(not satire – it’s the UK press!)
The Daily Mail have written to me rejecting my complaint that they bullied and smeared two young children – and revealed their identities – in one of their articles.
You can see my original letter of complaint here:
In fact, the Daily Mail’s so-called Readers’ Editor was so outraged that I had actually dared to complain about one of their articles that he or she threatened me that I was being “defamatory”:
“Your claims that the parents referred to in the article had been ‘targeted’, ‘tricked’ and told ‘lies’ by journalists at The Mail Online are untrue, unsubstantiated and defamatory.”
DEFAMATORY: damaging the good reputation of someone; slanderous or libellous.
In other words – dare to complain to us about one of our articles and we might sue you.
So you’d better shut the f*ck up.
Sorry. Not much chance of that I’m afraid.
Here’s the full letter from the Readers Editor:
Dear Mr Pride
Your letter to Paul Dacre about an article on Mail Online headlined: The perfect family Christmas…. on BENEFITS: couple out of work for five years spend £1,500 on gifts and food – including TVs for their two children’s bedroom walls’ has been passed to us in the Corrections department.
While we are sorry to learn that you were offended by the article, we see no merit in the points you raise.
For your information, the article was syndicated to Mail Online by a reputable news agency after a version of it had appeared in The Sun newspaper on Saturday 29 November.
Mail Online uploaded their version during the early hours of Sunday 30 November. It was removed on Monday morning following a request from the news agency (because of a problem over the syndication). It did not appear in the Daily Mail newspaper.
Your claims that the parents referred to in the article had been ‘targeted’, ‘tricked’ and told ‘lies’ by journalists at The Mail Online are untrue, unsubstantiated and defamatory.
We have no reason to believe that article contained inaccuracies and we believe that the couple featured had co-operated with the news agency reporter who interviewed them and had been happy to pose for photographs. Contrary to your claims, the children’s faces were properly pixelated by Mail Online.
No one’s privacy was compromised since there was consent to publication.
There was similarly no breach of Clause 6 of the Editors’ Code because the parents clearly gave their consent to the photographs of the children.
In any event, as I have explained, the article appeared only briefly on the Mail Online website and there are no plans to republish.
Your assertion that the Daily Mail and Mail Online has ‘bullied struggling British families’ and ‘will continue to do so’ is rejected.
The Readers Editor
At least I know now why some people on their payroll have been so keen to find out my real identity recently.
Please feel free to share. And comment.
The Coalition Government Colouring and Activity Book is now available for download as a PDF and in print: