German magazine Der Spiegel and the AFP have been forced to correct a story that claimed 15 Identitarians had been arrested in Paris after Breitbart London pointed out those arrested were far-left extremists, both publications alleging they had been victims of a ‘translation error’.
French centre-left newspaper Libération published an article Tuesday examining who had been arrested by French police in Paris over the weekend citing specifically that Breitbart London had correctly reported that 14 of those arrested were far-left extremists.
The paper also confirmed that Der Spiegel and Austrian newspaper Der Standard had made the false claim that all 15 arrested were members of the hipster-right Identitarian youth movement, forcing Der Spiegel to correct their former claim.
Fake News: German Media Falsely Proclaims Arrest of Identitarians When It Was Far-Left Extremists Who Were Arrested
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 27, 2017
When confronted with the false information presented on their website, Der Spiegel journalist Christian Teevs blamed the AFP (Agence France Presse) and the Austrian Press Association (APA) for giving them bad information.
“Our article is based on the AFP dispatch which is based on the Paris police. AFP is checking this now and the APA has already corrected by contacting the Paris prosecutor’s office: We will, therefore, correct our article in accordance with this,” he said.
According to the AFP, the problem was that someone had given their dispatch a bad translation from French to German but claimed they were not the ones responsible for the translation.
Despite a possible translation error, Breitbart London pointed out that the information that those arrested were far-left extremists was available on Sunday as French broadcaster LCI had reported. This gave both publications Sunday evening and all of Monday to correct the story with Der Spiegel only making the correction on Tuesday.
As of Tuesday evening, the Der Standard article has yet to be either retracted or corrected and still claims that 15 members of the Identitarian movement were arrested.
On Monday, the French branch of the Identitarian movement, Generation Identitaire, posted a video showing far-left violence against their headquarters which they claim took place on Friday. They said the left-extremists threw paint and broke a window then fled, leaving several weapons including a large hammer and a telescopic baton.
It is unknown whether those involved had any connection to those arrested the following day by Paris police.
‘Red Terror’: Alt-Left Extremists Antifa Attack Identitarian Building
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 27, 2017
The attack follows a similar incident in the German city of Halle in which far-left extremists threw bricks and sprayed butyric acid into a house bought by the German Identitarians to serve as a headquarters and apartments for members of the movement.
Despite the scale of the attack, the German mainstream press remained largely silent on the matter.