Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. How Things Work in the UK When the Press Gets It Wrong

 

I thought you might be interested to see what happens in the UK when a newspaper publishes something which is factually-challenged and is then challenged on the facts.

It seems that The Daily Telegraph (a historically fine newspaper, and the only one I was allowed to read as a child, after a member of the staff had ironed it, of course), has fallen on hard times, and only last week published a cover story on Melania Trump in its Saturday magazine. Many of the “facts” alleged in the article were false.

The Telegraph has already “apologised “unreservedly” to Melania Trump and agreed to pay her “substantial damages””

Here is the full text of the Telegraph apology.

There are 59 comments.

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  1. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Wow! 

    Fortunately, our media on this side of the Atlantic never make a mistake or print untrue or unverified stories, so they never feel any need to apologize or issue corrections.

    • #1
    • January 26, 2019, at 9:01 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  2. Annefy Member

    And that’s the way you apologize

     

    • #2
    • January 26, 2019, at 4:08 PM PST
    • 14 likes
  3. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Sounds like Otto may have been involved.

    • #3
    • January 26, 2019, at 5:02 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  4. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Preminger? Bismarck?

    • #4
    • January 26, 2019, at 5:05 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  5. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    She (View Comment):

    Preminger? Bismarck?

    Kline.

    • #5
    • January 26, 2019, at 5:08 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  6. Al Sparks Thatcher

    She: The Telegraph has already “apologised “unreservedly” to Melania Trump and agreed to pay her “substantial damages””

    Their libel laws are different there. The press is held to a higher standard, and can be forced to pay when they get it wrong.

    If the Covington Kids fiasco had happened there, their families would have had legal recourse against the press.

    • #6
    • January 26, 2019, at 5:09 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  7. Al Sparks Thatcher

    She:

    It seems that The Daily Telegraph (a historically fine newspaper, and the only one I was allowed to read as a child, after a member of the staff had ironed it, of course), has fallen on hard times

    I wasn’t aware it fell on hard times. At least I’m supporting it. I subscribe to their online web site, and find their content worthwhile.

    • #7
    • January 26, 2019, at 5:12 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  8. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    She:

    It seems that The Daily Telegraph (a historically fine newspaper, and the only one I was allowed to read as a child, after a member of the staff had ironed it, of course), has fallen on hard times

    I wasn’t aware it fell on hard times. At least I’m supporting it. I subscribe to their online web site, and find their content worthwhile.

    It’s still a pretty good paper/website. It doesn’t have the cachet it once did, though. But I’m not sure any do. 

    Mum and Dad used to compete at the Sunday crossword puzzle. Dad has to cheat if he wanted to win. 

    • #8
    • January 26, 2019, at 5:30 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  9. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The difference in the libel laws are night and day. The American standard of “actual malice” sets the bar too high and allows for too much mischief. 

    • #9
    • January 26, 2019, at 5:36 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  10. Profile Photo Member

    Curious. By my count, they apologized for eight errors. In one article. 

    • #10
    • January 26, 2019, at 5:47 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  11. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The British press:

     

    • #11
    • January 26, 2019, at 5:47 PM PST
    • 17 likes
  12. Mark Camp Member

    She: The Telegraph has already “apologised “unreservedly”

    Yes, it did. I read it.

    The Telegraph apologized for her embarrassment, if it occurred.

    Which is chivalrous. If they had apologized for something that they did, it would just be an expected thing. But to apologize for something someone else did, someone who is not one’s own child, or even fellow citizen…to apologize for an American! is beyond the call of duty.

    And feeling embarrassment is not even an act at all. To apologize for it isn’t really expected, so it’s the mark of a journal of great honor that they did so.

    The apology was even less demanded, and thus even more the act of a generous heart because it was conditional: they didn’t know for sure that Mrs. Trump had committed the wrong of feeling embarrassed. They were just covering for her in case the worst about her was true.

    An argument could be made that being embarrassed, if it occurred, would be bearing false witness against herself, since the embarrassing things that the Telegraph was referring to were all lies, told by the Telegraph. She had nothing to be embarrassed about.

    Or, maybe they were saying that, if Mrs. Trump is embarrassed about doing things that we made up, then she’s a big dummy, and we would like to apologize on her behalf for being a big dummy. She’s a citizen of a former colony of ours, so any dummies over there are partly our fault.

    Finally, experiencing embarrassment isn’t even a particularly sinful act, as mental phenomena go. It isn’t lust or covetousness.

    Given everything, the Telegraph could be forgiven for apologizing for Mrs. Trump’s speculative emotional event with reservations, but they offered their noble sacrifice “unreservedly”.

