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Mainstream Media Makes a Mess

category national | worker & community struggles and protests | feature author Friday March 03, 2006 01:34author by indymedia Gonzos - Indymedia Ireland Report this post to the editors

Sunday Times Editor Prints Lie Then Attacks Indymedia Ireland

making stuff up
Making Stuff Up

While the mainstream media (MSM) snoozed, Indymedia Ireland contributors were providing eyewitness testimony, photographs, video of, and commentary on, last weekend's Dublin riots. What were the MSM doing during this period? Well, the Sunday Times was concocting a story that blamed the Independent Workers Union for playing a part in organising the riots. Because Indymedia is an Open Publishing medium, the IWU were quickly able to publish a refutation of this astoundingly scurrilous claim see full story below. So far, so good. Our unprecedented speed and openness had allowed the IWU to counter publically a vicious piece of disinformation published in a widely read medium. Imagine our surprise when our editorial collective received a berating email from the Sunday Times' Irish editor John Burns, admonishing us for not checking "our" facts! Mr.Burns appeared confused about who we were and assumed that we were the IWU. He demanded a retraction of the IWU's post because it incorrectly named "Liam Clarke" as the author of the lie. Naturally we wrote to him but it seems that he still doesn't get it.

Meanwhile, Tony O'Reilly's crack team of journalists, editors, sub-editors and secret garda sources were busy churning out their own brand of shite which was neatly countered in public by Indymedia Ireland contributor Chekov. The whole fiasco (and similar disinformation spreading in the past) demonstrates what is at best ludicrous inaccuracy, but is more likely a co-opted and broken media model. The Sunday Times' article is now nowhere to be found on its archives, there is no retraction published and we have audio of another Sunday Times editor spreading the lie, this time on the radio. Here on we've clearly published the correction that Liam Clarke denies IWU involvement (although his name is on the story). Compare and contrast. Good-bye Grub Street hacks, you're only useful to the government.

Finally, Indymedia Ireland have decided to join in the fun and games and have launched a campaign to identify the ringleader of the riots after our crack team of investigative journalists have poured through thousands of photographs of the riots.

The original allegation - Sunday Times 26/2/06

The republican protest was well-planned. Leaflets circulated two weeks ago by the Independent Workers' Union stated: "We must take a stand and counter this march and tell the 'Love Ulster' campaign that we support a united Ireland. We cannot let our symbols of resistance to British rule, the GPO, the birthplace of the true Irish Republic, be subject to an organisation that supports Britain's colonial rule over the Irish people. We call on all socialists and republicans to join the counter demonstrations on the day."

Rebuttal: Independent Workers Union rejects Sunday Times allegation

IWU press release from the newswire

The Independent Workers Union unreservedly rejects the slanderous allegation printed in the Sunday Times of 26 February, and repeated by its Ireland editor Frank Fitzgibbon on the RTE programme Question and Answers, that our union published or distributed leaflets calling on people to join Saturday’s counter-demonstrations against the Love Ulster rally in Dublin.

According to the front-page report, ‘Republican riot puts a stop to ‘love parade’, by Jan Battles and Liam Clarke, the leaflets were circulated two weeks ago. It is astonishing that a journalist with Liam Clarke’s experience would not have considered contacting the Independent Workers Union in order to verify the authenticity or otherwise of such a publication. We are equally dismayed that the Ireland editor of the Sunday Times would repeat the unfounded allegation on national television without checking his facts.

The Independent Workers Union is a non-political, licensed trade union that does not endorse any party-political point of view. The Independent Workers Union did not take any position on the Love Ulster parade or the counter demonstration prior to the events in Dublin at the weekend since our union did not believe that this issue was relevant to our work on behalf of our members.

The Independent Workers Union is astounded by this sinister allegation and we ask what possible motive could be served by this attempt to implicate our union in the events last Saturday.

