The trouble with dishonest headlines…

According to a Daily Mail website headline today: ‘Goodbye Mr Chips: Doritos creator dies at 97… and his family wants to sprinkle them over his body before he is buried’.

So, in a kind of weird tribute to Arch West (creator of addictive TV snack Doritos) his family are supposedly going to ‘sprinkle them [Doritos] over his body before he is buried’. Sounds clear enough, but the trouble is this just is not true, not even vaguely true. You know it’s not true when the Daily Mail doesn’t even pretend in the article – not even in the first paragraph that this is actually going to happen:

The family of the man who created Doritos are to bury dozens of the chips next to his ashes, they have revealed.

Relatives of Arch West said that they would scatter Doritos in the grave before placing the urn containing his remains inside and covering it over with dirt.

So, immediately we’ve gone from ‘sprinkle them over his body before he is buried’ to ‘bury dozens of the chips next to his ashes’ and ‘they would scatter Doritos in the grave before placing the urn inside and covering it in dirt’. This isn’t buried (excuse the pun) at the bottom of the article, this is the opening two paragraphs.

It gets worse if you look at the Mail Online homepage:


Even the trail doesn’t attempt to hide the fact that the headline is a complete lie. It’s embarrassing that this is the media we have accepted – not all of us, but enough to make the Mail website one of the most visited ‘news’ websites on earth. Collectively, as a planet, we endorse this meaningless drivel.

It gets even worse. Yesterday’s Mail on Sunday lead story online and in print was a complete lie about the BBC. Anybody with a reading age of 10+ could have determined from the article that it was a complete lie – anyone with a shred of journalistic integrity would have listened to the response of the BBC or the searched out the evidence put together by bloggers and the Guardian demonstrating that is was absolutely untrue.

But we live in an age when myths can be created out of nothing – even when the article that starts it all contains glaring contradictions it is still accepted as the truth by bovine readers and insidious journalists. Tabloid Watch has posted a follow-up on how the story is spreading and it makes sobering reading.

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