Tuesday, 9 February 2010

This is how much the Mail cares about Dover

The presentation of the article accompanying the Mail's ridiculous headline about the 'sale' of the White Cliffs of Dover is even worse than it first appeared.

A reminder about how Vanessa Allen's story began:

For generations Dover has stood as an indomitable symbol of Britain’s freedom and independence.

The town, with its white cliffs, port and sprawling castle stood at the very edge of the nation’s frontier with the Continent.

Stirring stuff.

And the website team illustrated the story with a suitably patriotic image:

'A Spitfire over the White Cliffs of Dover', says the caption.

Except it's not.

As reader Mark Burnley pointed out: that isn't Dover.

It's Beachy Head.

Which is only about 70 miles away.

And the Mail should know this as they used much the same picture in this 2008 article about Spitfires and Hurricanes flying over the East Sussex coast:

And in that earlier article, they pointed out:

Look carefully at the front of the Spitfire and you will see it says 'Poland' beneath a chequered badge. This Spitfire Mk V flew with 317 (Polish) Squadron.

So to illustrate an article full of patriotic outrage about Dover - a 'symbol of British sovereignty' - being 'sold' to the French, the Mail uses a picture of a Polish Spitfire flying over Beachy Head.

Oh dear.


  1. Polish Spitfires. It seems somehow appropriate to see the Mail making the same mistakes as the BNP.

  2. I like the fact that they needlessly photoshopped out the second spitfire...

  3. I don't think it's 'shopped; the main spitfire is in a different position. I think the other plane is just out of shot in the one they used this time.

    Cracking spot, though. It is to laugh. :)

  4. The "second Spitfire" is a Hurricane...

  5. I think it has been 'shopped, but they've not only deleted one plane, they've moved the other one, and apparently shrunk it slightly.

    It's exactly the same bit of cliff, which I would imagine is unlikely in two ariel photographs, and the spitfire looks identical, with same shadows and higlights in both pictures. There's also a small reddish mark on the lower part of the propeller in both photos. The positions of propeller and pilot are also identical in both photos.

    There also seems to be a bit of a smudge in the new version where part of the missing plane should be.

    Aren't the newspapers suppsoed to avoid passing off doctored photographs?

  6. Am I being thick, or does the spitfire also have a French flag on?

    This is the sort of thing where if you comment on the Mail's website saying, 'that's not Dover, and thats a French plane flying with a Polish squadren' you'll get 500 red boooo arrows. People don't care they just like to wallow in it.


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