Another reason not to trust the British press, cont'd

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

As Oliver Willis noted this week, and CF has been tracking for months, the British press often just makes stuff up when it comes to its Obama reporting. They make up stuff that quickly gets scooped up by the right-wing blogosphere, which then produces lots of traffic for the bogus scoops. Somewhere in that calculation though, journalism takes a back seat.

The latest installment comes courtesy of the U.K. Telegraph's Alex Spillius, the same person whose work Oliver dissected yesterday. (He's en fuego.) His latest effort is headlined:

Barack Obama cancels meeting with Dalai Lama 'to keep China happy'

Note the quotes. Typically in journalism, when something is in quotes, the person who made the statement is identified. That's especially true when the quotes appear in the headline. But this is the British press reporting from Washington, D.C., and normal rules of journalism do not apply.

In truth, the phrase "to keep China happy" never appears in the article itself, which, of course, means the Telegraph never identifies the person who made that mysterious statement. In other words, the incendiary quote is literally invented and then placed in the headline.

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