[BPSDB]You might think that this is one of those rhetorical “Do bears shit in the woods?” style questions but I’m a little puzzled by his evidence to the seventh session of the Culture Media and Sport Parliamentary Select Committee’s inquiry into Press Standards, Privacy and Libel.
When asked about the Daily Mail’s coverage of the MMR issue and demands to know whether or not Leo Blair had had the MMR vaccination, Paul Dacre says:
Well, there is a bit of an urban myth grown up that the Daily Mail was against the triple jab. All newspapers at the time had deep concerns about the triple jab.
A bit of an urban myth? Did I dream all those rants by Melanie Philips praising Andrew Wakefield and slagging off the Government for its ‘cover up’? Was the recent story damning a recent examination question asking students to evaluate Wakefield’s evidence as an attempt to brainwash students just a figment of my imagination?
Well, I’ve turned 50 so perhaps senile decay is setting in. To check my assumptions I had a look at the Mail‘s website.
349 items were predominantly about MMR. Of these, 198 were overwhelmingly negative and less than a dozen were positive. The remainder presented the “controversy” as a dispute between authority figures, did not present the evidence and would hardly set anyone’s mind at rest on the issue.
It would obviously be absurd to suggest that Mr Paul Dacre, Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Mail and all round pillar of the Establishment, would tell an untruth to a Parliamentary Select Committee so we are left with the conclusion that he is unaware of the content of his newspapers. One wonders what he does to earn his £800,000 salary.