Thursday, 14 July 2011

Julia Gillard to Press Club: "Don't write crap". News Ltd fails to listen on sex slave story.

While Julia Gillard was presenting a well-reasoned and factual case for the carbon tax, News Limited were proving again how lacklustre they are at journalism.  In response to Mark Riley's question about the press corp, her succinct advice was "don't write crap".

Olga the Russian karate hairdresser and bondage mistress hoax

Who is Olga really?
Unfortunately, while the PM was handing out this excellent advice, News Ltd weren't paying attention in class.  Today they ran with "Hairdresser karate kicks bandit, ties him up, feeds him Viagra and uses him as sex slave for three days"

It turns out that this is another one of those great "let's print a story even thought it's two years old" episodes.

According to the Courier-Mail, and most other News titles running the story, this was about a Russian hairdresser named Olga who supposedly was a karate black belt, overcome a robber named Viktor, tied him up and used him as a sex slave, feeding him Viagra for three days.

They took it from the UK's Daily Mail: Robber who broke into hair salon is beaten by its black-belt owner and kept as a sex slave for three days... fed only Viagra

The only problem is, the story is at least 2 years old! Hairdresser turns robber into sex-slave was first published in on 14 April 2009 and the Moscow Times on 15 April 2009 Hair Stylist Keeps Armed Robber as Sex Slave.

Don't you guys all learn!!

What's amazing about all this is that a simple search brings up a story two days ago on Forbes: Same Old Sex Slave, Brand New Gawker Story. So, not only didn't News do any checks, they actually missed the checks that others had done that proved it wasn't recent.

But there's more.  After ninemsn screwed up, they even posted a retraction yesterday! Correction: Salon owner kept robber as sex slave. That would be a major Australian site, guys. *sigh*

So, News Limited hack phones, copy articles and can't even plagiarise corrections properly!!

Let me know what you think

Mark S

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