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(BBC)   You've got to question the journalistic standards of the Daily Mail when it can't even do an exposé on psychics without libelling one to the tune of £125,000   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 42
    More: Fail, Daily Mail, journalistic standards, Associated Newspapers  
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2939 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Jun 2013 at 6:00 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-20 05:57:31 PM
"You've got to question the journalistic standards of the Daily Mail when it can't even do an exposé on psychics without libelling one to the tune of £125,000 "

Edited for brevity.
 
2013-06-20 06:04:00 PM
I'd actually blame libel laws in Britain.  Truth isn't quite as ultimate a defense as in the United States.  Even if allegations are true, it generally makes much more sense to simply pay off complaints.
 
2013-06-20 06:05:00 PM
If anyone has ever wondered why they're referred to as the Daily Fail, this is why.
 
2013-06-20 06:06:05 PM

RexTalionis: "You've got to question the journalistic standards of the Daily Mail when it can't even do an exposé on psychics without libelling one to the tune of £125,000 "

Edited for brevity.


"Journalistic standards" and "Daily Mail" don't even belong in the same sentence.
 
2013-06-20 06:06:26 PM
This is the journalistic equivalent of a butt fumble.
 
2013-06-20 06:06:52 PM

RexTalionis: "You've got to question the journalistic standards of the Daily Mail when it can't even do an exposé on psychics without libelling one to the tune of £125,000 "

Edited for brevity.


This. The 'paper' that attacks the BBC daily while never informing its readers it is a major shareholder in ITN News, a direct competitor to the BBC.

BTW, I'm sure the video of this woman taking out her earpiece was linked to on Fark.Video. Of course having an earpiece does not prove she was faking it. I'm sure there is a perfectly plausible explanation why a stage psychic would wear an earpiece.
 
2013-06-20 06:07:11 PM
Libeling a psychic seems impossible. Talk about attacking the madhouse with a banana...
 
2013-06-20 06:10:14 PM
Frame it as a question:

"I wonder, if I were to shoot into the box, and a dead man fell out, would it be murder?"
 
2013-06-20 06:10:28 PM
In the UK, telling the truth is not a defense for libel.  If you say it in a manner that causes distress or financial harm, it's libel even if it is the absolute truth.
 
2013-06-20 06:12:13 PM
So calling a fraud a fraud is a bad thing now?

If she weren't a fraud, she could easily get the million from Randi.
 
2013-06-20 06:12:56 PM
Nanny state.

I like to think that if this was America the judge would demand that she be able to scientifically prove that she is in fact psychic.  Unless that can be proven then she really cannot claim libel (or slander).
 
2013-06-20 06:13:52 PM
So, let us broadly catorigize psychics into two groups- those who actually believe that they are psychic and those who know they are frauds and liars.

I would guess that most psychics that do big (televised?) stage shows with large audiences fall into the second group. I wonder if any are in the first group.
 
2013-06-20 06:15:06 PM

Flint Ironstag: RexTalionis: "You've got to question the journalistic standards of the Daily Mail when it can't even do an exposé on psychics without libelling one to the tune of £125,000 "

Edited for brevity.

This. The 'paper' that attacks the BBC daily while never informing its readers it is a major shareholder in ITN News, a direct competitor to the BBC.

BTW, I'm sure the video of this woman taking out her earpiece was linked to on Fark.Video. Of course having an earpiece does not prove she was faking it. I'm sure there is a perfectly plausible explanation why a stage psychic would wear an earpiece.


If a psychic can win, maybe the BBC should sue for libel as well.
 
2013-06-20 06:18:39 PM

OgreMagi: In the UK, telling the truth is not a defense for libel.  If you say it in a manner that causes distress or financial harm, it's libel even if it is the absolute truth.


[citation needed]
 
2013-06-20 06:18:52 PM
But without my daily dose of fail, how will I ever keep up with the chavs?  Or has the People of Walmart website expanded its range?
 
2013-06-20 06:23:20 PM

orbister: OgreMagi: In the UK, telling the truth is not a defense for libel.  If you say it in a manner that causes distress or financial harm, it's libel even if it is the absolute truth.

