Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Daily Mail distorts DNA story

I don't read the DM, I don't like its style and political stance and so only catch these stories second hand, hence the delay.

On of the reasons I started reading blogs was to get a different perspective on what is really happening. Like most people I found the MSM sensationalist at best and downright liars at worst. One of my favourites is The Magistrates Blog, which is where I picked up this story:

Financial adviser arrested and forced to give DNA sample after spraying neighbour with garden hose A man was given a police caution for spraying a neighbour with his garden hose in a row over gardening. Bob Cornwall was questioned for three hours and had his fingerprints and a DNA sample taken after he squirted water at John Tait. The 42-year-old financial adviser was washing his car with his five-year-old son Reece when Mr Tait complained that he had dumped some branches in his garden.

Bob Cornwall was taken to a police station for three hours after spraying his neighbour with a garden hose Mr Cornwall said: "He was angry, red-faced and shouting. I told him initially to go away and stop shouting but then he started calling me names in front of my son so I flicked the hose at him. "Because I was cleaning my car the setting was only on a light spray so he was hardly drenched.
OK, so it looks like we have a neighbour dispute, the worst kind of dispute, and the police were called in, questioned Mr Cornwall and took his DNA and they are being pilloried by the DM, why?

As The Magistrate says:
..the action described in the story would certainly amount to Common
Assault. If it is reported to the police they have a duty to act, and so they
did. Neighbour disputes are not all trivial, and have even resulted in murder
before now

That sounds a bit different doesn't it? And you can bet that if the police hadn't done anything and it had led serious assault and even murder the DM would have been all over the police for not responding, they can't win.

But it gets worse:
But that isn't the worst of it. When I read the report (online: I wouldn't pay
for the damn thing) I rang an acquaintance to ask him to add a comment pointing
out that the police had acted properly, which he did. It was not published:
conclusive proof that the Mail did not want to spoil a good 'how dare they'
story with the inconvenient truth.

Now that, if true, is disgusting and the DM and MSM should be ashamed. But that's not the worst of it, hey wouldn't get my money anyway so I'm sure they don't care about my opinion.

But the real point is the one The Magistrate finishes with:
What annoys me about this is that many people, like those whose comments
were published, will have accepted the story with its suggestions of police bias
and inefficiency.

It all too easy to fall for the police have better things to do line when it offends the DM and its readership, but we never get the full story, do we?

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