Tuesday 24 November 2009

Daily Mail previously rapped for Jackson 'paedophile' comments

On Friday evening I wrote of an article which appeared overnight on the Daily Mail's website calling Michael Jackson a 'common paedophile'.

The article appeared the following day in the print edition of the newspaper and contained baseless allegations that the star had seduced and molested a string of young boys.

A Press Complaints Commission webpage shows that the newspaper, which famously supported the nazi party, has previously been lambasted by the PCC for printing exactly the same allegations.

The PCC ruling states that the Daily Mail referred to Jackson as a self-centred paedophile.

According to the ruling, the newspaper was forced to 'both remove the article from its website and annotate its archive accordingly.'

Seemingly the newspaper has not learned from its mistakes.

Elsewhere, a 1996 article reveals how David Jones, author of the latest Jackson hit piece, was actively involved in a Daily Mail plot to smear a writer at the Independent for disagreeing with the newspaper's political views.

Polly Toynbee tells how the Daily Mail attempted to label her a 'marriage-breaker' simply because she began dating a separated man.

She writes:

"First hint that something was up: people start getting calls from a David Jones of the Daily Mail, digging for dirt. Colleagues in this office get calls. Mr Jones is ferreting away among friends, collecting quotes. The story he seems to be creating is the age-old saga of idyls destroyed by scarlet Jezebels. Mr Jones is throwing around words about me like 'marriage-breaker'.

"I am puzzled. I try to imagine how they can turn this everyday concatenation of domestic circumstance into A Story.

"...Suddenly I find it frightening. Neighbours are getting calls - some of them people I have never met. On Tuesday a man came over from No. 6, deeply worried by a call from the Mail asking detailed questions about what hours he had observed any men coming and going at my house. He suspected it was a burglar casing the joint. My 11-year-old son was terrified, but even more so when the house actually was broken into that day, for the first time in years. A coincidence, I am sure."

Scared by the way she was being pursued, Toynbee contacted a friend at the Mail. Subsequently, Jones claimed that he did not like the story but had been told to work on it by a senior reporter. Toynbee responded: "Unhappy bunny or gleeful weasel, my heart does not go out to Mr Jones or his employers."