[citation needed]


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj_4ksUWyNI
 
2013-06-20 06:26:16 PM

OgreMagi: In the UK, telling the truth is not a defense for libel.  If you say it in a manner that causes distress or financial harm, it's libel even if it is the absolute truth.


since you seem to know... in this case, it seems the woman was charging people money to come view her "psychic performance." Why wouldn't the mail's outing of her fraud be more like a whistleblower situation? It would be no different (to my mind) if she was selling snake oil and they did an article about it just being water.
 
2013-06-20 06:29:04 PM

tlchwi02: OgreMagi: In the UK, telling the truth is not a defense for libel.  If you say it in a manner that causes distress or financial harm, it's libel even if it is the absolute truth.

since you seem to know... in this case, it seems the woman was charging people money to come view her "psychic performance." Why wouldn't the mail's outing of her fraud be more like a whistleblower situation? It would be no different (to my mind) if she was selling snake oil and they did an article about it just being water.


Because under the UK libel laws (actually, I think just England and Wales), harming someone's business reputation is pretty much all it takes.  Pointing out a psychic is a fraud will certainly harm her ability to attract marks customers.  See the video I linked earlier for a better explanation.
 
2013-06-20 06:29:05 PM
British libel laws are cray-cray. Which is one of the reasons why the infamous Kray twins were able to socialize with the rich and famous even though everybody knew they were thugs and racketeers. If the Kray brothers didn't sue you, their posh drinking buddies would--on account of they're greedy, as Daffy Duck would put it. British libel laws were created by the Establishment (the "Great and the Good") and for the Establishment, and it's very hard to defend yourself in court. On the contrary, people will move Heaven and Earth to get a libel or slander case transfered to a British Court.

Sure, they have one of the most lurid Tabloid presses in the world, but even the tabloids have to tip-toe around certain blatantly obvious facts.

The Kray Twins, by the way, were the models for Monty Python's Piranha Brothers. Apparently they were amused or Monty Python might have ended up broken in an alley behind the Beeb.

A writer, most likely Evelyn Waugh, IIRC, kept an eye out for libels against himself, according to what I've read about and by him, with the aim of paying for his daughter's posh wedding. He eventually found a stooge and sued, and his daughter's wedding was handsomely paid for. He wouldn't be the first and he's not going to be the last.
 
2013-06-20 06:31:00 PM

OgreMagi: tlchwi02: OgreMagi: In the UK, telling the truth is not a defense for libel.  If you say it in a manner that causes distress or financial harm, it's libel even if it is the absolute truth.

since you seem to know... in this case, it seems the woman was charging people money to come view her "psychic performance." Why wouldn't the mail's outing of her fraud be more like a whistleblower situation? It would be no different (to my mind) if she was selling snake oil and they did an article about it just being water.

Because under the UK libel laws (actually, I think just England and Wales), harming someone's business reputation is pretty much all it takes.  Pointing out a psychic is a fraud will certainly harm her ability to attract marks customers.  See the video I linked earlier for a better explanation.


How can scamming people not be illegal?  Given how much of a nanny state is I would think that outright lying to "customers" to get their money would be a crime.
 
2013-06-20 06:32:09 PM

Mock26: OgreMagi: tlchwi02: OgreMagi: In the UK, telling the truth is not a defense for libel.  If you say it in a manner that causes distress or financial harm, it's libel even if it is the absolute truth.

since you seem to know... in this case, it seems the woman was charging people money to come view her "psychic performance." Why wouldn't the mail's outing of her fraud be more like a whistleblower situation? It would be no different (to my mind) if she was selling snake oil and they did an article about it just being water.

Because under the UK libel laws (actually, I think just England and Wales), harming someone's business reputation is pretty much all it takes.  Pointing out a psychic is a fraud will certainly harm her ability to attract marks customers.  See the video I linked earlier for a better explanation.

How can scamming people not be illegal?  Given how much of a nanny state is I would think that outright lying to "customers" to get their money would be a crime.


Common sense does not seem to apply to the British libel laws.  You and I both look at it and think, "this can't be true!"  And we are both wrong.
 