    • #12
    • January 26, 2019, at 7:39 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  13. Freesmith Inactive

    The Democrats have already proposed modifications to First Amendment protections. I suggest that two can play that game — and should.

    It’s time to place restrictions on the press’ malfeasance by making its organs subject to potentially ruinous libel laws. 

    Bad behavior doesn’t stop until consequent suffering occurs. Conservatives will continue to have their faces slapped – and retreat into Battered Wife Syndrome – until they seize the meat cleaver and bury it in their oppressor’s ribcage.

    Overturn New York Times v Sullivan. It only takes 5 men to do it.

    Or you can just bitch.

    • #13
    • January 26, 2019, at 8:11 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  14. Titus Techera Contributor

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    She: The Telegraph has already “apologised “unreservedly” to Melania Trump and agreed to pay her “substantial damages””

    Their libel laws are different there. The press is held to a higher standard, and can be forced to pay when they get it wrong.

    If the Covington Kids fiasco had happened there, their families would have had legal recourse against the press.

    Well, America’s got freedom of speech-

    • #14
    • January 26, 2019, at 11:05 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. Titus Techera Contributor

    EJHill (View Comment):

    The difference in the libel laws are night and day. The American standard of “actual malice” sets the bar too high and allows for too much mischief.

    This makes a lot of sense if you factor in just how overbearingly moralistic Americans get. It’s one thing for people to break up a lifetime’s friendship over a political dispute–that stupid moralism is just going to hurt a few people. But if the two people are Adams & Jefferson, they’ve involved growing, restless parties, & then the laws, too, in the arbitration of tolerable political opinions, well, you’ve got another thing coming.

    If Americans were less violent in their sentiments, it might be possible & wise to have English laws. But being as they are, other remedies are required. It was religion primarily that restrained Americans, imperfectly, of course. In the mid-century, when liberalism was confident, it was the hauteur that the liberals inherited from the WASPs. (The WASPs did have a certain aristocratic sense of restraint; in their way, so did Southern aristocrats in the slave era; Southern Stoics, post-bellum; these virtues were of course not without imperfections, either.) Since, it’s only political correctness, i.e. the commercial spirit, that’s restrained nuttiness. & since that doesn’t work anymore, given the collapse of the America-unifying, globally-ambitious era of TV, what’s left to restrain people!

    • #15
    • January 26, 2019, at 11:10 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  16. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Titus Techera (View Comment):

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    She: The Telegraph has already “apologised “unreservedly” to Melania Trump and agreed to pay her “substantial damages””

    Their libel laws are different there. The press is held to a higher standard, and can be forced to pay when they get it wrong.

    If the Covington Kids fiasco had happened there, their families would have had legal recourse against the press.

    Well, America’s got freedom of speech-

    Freedom of Lies

    • #16
    • January 26, 2019, at 11:27 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  17. Titus Techera Contributor

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Titus Techera (View Comment):

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    She: The Telegraph has already “apologised “unreservedly” to Melania Trump and agreed to pay her “substantial damages””

    Their libel laws are different there. The press is held to a higher standard, and can be forced to pay when they get it wrong.

    If the Covington Kids fiasco had happened there, their families would have had legal recourse against the press.

    Well, America’s got freedom of speech-

    Freedom of Lies

    Indeed–that’s why it’s perfectly legal & even in some ways respectable for you to write!

    • #17
    • January 26, 2019, at 11:49 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Titus Techera (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Titus Techera (View Comment):

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    She: The Telegraph has already “apologised “unreservedly” to Melania Trump and agreed to pay her “substantial damages””

    Their libel laws are different there. The press is held to a higher standard, and can be forced to pay when they get it wrong.

    If the Covington Kids fiasco had happened there, their families would have had legal recourse against the press.

    Well, America’s got freedom of speech-

    Freedom of Lies

    Indeed–that’s why it’s perfectly legal & even in some ways respectable for you to write!

    Yes, compared to others what I write is the fount of truth and wisdom. Sadly we must wade through others lies to get too my truth.

    • #18
    • January 27, 2019, at 12:04 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  19. George Townsend Inactive

    She (View Comment):

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    She:

    It seems that The Daily Telegraph (a historically fine newspaper, and the only one I was allowed to read as a child, after a member of the staff had ironed it, of course), has fallen on hard times

    I wasn’t aware it fell on hard times. At least I’m supporting it. I subscribe to their online web site, and find their content worthwhile.

