A lot of people on Twitter yesterday predicted that the Mail on Sunday would cover the March 26th protests only in terms of violence or vandalism and they were not wrong:
According to the Guardian more than a quarter of a million people marched – the vast majority peacefully – on London yesterday, so the Mail on Sunday decides to ignore that and instead publish a photo that appears to show just 3 people smashing a window. It’s the worst kind of ideological journalism and it paints a completely distorted picture of what actually took place yesterday.
It gets worse for the Mail on Sunday when you see their ‘exclusive’ on Gordon Brown, which is also online [istyosty.com link]: ‘The seven months pregnant woman told to give up her British Airways seat… just so Gordon Brown could fly Club Class’. The headline seems to be a complete lie, given that BA issued a clear statement to the Mail:
A spokeswoman for the airline said Mr Brown’s arrival on the flight was a coincidence, and he had been unfairly blamed by the mutinous passengers.
‘The situation had absolutely nothing to do with Gordon Brown,’ she said. ‘We have apologised to [the complainant] and we have offered to pay compensation.
‘It is very rare for a customer not to be able to travel in the cabin that they have booked and we are extremely sorry that this happened on this flight. Gordon Brown and his party were booked in advance and were not involved in any way.’
Indeed, the denial was so clear that when the Mail on Sunday contacted Gordon Brown’s office they received the following response:
‘I assume you have read the BA statement and are now not running the story…
‘As BA has made clear, the arrangements were nothing to do with Mr Brown, who had booked his flight and seats well in advance and made no requests for – nor received – any special treatment.
‘As BA will confirm, all questions about bookings, overbookings and allocations of seats are not – and could not be – a matter for Mr Brown but for British Airways.’
But run the story they did, on the front page, as if it were based on something more substantial than the opinion of an anonymous passenger. I wonder if Brown’s office will register a complaint with the PCC, or whether they might just get the lawyers in? It seems to me that the Mail on Sunday thought they were onto a winner, had it totally destroyed by the BA statement but decided to run with it anyway under a completely dishonest headline.