2013-06-20 06:40:30 PM

OgreMagi: orbister: OgreMagi: In the UK, telling the truth is not a defense for libel.  If you say it in a manner that causes distress or financial harm, it's libel even if it is the absolute truth.

[citation needed]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj_4ksUWyNI


That is not what that means. In the UK a person libelled does not have to prove the statement was false, which is the situation in the US. Truth is a defence, but the person who said it has to prove it.

So in both the US and the UK truth is a valid defence. The difference is in the US the person libelled has to prove it was not true. In the UK the person who said it has to prove it was.
In this case this woman could not prove she was a psychic, but the Mail had to prove she did fake it and defraud people. They couldn't. In the US she would have had to prove she did not fake it.
 
2013-06-20 06:43:07 PM

OgreMagi: orbister: OgreMagi: In the UK, telling the truth is not a defense for libel.  If you say it in a manner that causes distress or financial harm, it's libel even if it is the absolute truth.

[citation needed]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj_4ksUWyNI


The claimant does not have to prove that the statement is false. However in almost all cases the claim will fall if the defendant can show that they were true. The burden of proof may be wrong, but justification is a complete defence. The only exceptions that I am aware off are minor ones: justification is not a valid defence if the statement was about a spent conviction under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.

English libel law is dreadful, but truth is a defence.
 
2013-06-20 06:43:13 PM

miniflea: I wonder if any are in the first group.


Just one:

img.fark.net
 
2013-06-20 06:44:18 PM
Surprised Fark's resident fraud "totally real psychic" hasn't come to troll ITT.
 
2013-06-20 06:44:21 PM

OgreMagi: Because under the UK libel laws (actually, I think just England and Wales), harming someone's business reputation is pretty much all it takes.


No. It. Is. Not.
 
2013-06-20 06:44:53 PM

OgreMagi: In the UK, telling the truth is not a defense for libel.  If you say it in a manner that causes distress or financial harm, it's libel even if it is the absolute truth.


Most people here (assuming we're mostly Americans) don't understand *our* libel laws, much less Britain's.
 
2013-06-20 06:47:48 PM
With IP Legal Eagles deleting information and news organizations deleting links and hiding behind paywalls, and server farm owners deleting data as soon as one payment gets missed, and various types of government censorship

The whole internet is suffering from link rot, and nobody gives a shiat.
 
2013-06-20 06:54:01 PM

Mock26: OgreMagi: tlchwi02: OgreMagi: In the UK, telling the truth is not a defense for libel.  If you say it in a manner that causes distress or financial harm, it's libel even if it is the absolute truth.

since you seem to know... in this case, it seems the woman was charging people money to come view her "psychic performance." Why wouldn't the mail's outing of her fraud be more like a whistleblower situation? It would be no different (to my mind) if she was selling snake oil and they did an article about it just being water.

Because under the UK libel laws (actually, I think just England and Wales), harming someone's business reputation is pretty much all it takes.  Pointing out a psychic is a fraud will certainly harm her ability to attract marks customers.  See the video I linked earlier for a better explanation.

How can scamming people not be illegal?  Given how much of a nanny state is I would think that outright lying to "customers" to get their money would be a crime.


It seems like the key mistake the Daily Mail made was to make a specific accusation that she was using an ear piece during a specific show and then couldn't prove it, which is libelous regardless of whether she is a fraud or not (and you have to leave the possibility she is convinced she is a psychic, there have been cases before where psychics have taken part in a proper double blind scientific test after which they have realized they aren't actually psychics).
 
2013-06-20 06:58:27 PM

OgreMagi: In the UK, telling the truth is not a defense for libel.  If you say it in a manner that causes distress or financial harm, it's libel even if it is the absolute truth.


Defamation Act of 2013:

Section 2

Truth

(1)It is a defence to an action for defamation for the defendant to show that the imputation conveyed by the statement complained of is substantially true.

(2)Subsection (3) applies in an action for defamation if the statement complained of conveys two or more distinct imputations.

3)If one or more of the imputations is not shown to be substantially true, the defence under this section does not fail if, having regard to the imputations which are shown to be substantially true, the imputations which are not shown to be substantially true do not seriously harm the claimant's reputation.

