Piers Morgan and and the Mirror's photos

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edd8990
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Piers Morgan and and the Mirror's photos

Postby edd8990 » Sat May 15, 2004 2:59 pm

OK yesterday Piers Morgan was sacked as editor of the mirror for printing fake photos of Iraqi tourtoure. Now what I want to know is do you think he should have been scaked? The two side of the argument are:

1. No. He did not know they were fakes, and he printed them in goof faith believing them to be of intrest to the world

2. Yes. He should have done reasearch into there authenticity, and this mistake is unforgiveable in terms of its consequences

I personally follow option two. Even if this was an innocent mistake, thosands of British soldiers lives have been put in greater jepody than they already were. Yesterday I saw these photos being used to incite violence in Basra and that cannot be good.

What do you think?
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Postby Hektik sniper » Sat May 15, 2004 3:03 pm

Well, i find it rather amusing that the world is making more of a fuss about these pictures than the result of the pictures, an innocent person being killed by people because of the torture that american and possible british troops are commiting
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Postby Deepsmeg » Sat May 15, 2004 3:17 pm

On five live news, they said that the day they were shown the pictures (the evening before the paper went into public domain), the people in the studio were saying "These don't look right".
The Mirror only gave 12 hours notice to the MOD that the pictures would be published.

And, Piers Morgan has needed sacking for a long time anyway...
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Postby Darksun » Sat May 15, 2004 4:25 pm

He didn't know they were fakes obviously, but he probably could have done more to test their authenticity. But when you have a story like that, you don't really want to wait incase another paper gets it. These pictures would have been published, if not by the mirror then by another paper.

Besides, it's all very well to say 'He should have known they were fake'. If you were handed the picture, would you know what types of trucks were taken to Iraq, and what weapons the Queens Lancashire Regiment (or whoever it was) used?
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Postby BlueScreen » Sat May 15, 2004 4:41 pm

he should have quit, rather than been sacked, like he originally told the world, saying that he was placing his career as an editor on the line by standing by the authenticity of the pictures,

then he goes and backtracks by stating that although they may not be real, they genuinely portray the kind of actions happening out in Iraq

he prbably didn't think of the consequnces of publishing them, only the fact that he had his own exclusive 'genuine' photos of the incidents.
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Postby Darksun » Sat May 15, 2004 5:26 pm

I thought he did 'resign'
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Postby einstein » Sat May 15, 2004 6:41 pm

Whether he resigned or was politely shown the nearest fire exits is (for the purposes of this debate) entirely irrelevant...

The question here is freedom of expression and press vs the responsibility of responsible publishing....

Freedom of the press, particular in relation to politically contentious issues (any political issues in fact), is the hallmark of a democratic society. However, the only way this freedom can be taken seriously, and to ensure it is not exploited, is to ensure that what is reported is accurate (to the best of your abilities).

As cheif-editor of the Mirror, Piers Morgan accepts responsibility for everything that is published - he did not refute this, in fact he said it was the case (although we all knew it was anyway). His failure to ensure that the pictures were, as was originally claimed, actual scenes of abuse against Iraqi detainees at the hands of British Armed Forces, constitutes a flagrent abuse of the freedom of the press bestowed upon him.

As for the "if he didn't publish them someone else would have" defence, to those who propose it I would like them to consider this: if those who commit crimes did not, the someone else who does in their place is free from guilt? I feel it is akin to the child-like screams of "everyone else is doing it!"

Further, if I were an editor and had to choose between getting the "scoop" but the risk ofgetting it wrong, and waiting that extra day and gettin the facts straight... I know which i would be taking. The media has turned into a series of 15 minute reports mingled with fashion, sport and celebrity news, with nothing being seriously investigated. Where British (and other Allied) troops are at risk from the actions you take, you think twice. No, you stop and you think again after that.

From a legal point of view, dependent upon the language used along side the original pictures (I didn't actually see the article or the captions), he could be liable to civil action for his failure to ensure authenticity.

His resignation, or termination, clearly stems from his gross misconduct.

Abuse of fundamental freedoms is what eventually results in incurision and restrictions upon them, and I for one would prefer my press free as well as responsible - I do not believe they are mutually exclusive!
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Sat May 15, 2004 7:05 pm

I find the media is in general failing in its responcibility to investigate the news. This is just one example. Too much of the time they rely on the word of a single "anonymous source" which means they can say basically anything they want without worrying about its validity. Most of the airtime now consists of two people (who may or may not be qualified to talk about any given subject) exchanging their ideas and relating facts which need not be true. Again as the network is not making these statements they don't have to take any responcibility for them. Thus the news need not be news at all. This is a very frightening trend which I think has to be addressed at some point. I am always when National Public Radio comes on and says "NPR is soley responcible for its content." That is what news should be about.