Noel Murphy, National Secretary Independent Workers Union

Related Link:


 #   Title   Author   Date 
   Surprised at Sunday Times?     Not    Tue Feb 28, 2006 13:31 
   Why the slander     T    Tue Feb 28, 2006 14:41 
   Libel Action?     Chekov    Tue Feb 28, 2006 14:59 
   nuj     pat c    Tue Feb 28, 2006 15:12 
   union     bye    Wed Mar 01, 2006 15:17 
   Simple answer     Gregor Kerr    Wed Mar 01, 2006 19:44 
   Email from the Sunday Times Received by IMC     john burns    Thu Mar 02, 2006 23:58 
   Response from risible (IMC editor)     R.isible    Fri Mar 03, 2006 00:02 
   Response from chekov (IMC editor)     chekov    Fri Mar 03, 2006 00:04 
 10   response from eeekkk (IMC editor)     eeekkk    Fri Mar 03, 2006 00:05 
 11   Response to chekov from John Burns     john burns    Fri Mar 03, 2006 00:07 
 12   Hey, if I was getting paid for full time jounalism, I'D CHECK MY SOURCES     John Burns (or am I?)    Fri Mar 03, 2006 02:06 
 13   Putting Corporate Interests to Bed     saoririseoir "free journalist"    Fri Mar 03, 2006 03:08 
 14   "It's funny you don't see the contradiction in your own email"     prole    Fri Mar 03, 2006 11:46 
 15   standards     doctor sir toney    Fri Mar 03, 2006 15:50 
 16   Where's the leaflet     anon    Fri Mar 03, 2006 15:56 
 17   As far as I know there was no such leaflet     chekov    Fri Mar 03, 2006 16:12 
 18   2+2=?     Amateur Bamber    Fri Mar 03, 2006 17:41 
 19   Frank Fitzgibbon on Questions and Answers     Anthony    Sat Mar 04, 2006 16:35 
 20   MediaLens: Hacks and Spooks by Richard Keeble (Mar 3 2006)     R. Isible    Sat Mar 04, 2006 19:51 
 21   Propaganda discussion informs understanding of the present (and methods of revisionist historians)     Peter Feeney    Sat Mar 04, 2006 22:21 
 22   John Burns' Sunday Times Article (March 05, 2006)     redjade    Sun Mar 05, 2006 13:31 
 23   Notes on Sunday Independent Coverage 5/2/06     Chekov    Sun Mar 05, 2006 17:15 
 24   What Evidence?     james    Sun Mar 05, 2006 18:34 
 25   Response     Chekov    Sun Mar 05, 2006 19:35 
 26   Dublin/Monaghan Bombings     james    Mon Mar 06, 2006 13:45 
 27   Unionists are Hypocrites and i can prove it 100%..     Sideshowbob    Mon Mar 06, 2006 13:58 
 28   Even Hypocrites have a right to March     james    Mon Mar 06, 2006 14:19 
 29   -     Topper    Mon Mar 06, 2006 14:30 
 30   Yes Hypocrites can march too..     Sideshowbob    Mon Mar 06, 2006 15:23 
 31   A Simple Point for Consideration     james    Mon Mar 06, 2006 16:29 
 32   Simple Distortion     Jo TaKe    Mon Mar 06, 2006 16:37 
 33   The organizers of the March did not justify the Dublin/Monaghan bombings.     james    Mon Mar 06, 2006 16:57 
 34   No, not at all     Topper    Mon Mar 06, 2006 17:04 
 35   Debate over?     James Reilly    Mon Mar 06, 2006 17:43 
 36   Correcting inaccuracies     james    Mon Mar 06, 2006 18:30 
 37   The Evening Harald is a spoof     Intellekshual    Mon Mar 06, 2006 19:02 
 38   Is Dublin Monaghan Families spokesperson promoting a "lie", James ?     James Reilly    Mon Mar 06, 2006 20:07 
 39   Armagh residents are "very angry" about allegations of UDR and RUC collusion?     Susan Smith    Mon Mar 06, 2006 20:53 
 40   More on Mitchell - convicted for storing explosives for UVF     James Reilly    Tue Mar 07, 2006 09:44 
 41   Conclusions?     James Reilly    Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:34 
 42   Google     james    Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:37 
 43   It's not my argument     James Reily    Tue Mar 07, 2006 13:39 
 44   Sunday Times article     risible    Thu Mar 09, 2006 21:17 
 45   Sunday Times article     risible    Thu Mar 09, 2006 21:23 
 46   Front page of Sunday Times Feb 26th 2006     risible    Thu Mar 09, 2006 21:32 
 47   Transcribed text of the Sunday Times article (you can also click on the images in the comments)     R. Isible    Thu Mar 09, 2006 22:56 
 48   Video Stream of Frank Fitzgibbon on Questions and Answers     Anthony    Thu Mar 09, 2006 23:23 
 49   Sunday Independent continues its assault on the truth     risible    Sat Mar 11, 2006 02:27 

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