Update (20 June 2011): We don’t know if it made any difference, but following emails to the Guardian, BBC and Telegraph, the errors in these articles were corrected… by the Guardian and the BBC.
The Telegraph, which made a big splash with its “exclusive”, hasn’t kept pace with the changing story.
There’s a very amusing video to be found on this page at BBC news. (But honestly, I think that blaming a local taxi driver for the dud information is a feeble excuse for not using your own eyes and brain!)
Julian Assange, the founder and director of Wikileaks, has been electronically tagged, must observe a curfew and check in at the local police station once a day. I will leave it to others to debate the rights and wrongs of this, but is he also subject to video surveillance?
In this video, Assange’s colleagues and friends claim that he is, but look closely at the offending “camera” and tell me whether you can see a lens?[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCNzU3u7G3o[/youtube]
(Jump to 4:30 in the video if you don’t want to watch the whole thing.)
You can’t, and the fact that the “camera” is sitting on top of an LED display panel is another hint that things are not as they appear.
In fact, the so-called camera looks a lot like a speed warning sign of the sort that can be seen near schools and villages around the country.
I know that some media personalities have it in for CCTV, but you’d think they would check their facts a little bit more carefully! Both Christopher Hope of the Daily Telegraph and Roy Greenslade of the Guardian have jumped at the opportunity to mount their soapboxes.
I don’t expect we’ll get a correction from either one of them, but I felt I had to take this opportunity to set the record straight.
Reputable websites have picked up this story without doing even the most basic fact-checking or verification.
A roll call of sites that have picked up this story demonstrates the depths to which journalism has sunk:
It’s a shocking indictment of the state of journalism today that websites will publish trash like this without checking it out for themselves.