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1st August 2011
BLAIR’S CRITICISM IS SOLELY TOWARDS THE MAIL ON SUNDAY
NOT TOWARDS THE CHILCOT INQUIRY
Not that you’d necessarily get that message if you accepted at face-value the Mail on Sunday’s edited version of Mr Blair’s spokesman’s response.
WHAT’S MISSING IN MoS & THE FOLLOW-UP REPORTS?
The Words –
“BY THE MAIL ON SUNDAY”
Firstly, for the avoidance of misunderstanding, to set the record straight and to show how feral is the feral press, it is worth quoting Tony Blair’s spokesman exactly and completely [my underline] –
A spokesman said: “This is a deliberate attempt by the Mail on Sunday to pre-judge a report that hasn’t even been written yet. We’re not going[sic] comment until it has been published.”
[NOTE: I haven’t been able to find a correct original version [from Blair’s Office] of this online anywhere, so it was likely a telephone quote. I am sure that Mr Blair’s Office would have thrown in the word “to” before “comment”. Details ARE important.]
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE?
The main culprit or rather prime mover on truth, half-truths and lies is, quelle surprise(!) The Mail on Sunday.
It says, side-stepping its own responsibility for ANY of this –
“A spokesman for Tony Blair said: ‘This is a deliberate attempt to pre-judge a report that hasn’t even been written yet.
‘We’re not going [sic] [careful, careful!] comment until it has been published.’ ”
Note: No “by the Mail on Sunday” in this partial quote. Fancy that!
In case the Mail on Sunday or any other day decides it had better alter this, I have taken a screenshot. [That reminds me – I have a post in draft regarding how the Mail DOES alter its copy when pulled up on issues. I hope to publish this soon.]
Today’s Daily Mail article is no better. Titled [knowingly, but of course] – Sir John Chilcot points finger at Tony Blair – it sneaks in the word “fiasco” as though Tony Blair himself had used it in reference to the Iraq war, or if you like, and perhaps you do, as if in reference to the Chilcot Inquiry from… well, someone or other with an opinion. As if, eh?
“Last night Mr Blair hit back at claims that the inquiry would blame him for the fiasco.
A source close to him said: ‘This is a deliberate attempt to pre-judge a report that hasn’t even been written yet.’ “
Where is the Mail’s quote for this “hitting back” [innuendo(?) – at the Inquiry?] Where too does his Office mention a “fiasco”?
All that Mr Blair’s spokesman said is that he takes exception to the Mail on Sunday’s pre-judgement of the Chilcot report! And note, in case you missed it, that the MoS still doesn’t include the full quote from Mr Blair’s Office in which the MoS is criticised.
OBFUSCATION DESERVES OBFUSCATION?
You may think this is to be expected, even accepted. Perhaps even deserved. Especially if you agree with the Mail/Mail on Sunday’s views on the Iraq war and on Tony Blair himself. After all, the MoS/Mail [and you] might argue that so-alleged Blair obfuscation and half-truths must be dealt with by the same tactics.
You may. On the other hand isn’t the press under scrutiny for its own original obfuscation as well as other little things? And not only the Murdoch press? The Mail & The Mirror are both also being investigated.
TIME FOR SOME EUROVISION SING-ALONG-A-LIES POINTS ALLOCATION?
Here goes. For this FAILURE to be honest with even simply quoting others I award the Mail on Sunday [drumroll & pregnant pause that would outdo a Blair speech] – NIL POINTS.
And what of the others? Again, surprise, surprise – all singing from the same hymn sheet. Well, almost all.
THE METRO [picked up free at London Tube stations & elsewhere in the capital. We don’t even have to PAY for their lies!]
As is the viral nature of lies and half-truths this is what The Metro said, either lazily copying from the Mail, or obfuscation for its own ends:
“A spokesman for Mr Blair said: ‘This is a deliberate attempt to pre-judge a report that hasn’t even been written yet. We’re not going to comment until it has been published.’”
For the Metro’s Failure to do any investigative journalism, or worse to be prepared to extend the LIES I award them – MINUS one point. After all they DID bother to add the [original quoted] missing “to”, so must have spent some time on it. Perhaps all of ten minutes.
Then there’s Craig Woodhouse at The London Evening Standard (‘This Is London’) describing the unpublished report [knowingly] as a “damning report”, Mr Woodhouse has this –
‘Sources close to Mr Blair said: “This is a deliberate attempt to pre-judge a report that hasn’t even been written yet.”‘
Again omitting “by the Mail on Sunday”!
For this omission ‘The Evening Standard’ ties with ‘The Metro’, for the same reasons – laziness or an agenda. Possibly both. Awarded to The Evening Standard/This is London – [do take a bow] – MINUS ONE POINT.
The Telegraph today also omits the phrase “by the Mail on Sunday” from Blair’s Office in its version of Iraq Inquiry: Chilcot report to criticise Tony Blair
And just for the flavour it adds one of the most unflattering pictures of Tony Blair it could lay its hands on. Around necks, anyone?
It too copies and pastes [with errors.]
