Scum scraping the bottom of the pan
This is factually incorrect since he's not gay (he's bisexual). It's also misleading since there's no evidence given in the article he's ever been in there since they opened and 'gay MP' refers to a person NOT a plaque (which is the thing 'hanging around'). There's also a somewhat random change of topic/location mid-article:
He performed the official ribbon-cutting ceremony at the lavs in Elephant and Castle, South London. Bachelor Hughes, 54, — who revealed he was gay this week — was honoured with the polished plaque on the loos in July 1994. The “facilities” are even painted in Lib-Dem yellow. The Bermondsey MP caused a storm when he told The Sun he was homosexual a week after he denied it. He was left in the dark yesterday during a power failure in Manchester, where he launched his leadership challenge.
Upon casual reading it sounds like he was stranded in the loos in the dark whereas closer inspection reveals that the being left in the dark refers to Manchester whereas the toilets are in London (read the original and see what you think). They've once again used 'limp-dem'.
I think this breaks at least three items in the PCC's Code of Practice:
- The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.
- The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual's race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.
- Details of an individual's race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability must be avoided unless genuinely relevant to the story.
And debatably a fourth:
- Journalists must not engage in intimidation, harassment or persistent pursuit.
If persistent pursuit is defined as persistently trying to keep stories about an individual in the news when there is no cause to do so.
The Scum is definitely losing the open season on the Lib Dems. The Screws expose of Mark Oaten was funny (ok, not for his wife). This is just painful, especially since in one of the sweetest Lib Dem revelations this week it's revealed that Simon found it hard to admit to being bisexual because he hadn't told his mum which is just completely "aaawwwww"-inducing.
An e-mail will be going to the editor of The Scum in due course.