Faked news story deliberately sparks global orgy of misogynistic woman-bashing

Wherever it is reasonably foreseeable that a course of action will bring about a certain result, proving actual intent to bring about that result is not required: intent can be presumed.

And presumption of intent to bring about a global orgy of misogynistic woman-bashing can and must be applied to the recent incident involving the global mainstream press, which falsely reported that a female dentist in Poland had removed all her ex-boyfriend’s teeth in revenge for his having dumped her for another woman.

Britain’s Daily Mail initially reported the story on April 27, and it was picked up and circulated globally by Fox News, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, Yahoo! News, MSN, the New York Post, and The New York Daily News and Australia’s Herald Sun and New Zealand Herald among others.

But earlier this week, msnbc.com reported that its cursory fact-checking of the story revealed it to be a hoax.

This, after the story was shared more than 75,000 times on Facebook and after having spawned thousands of misogynistic comments on online news sites — many of which have not been removed, although most of the online news sources who reported this story have since issued retractions.

The Daily Mail itself has simply removed the story entirely, and the link to the original story is now a dead link.

When asked to verify his story, the Daily Mail staff writer under whose byline the story was originally written, Simon Tomlinson, said

he does not know where the story came from and distanced himself from it when questioned about its origins.  “I’ve drawn a bit of a blank,” he said in an email. “The (Daily) Mail Foreign Service, which did the piece for the paper, is really just an umbrella term for copy put together from agencies. My news desk isn’t sure where exactly it came from.”

And not a single one of the dozens of news outlets which had picked up this story and gleefully ran with it had even bothered to question it, or to perform even the most basic fact-checking; or if they did, the fact of the hoax was covered up.  Predictably, the horrific story of a woman gruesomely abusing a man and abusing her authority as a doctor caused a global outrage, and indeed, the predictably outraged, disturbingly out of control woman-bashing comment threads are still there for all to see.

One is left with the impression that viral, global misogynistic outrage was the goal the entire time, and indeed, if a presumption of intent ever applied to any situation, it applies to this one.

What would be only slightly (or perhaps no) more difficult to prove is that a global orgy of woman-bashing was specifically called for at this time, that the purpose was political, and the global mainstream press happily provided the catalyst.

If the world were a safe and sane place for women, the global news industry would never recover its credibility after this, but of course it’s not, and it will.  Because credible and male are synonyms, you see.  The global, male-centric mainstream news industry’s “credibility” was never lost and it never will be, any more than an apple can lose its appleness, or a tangerine can cease being tangerine-y.  They will recover.  But we mustn’t ever forget what we are dealing with, when it comes to the global media, and its treatment of girls and women and its ultimately anti-woman, pro-patriarchal intent and effect.

As if most of us even could.

Also reported at Radfem News Service.

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4 responses to “Faked news story deliberately sparks global orgy of misogynistic woman-bashing”

  1. FCM says :

    this is maddening.

  2. FCM says :

    Reblogged this on femonade and commented:

    this is maddening. Joke’s on women; male bonding over misogyny.

  3. Occasional Expositor says :

    I wonder how many of those international news sites covered the story this week about the actual man here in the UK actually convicted for blinding his girlfriend. Has this sparked a massive discussion about misogyny? I didn’t think so.

    Major trigger warning – this story is so sickening that I’ve been trying to unremember it.

    Link to The Guardian article.