Katie Hopkins a heartless rightwing columnist made a complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) against the Daily Mirror. She won and lost at the same time. My mother brought me up to believe that one should always live right with people and do right by people. And my mother always prefaced advice with the words ‘Old people seh’ so you knew words of wisdom followed. So I pass on my mother’s pearls of wisdom to Katie Hopkins. ‘Old people seh, when you dig a hole, dig two because you are going to fall in one.’
South African emergency services had to treat Hopkins during her visit. Hopkins tweet of the incident included the words ‘ketamine 1 / Hopkins 0’. Later, she made it clear she was referring to ‘medical ketamine’. And not the UK drug.
Soon afterwards the South African authorities detained her. Hopkins wrote, ‘At passport control, I’ve been through security and I’ve been detained, my passport has been marked for spreading racial hatred here in South Africa’
The Daily Mirror reported the story using two headlines. Online it read ‘Katie Hopkins banned from leaving South Africa after taking ketamine’. And the Mirror newspaper headline read “Katie Hopkins DETAINED in South Africa for ‘spreading racial hatred’ after taking ketamine while collapsed in the street.” The headlines were linked.
Hopkins complained because the Mirror Online was inaccurate even if linked. She said ‘she had not been banned from leaving South Africa because she had taken ketamine. In fact, she had been stopped from leaving the country for spreading racial hatred. So, the inaccuracy was significant because it suggested that she had been stopped by the authorities for taking a drug. One often misused for illegal purposes in the UK’.
IPSO upheld the complaint saying the online promotion gave the ‘significantly misleading impression that the reason for the detention had been the consumption of ketamine’. And IPSO also clarified that she ‘Had been detained in South Africa for spreading racial hatred, not for taking ketamine.’
The Mirror was pleased to print its correction which reads
‘A previous version of this article suggested that Katie Hopkins was stopped from leaving South Africa because of the consumption of Ketamine. We are happy to clarify that [she] was detained for spreading racial hatred, which took place after the Ketamine incident.’
I would have opted for the drugs headline. At least that is forgivable.
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