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Today the Sun managed to publish a dose of rabid Tory wankfantasy.  An article that managed to hit just about every single point in Benefit bingo.
Benefit Claimant
Single Mother
East European Imigrant

There was only one small problem,  anything more than cursory examination of the story and it instantly smelt funny, and so the internet went to work and found she was an actress.

Zelo Street: Super Soaraway Benefits Story Stitch-Up

As if in a perfect storm, the Murdoch Sun – always on the look-out for anyone it can smear as a “scrounger”, as well as single mothers and anything EU related – has hit the jackpot: a Lithuanian single mum who is living on benefits, and who appears not to be fussed about it. And she’s going on holiday to Malaga. And she buys “designer clothes”. And we’re paying for it all.

Zelo Street: Who Set Up The Sun?

As Ipointed out earlier, the Sun’ssupposed “exclusive” featuring Lithuanian actress Natalija Belova presses all the right buttons: EU bashing, benefit scrounger exposing, and crafty foreigners who come over here and, er, work part time while bringing up a three year old daughter. But, as must have been obvious to anyone checking out the story, the Murdoch hacks did not just stumble on her.

Now this is interesting for several reasons,  It could be a sign that the cut-price replacement for the News of the World is running into the same problems as the other papers at the tabloid end of the market. Cost cutting is now leading to  a lack of proper checks and newspaper production  has become even more of a sausage machine than it was beforehand. As a result we will see a larger number of stories stolen and recycled between papers and PR firms without even cursory checks.

On the other hand it could be that the paper is now producing stories that it thinks will place itself  in a good position with the government, re-enforcing the voters prejudices so that instituting the Leveson recommendations will seem impossible.

The thing to watch will be the next few days issues of the other papers. It was a constant point brought up during the Leveson Inquiry that the newspapers had failed in their coverage  in the  time between The start of Phone hacking and The Dowler article in the Guardian. This failure to cover the misdeeds of each other was an apparent declaration of Omerta between papers. Will we see any coverage of such a prime example of newspaper dishonesty?

 In other countries, that a reporter had been discovered writing an article that backed the governments position dishonestly using an actor this would be seen as  worthy of mass sackings up the editorial chain, endangering the freedom of the press as the paper was interfering dishonestly in the process of government.  Freedom of the press isn’t freedom to make the news up.

You would think at the very least the BBC's News department would be all over this like a rash, getting in a few sneaky blows in revenge for the recent Savile coverage, pointing out that there biggest competitor's relationship with the truth was somewhat sketchy.

But will the other papers comment?

Originally posted to ceebs on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 01:59 PM PST.

Also republished by Murdochgate Investigators.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (22+ / 0-)

    Interviewer: What do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings? Helpmann: Bad sportsmanship

    by ceebs on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 01:59:00 PM PST

  •  #MurdochFail is strong again (6+ / 0-)

    What's amazing is the number of different ways it manifests.

  •  Fixed News = lying & is ok with the RWSCOTUS (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ericlewis0, ceebs, Creosote
  •  The story is still up at The Sun! (6+ / 0-)

    Do they know it's been debunked? Classic Murdoch propaganda fail! Thanks, ceebs.

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 03:00:52 PM PST

  •  I'd bet my bottom dollar it's this: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Woody, Sandino, Creosote
    the paper is now producing stories that it thinks will place itself  in a good position with the government
    It will be most interesting to see how this plays out in the UK media. So many angles!

    Thanks for the heads-up, ceebs. I'd have missed it otherwise.

    "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

    by cotterperson on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 04:47:55 PM PST

  •  plus there was (5+ / 0-)

    this over the weekend which is probably worth a diary for what it can tell us (or what you might think it can)

    John Witherow named acting editor of the Times | Media |

    John Witherow has been named acting editor ofthe Times after a bizarre standoff betweenRupert Murdoch'sNews Corporation and the paper's independent publishing directors meant his permanent appointment could not be endorsed.

    News International's chief executive, Mike Darcey, issued a statement late on Friday confirming that Witherow, editor of theSunday Times since 1994, would take over at the daily "effective immediately, and subject to formal approval as editor by the independent directors" of TimesNewspapers Ltd.

    In a separate internal email to News International staff, not sent out externally, Darcey also confirmed that Martin Ivens would move from deputy editor to acting editor of the Sunday Times. Ivens has been deputy editor since 1996 and both he and Witherow had been tipped for their new jobs.

    Interviewer: What do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings? Helpmann: Bad sportsmanship

    by ceebs on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 06:36:07 PM PST

  •  OK, I am just a dumb yank and its late at night (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Creosote, KenBee

    I guess I just dont think tabloidly.
    Help me oh ceebian one.
    Is this right?
    The Sun ran the story. got that.
    Lithuanian benefit scrounger child raiser vacations in Spain--just their cup of tea. got that.
    It instantly smelt funny. Because it was perfect.
    The internet found out she had a cv and a real name and all the usual stuff.*
    And the cv showed she's an actress.
    Which proves that the Sun had made it all up
    Here's where I am confused.

    I thought the Sun regularly makes things up about actresses.
    So maybe it's that she's Lithuanian actress?
    So I go to the follow up story.

    It turns out the Sun didn't make it up, a shop that flogs stories about photogenic benefit scroungers  who don't really exist did.
    So, is the actress part of the plot, was the Sun set up,
    and, in the end, is the Sun the victim here?

    *clever, now if only our US sports journalists could figure out how to do that.

    "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

    by BlueStateRedhead on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:52:17 PM PST

    •  well the thing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee, Creosote, BlueStateRedhead

      that seemed iffy, was the quotes in the story, say I am the mythical benefit scrounger, up to no good and a Sun Journalist rocks up and starts asking questions, you'd expect a selection of answers that looked  nothing at all like the quotes that were given.

      Well the sun does regularly make things up about actresses, but this is something made up about a notional regular member of the public. this fake character, personality and chain of experiences is used to dishonestly reinforce a right wing political message and attack the poor. It's a different situation

      I'd argue that the sun isn't the victim, the story has probably been massaged to fit a more extreme line by those hardworking journalists at the Sun, and even if not, Basic Checks should have shown the  story up to be a crock straight away

      Interviewer: What do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings? Helpmann: Bad sportsmanship

      by ceebs on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:19:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am a Yank and I did'nt have a clue, 2ndtime too (0+ / 0-)

        How does a Journalist rock up? Don't rockers rock up? Or do you have to be  hardworking journalist massager to rock up?
        And if you are hard working, why are you not doing basic checks?
        Also, didn't the masseuse work for Lance Armstrong?  Get quoted by the hardworking journalists at The Times who got sued successfully by the Cycling Crock and are now suing back?

        Or do I have crocks confused because I was busy with an inaugural which was on the up and up?

        "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

        by BlueStateRedhead on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 06:52:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It gets worse! (0+ / 0-)

    The damned woman was on ITV's "This Morning" programme repeating the same claptrap.

    Apparently she is actually employed full time in a well paid job according to a message on the This Morning site.

    "Who stood against President Obama in 2012?" - The trivia question nobody can answer.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 06:44:52 AM PST

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