Damian Thompson: wtf f?

There is a completely insane story up on his blog at the moment about a supposed riot in which “Muslims” shut down one of the public hospitals in Sydney rather than allow an autopsy to be performed on a young man who had died in a car crash.

He lifted it off “Dhimmi watch” which is, exactly as he described it to me on the phone, “One of America’s leading anti-Islamic websites”. As he also said, “It is based on an anonymous report” and he made no attempt to check it out. Indeed, he asked if any of his readers could “stand it up”, since they are obviously better placed to do so than a leader writer on a national newspaper who has been a professional journalist for 25 years.

A few minutes with the Sydney Morning Herald site showed no record at all of anything like the reported events. But a few minutes on Google showed the same story verbatim on a blogger site. This is presumably the source for the “Dhimmi Watch” story. Who else does it have links to? Let’s see … Three British blogs, all of them run by members of the BNP … two Serbian nationalist blogs, both of them campaigning against the extradition of a suspected war criminal from Australia to Croatia … the Brussels Journal, The Gates of Vienna … obviously the sort of people from whom you would trust an otherwise completely unsourced story.

I would report the whole story to the author of a recent book subtitled “How we surrendered to conspiracy theories, quack medicine, bogus science and fake history” if I had not suddenly blanked on its, or his, name.

This entry was posted in Journalism. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Damian Thompson: wtf f?

  1. ShaunR says:

    Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed:

    That’s Bollocks!: Urban Legends, Conspiracy Theories and Old Wives’ Tales
    by Albert Jack

  2. The Internet will make you bonkers.

  3. Matt says:

    Read the longer account of this in your column in the Church Times today and I had to come here and offer my sincere congratulations for being (I can only assume) the first person to get the phrase “balls-achingly platitudinous” into the CT. Made my lunchtime.

Comments are closed.