Daily Star journalist Richard Peppiatt quit his job yesterday, citing his disgust at the paper’s exaggeration, fabrication and demonisation of Muslims in an epic resignation letter directed at owner and porn baron Richard Desmond.
Plenty of others have dissected the letter and the accusations therein. But I want to focus on the Daily Star’s hastily prepared rebuttal, which is a textbook example of the art of spin and non-denial denial.
Richard Peppiatt worked purely as a casual reporter at the Daily Star for almost two years.
As Richard says, despite being a “casual reporter”, his byline count was “almost 850”. I can confirm that a database check lists over a thousand, but that may contain some double-counting.
Recently he became unhappy after he was passed over for several staff positions.
That’s a laugh. “Several staff positions”? It’s well known that the Star relies heavily on freelancers, from reporters to subs and even senior production staff.
He refers to a Kelly Brook story: in fact, he approached and offered the newspaper that story, vouched for its accuracy, and then asked for and received an extra freelance fee for doing so.
In his letter, his recollection of the Kelly Brook incident is slightly different. The jury is out. I know who I’d rather believe.
Since he wrote his email we have discovered that he was privately warned very recently by senior reporters on the paper after suggesting he would make up quotes.
Hahaha! Here are some scenarios that would fit that description:
- “Made-up quotes are forbidden. They detract from the serious nature of our news-gathering and reflect badly on our lofty ethics.”
- “Don’t get caught.”
- “These made-up quotes are crap. Make-up some better ones.”
Which one is closest to reality? Up to you.
Regarding the allegations over the paper’s coverage of Islam, he was only ever involved in a very minor way with such articles, and never voiced either privately or officially any disquiet over the tone of the coverage.
…”a very minor way”…
Just some of Richard Peppiatt’s “very minor” work for the Daily Star. (click thumbnails to embiggen)
But for sheer chutzpah, the last part of the Desmond defence takes the biscuit.
For the record, the Daily Star editorial policy does not hold any negativity towards Islam and the paper has never, and does not endorse, the EDL.
Again, make your own mind up…