Terrible Journalism

The Daily Mail’s coverage of the election has been a disgraceful, dishonest, scaremongering mess. But then what else could you expect from a newspaper that constantly makes stuff up. Take this story for example: ‘Hospital worker who saved 60 fish from drained ornamental pond ‘faces prosecution and £1,000 fine‘*:

A hospital worker who rescued 60 fish from their ornamental pond when it was being drained has claimed he is facing prosecution and a £1,000 fine.

Clive Roberts saved the fish in an act of mercy by scooping them into a bucket to move them to his own garden pond.

The 58-year-old said officials at the Environment Agency told him he needed to go through red tape to get a formal licence to move the goldfish…

“I’ve been told I could be prosecuted – it seems a bit unfair when all I was trying to do was help”…

The Environment Agency say it is illegal to remove fish from their habitat without permission. Officials say the law is designed to prevent the spread of lethal fish diseases.

A quick read of the comments confirms that this is indeed another crazy case of ‘elf ‘n’ safety gone mad’ and the evil intervention of the ‘PC brigade’. The comments section also confirms that terrible habit of Daily Mail readers not being able to make it to the end of any article they have ever ‘read’, because if they did they’d read this:

An Environment Agency spokesman said: ‘Mr Roberts has not been arrested or charged with any offence and will not be interviewed under caution.

‘Moving fish short distances between garden ponds is not an offence, as it does not present a significant risk to the environment. The Environment Agency does not investigate such incidents.

‘In situations where fish need to be moved at short notice we can offer help and advice, and would be happy to advise the hospital on the best way to maintain a healthy stock of fish.’

Still, it brings their attempt to be a serious political commentator into sharp focus, given that even basic news journalism is so far beyond their grubby grasp.

Once again it is interesting to look at the url for the story which is ‘Wales hospital worker’, surely it should be ‘Welsh hospital worker’…

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