Same Old Daily Mail – Always Smearing

Posted: March 4, 2010 in Local News
Tags: , ,

Today, a report came to my attention from a local newspaper in Hull, the Hull Daily Mail. As the name suggests, it is part of the Daily Mail family of papers. On the front page of their newspaper today, and indeed on the front page of their website, they have run a terribly crass and horrible piece of so-called “news” containing a slur against a local businessman.

Paul Smith runs his own web design company from his house in Beverley, just outside Hull. He has been involved recently in the design of HU17.net, a website aimed at promoting and celebrating the town of Beverley as a place of interest and culture. However, the Hull Daily Mail has today published a story that seemed to claim that Mr Smith was also some kind of evil porn baron with seedy connections who should not be involved in anything to do with the community at all. It is claimed that he is responsible for “thousands” of porn sites, despite earning only £12000pa from his business. These sums just do not add up. The HDM also acknowledges that he has done nothing illegal, but chooses to bring up children and mention child porn in a clear attempt to smear Mr Smith’s name.

An “undercover reporter” apparently called Mr Smith asking for a quote for an escort website, which he put speculatively at £150 – £250 as an initial quote. “Mr Smith BOASTED that he had six years experience in this field”, claims the article, again trying to smear Mr Smith when that experience in “this field” most likely meant in website design, you know, the field he operates in?

Now, surely common sense would rule here and people would realise that it’s hard to make a living and people will take any job they can to earn money in this financial climate. But to suggest that simply being a website designer for someone who then uses that design for porn is enough to condemn a person to effectively being placed on some invisible moral “sex register” is lunacy, even for a media outlet seemingly designed for controversy. Paul Smith would not have had any input into the content of the websites, merely the design and layouts of them. And once he has been paid for his work, those people who bought his design could then manipulate it to whatever they want.

The 200+ comments on the article’s comments section echo pretty much this sentiment. And indeed many people have brought up the fact that the HDM offers, in its classified sections, “personal services” from people who at the end of the day everyone knows are prostitutes. Hypocrisy much?

Mr Smith can rest assured that the sensible people of Hull and Beverley have seen through this blatant besmirching of his name and called the Hull Daily Mail out on their appalling reporting. I hope he also manages to take the fight to them in court as surely he must, with such libel against his name being published. I, for one, will be right behind him.

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