Friday, September 04, 2009

Ephraim Hardcastle Caught Out (Again)

Oh dear, I think the Daily Mail may be in trouble. This appeared in the Ephraim Hardcastle column this morning...
Tory MP David Davis, 60, went 'walkabout', Aborigine-style, last year, quitting as shadow Home Secretary, ostensibly to campaign against 42-day detention for terrorist suspects. Some thought he found it difficult to adjust to the leadership of David Cameron, having gone for the top job himself. Now I see he's speaking at the Libertarian Alliance's annual conference in October. As an ex-Territorial SAS man, does he agree with their view - announced yesterday - that the Second World War was 'the greatest single disaster in British and perhaps world history' and - as for our war leader Winston Churchill - they wished that 'the Fuzzy-Wuzzies had tried a little harder at Omdurman (where Churchill fought in 1898 during the Sudan campaign) and planted a spear in his belly.'? Perhaps Davis's walkabout isn't quite over.
Er, just one problem. The David Davis they refer to as speaking at the Libertarian Alliance conference is not the former Shadow Home Secretary, he is the Director blogger in chief for the Libertarian Alliance of the same name.

The Mail has two problems. Firstly, they clearly did not even both to ring the LA or check their website, and they obviously didn't call David Davis himself. Secondly, their use of the word "ostensibly" could be construed as malicious.

But the main point is this. Mainstream journalists delight in accusing bloggers of not checking facts, yet this is a clear example of the very same thing happening in a daily newspaper column.

I haven't spoken to DD, but if I were him I might well be asking for an apology and a donation to charity. After all, this isn't the first time this column has got something terribly wrong about David Davis.

What's the betting this story disappears from the online version of the Ephraim Hardcastle column within the hour. I shall be watching...

34 comments:

Bird said...

Who is Ephraim Hardcastle these days?
I think it used to be Peter Mackay.

Anonymous said...

Mr Dale , this shows the genral decline in proper investigatve journolism and there a many recent articles .

keep up the good work , I did make a small donation , Good luck

David Boothroyd said...

And how many times have newspapers published stories about interesting things written or said by David Davis MP (Haltemprice and Howden), only for it to be found that the comments were by David Davies MP (Monmouth)?

scotch said...

"Mainstream journalists delight in accusing bloggers of checking facts".

OK, leaving aside the typo, funny though it is, - how about you publishing your facts that I've asked you about in this thread, you factual fan you:
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=6214838&postID=3943806555287228288?

Anonymous said...

I'll sponsor you not to mention DD for a month

no longer anonymous said...

I thought Sean Gabb was director of the LA? As far as I'm aware David Davis runs the LA blog.

Anonymous said...

Surely the greatest disaster in British history was the Saxon/Danish/Jutish/Angle invasions that overran the greater part of the island in the dark ages, leading to the dreadful mess the inhabitants of the island now find themselves in.

The Yorkshire Terrorist said...

Daily Mail in bullshit story shocker. At least this appears to have been sloppy journalism rather than deliberately misleading or incorrect reporting, as they usually trade on.

Lady Finchley said...

Peter McKay is a serial offender especially concerning DD!

Libel Lawyer said...

It's not malicious to say ostensibly. Precedent allows opinion to be expressed in this way. If they were sarcastic and tried to pretend they weren't being sarcastic, it wouldn't stand up but this is simple statement of fact. Ask a lawyer ;)

scotch said...

Dear Iain. It might be honourable of you to acknowledge that you have edited this post. I commented with good grace and a touch of humour and now that comment is rendered less understandable because of an edit you have made.
Would you be so kind?

Iain Dale said...

Scotch, Indeed so. Thank you for pointing it out.

scotch said...

Cheers. And your answer to the question I asked is where now?

Anonymous said...

The hour is almost up so it looks like you'll lose that bet. I'll also note that the Daily Mail is not allowing posted comments to appear on Hardcastle's column.

Iain Dale said...

The answer is on Google and Technorarti. As I have repeatedly said. If I can do it, so can you.

