Hamas Hugging Smalley gets spanked by BSA for inaccuracy

Who is the 'serious' journalist now eh Rachel?

Who is the ‘serious’ journalist now eh Rachel?

Hamas Hugging Rachel Smalley has been spanked by the Broadcasting Standards Authority for making up claims about Israel in her mad rant on her show earlier in the year.

During KPMG Early Edition, the host read out an opinion piece criticising Israel’s actions in the Israel-Hamas conflict. She referred to a recent bombing of a UN school which ‘killed everyone inside’. The Authority upheld the complaint that this was inaccurate, as in fact 16 out of 3,300 people sheltering in the school were killed. It did not uphold the complaint other statements were inaccurate, as they were clearly the host’s opinion. The Authority did not make any order, as publication of this decision is sufficient to correct the error.

Upheld: Accuracy


[11]  The third statement however, and specifically the host’s assertion that the bombing of the UN school ‘killed every civilian inside’, was in our view a material point of fact. Unlike her other statements, this claim related to a specific incident and was capable of being assessed as factually accurate or inaccurate.  

[12]  This statement was inaccurate. Other news coverage of the incident reported that up to 16 people were killed and 200 others injured in the bombing of the school, where some 3,300 people were sheltering.2 We reject TRN’s contention that the number of people killed in the UN school ‘makes no difference to the point that the host is making, that the attack was unacceptable’. While the death of any number of people is a tragedy, it was a significant overstatement to say that all civilians sheltering at the school had been killed, when in fact, 16 out of 3,300 people were killed. The difference between 16 and 3,300 deaths was material, as the host used the incident to bolster her strong position against Israel’s actions toward civilians.

[13]  While hosts are entitled to express their opinions in editorials within news and current affairs programmes, and this is a legitimate exercise of the right to freedom of expression, they must ensure that if they make factual statements material to the issues discussed, these are accurate so that the audience is not misled.

[14]  Accordingly, we are satisfied that upholding the complaint would not unreasonably limit the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression, and we uphold this aspect of Mr Cumin’s accuracy complaint.

For the above reasons the Authority upholds the complaint that the broadcast by The Radio Network Ltd of KPMG Early Edition on 1 August 2014 breachedStandard 5 of the Radio Code of Broadcasting Practice.

You have to wonder how a ‘serious journalist like Rachel Smalley can continue to hold her head high after such a finding.

Perhaps she should be called Rachel ‘inaccurate’ Smalley from now on?

Rachel Smalley…making stuff up since forever…

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.