Saturday, 6 March 2010

More apologies

Both the Express and the Telegraph have printed apologies to Peter Vaughan, Chief Constable of the South Wales Police. There will probably be more to come as several other newspapers repeated the same false allegations. Richard Littlejohn rehashed the claims too, but he's already apologised.

The difference with the Express, Telegraph, Times and others is that they published their stories before Vaughan explicitly denied the claims. Littlejohn did it three days after the denial appeared.

From the Express:

In our article on January 15, "I'm too scared to go shopping on my own admits police chief", we reported on a dispute over comments published in the Police Review about Peter Vaughan, the new Chief Constable of the South Wales Police.

The Police Review reported that Mr Vaughan had said, in an interview with them, that he could not now do his own shopping for security reasons.

We have been asked to point out that the Police Review have accepted that Mr Vaughan did not say this, that they have apologised to him for their misunderstanding and any embarrassment they may have caused due to the regional and national media picking up or commenting on the story.

The Telegraph have taken a different line: it's not their fault. They just regurgitated something they read somewhere else and it's not their fault they didn't check the story, is it?

In our article “Police chief uses personal shopper for ‘security reasons’”(Jan 15) we referred to a dispute between Peter Vaughan, the newly promoted chief constable of South Wales, and Police Review over a remark he had allegedly made during an interview with one of the magazine’s reporters. Police Review has since published the following:

Peter Vaughan: an apology

In our 6 January, 2010 edition we reported that Peter Vaughan, the new chief constable of the South Wales Police, had said that somebody else would do his shopping because now that he was chief constable he could not do it himself for security reasons.

We now accept that Mr Vaughan did not say this and that our report was based on a misunderstanding by us. The Police Review apologises to Mr Vaughan and the officers and staff of the South Wales Police for any embarrassment this mistake has caused, including the embarrassment due to the repetition of the article in the regional and national media.

We are making a donation to South Wales Youth Trust (a charity established to help young people in South Wales) as a mark of our regret and will also pay a contribution towards Mr Vaughan’s legal costs. is happy to assist in setting the record straight.

But since everyone knew this was nonsense within a week, why has it taken nearly two months for these apologies to appear?

Elsewhere, the Mail have been in trouble again:

Ms Heather Mills complained to the Press Complaints Commission that an opinion piece was inaccurate in claiming that, during preparations for the TV show ‘Dancing on Ice', she had skated with her prosthetic leg uncovered in order to gain sympathy. The reality was that she had rolled her trousers up during a private skating lesson (at which TV cameras were not present) so that her prosthetist could examine the alignment of her leg.

Since everyone who cares (and many who probably don't) knows Mills has a prosthetic leg, the story doesn't even make much sense. But the resolution is only minor:

The matter was resolved when the newspaper agreed to remove the article from its website and sent a private letter of regret to the complainant.

In other words, the Mail doesn't have to write a retraction.

Meanwhile, the Daily Star has published this apology to Philip Baum on page 2:

Our December 29, 2010 article “Call for Muslim jet scan” may have been taken to mean that Mr Baum an aviation security expert, advocated that only suspicious looking Muslims should face full body scans.

We wish to make clear that Mr Baum said all suspicious looking people should be body scanned.

So Baum said something general and the Star turned it into something aimed solely at Muslims. Who'd have thought?

1 comment:

  1. The Daily Star are so incompetent that they even get the date of the article they are apologising about wrong.


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