‘A spokesman for Mr Blair said: “This is a deliberate attempt to prejudge a report that hasn’t even been written yet. We’re not going comment until it has been published.”‘
You notice how The Telegraph too has omitted the “by the Mail on Sunday” phrase? And how they have just copied and pasted including the missed word “to”? Lazy or agenda’d. Both, imo.
As with most of this destructive cartel I award the Telegraph MINUS ONE POINT.
AND THE WINNER/LOSER IS …
Nigel Morris at The Independent headlines from a different tangent. He seems to know – without a relevant quote that – ‘Blair is angered by “pre-judging” of Chilcot Inquiry on Iraq war’. In a way, they don’t have to quote him to know he would not be pleased. Would YOU be relaxed if you were pre-judged by a ferocious press? Yet, as is the wont with the Indie it tries to sound as though it empathises. Until, that is one reads the article.
“Tony Blair has expressed his irritation at the Iraq inquiry’s preparing to deliver a damning verdict on his handling of the war.”
Where? When? How exactly has Blair expressed his irritation at the Iraq Inquiry? That’s right. In NO WAY! And where, when, how did he say he accepts that they are about to deliver a “damning verdict” anyway? Have they told him that?
In no way and at no time has Mr Blair expressed such irritation towards the Iraq Inquiry!
LIES, LIES & MORE LIES and the Independent. No wonder Blair named that paper in his feral beasts speech.
For this simple dissembling – [did I say “simple”?] – I was about to award The Independent MINUS FIVE Points. But it had the sense to copy and paste the more-or-less entire quote from Mr Blair’s spokesman alongside its so-called “sources” – “Whitehall”.
“This is a deliberate attempt by the Mail on Sunday to pre-judge a report that hasn’t even been written yet. We’re not going [sic] comment until it has been published.”
So, The Independent scores MINUS FOUR points. Gained by pretending, exaggerating, dissembling, lying. [You choose.] It would have been MINUS THREE if it had read while it pasted and added the missing “to”.
Inexactitudes and the British press. Something to behold.
And now the good news.
Perhaps because this article has been compiled [not one of these journalists is up for original writing] by Nicholas Watt The Guardian actually said –
“Blair hit out at the Mail on Sunday. A spokesman for the former prime minister said: “This is a deliberate attempt by the Mail on Sunday to prejudge a report that hasn’t even been written yet. We are not going to comment until the report is actually published.”
For quoting Tony Blair’s spokesman accurately I award the Guardian ONE PONT. No minuses at all. It is on positive ground. In fact make that TWO POINTS. In this news item or opinion piece [you choose] it is the only paper I have come across which checks what it writes. Note – “to comment”.]
However, it comes to something when only one of the cartel [yes, I repeat “cartel”] of media sources grabbing onto the coattails of the Mail on Sunday get thanks for quoting accurately!
By the way, Sky’s report does not refer to Mr Blair’s Office’s response. And the BBC is on strike today. Again. Ye-e-es, I know. So it only has links to the Mail Online & Brian Brady at The Independent’s ‘Blair to face withering fire’
The latter of these, from the blessed Independent, has this gem:
‘A spokeswoman for the Chilcot inquiry said: “We will not provide a running commentary on the inquiry.” A spokesman for Mr Blair was made aware of the claims last night butdid [sic] respond by the time of going to pressed [sic].’
Presumably they meant “did not respond” and “press”? [careful, careful, catchee truthee. Details important]
ON THE OTHER HAND
You may think referring to the virally omitted “by the Mail on Sunday” is nitpicking. It most certainly is not. This omission is nothing less than an attempt to make it sound as though Tony Blair himself is criticising the Iraq Inquiry. At least that is the intention of the Mail. The rest, onboard politically or not with the MoS, and most are onboard, are inarguably guilty of lazy journalism.
Mr Blair is NOT criticising the Iraq Inquiry.
UPDATE: I’ve found two more copy and paste jobs. One from the Herald Scotland which says – “TONY Blair has condemned leaks as a deliberate attempt to pre-judge the Chilcot Inquiry on the Iraq war before the report is even complete.”
Again – WHERE, WHEN , HOW did he condemn the press “leaks”? He condemned the conclusions that the Mail seems to have reached.
From The Mirror there’s simply this – ‘Sir John, the former civil servant who has chaired the Iraq Inquiry, will deliver damning verdicts, according to one report. A spokesman for the ex-PM hit back angrily at the claims. The source said: “This is a deliberate attempt to prejudge a report that hasn’t even been written yet.” ‘
NIL POINTS EACH, chaps. For no original thought and for failing to question the motives of your press colleagues.
- The Iraq Inquiry Website
- Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger earned almost HALF a MILLION last year. But he’s worth it. Isn’t he?
Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here
I am staggered by all the hate directed towards our former Prime Minister. I believe that Tony Blair made the Iraq decision in good faith and is most certainly NOT a war criminal. If anyone should be tried at the Hague it should be those in the media for totally misrepresenting the information and facts. The media are to blame for fuelling this hatred as it is purely driven by them. (UK)
Tags: Alan Rusbridger, by the Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Evening Standard, Guardian, Independent, Iraq, Iraq inquiry, iraq war, John Chilcot, Julie's Thinktank, Mail on Sunday, Max Dunbar, Metro, Nicholas Watt, telegraph, The Mail on Sunday, This is London, Tony Blair