Friday, 4 February 2011

The Daily Mail: False Flag

The Daily Mail's Richard Littlejohn was frothing at the mouth today about 'The Rainbow Warrior of Bury St Edmunds'
Who?
"The Chief Constable of Suffolk, Simon Ash, has hoisted a rainbow flag outside his headquarters to celebrate gay and lesbian history month.
"Why?"
"...No one would mind that much, I imagine, if Chief Constable Ash didn’t also ban the flying of the Union Flag outside ‘his’ police stations — presumably on the grounds that it’s ‘racist’."
Littlejohn's source for this is... a story in The Daily Mail!
'Police chiefs fly gay pride flag... but are forbidden to put up the Union Jack'
(There are some angry comments below the report from Mail readers pointing out it's the Union FLAG - classic).
Thanks to a great post in the blog Tabloid Watch we learn that the Mail's story was followed up by local TV news programme, Anglia Tonight.
Watch the segment here.
And guess what? The Mail was lying!
A police spokesperson is asked about the accusation that the Union Flag and the Cross of St George flag were not flying because they had been banned.
She replied; "This is not accurate. Both flags are flown from our headquarters."
Oops!
Tabloid Watch notes; "So Littlejohn was wrong about the 'ban', wrong about the 'grounds' for the 'ban', and wrong to say the Union Flag doesn't fly on the Queen's Birthday."
I trust he'll clear this up in his next column.
The Mail also claims flying the rainbow flag was met with "fierce criticism" - the Anglia Tonight reporter said "most residents we spoke to supported the decision".
This is backed up in the report with several vox pops.
The reporter signs off with the line; "Suffolk Police say if it gets people thinking about prejudice it's worth the odd criticism."
Let's hope so.

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