The Fear mongering Metro

The Metro is a useful companion on a lonely Monday morning bus ride… but far too often it provides fodder for an annoyed rant. Apparently,

“Scottish children are getting fat because parents fear they will be preyed on by paedophiles, an expert has claimed … [Dr Lawrence Gruer] claimed the health of children was suffering due to fears generated by high-profile murders, including the death of 11-year-old Rory Blackhall in Livingstone earlier this year.” [no link yet]

Thankfully, Dr Gruer goes on to point out the absurdity of this situation, calling on parents to “reassess the dangers”. His campaign is facing an uphill struggle, however: it is inaccurate reporting by the Metro which exacerbates our fear. For starters, Rory Blackhall died in 2005. Its a minor point, but the news article is wrong, and it implies that such murders are occurring with greater freqency than they actually do.
From the same edition of the paper, we hear that “Muslim Radicals take a bite out of Apple”. The Apple shop in New York has come under fire from muslims, because the new square store looks a bit like the Kaaba at Mecca. Further proof, if any were needed, of the intolerance of Islam…
Only, the whole thing is bunkum. The story first appeared on the Middle East Media Research Institute website. This was duly picked up and reported verbatim by the main-stream media organisations. However, as alt.muslim points out, the “extremist” website that was apparently the source of the complaints went unnamed. The story was totally unsubstantiated.
This was all written last week, yet the Metro printed the initial, unchallenged allegations in today’s paper. I found the story via Andrew Sullivan, who was keen to pass on the initial claim, but also quick to link to the debunkings. Shame the Metro could not have done a few extra click-throughs, before ripping-off a story from the blogosphere.


Dave Hill highlights another, better, example of shoddy editorialising – this time over Gingerbread “people”…

One Reply to “The Fear mongering Metro”

  1. I’ve been busy this past week, so was only vaguely aware of the controversy surrounding the Apple shop in New York, It had a whiff of fabrication about it, but I gave it no more thought as I was preoccupied. That my suspicions were correct comes as no great surprise. There was something just too silly about it.

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