If Breitbart London had made a faux pas as large as the Guardian, the Independent, LBC, and the Huffington Post – we’d be laughed out of every shitty, Westminster drinks reception for weeks on end.
I still remember the guffaws from mainstream journalists after I tweeted out that Paul Nuttall was likely to be chosen as UKIP’s candidate in the Oldham by-election last year – which I almost immediately corrected (and I was still the first to the exclusive, ahem).
But seriously, some big ass newspapers and radio stations with big bucks budgets have done something so blatantly factually inaccurate and biased over the past 48 hours that it shocked even me, the most establishment-sceptic reporter in all of SW1 (quite the achievement, I’m aware).
I confess, UKIP leader Nigel Farage told me about this specific concern over his car in November of last year. Off the record, not for reporting. “Fine,” I sighed. After the, “Oh my God, are you okay, mate?” obviously.
I didn’t give it much thought after that, until the papers splashed the news story (incidentally, I’m told, leaked by a disgruntled UKIP Member of the European Parliament looking to cause more trouble for the party leader) – and followed their coverage with mockery and disparaging comments after someone found out that Volvo – who make the car Mr. Farage drives – issued a recall of some vehicles over a wheel nut issue.
Except Volvo never issued a recall for Mr. Farage’s vehicle. There were no inherent problems with it. “Fuggedaboutit!” screamed the editors of the left wing rags, and Mr. Pious Lefty Twat himself, LBC’s James O’Brien.
They had made their minds up – Farage embellished the story, and now he’s being caught out by a Volvo recall notice.
Except he didn’t, and he hasn’t. It took an article in the Daily Mirror to point that out (kudos to at least one left-wing rag).
But where’s the big apology from the editors of the Guardian, Indy, and HuffPost? Where’s the big mea culpa on James O’Brien’s Twitter feed? In fact, as of the time of writing, Mr. O’Brien posted a link to the Department for Transport showing the Volvo recall (250+ retweets), followed by a link to the Mirror article disproving the LBC presenter’s own scepticism (15 retweets), followed by a link to ANOTHER, older Guardian story, once again claiming the recall of the Volvo V70 happened.
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) January 4, 2016
But it didn’t happen, and Volvo have now confirmed this in a statement: “I can confirm that Mr Farage’s car was not part of that recall, so no such work was required.”
As of the time of writing, the Guardian, Indy, HuffPo and LBC carry not a jot of a correction, clarification, or apology on their original stories, though the Guardian has run a separate, less prominent news item about the Volvo statement. How about a correction in your old story boys? Or better yet, delete the whole thing and replace it with an animated GIF that says, “We are not real journalists. We just wanted Nigel Farage to die”. That would be more accurate.
As for James O’Brien – why don’t you ask him yourself?