Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Pink News making up stories for Lib Dems

The LGBT website, Pink News, seems to have turned into Yellow News for the election, posting a false story claiming a UKIP campaigner had burnt a picture of Lib Dem mayoral candidate, Brian Paddick, in a homophobic act.

A UKIP spokeswoman has clarified, on the Politics Home website, that the "UKIP campaigner" in question isn't even a UKIP member but a gay man disillusioned with the Lib Dems.

There is still no retraction or correction on the Pink News website which still carries the story uncorrected under the headline "UKIP campaigners burn picture of gay mayoral candidate Brian Paddick in Soho".

It is, of course, possible that the writer in question hasn't seen the corrections or that the editors haven't seen the corrections or whoever looks after the Pink News twitter account hasn't seen the corrections posted on Twitter but even if that is the case and the story was posted in good faith, what is it about burning a picture of a politician the day before an election they're taking part in that warrants that headline?  Why would burning a picture of Boris Johnson be ok but burning a picture of Brian Paddick is a homophobic hate crime because he's gay?

Well, according to some of the commenters on the Pink News website, the fact that it happened in Soho proves it was deliberately homophobic.  The fact that the person burning the picture is gay himself (which the article on Pink News acknowledges) isn't reason enough for it to have happened in Soho, it must be a deliberate attack on homosexuals.  The fact that Brian Paddick is a politician contesting an election tomorrow and the "campaigner" is surrounded by posters for a rival political party isn't reason enough for burning a picture of him, it must be a deliberate homophobic attack.  The fact that the "campaigner" is gay doesn't mean burning the picture is likely to be a political statement, it must have been homophobic.  One comment even says that the "campaigner" in question can't be gay because he's Asian - feigning outrage at supposed homophobia whilst making a sterotypical comment accusing muslims of being intolerant.  You can't make this stuff up (well, Pink News probably could)!

One thing that doesn't seem to have been noticed is that - assuming the "campaigner" in question doesn't have three arms - it isn't actually him that's set fire to the picture, he's actually holding it while someone else is setting it on fire.
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