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Liddle and Spectator Slammed by Press Complaints Commission

Rod Liddle pic

In a landmark ruling the Press Complaints Commission has upheld a complaint against Rod Liddle (pictured) after deeply offensive and inaccurate comments about black people and crime were published in a blog on the Spectator website in December of last year.

OBV Blog led a vigorous campaign in reaction to the comments made by Liddle, a former editor of the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme. In that article Liddle who commenting on the attempted murder of a 15 year old girl and the subsequent jailing of two teenagers for a total of 32 years said:

“The first of an occasional series – those benefits of a multi-cultural Britain in full. Let me introduce you all to this human filth,” wrote Liddle.

“It could be an anomaly, of course. But it isn’t. The overwhelming majority of street crime, knife crime, gun crime, robbery and crimes of sexual violence in London are carried out by young men from the African-Caribbean community. Of course, in return, we have rap music, goat curry and a far more vibrant and diverse understanding of cultures which were once alien to us. For which, many thanks.”

Following a series of complaints and an investigation the PCC determined that these comments were factually inaccurate and today issued the following statement:

…” the magazine had not been able to demonstrate that the ‘overwhelming majority’ of crime in all of the stated categories had been carried out by members of the African-Caribbean community”

It added it that it expected:

“the same standards in newspaper and magazine blogs that it would expect in comment pieces that appear in print editions.

This is a significant ruling because it shows that the PCC expects the same standards in newspaper and magazine blogs that it would expect in comment pieces that appear in print editions.

There is plenty of room for robust opinions, views and commentary but statements of fact must still be substantiated if and when they are disputed. And if substantiation isn’t possible, there should be proper correction by the newspaper or magazine in question.”

Although at the time Liddle had offered a halfhearted apology to the black community after a strong challenge from OBV’s Simon Woolley. He has yet to acknowledge that his comments were not only offensive but also wholly inaccurate.

In responding to the ruling by the PCC published today Simon Woolley demanded that both the Spectator and Liddle provide a full and unreserved apology to Britain’s black communities.

“This wretched article was not just offensive to many people throughout the country it is factually incorrect. Liddle and the Spectator should now do the decent thing and issue a full and unreserved apology to it readers and the black community in particular. I hope this sends a clear message to others that black community will not sit idly by while publications such as the Spectator defame and besmirch our community”.

Come on Rod do the right thing.

By OBV Staff writer

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