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Thursday, February 26, 2009 

The finest press in the world part 94.

Major congratulations have to go to both the Daily Mail and Mirror for their tremendous scoop, obtaining long lens photographs of David and Samantha Cameron which both splashed on their front page. Doubtless if Paul Dacre and Richard Wallace had just suffered a bereavement they too would be delighted to find themselves staring out from the front of two national newspapers, with no apparent knowledge that they had been photographed. That the Mail declared when Princess Diana died that it would no longer purchase paparazzi shots is a rather instructive irony; no such concern for the leader of the opposition. It seems doubtful that the couple will make a complaint to the PCC about the papers quite disgracefully intruding into their grief, but a more prima facie example of invading private space is difficult to think of.

Likewise, further congratulations must go to the Sun, which has just paid out £30,000 in damages to Arunas Raulynaitis for their completely false story claiming he had ordered the passengers off his bus so he could pray. He had in fact been praying during his break, as he always did, only to find that he had been filmed doing so by a 21-year-old plumber who promptly sent the footage over to the newspaper. When Peter Oborne fully exposed the Sun's story as complete nonsense in his pamphlet about Islamophobia, the Sun's Trevor Kavanagh responded thusly:

This time, he [Peter Oborne] is making the argument that the British media is anti-Muslim.

He cites invented incidents which portray Muslims in a bad light and incite attacks fuelled by religious or race hatred.

...

The accusation that the media — with a few badly researched or unchecked stories — is fomenting race hatred is in itself a trivialisation.

A £30,000 worth trivialisation, it seems.

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