    It’s still a pretty good paper/website. It doesn’t have the cachet it once did, though. But I’m not sure any do.

    Mum and Dad used to compete at the Sunday crossword puzzle. Dad has to cheat if he wanted to win.

    Thank you for publishing this, She. I didn’t know anything about The Daily Telegraph. It must be a very classy newspaper. I’m sorry it’s fallen on hard times. The New York Times could learn a lot from them.

    • #19
    • January 27, 2019, at 1:27 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  20. Yehoshua Ben-Eliyahu Inactive

    Titus Techera (View Comment):
    It was religion primarily that restrained Americans

    Amen!

    Religion or, more specifically, acknowledgement of and reliance upon G-d as the source of goodness and blessing in our lives, is the only way, long term, that the US or Western civilization at large, will survive.

    The most self-destructive event in US history over the last fifty years was banning prayer, which was voluntary in any case, from public schools.

    Here’s the prayer that the US Supreme Court, in 1962, ruled against:

    “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country. Amen.”

    Is it any wonder that the US has been falling apart ever since this prayer was banned?

    • #20
    • January 27, 2019, at 4:13 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  21. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Sounds like Otto may have been involved.

    And here I thought I was the only one on the planet whose ears perked up at the phrase “apologize unreservedly”. A fawlty assumption on my part.

    • #21
    • January 27, 2019, at 4:26 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  22. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge

    Titus Techera (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    The difference in the libel laws are night and day. The American standard of “actual malice” sets the bar too high and allows for too much mischief.

    This makes a lot of sense if you factor in just how overbearingly moralistic Americans get. It’s one thing for people to break up a lifetime’s friendship over a political dispute–that stupid moralism is just going to hurt a few people. But if the two people are Adams & Jefferson, they’ve involved growing, restless parties, & then the laws, too, in the arbitration of tolerable political opinions, well, you’ve got another thing coming.

    If Americans were less violent in their sentiments, it might be possible & wise to have English laws. But being as they are, other remedies are required. It was religion primarily that restrained Americans, imperfectly, of course. In the mid-century, when liberalism was confident, it was the hauteur that the liberals inherited from the WASPs. (The WASPs did have a certain aristocratic sense of restraint; in their way, so did Southern aristocrats in the slave era; Southern Stoics, post-bellum; these virtues were of course not without imperfections, either.) Since, it’s only political correctness, i.e. the commercial spirit, that’s restrained nuttiness. & since that doesn’t work anymore, given the collapse of the America-unifying, globally-ambitious era of TV, what’s left to restrain people!

    Oh, I don’t know – perhaps we should construct massive governmental organs to restrain Americans from thinking and acting on their own behalf.

    It’s the only answer that’s worked throughout history.

    Note that the founders literally wrote out that rights – which includes responsibility – are inalienable from the individual. Not something granted by a government, but granted by a Creator. Whoever that being might be (or not be) to an individual.

    One might observe that the place where rights were enshrined in the individual has more protections for this sort of thing than a place that still has Queens ‘n stuff. Maybe there’s a reason.

    • #22
    • January 27, 2019, at 4:47 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  23. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge

    Yehoshua Ben-Eliyahu (View Comment):

    Titus Techera (View Comment):
    It was religion primarily that restrained Americans

    Indeed!

    Religion or, more specifically, acknowledgement of and reliance upon G-d as the source of goodness and blessing in our lives, is the only way, long term, that the US or Western civilization at large, will survive.

    The most self-destructive event in US history over the last fifty years was banning prayer, which was voluntary in any case, from public schools.

    Here’s the prayer that the US Supreme Court, in 1962, ruled against:

    “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country. Amen.”

    Is it any wonder that the US has been falling apart ever since this prayer was banned?

    Correlation is not causation. And I’d argue that the “falling apart” is not happening. Was prayer banned in 1861?

    • #23
    • January 27, 2019, at 4:49 AM PST
    • 1 like
  24. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    One of the things I do not see anywhere in the Telegraph apology, think of it which you will, are weasel words like “we should not have allowed ourselves to be bullied [into making false statements],” or “our statements . . . were made with goodwill based on the information we had.” 

    It is, by the standards of our time, remarkably free of such specious excuses. It admits responsibility for disseminating false information, it corrects the specific record, it acknowledges that its actions caused harm to its target, and it states that it is making reparations to and for such harm.

    It’s true that, in a particular context which we might like it to, it does not contain a promise to “sin no more,” but we could do a lot worse, as the Bishop of Covington, Kentucky (who perhaps needs to brush up on his primary sources) has just demonstrated.

