24 Hour Misinformation Surrounding Tragic Death

By Peter Thompson

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We are all deeply shocked at the fatal shooting of Jo Cox MP. An eye-witness interview on Sky News was aired earlier. He made no mention of “Britain First” but the Manchester Evening News misquoted him:

“Elderly attacker ‘shouted Britain First’

The man who gunned down Ms Cox shouted ‘Britain First’, an eyewitness claims. Speaking to Sky News, the witness said the shooter looked to be in his 60s or 70s. He said the man walked very slowly away from the scene after the attack.”

Maria Eagle felt this was something that should be immediately tweeted:

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Sky News then quoted Maria Eagle’s tweet and the loop was complete. The eye-witness has denied hearing any such comment:

In her grief Maria Eagle jumped the gun to make political capital of this tragic event, I am sure she deeply regrets it. Perhaps we can all learn to keep cooler heads until the facts are known. It may turn out that there is a political motivation, if it does that is the time to report it. All we can say with certainty is the Manchester Evening News said the source was the Sky News eye-witness and it was not.

UPDATE Maria Eagle has wisely deleted her tweet, her instinct to make political capital was poor but this was not entirely her fault. It is a cancer in modern media that such things are instantly picked up and repeated by papers and media channels without any attempt to fact check. What happened here was a feedback loop was created around a mistake. Will lessons be learnt? I doubt it. The tragedy is that it adds to the grief of the family in their tragic loss of a beautiful wife and mother. The saying “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth Is putting on its shoes” has never been more true; even a European Union commissioner has sought to leverage this tragic incident for political gain.

17 COMMENTS

  1. There is a beautiful irony in the way that Britain First trade so enthusiastically on misinformation, and find themselves on the sharp end of such behaviour.

    Even more ironic is that they see themselves as the victims of today’s horrific events.

    Agree the media machine is out of control, but I won’t be shedding a tear for Britain First.

  2. I’m guessing this blog was written in the hours shortly following the attack when Breitbart & Britain First etc. were still desperate to try and pretend this isn’t anything to do with their sort.

    I’m sure they’ll have a new strategy to deal with it tomorrow.

    • I don’t understand why a political movement would have to take responsibility for one man’s insanity. Unless your saying that the ideas of that political movement are inherently racist or violent even though I haven’t heard one MP espouse violent dialogue in the name of Brexit. Unless your saying that Brexit has, in which case I would ask you why the regressive media has tried so hard to dodge questions about Islam during the Orlando shooting.

  3. Certainly, I’m way on the other side of the world so it doesn’t bother me who lives in Britian and who doesn’t, who is in the EU and who isn’t, but I’m pretty bloody sure when the incident was filmed, recorded, reported on world news here I heard the words being called out Britain first! I immediately thought of this organisation. Say what you will I know what I heard and saw in the news report. It also interests me that the BF organisation is going to such lengths to deny something that they reckon doesn’t belong to them. Fair enough. Um, no, not really, because its the very first thing I thought of… an extremist from BI fair and square. But there you go. Deny all you want, from what I heard those words are not going to be swept or millions of others like me who also heard. Sorry mate, you cant shake off a good solid supporter like that killer just because you want the world to think of you as lily white saviours of the white race… nope nope nope.

  4. I listened and watched the news report way on the other side of the world, the words “Britain first” were clearly heard . My reaction was, a supporter or member of the white extremist group in the UK who’s activities often appear in my newsfeeds. The activities of which are almost always inciting violence, hatred, bigotry and racism. I really don’t know what else you expect…. some no-hoper without a brain deciding to be a hero for the cause and start a killing fest…. well BF as you sow, so shall you reap…. stop lying, of course he’s one of yours!

  5. Love how the author of this article states negatively that Maria Eagle was trying to use this situation to make a political statement, when his whole article is basically just using this situation to make a political statement!

  6. Presumably you’ll update this with the BBC video of the eye witness saying he heard exactly those words said? Given that that flatly contradicts and undermines everything you have written above?

    • The article clearly states the suspect may have had a political agenda. Maria Eagle’s tweet was based on a report by Manchester Evening News that misrepresented the Sky witness, therefore the article is accurate.

  7. Maria Eagle ‘wisely deleted her tweet’ Oh really… ? She is a lying piece of SCUM, who deliberately put out a tweet intending to damage and poison the Brexit debate. Notice how she has not come out and apologized publicly for her error. Notice how she has not hunted down the reporters and asked them to repudiate here claim ? That is telling. That goes right to the heart of her political dishonesty. And you are are a shill for the Leftists who are making excuses and exploiting this tragedy. Little wonder the majority of the public no longer trust the media.

  8. Why nobody is asking the obvious question: “is it reasonable to think that a pro-brexit activist/group plans a political murder few days before the vote when brexit is considered to be almost winning?” It is obviously completely unreasonable/crazy, so either
    – the man is just mad and doen’t represent political activism in any way, he just represent crazyness
    or
    – the political agenda was to help the “remain” campaign.
    So it is pointless whether he shouted “britain first” or whether he had any relation with pro-brexit political parties: it just can’t be considered to represent any political position/group.

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