While giving his Bizarro World version of what happens in the Mail to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee a couple of weeks ago, Paul Dacre was asked about churnalism, the practice of regurgitating press releases and stories from other outlets without checking. He said that it did go on in other papers but, 'I would refute that charge to the Daily Mail.'
So, no regurgitated press releases or stories copied from other papers in the Mail, right? The Mail would check and double check the truth before publishing a story based on the same press release as 'EACH ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT TO COST US £1M' from the Express*, right?
Only in Bizarro Daily Mail. In the real Daily Mail, the headline is 'Each illegal immigrant costs us £1m, says study as Government faces calls for amnesty'. Hurrah! Which version of the story was churned and exaggerated to add an extra frisson of made up cobblers to the headline? Who cares?
As for that made up headline, let's not forget that Dacre said this about misleading headlines:
I'd like to think this doesn't happen in the Mail - I'm not going to hold my hand on my heart and say it doesn't. It does happen in some areas of the media.'Still, he was talking about misleading headlines with accurate copy underneath, and this entire story is rubbish from top to bottom without anything approaching accuracy to break through the lies. Maybe he wasn't talking about this kind of thing.
So, Dacre claims there's no churnalism in the Mail and implies that the paper doesn't produce misleading headlines that often, and here's what looks like a story churned from another paper complete with misleading headline and angle. You couldn't make it up.**
*Last ish, ed.
**Sorry, I just used Smellyface's catchphrase. I will now have to go and kick myself in the willy.
**UPDATE** Rats! Beaten to the punch by Akela.