ever-generous charity of England to keep them from starvation.
And in terms of the facts, that hasn’t always been an easy sell.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz gave an interesting interview to Good Morning Scotland just after 8am today, in which he expressed a number of careful, measured and qualified views on a variety of subjects including currency.
But obviously Scottish people are much too stupid to understand stuff like that, so the BBC quickly dumbed it down for them.
The problem is that there’s a difference between simplifying and falsifying.