On Wednesday we reported on fake news reports on the election “defeat” of Philip Davies MP. The pro-equality politician actually held his seat with a record share of the vote, but that didn’t stop the likes of Michael Crick and Helena Horton seizing on rumours of his defeat and reporting them as fact, thus exposing their bias against him.
Horton’s article was particularly dishonest and unprofessional, not only lying about the result but also repeatedly smearing Davies as a sexist who had “messed with women”. There were an incredible four lies about Davies within the headline / and first line of the article as highlighted in this image:
We can summarise the “journalism” of Horton, a feminist activist and “raging socialist“, as follows:
- She lied about the result, stating Davies had been defeated.
- Her headline smeared Davies as someone who had “messed with women”.
- Her opening line stated Davies was “largely known for opposing women’s rights”
- The image caption stated definitively that “Philip Davies is an outspoken opponent of women’s rights”.
Thankfully, upon correcting their reporting of the election result, the headline disappeared thus eliminating the first two lies. The revised article also deleted the claim that Davies was “largely known for opposing women’s rights” but left the worst smear of all four in place.
HEqual attempted to contact Horton on Twitter urging her to remove the fourth and final lie from her piece, yet she refused to respond. We therefore complained to the Telegraph directly and they agreed to remove the defamatory content and the article now correctly states “ “:
The reason for Horton’s lack of reply became obvious when we did a little more research into her background. Not only is she a feminist activist, but she’s a stereotypical misandrist radfem with some extremely unpleasant views. Previous tweets she’s has sent (from a now deleted account) include one in 2014 saying: “Gamergate is a prime example of why we need to #killallmen”. It’s fair to say there’s more than a degree of projection here in Horton in accusing Davies of sexism when she’s the one advocating the extermination of half the human race. And it’s more than ironic to see such an unethical journalist promoting said genocide because she dislikes a movement set up to tackle the lack of ethics in journalism such as her own!
Rather worryingly, the Telegraph attempted to defend Horton’s lie about Davies, arguing that it was “to some extent subjective” and stated they were removing it as a “goodwill gesture”. Their response is enclosed below in full:
Dear Mr Kimble,
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ news/2017/06/09/dont-mess- women-twitter-gloats-anti- feminist-philip-davies-loses/
What is understood by the term ‘women’s rights’ is necessarily dependent upon a host factors such as context, tone and the source of the information in which the term appears. The meaning is necessarily to some extent subjective. We do not believe the picture caption is significantly inaccurate or misleading in context, but we have nevertheless amended it as a goodwill gesture.
Thank you for taking the time to contact us.
Editorial Compliance Manager
Needless to say, we don’t stay silent when told such nonsense, and our rebuttal is as follows (regrettably we hadn’t uncovered Horton’s extremist past when we sent this email).
Hi Alexandra,Many thanks for agreeing to correct the article. I perhaps didn’t make it completely clear first time around, but the exact same lie was already removed from the main body of the article. Therefore someone at your organisation clearly already agrees it was a smear and I imagine they merely failed to spot the same issue with the image caption.Opposing the nastier elements of feminism is in no way the same as opposing women’s rights and there is nothing subjective here at all. You could say he opposes “women-only rights”, though the better known term would be “female privilege”. Davies is clearly an advocate for equality and was the only MP in attendance at a recent event by Baroness Cox highlighting the plight of women impacted by Sharia law. During the election campaign Sophie Walker was repeatedly challenged to back up her claims of sexism by Davies with actual proof from his 12 years in Parliament and she completely failed to provide a shred of evidence despite it being the entire basis of her party’s campaign!Quite frankly, your paper’s election coverage has been abysmal this year. Announcing fake results is bad enough, but writing an entire article about the “defeat” of a winning MP is pathetic, even more so with all the added lies and smears. About the only other organisation to do so was the Huffington Post and even they didn’t lie about Davies’ work.Perhaps you could also correct some of the fake election results still on your website sometime, or are they now considered “subjective” too, depending on the feelings of feminist activists you now employ posing as journalists?