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4th August 2011
The Independent Admits Robert Fisk Story Was False
Definition: In the www arena where the world speaks invisibly to itself, a new word has appeared: ‘fisking’, meaning the selection of evidence solely in order to bolster preconceptions and prejudices.
In his Friday essay on 15 April 2011 (“The Arab Awakening – a long time coming”) Robert Fisk quoted from an order said to have been issued by the Saudi Minister of the Interior, HRH Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud on 11 March, in which he alleged that Prince Nayef ordered his security forces to show no mercy and to use live rounds on unarmed demonstrators.
Although the essay was published in good faith, we now accept that the “Order” in question is in fact a forgery, and that Prince Nayef did not issue any such order. We apologise sincerely to Prince Nayef for the damage and embarrassment which our reporting of it has caused him.
But what did it take for The Independent and Fisk to back down? The BBC takes up the story that The Independent failed to elaborate on:
Mr Plosker ends his article with – “It seems that Israel may not be the only victim of a British press out of control. But it might be the only one that won’t get an apology.”
Oh, I don’t know, Mr Plosker. Once the Iraq Inquiry reports and if by any chance Tony Blair is not hauled off to some kangaroo court on some trumped-up charge or other, will the Independent and such as Fisk apologise to him?
Don’t know why I ask these rhetorical questions. This one is clearly one to which the answer is NO. (John Rentoul)
- Gaza: Is Robert Fisk Propagating More Lies About Tony Blair?
- The Dangers of “Fisking” – AND – Nuking America
Recently Mr Plosker wrote this – British Newspaper Scandal: Media not beyond reproach
“While they have not been immune from coming under HR’s spotlight, News Corp’s titles such as The Times, have been the most favorable towards Israel in a particularly hostile market.
Also worthy of note are calls in the UK for the strengthening of independent bodies such as the Press Complaints Commission that are supposed to hold the media to account and should have the ability to impose real sanctions on offending publications. The history of complaints to the PCC regarding Israel coverage in the UK is a sorry one where most complaints have been unsuccessful.
And the BBC, a serial offender when it comes to its Israel coverage, has its own internal complaints system answerable only to the supposedly independent BBC Trust.
Perhaps the current scandal gripping the UK media will lead to greater regulation and accountability. Will this have any impact on journalistic standards governing reporting from Israel? I’m not going to hold my breath.”
Robert Fisk on Twitter
I’ve decided to follow him on the grounds “know thine enemy”. This is how he describes himself at Twitter:
“Savior”? American spelling? And Fisk’ll fix it? Not if there is any balance in this confused and confusing world.
Fixer – Fisk hasn’t tweeted since 16th July. This is a cutie from 21st June:
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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)
The greatest and most successful leader the Labour Party has ever had with the courage to fight the Islamist terrorists who really would like to kill us all, and you never hear a good word about him. The herd of independent minds, commentators, activists etc who have never had to make a difficult decision in their lives drown out all debate with their inane chants of war crimes and blood on his hands. Defend him at every chance. I just wish more people would do it. (Glasgow, UK)
Blair was the greatest Labour Prime Minister. It is a disgrace that the party has turned away from his legacy. Shame on Ed Miliband and his so-called ‘new generation’.