“The Independent” apologises for Fisking it. A “Sorry” from Fixer Fisk next? Yes? No?


Comment at end

Or –

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.

Thanks to – Simon Plosker at Honest Reporting

The following correction has been published in The Independent relating to an article by Robert Fisk on the Arab Spring:

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:

More from ‘Honest Reporting’ here

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)

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.”

Very wise.


Robert Fisk on Twitter

I’ve decided to follow him on the grounds “know thine enemy”. This is how he describes himself at Twitter:

Robert Fisk


Journalist, Warrior, Crusader, Savior, Reader, Writer, Ultimate Fighter. Fisk’ll fix it.

“Savior”? American spelling? And Fisk’ll fix it? Not if there is any balance in this confused and confusing world.

Mr Fixer – Fisk hasn’t tweeted since 16th July. This is a cutie from 21st June:

TheRobertFiskRobert Fisk
To err is human, though I am not. Born of revolution and struggle, I, #RobertFisk, am no mere mortal.
21 Jun
This was his first  tweet on 15th June:
Robert Fisk
TheRobertFiskRobert Fisk
Hello world. I am #RobertFisk. Twitter is my new bitch. BRING IT ON.
I’m usually very reluctant to suggest that people are  a penny short of a four pound note, or even deluded. But do go and read the rest of his tweets. If he isn’t somewhat unbalanced, he is peculiarly arrogant.
When Tony Blair delivered his feral beasts speech just prior to leaving office, some wondered why he had mentioned The Independent and not the Daily Mail for instance.  I contend that it had something to do with the Independent becoming one of the mainstays of opining, NOT reporting.

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