Thanks to regular commenter Ghost of Sam for sending us this post from Australia’s excellent Media Watch site. The article looks back on the infamous “60 Minutes Special Investigation” which aired in July 2015, breathlessly proclaiming that “Britain’s biggest-ever scandal is about to explode…”.
The scandal in question, of course, was the infamous “VIP paedophile ring”, sparked by the now-discredited “Nick”, which grew into the £3 million police investigation known as Project Midland. “Nick”, of course, has now been charged with possession of child sexual abuse images, as well as with fraud and perverting the course of justice; his allegations are no longer perceived by most people as credible.
When the 60 Minutes show aired, Scarlet Scoop noted,
I’m not denying the existence of paedophiles in high places but it’s amateur crap like this parading as serious journalism that actually risks deterring people from taking the issue seriously.
Let’s start with the questioning style:
“It still hurts, doesn’t it.”
“When you were 6, a family member took you to other paedophiles, didn’t they.”
…Sooo, no putting words into the mouths of the interviewees there, then!
Moreover, what evidence is actually presented in this documentary other than the ‘testimonies’ of these random ‘victims’? Not a single document or piece of video evidence, no witness testimonies, no police records, no data, no sources, no media clips or press articles, no consulting with experts…
And is there a reason we should take these so-called victims’ claims on face value and believe everything they say without question or robust analysis? I’m not necessarily saying they’re lying but when the makers of an award-winning news show on a mainstream TV channel swallow everything they say (at times manipulating them into saying what they want to hear), and regurgitate it all as categorical fact, for consumption by millions, then something has gone horribly wrong.
This is tabloid journalism of the shoddiest kind. It’s essentially an hour of idle gossip and tittle-tattle that would be more worthy of hysterical lying charlatans like Bill Baloney and Ben Fellows. Gullible paranoid loons like Charlotte “Jacqui Farmer” Ward and her creepy troll collective will inevitably swallow this crap wholesale – in fact, they’d already done so before it had even aired (!) – but intelligent, rational people should, I feel, approach this so-called documentary with extreme caution.
At the time, Scarlet questioned whether she was being too harsh in her criticism of the show.
However, Media Watch’s analysis would suggest that she was right on the money:
The 60 Minutes report was built on a number of witnesses whose evidence is now disputed or discredited.
In addition, the investigative website, Exaro News, on whose work 60 Minutes relied, was severely criticised and then shut down.
Watts and Exaro claim to have arranged 60 Minutes’ key interviews, one of whom was known only as ‘Darren’, who told 60 Minutes that, like Nick, he’d been abused in an apartment in London’s Dolphin Square by VIPs, including one of Britain’s best-known politicians:
ROSS COULTHART: One of the most powerful men in the land, Leon Brittan should have been prosecuting paedophiles. Instead, according to Darren and other witnesses, he was one of them.
DARREN: He liked boys to dress in women’s underwear, and then to be in a room alone and discover you, in women’s underwear, and punish you for wearing the underwear.
ROSS COULTHART: A member of Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet?
ROSS COULTHART: Raping children?
— Channel Nine, 60 Minutes, 19 July, 2015
So, how credible were Darren’s allegations? Well, turned out they weren’t.
The police investigation into Dolphin Square, Operation Midland, whose lead officer had called Nick’s claims “credible and true”, collapsed in March 2016 without bringing charges and an official inquiry then found police had made 43 errors and fallen for false claims of abuse.
As Media Watch points out, there were any number of reasons to doubt “Darren’s” claims, from the outset. Had 60 Minutes done even the most cursory investigation before going to air, they might have discovered that
- “Darren” was convicted of making bomb hoaxes in the 1990s.
- He had previously made false confessions of murder and rape.
- In 2013 he sent an email to a social worker saying, “Leon Brittan never abused me or anyone I know”.
- In 2014 he stated that police and social services “falsely declared me as suffering from a delusional paranoid mental health disorder”.
- In 2015, he claimed on Twitter, “I am just so so terrified of all police now after witnessing one kill a girl in an abuse ritual as a child”.
And then there’s this:
Five months before 60 Minutes went to air, Darren made the extraordinary claim to Exaro that he had helped a VIP paedophile torture and kill a boy with Down syndrome by tying him to two vehicles and driving them apart.
Funnily enough, this macabre murder method seems to have been in vogue amongst VIP paedophiles, continents apart. Another Media Watch post notes that chronic porky pie specialist Fiona Barnett claims to have witnessed an almost identical crime:
Ms Barnett recounted a story about being shown as a child what happened to “traitors” who spoke out.
She alleged she witnessed a man being tied to two tractors which drove in opposite directions, tearing him limb from limb.
— Northern Star, 23rd October, 2015
Troofers need to believe
As Scarlet pointed out in 2015, the Hoaxtead mob leapt aboard the 60 Minutes “special investigation” train even before it had aired. Interestingly, though, the collapse of Project Midland seems to have done nothing to dampen their ardour for all things SRA-related.
After all, they still have the Hampstead SRA hoax to cling to.
And if they are able to ignore all the inconsistencies, contradictions, and physical impossibilities in the case as told by two children who were tortured by their mother and her boyfriend, their faith will remain strong.
While it would seem reasonable to ask 60 Minutes to follow through on their promise to update this story, perhaps including the fact that most of its proponents have been discredited, it’s probably too much to suggest that those for whom SRA is an article of faith re-evaluate their views.
Even if the Archangel Gabriel (no relation) were to descend and read a holy proclamation dictated by the Man Upstairs debunking the hoax, we expect that the troofers would find some way of claiming that it was merely elitist propaganda, and that “they believe the children”.
You have to hand it to the troofers: they might not be the sharpest tools in the shed, but they sure are persistent.