James Slack and the truth

Jame's Slack's relationship to the truth is revealed today in 'Mass immigration to blame for series of crime 'spikes', chief constable warns'

See how the headline says that a Chief Constable says that immigration is to blame for crime spikes?

Here's what the actual article tells us, after a series of partial (and probably very selective) quotes from Chief Constable Julie Spence:
In the same evidence session, Local Government Association chairman Sir Simon Milton warned a series of 'spikes' in crime have taken place as a result of mass immigration .

He told the Home Affairs Select Committee there had been an issue with largely Romanian pick-pocketing gangs in the Westminster area.

Sir Simon added: 'Nationally there has been no crime wave but there are instances where there have been spikes in certain types of criminal activity.

'Much of it is low-level driving offences, and so on.'

Ah - so a Chief Constable didn't mention spikes at all. And the person who did said something a bit less alarming than the rest of the article implies.

The article then goes on to quote Spence extensively some more. The mention that it was actually someone else who talked about spikes is buried in a flurry of quotes to make it difficult to spot.

So Slack's relationship to the truth is a bit like my relationship with Jim Davidson. I've seen him on telly a few times, but didn't like it at all and hope I never see it again.

*UPDATE* Since posting this, the paper has changed the headline, removing the dodgy quote attribution. There's a cached version with the old headline here.

See also 'Truth and knives'


Paul C said...

It would be nice to think that Mail changed the online version because of your post; it would also be nice to think of James Slack waking up in the middle of the night trembling with fear that he's going to be found out again tomorrow.

I can dream.

Five Chinese Crackers said...

It would be nice - but I reckon the headline was written by a sub who read the article and made the exact mistake Slack (or the 'Mail staff reporter') was intending his readers to make by burying the quote from someone else with all the rest from Spence.

Chris said...

I think these lying headlines are written by the author or someone who knows exactly what the story is. Then a couple of days later they're changed so that readers at the time have gotten the message the Mail want them to have, but it goes down in history as "we didn't lie".

It happens too often to be accidental.

One useful thing about the new Mail site is that the first used title is what sticks in the url even if they change the title later.

Saves having to hit google for title changes.