PARTISAN JOURNALISM, or propaganda as it’s better known, has one overriding objective – a systematically one sided attitude toward every problem that has to be dealt with. Sometimes that means its practitioners have to bend the truth so far that the truth breaks and becomes a misleading lie. AhDinnaeKen investigates the alleged truth bending of Stuart Campbell of Wings Over Scotland in his previous and present incarnation:
By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe
“SCRATCH THE surface at any point, and it would seem that much of the rhetoric of the FairPlay campaign is based on some completely unfounded assertions that have never been backed up by facts or research.” stated a Gamesindustry.biz report into claims raised by the then Fairplay campaigner and videogames reviewer, Stuart Campbell – the present editor of the Wings Over Scotland blog.
The report from 2002 further informed its readers of Campbell’s deceitful manipulation of attributed quotes to lend a false authority to his campaign’s spurious claims.
Most damaging was the allegation that Campbell had quoted his own writings and attributed them to the publications they were written for as if the two were somehow separate.
At no time did Campbell mention or let on that he was the author of the quotes.
If true, the Gamesbizindustry.biz report was a damning insight into the dishonest practice and unethical actions of a self professed “professional journalist”.
In short, Campbell was effectively treating his target audience/readership with cynical contempt using unethical journalistic practise.
Predictably, Campbell called the claims a lie and countered with a classic Tu Quoque riposte:
“..tame industry lapdogs like Gamesindustry.biz have been quick to condemn the campaign with ill-researched and blatantly untrue claims (ironically while accusing FairPlay of poor journalistic standards).”
AhDinnaeKen can exclusively reveal that Campbell was indeed guilty of the charges raised against him by Gamesindustry.biz . Click the links supplied to see Campbell’s initial CTW feature and how the quotes were further abused.
The most blatant manipulation concerned a quote attributed by Campbell to trade magazine Computer Trade Weekly (CTW):
In a CTW feature from 1996 entitled “The Price is Wrong”, Campbell said:
“The price of games is crippling innovation – with people buying so few games, they take very few risks, so publishers play safer and safer, so sales slip further downwards (how many driving games and beat-’em-ups do you need?), so games get more expensive to recoup the losses, etc etc.”
It’s the very same quote used by Campbell’s Fairplay campaign and attributed to CTW with no other allusion to Campbell.
CTW, at the time, served the games industry and associated retail trade, keeping them abreast of news , developments and features. At its height it commanded a unique perspective on the burgeoning games industry and spoke with an unchallenged authority.
Campbell’s unattributed attribution hoped to tap into that authority. Except, embarrassingly for him, he was exposed by Gamesindustry.biz despite his counter claim they were lying.
The World of Stuart blog has a large archive of Campbell’s work for various publications over the years, including CTW. The link to the original piece written by Campbell is here and an archive copy is here.
Readers can make their own mind up as to what this tells them about Campbell’s ethics and integrity in order to further his one sided interests.
Scottish Television journalist and Wings acolyte by proxy, Stephen Daisley, in pre-referendum praise of the Wings Over Scotland blog said:
“Mainstream media need not embrace Stuart Campbell but it cannot afford to ignore him or the challenges he poses to journalistic practice”
AhDinnaeKen agrees wholeheartedly with the sentiment of Daisley’s statement. Such journalistic practice highlighted above, shouldn’t be ignored, it should be exposed.
The main challenge Campbell poses to journalistic practice is one of ethics, integrity, credibilty, honesty, hypocrisy and trust.
It’s why if the MSM were to “embrace” Campbell, as some MSM journos such as Daisley, Kevin McKenna and Iain MacWhirter appear to be doing, then it could feasibly be claimed that they were undermining their own credibility – for the simple reason that they’re legitimising an inauthentic cheat and liar who abuses journalism for his own ends.
Campbell’s readers trust him enough and believe in his credibility enough to donate “as much” as they can afford to the upkeep of his lifestyle.
Apologists for the Wings blog might point out that the Fairplay campaign was a long time ago and imply that that somehow lessens the impact of Campbell’s deception.
It’s worth noting that the CTW feature was written in 1996 but the quotes were used to add authenticity to the Fairplay campaign six years later in 2002 .
You need only look at the back of the Campbell authored Wee Blue Book to see the same “misleading” attribution principle in action:
“Wings is arguably the most exciting, invigorating, and innovative entrant to the Scottish media world in recent years. – STV News, 20 June 2014” screams the blurb on the back of the Wee Blue propaganda pamphlet.
To the uninitiated it implies endorsement by the mostly impartial broadcaster Scottish Television. The source of the quote was Stephen Daisley, something that should have been alluded to by Campbell because the quote implies that STV News endorsed Campbell when, of course, it was merely the “manlove” rhetorical foreplay by proxy of the Wings besotted STV journalist.
According to Ross McCafferty, also quoted on the Wee Blue Book – he referred to Wings Over Scotland as “The mumsnet of the independence movement” – Campbell’s attribution of his quote to the Mirror Online was a “bit harsh” due to the salient fact he hadn’t written it there. Yet, curiously, it was still attributed as such by Campbell. So much for fact checking, accuracy and truth etc.
Campbell has a history of basic factual and “misleading” errors – never corrected – which further his solipsistic interests.
Acolytes, supporters, donators, endorsers and apologists can take their excuses elsewhere. Anyone who donates to Wings in the belief that they’re funding professional journalism is a schmuck. Stuart Campbell, though they choose not to see it, is treating them and journalism with the contempt they probably deserve.
And that’s the real problem with Wings Over Scotland. For all the bluster and polemic about journalistic integrity and credibility and the alleged “fact checking”, “citing” and “sourcing” of his propaganda stories, it can never quite be believed as being “authentic”. From spending to readership to status to credibility all that’s required with Wings is to “scratch the surface” to find that its rhetoric is unfounded and its basic argument is built on a lie.