(4)The common law defence of justification is abolished and, accordingly, section 5 of the Defamation Act 1952 (justification) is repealed.


http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2013/26/section/2/enacted

And prior to that, the Defamation Act of 1952 says:

Section 5
Justification.

In an action for libel or slander in respect of words containing two or more distinct charges against the plaintiff, a defence of justification shall not fail by reason only that the truth of every charge is not proved if the words not proved to be true do not materially injure the plaintiff's reputation having regard to the truth of the remaining charges.


 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Geo6and1Eliz2/15-16/66

And what is the defense of "justification" in a defamation case, you might ask?

"It is a good defence to an action of libel or slander that the words complained of are true in substance and in, fact.

NOTE 1. The reason for this rule is that 'the law will not permit a man to recover damages in respect of an injury to a character which he either does not or ought not to possess.'"


- HUGH ERASER, M.A., LL.D., "Principles And Practice Of The Law Of Libel And Slander", WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, 27, FLEET STREET. 1897.
 
2013-06-20 07:01:59 PM

Flint Ironstag: OgreMagi: orbister: OgreMagi: In the UK, telling the truth is not a defense for libel.  If you say it in a manner that causes distress or financial harm, it's libel even if it is the absolute truth.

[citation needed]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj_4ksUWyNI

That is not what that means. In the UK a person libelled does not have to prove the statement was false, which is the situation in the US. Truth is a defence, but the person who said it has to prove it.

So in both the US and the UK truth is a valid defence. The difference is in the US the person libelled has to prove it was not true. In the UK the person who said it has to prove it was.
In this case this woman could not prove she was a psychic, but the Mail had to prove she did fake it and defraud people. They couldn't. In the US she would have had to prove she did not fake it.


Additionally they named a SPECIFIC way she faked it (ear piece). If that was not the method she was using, they libeled her. The article seems to imply that was the problem, though it doesnt state it.

And as referenced, UK law for libel is different. You cannot prove a negative. You cannot prove unicorns DON'T exist, no matter how much we all know North Korea is a big fat liar. ;)
 
2013-06-20 07:04:28 PM
The problem was that the Daily Mail said that the psychic was knowingly scamming people, rather than just being batshiat crazy. They had no proof that it was a conscious scam.
 
2013-06-20 07:06:15 PM

RexTalionis: HUGH ERASER


Sorry, that's Hugh Fraser, not Hugh Eraser.
 
2013-06-20 07:32:33 PM
Lol, so if I tell Cathrine Martin not to help with the sofa Buffalo Bill can sue me in England?
 
2013-06-20 07:32:55 PM

This text is now purple: Frame it as a question:

"I wonder, if I were to shoot into the box, and a dead man fell out, would it be murder?"


I swear, officer, I thought there was an intruder in that box.
 
2013-06-20 07:58:44 PM
Except the Daily Mail really did expose an actual fake psychic scam.
 
2013-06-20 08:48:00 PM
The Daily Mail has journalistic standards?
 
2013-06-20 09:19:11 PM
Irrelevant but WTF is with this in TFA sidebar?

img.fark.net

And has it been memed yet?
 
2013-06-20 10:32:38 PM
miniflea:

So, let us broadly catorigize psychics into two groups- those who actually believe that they are psychic

...And are deluded...


and those who know they are frauds and liars.

And are not deluded.

And astrology is bullshiat too. As is "majick" of any kind, or Tarot, or reading goose livers...


I would guess that most psychics that do big (televised?) stage shows with large audiences fall into the second group. I wonder if any are in the first group.

I knew you were going to say that!
 
2013-06-21 12:52:46 AM
I hate to defend the Daily Mail, but the problem in this case is the UK libel law, and not bad reporting from the tabloid itself.
 
2013-06-21 06:14:04 AM
Someone had to come out and say these people are scammers and not just crazy. Only the DAILY MAIL was brave enough to do so. GO DAILY MAIL!! YEAH!!!
 
2013-06-21 07:21:30 AM
Mr Justice Tugendhat. The Pythons couldn't come up with a name that good. The problem wasn't with the UKs libel laws; it was because they said she used an earpiece without any proof of it.
 
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