Bill Baker said...

Oh come on Iain. It's an amusing diary story. Who cares if it's accurate?

scotch said...

Nope, can't make it add up. Please could you show me how? And if you know, why can't you just tell everybody?

Stuart said...

As soon as David Davis started going on about Binyam Mohammed's "human rights" I lost all interest in him.

Who's side is he on?

jailhouselawyer said...

It's One O' Clock and the piece is still there. Which charity will you be donating your lost bet to? Howard League for Penal Reform?

The Fact Compiler said...

Iain - you loose!

It's still there at 13:10.

Keith Elliott said...

Scotch, you have touched on one of Mr Dale's raw nerves.

He doesn't like being held to account for the things he writes here. As far as I can tell, his argument is, 'it's my blog and I'll do what I like.'

Seems fair enough to me, although the similarities with mainstream 'journalism' which he so frequently derides, is striking.

Have a good one or two Mr Dale!

Thomas Rossetti said...

Good spot, Iain! Hopefully, this will be yet another nail in the coffin of the Dead Tree Press.

Since this post could be said to concern libel, might I enquire what I would be allowed to say about Alan Sugar's intellect on these pages? As a permanent resident of the United States, I feel no fear in describing Sir Alan in whatever way I see fit, but I wouldn't want Iain to get in trouble for publishing my remarks.

Donut hinge Party said...

I take objection to the use of the word 'ostensibly'.

It was blatantly obvious that he was doing it to further his own career and win more votes. Ostensibly implies that there was a half-decent attempt to hide this.

Chris Paul said...

Major gaffe on mixing up these ten a penny David Davis's ... but the ostensible is fine. It's a gossip column for goodness sake.

There are so many mistakes of one kind or another on "top" blogs - as other less kindly souls have been pointing out here, incredible, how very dare they? - that this really is a bad case of glass housers heaving stones.

Churchill supporter said...

Nah, the single biggest disaster in British history was the Roman invasion... It eventually got us (deceived by Heath)into the EU.

Sir Winston - a great chap who saw through Hitler.

Jonny Mac said...

Just looked at that E Hardcastle column. It's all pretty pitiable.

"Germany's Angela Merkel, 55, pictured, who faces a general election this month, seeks to hot-wire the hausfrauen vote by confessing: 'I may be Chancellor, but at home I still cook and I still sew.' Ja Wohl, mein Fuhrer!"

Jeez.

Thomas Rossetti said...

Re: Keith Elliott (at 1:34 PM). I agree that Iain's attitude of 'it's my blog and I'll do what I like.' is fair enough. If I ran a blog, I would do the same.

Obviously bloggers make mistakes, but the key difference between those on the web and the Dead Tree Press is surely that mistakes get rectified quickly on the former.

If I may go off topic for a moment, may I test Britain's libel laws for a moment by suggesting that Alan Sugar is not the most intelligent man in Britain? Will this comment be approved, I wonder.

james said...

If you "haven't spoken to DD" how do you know for sure that he hasn't decided to address this loony conference? What was that about checking facts?

Iain Dale said...

because I checked the conference programme and he isn't on it. But the other David Davis is.

However, I have now spoken to him and he confirms he isn't speaking at it.

Sean Haffey said...

So why is the article still online? Did no-one tell them? Or do they just not care?

Dalewatcher said...

iain dale is david davis's moose-puppet and this is further proof that this blog is just a mouth piece for the dull and the dispossessed.

Anonymous said...

seems to be gone

Anonymous said...

Ha! It's been taken down, but they're still not allowing comments. Hoons.

Quietzapple said...

This criticism of the Mail for not checking its facts . .

Will you be using it regularly when the billionaires' press tell lies?

Will Murdoch's plans to further sterilise the truthfulness of journalism and replace it with tendentious opinion be challenged on your pages?

Eric Joyce's non statement to be debunked?

It is all going down the pan, Murdoch cares not imho:

http://snowflake5.blogspot.com/2009/09/murdoch-plans-for-media-pricing.html