The Daily Star has a track record of regularly spewing out inaccurate, inflammatory and highly negative stories on Muslims and Islam. Now one of its own reporters, Richard Peppiatt, has had a laudable crisis of conscience and has quit the paper over its “hate-mongering.”
In his resignation letter to the owner of the paper, Richard Desmond, Mr. Peppiatt stated:
“The decision [to quit] came inside my local newsstand, whilst picking up the morning papers. As I chatted with Mohammed, the Muslim owner, his blinking eyes settled on my pile of print, and then, slowly, rose to meet my face.
“‘English Defence League to become a political party’ growled out from the countertop.
“Squirming, I abandoned the change in my pocket and flung a note in his direction, the clatter of the till a welcome relief from the silence that had engulfed us. I slunk off toward the tube.
“Asked if his group were to become a political party I was told the ex-BNP goon had replied: ‘Not for now.’
“But further up the newsprint chain it appears a story, too good to allow the mere spectre of reality to restrain, was spotted. It almost never came to this. I nearly walked out last summer when the Daily Star got all flushed about taxpayer-funded Muslim-only loos.”
“I was personally tasked with writing a gloating follow-up declaring our postmodern victory in ‘blocking’ the non-existent Islamic cisterns of evil.
“Not that my involvement in stirring up a bit of light-hearted Islamaphobia stopped there. Many a morning I've hit my speed dial button to Muslim rent-a-rant Anjem Choudary to see if he fancied pulling together a few lines about whipping drunks or stoning homosexuals.
“Our caustic ‘us and them’ narrative needs nailing home every day or two, and when asked to wield the hammer I was too scared for my career, and my bank account, to refuse.”
“...what brings me here today is those times you dispense with those skewed news values entirely by printing stories which couldn't stand up to a gnat's fart.”
“While the Daily Star isn't the only paper with a case to answer, I reckon it's certainly the ugliest duckling of an unsightly flock.”
“Were this the behaviour of an actual person they would be diagnosed schizophrenic and bundled into the nearest white van. But because the mouthpiece is a newspaper, it's all supposed to be ok.”
“You may have heard the phrase, ‘The flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil sets off a tornado in Texas.’ Well, try this: ‘The lies of a newspaper in London can get a bloke's head caved in down an alley in Bradford.’
“If you can't see that words matter, you should go back to running porn magazines. But if you do, yet still allow your editors to use inciteful over insightful language, then far from standing up for Britain, you're a menace against all things that make it great.”
The revelations of Mr. Peppiatt have confirmed what many have witnessed for a long time - the clear anti-Muslim narrative pursued by the DS. His words regarding the impact of this narrative are especially pertinent given the fruits that the climate of Islamophobia have produced. Good also to see the admission by Peppiat of the copious use by the DS of Anjem Choudary and his band of merry nuts for the purpose of obtaining crank quotes.
A statement from the Daily Star attempted to brush aside Mr. Peppiatt as a disgruntled employee and added, “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."
It’s worrying to think that the Daily Star’s coverage of Islam and Muslims thus far has been from a position that does not “hold any negativity” toward the religion. If that coverage stems from a position of neutrality, imagine what a hostile position would produce.
The statement from the paper may claim that it does not hold any negativity towards Islam and may claim that it does not endorse the EDL, but actions speak louder than words.
The DS’ coverage of Muslims (as well as that of its sister paper, the Daily Express) has been overtly negative and the DS’ coverage of the EDL took on a distinctively friendly tone of late. The DS’ apparently fabricated claim that the EDL were set to become a political party has even reportedly inspired the extremist group’s leader, Stephen Lennon, to look in to actually becoming a political party. No doubt that the DS’ anti-Muslim coverage will continue to provide fuel for the EDL’s hate.
Well done to Richard Peppiatt for walking away from this gutter rag.
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