I don't think the killing of Mr. Berg was simply a reaction to the photos that have come out. The killers have a history of doing these things and I think they just used this as an excuse to publically execute another American. I don't think this should alter the way the media relates the story in any way.
Last edited by Stewsburntmonkey on Sat May 15, 2004 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Darksun » Sat May 15, 2004 7:34 pm

einstein wrote:As for the "if he didn't publish them someone else would have" defence, to those who propose it I would like them to consider this: if those who commit crimes did not, the someone else who does in their place is free from guilt? I feel it is akin to the child-like screams of "everyone else is doing it!"


I wasn't saying as a defense for publishing them in the first place. I'm saying it's wrong to blame him for any endangerment or death of British soldiers.

I've actually heard for calls for him to be executed for treason (obviously they don't know treason no longer carriers a capital punishment). This is ridiculous. Any soldiers who died will most likely have died anyway. The Iraqis already have enough reasons to want to kill our soldiers.
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Postby einstein » Sat May 15, 2004 7:40 pm

hmmm... i thought treason and defacing a coin of the realm were the only two crimes that still carried the penalty of dealth, it is simply that we cannot enforce such a penalty because of our laws on human rights and others on maximum penalties for criminal offecnes... but then again, i suppose that would mean that the death penalty for treason had been impliedly repealed... and i've just went on a wee train of thought while typing and come to the conclusion that even if the common law still says they carry the death penalty they don't by implication....

I love it when you start a sentance, and you realise by midway through that when your brain got to the end, you disagree with your original proposition... it's great! hehe
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Sat May 15, 2004 8:07 pm

In 1998 Treason (and Piracy) ceased being capital crimes (although there were apparently ways for them to still result in capital punishment). Then in 1999 European Convention of Human Rights formally abolished capital punishement. :)
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Postby Darkshine » Sat May 15, 2004 9:23 pm

It's not 'treason' to question the actions of the state, that's the whole point of a democracy.

And as for Morgan, yes, he should have been sacked. He had a responsibility to ensure the accuracy of those photos, and to consider the devastating and damaging impact they would have. He chose not to, took a risk, and lost. End of story.
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Postby einstein » Sat May 15, 2004 9:52 pm

Stewsburntmonkey wrote:Then in 1999 European Convention of Human Rights formally abolished capital punishement.


Need to watch how you phrase that...

The European Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter, ECHR or the Convention), formally known as the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, was not a Convention of 1999 but of 1950.

I understand that may not have been what you meant, and you in fact meant that it was in 1999 that it's effects were felt domestically in the United Kingdom. But again, that would be incorrect.

The Convention was incorporated into domestic law by the Human Rights Act 1998, which provided that the Act would come into full force when the Secretary of State so decided. This transpired to be the 2nd of October 2000.

However, that being said section 22 subsection 2 (s.22(2)) of the 1998 Act provides that:

Sections 18, 20 and 21(5) and this section come into force on the passing of this Act.


And s.21(5) states that:

Any liability under the Army Act 1955, the Air Force Act 1955 or the Naval Discipline Act 1957 to suffer death for an offence is replaced by a liability to imprisonment for life or any less punishment authorised by those Acts; and those Acts shall accordingly have effect with the necessary modifications.


The Human Rights Act 1998, as its title would suggest, was passed in 1998 - so the death penalty for certain crimes (as outlined in s.21(5) supra) was removed then. Only upon full enactment, on the 2nd of October 2000 would all other offences that carry the death penalty be altered.

But, I believe there is a chance that by 1999 you are refering to when the UK, on International Human Rights Day or the 10th of December 1999, ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (which is an International, and not regional, Human Rights treaty - unlike ECHR) which completely abolished the death penalty.

Just thought i would clear up the misunderstanding of your post - if in fact you meant something different, and/or i'm off with my dates of enactment, enforcement, applicability, etc. please feel free to correct me.
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Postby BlueScreen » Sat May 15, 2004 9:59 pm

a treasonous action is one which provides, to an outside influence, some sort of power over the state without the full support of the nation.

what piers morgan did, however dispicable, was not treasonous, unlike if Tony Blair signed away control of Britain to Brussels, which would be treasonous,
(and due to various laws, stating that one parliament may undo some actions of previous parliaments, reversable)
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Sat May 15, 2004 10:02 pm

Well I don't really care to discuss the particulars with you, but the official name of the convention is still (as far as I know), Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, however it is variously refered to as the Convention of Human Rights or the Convention on Human Rights. I think only legal documents need bother with the particulars though. :)

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