    I have no doubt that both of these statements were produced at the point of a legal brief, but they are very different, and I know which I think is better.

    • #24
    • January 27, 2019, at 5:34 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  25. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Freesmith (View Comment):

    The Democrats have already proposed modifications to First Amendment protections. I suggest that two can play that game — and should.

    It’s time to place restrictions on the press’ malfeasance by making its organs subject to potentially ruinous libel laws.

    Bad behavior doesn’t stop until consequent suffering occurs. Conservatives will continue to have their faces slapped – and retreat into Battered Wife Syndrome – until they seize the meat cleaver and bury it in their oppressor’s ribcage.

    Overturn New York Times v Sullivan. It only takes 5 men to do it.

    Or you can just bitch.

    Unfortunately, that’s what so much “conversation” comes down to these days, isn’t it?

    Do you have some ideas as to how to accomplish this? Your suggestion above is very picturesque, but not terribly practical.

    • #25
    • January 27, 2019, at 5:43 AM PST
    • Like
  26. Stad Coolidge

    EJHill (View Comment):

    The difference in the libel laws are night and day. The American standard of “actual malice” sets the bar too high and allows for too much mischief.

    I agree. Is it not malice to knowingly publish something harmful without checking for factual accuracy first?

    If not, it should be . . .

    • #26
    • January 27, 2019, at 5:44 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  27. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    She: The Telegraph has already “apologised “unreservedly” to Melania Trump and agreed to pay her “substantial damages””

    Yep, we could use a little of that action right here in the greatest and freest country in the world. 

    • #27
    • January 27, 2019, at 6:22 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  28. ctlaw Coolidge

    You burried the lede. It appears the settlement included a requirement to airbrush Melania’s wrinkles out of the photograph. Note the original photo (or at least a less retouched a version):

    Just think of how that got added in the settlement negotiations!

    • #28
    • January 27, 2019, at 6:31 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  29. Titus Techera Contributor

    Chris Campion (View Comment):

    Titus Techera (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    The difference in the libel laws are night and day. The American standard of “actual malice” sets the bar too high and allows for too much mischief.

    This makes a lot of sense if you factor in just how overbearingly moralistic Americans get. It’s one thing for people to break up a lifetime’s friendship over a political dispute–that stupid moralism is just going to hurt a few people. But if the two people are Adams & Jefferson, they’ve involved growing, restless parties, & then the laws, too, in the arbitration of tolerable political opinions, well, you’ve got another thing coming.

    If Americans were less violent in their sentiments, it might be possible & wise to have English laws. But being as they are, other remedies are required. It was religion primarily that restrained Americans, imperfectly, of course. In the mid-century, when liberalism was confident, it was the hauteur that the liberals inherited from the WASPs. (The WASPs did have a certain aristocratic sense of restraint; in their way, so did Southern aristocrats in the slave era; Southern Stoics, post-bellum; these virtues were of course not without imperfections, either.) Since, it’s only political correctness, i.e. the commercial spirit, that’s restrained nuttiness. & since that doesn’t work anymore, given the collapse of the America-unifying, globally-ambitious era of TV, what’s left to restrain people!

    Oh, I don’t know – perhaps we should construct massive governmental organs to restrain Americans from thinking and acting on their own behalf.

    It’s the only answer that’s worked throughout history.

    Note that the founders literally wrote out that rights – which includes responsibility – are inalienable from the individual. Not something granted by a government, but granted by a Creator. Whoever that being might be (or not be) to an individual.

    Inalienable rights are not the same as civil rights.

    One might observe that the place where rights were enshrined in the individual has more protections for this sort of thing than a place that still has Queens ‘n stuff. Maybe there’s a reason.

    Just recently, the British, queen notwithstanding, really have commenced scaring citizens out of thinking criminal thoughts. It is an insult to a proud race that has faced far more serious dangers & adventured far more than Americans have. But perhaps the whole island race is dying. However that may be, I don’t see why Americans who are in so many ways afraid to speak their minds should point the finger at the English! A nation cowered by political correctness has no pedestal to stand on & look down on other free peoples, even if the inclination should be there-

    • #29
    • January 27, 2019, at 6:36 AM PST
    • 1 like
  30. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    You burried the lede. It appears the settlement included a requirement to airbrush Melania’s wrinkles out of the photograph. Note the original photo (or at least a less retouched a version):

    Just think of how that got added in the settlement negotiations!

    I’m looking for the bit of the story that includes the “airbrush” business. Where is it, please?

    • #30
    • January 27, 2019, at 6:51 AM PST
    • 2 likes

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