stooges of the Kremlin

Wings Over Scotland


Archive for the ‘debunks’


To have and to have not 121

Posted on June 24, 2018 by

The Sunday Times puts some poll results in an interesting frame today:

And readers who’ve learned anything at all from this site over the last six years will be looking at that tweet and immediately wondering “what AREN’T we being told there?”

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The false starters 544

Posted on June 16, 2018 by

Although this site is blacklisted by the press regulator IPSO and therefore unable to file complaints about inaccurate and misleading newspaper articles, our alert readers sometimes pick up the baton from Wings articles and do the job themselves.

We reported one such example a week ago.

But the reader who took up that complaint has furnished us with a bit of interesting background to the story, and also news of a rather more alarming outcome.

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The magnifier 75

Posted on June 08, 2018 by

This Wings story from April about a wildly untrue Scottish Daily Mail front-page splash has been entirely vindicated by a correction in the paper today, conceding both of the key complaints we made in our piece.

The Mail has, as you’d imagine, printed the correction rather smaller than the original story, so we thought we’d blow it up a little here for easier reading.

Because we’re sure they wouldn’t want anyone to miss it.

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The Angry Man 408

Posted on May 14, 2018 by

So it seems our article of earlier today rattled the Herald’s cage but good. Scottish political Twitter has been an absolute logjam of incandescent Herald Group hacks all afternoon, making all manner of wild accusations and threats. At the head of the fury, of course, was Chief Reporter And Witchfinder General Mr David Leask.

Unfamiliar with the Scottish media? God, how we wish THAT was true.

Leask issued a long (long) stream of invective on Twitter, while hiding behind a block that means we can’t post any responses to it that any of his Twitter followers will see. So for the record, we suppose we’ll have to address them here.

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The same difference 182

Posted on May 08, 2018 by

This one won’t take long. This is the front page lead on today’s Herald:

It’s a trope beloved of Unionists (and was a particular favourite of the paper’s departed columnist David Torrance) – how dare Scotland imagine that it’s special? – and the Herald bangs the drum extra-hard this morning, with Anas Sarwar given lots of room to talk Scotland down while insisting that he’s not talking Scotland down, claiming that the idea of Scotland being “less intolerant than our neighbours” is a myth.

So let’s just check the facts.

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In vino non-veritas 214

Posted on May 07, 2018 by

The Scottish Sunday Express yesterday had a shock-horror exposé about a “HUGE loophole” in the Scottish Government’s minimum-pricing legislation for alcohol.

We thought we’d give it a quick once-over. You’re in for a HUGE shock, readers.

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Due diligence 195

Posted on April 22, 2018 by

Even in a sluggish news season, it’s somehow extra-dispiriting to see a once-august newspaper like the Sunday Times fill its pages by trying to flog its readers reheated old cobblers from the previous day’s Daily Mail.

We’ve already shredded the towering stupidity of the story itself (the Times dutifully repeats all the exact same drivel about meal deals and loyalty vouchers), so we were pleased when social media presented a new angle on it.

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The gloom hunters 292

Posted on April 11, 2018 by

The accountancy firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers – last seen charging the taxpayer an eye-watering £20.4m for just eight weeks’ work during the collapse of Carillion – today published a report into the declining number of high-street retail outlets in the UK.

BBC Scotland was keen to put a regional slant on it.

According to the article, Scotland had put in the worst performance in the country. But that didn’t appear to be what the report said at all.

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Unmuddied waters 106

Posted on February 05, 2018 by

We’ve had extremely poor internet at Wings HQ since Thursday of last week, which our telecoms company is trying to get to the bottom of. (We’re typing this on an iPhone via very flaky 4G.)

We’ll be back with you ASAP. In the meantime, we’re being baffled by this assertion from the Financial Times that’s been doing the social-media rounds again recently.

Um, that isn’t “difficult” at all. That’s what maritime borders are for. That’s why the UK took the precaution of stealing (or reclaiming, depending on where you’re looking at it from) thousands of square miles of Scottish waters in 1999.

But other than any possible attempts to renegotiate that boundary, there’s nothing to debate. One side of the line is ours. The other side is yours. The end. We’re not at all sure why the FT would ever try to pretend otherwise.

Scottish Lib Dems Fact Check 210

Posted on February 01, 2018 by

The claim:

Let’s check that against what really happened, shall we?

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Replacement bollocks service 343

Posted on January 31, 2018 by

Alert readers may recall some articles last August in which we highlighted the total pig’s breakfast Scotland’s media had made of reporting ScotRail punctuality figures, centred around mistaking the “on time” figures (trains arriving within 59 seconds of their scheduled time, ie at the advertised minute) for the “PPM” figures (trains arriving within five minutes) which are the basis of official punctuality targets.

Several newspapers, including the Herald, Courier, Daily Record and Daily Mail, had to publish corrections after our articles, so we can be pretty sure they won’t have made that mistake again with the latest stats.

Can’t we?

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Fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake 213

Posted on January 26, 2018 by

The very strange man who is David Leask, chief reporter at the Herald, has been hard at work with a shovel ever since we ran a couple of stories on Monday.

Accusing this site of publishing “an implausible blog about our paper this week, based on some unchecked &, well, weird assumptions”, he curiously neglected to specify what those assumptions might have been, while embarking on a long, rambling and bewildering rant about what does and doesn’t constitute “fake news”.

Leask’s argument, at least in so far as we can make any sense of it at all, is that even deliberately and knowingly made-up lies printed in mainstream newspapers are not, and can never be, “fake news”.

That’s a term which he insists only applies to spoof sites pretending to be real news outlets, which we’d presume – although it’s by no means clear – means the likes of The Onion or the Daily Mash.

Which is an odd angle.

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