A few days ago I did a quick round up of three stories in which the Daily Mail told lies. One of them was this ‘story’: ‘Now health and safety chiefs ban Red Arrows display… because ‘vibrations’ could damage nearby buildings‘ and the article made it absolutely clear that the event was definitely cancelled and banned:
The Red Arrows have been banned from putting on a flying display over a seaside town – over health and safety fears.
The world famous RAF team were scheduled to top the bill at the annual regatta in Dartmouth, Devon.
But organisers decided to cancel the display – which has taken place every year since 1980 – amid fears that vibrations from the low-flying jets might damage buildings.
At the time I pointed out that the article completely contradicted the assertion that the event had been banned or cancelled, but that organisers were considering the impact of low-flying planes on a large amount of historic buildings that had recently been gutted by a fire and were unstable. It was not a case of ‘health and safety gone mad’ as the Mail was claiming, rather a holiday resort town trying to cling onto as much character as possible. No ban had been issued, and the event had not been cancelled, people were simply looking into making sure there would be no adverse effects.
Today the Red Arrows have felt compelled to issue a formal response on their website to these claims, and they demonstrate just how completely invented the Daily Mail story was:
There have been reports in the national news today that the Red Arrows will not be displaying at Dartmouth.
This is not true and the Team is still planning to display at the Town’s Royal Regatta event.
Squadron Leader Ben Murphy, Officer Commanding and Team Leader of the Red Arrows said:
“We are still planning to display at Dartmouth on August 27. We have not been contacted by the event organisers with any concerns about damage to buildings. In fact the Mayor of Dartmouth contacted the Team this morning to say that the town is still very much looking forward to the display and that reports in the national press about the town cancelling are simply not true.”
I have posted the above under the Daily Mail article which is supposedly not moderating comments in advance on the article, but funnily enough when I tried to post I was informed that my comment would have to be moderated in advance. I do not expect it to appear, no more than I expect the Daily Mail to update or issue the correction that should be standard practice for any news organisation. It also would have been nice to name and shame the reporter, but sadly the hack who cobbled this nonsense has hidden behind ‘The Daily Mail Reporter’, I like to think this was because even Mail hacks have a sense of shame.
Thanks to Tabloidwatch for the tip-off.