A while ago, I linked to a number of blogs that revealed how Sue Reid, a hack at the Daily Mail, offered Polish people payment to drive to the UK in their Polish registered cars and break the law, so the paper could take pictures and prove that Polish people drive to Britain and break the law (in 'Mail offers money to Poles to break the law'.

It seems that this sort of thing isn't unusual at the Mail. Via Obsolete, MailWatch and Alex Hilton comes this:

-----Original Message-----
From: rsreply@dwpub.com [mailto:rsreply@dwpub.com]
Sent: 13 February 2008 15:57
Subject: Response Source - Diana Appleyard , Daily Mail (Request for personal case study)

PUBLICATION: Daily Mail (Request for personal case study)
JOURNALIST: Diana Appleyard (staff)
DEADLINE: 14-February-2008 16:00
QUERY: I am urgently looking for anonymous horror stories of people who have employed Eastern European staff, only for them to steal from them, disappear, or have lied about their resident status. We can pay you £100 for taking part, and I promise it will be anonymous, just a quick phone call. Could you email me asap? Many thanks, Diana

Email: mailto:dianaappleyard@aol.com
Phone: not provided for use
Fax: 01296 738083 (preferred)

The more I learn about the Mail, the more despicable I realise it really is. Are there horror stories about Eastern Europeans stitching people up? Of course there are, because Eastern Europeans are, you know, people. Sometimes people aren't very nice.

Imagine if it turned out a journalist had sent round an email offering £100 to sources who could offer stories about Jewish people swindling them.



Anton Vowl said...

Why do the stories have to be anonymous? I'm guessing it's because they'd then have to be legalled. Much easier to have a nice anonymous story, no need to try and get in touch with the dirty east european in order to get their side of the story...

And the money... the money. £100 to say something with a 'quick phone call'. It's a tempting amount of money for something that needn't even be true, given that the journalist is promising it's anonymous.

It's a dirty business.

Andrew Bartlett said...

It is worth conducting a sting, I think.

Take a few hundred quid off the Mail, and then expose them as the racists that they are. If there is any question regarding telling the Mail a made-up story, you have two defences - one, as the evidence on this blog demonstrates, the mail is happy to make things up; two, the parallel with a 'journalist' seeking horror stories about, say, Jews, ought to demonstrate that this was a disgusting exercise in misleading the public from the start.

Chris said...

I'm not sure how legal or effective a sting would be.

It would certainly be fun to spin off some rubbish to the Mail then write "ha! I made it up. You didn't verify it", but the only people who would read the follow up are people who know what the Mail is like already... unless someone like Private Eye / The Guardian printed it. But even then mail readers would write it off as lefty liberal crap, or whatever stupid labels they're applying this week.

Andrew Bartlett said...

I agree I had a few doubts about the legality of a 'sting' - but if it is illegal it means that soliciting false stories for the purposes of xenophobic demonisation is legal, while supplying false stories for the purposes of exposing xenophobic demonisation is not. What's more, supplying false stories in line with the xenophobic demonising of the Maul, or simply for cash reward, would be legal.

Assuming that we are imagining the Mail launching a law suit against any stingers.

Five Chinese Crackers said...

I thought about conducting a sting myself - and donating the few hundred quid from it to charities that help Polish immigrants - but I'd have to give my real name in order to pick up the payment.

Don't really fancy opening the Mail to see a whole bunch of lies directly about me, since I can't afford to conduct a libel suit.

Chris said...

What if you gave a false name and said you didn't want the cash, just the satisfaction of telling your story cos you're pissed off with these bloody immigrants etc. etc.

Chris said...

Roy Greenslade on The Guardian has picked it up:

Five Chinese Crackers said...

I think I'll give the hoax a miss this time around. I somehow feel the same way I did when I was 'persuaded' to drop a bin liner full of water over a landing on someone when I was at school.