The Independent. Yesterday’s paper telling another paper’s “news”

We must assume that page 9 of yesterday’s Indy won’t make it into Cahal Milmo’s portfolio of ‘great work I did as chief reporter at the Independent’.

As well as being yet another example of the legacy media resorting to hearsay instead of real reporting, the content was recycled virtually in toto from the previous day’s editions of two rival rags.

Just about the only verifiable fact in the 400-word story was that “Britain has stated that the two men, travelling under the names of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, are from Moscow’s military intelligence agency, the GRU.”

The fact there being that the government has made that claim. Not that Britain can actually prove that Petrov and Borishov are GRU (technically, GU) agents.

Elsewhere, the piece relies on overused legacy media shitweasel phrases that translate as “we might as well be making this up”:

A Whitehall source told The Sunday Telegraph: “It’s a line of inquiry that there’s an internal Russian [dispute] that ‘that agency has crossed the line, let’s throw the guys under the bus’.”

Source? Someone they found standing on the corner of Horse Guards Avenue, muttering into a rusty tin can over a pile of carrier bags in a supermarket trolley?

The only identified sources in the piece are The Telegraph, The Sun on Sunday and the bizarre and opaquely-funded ‘citizen journalism’ propaganda website, bellingcat.

Whatever happened to “who, what, when, where and why”? All this story tells us is “what”. As in, what unnamed sources want the Indy to regurgitate.

No wonder the legacy media are dying off along with the now-rapidly shrinking cohort of their readers who still remember when national papers were worth the paper they were printed on and when reporters only ever reluctantly used anonymous sources as a last resort.


{ps} Looking at the comments on this linked article on the Indy website, readers are not allowed to question “what, how or why”, either. Nearly all comments that look like they contained a viewpoint different from the official story have been removed, leaving only the replies – usually accusing the commenter of being a Kremlin bot or troll. Great stuff Independent guys!

{pps} If there are any lines to read between in the story so far, one is the fact that the police are putting Petrov and Boshirov in the frame only for the attack on the Skripals. Surely in that case they also have enough to charge them with involuntary manslaughter over Dawn Sturgess?

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