“Bob Livingston told the New York Times that I was a bottom feeder. That’s true. But when I got down there, look what I found.” – Hustler publisher Larry Flynt on resignation of US House Speaker, Bob Livingston after Hustler exposed his extra-marital affairs during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal.
Just when you thought that Allison Morris’ “make-it-up-and-screw-the-facts” style of journalism could not be bettered – or should that be worsened? – along comes Richard Sullivan of The Sunday World with a story that comes straight from the ‘Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster’ school of British/Irish tabloid sewage.
“Detectives Think ‘Winky’ Rea Paid £40,000 For Head Of Frankie Curry”, screamed the headline over a story about Rea’s court challenge to the PSNI’s effort to subpoena his interviews with the Boston College oral history archive. Notice that the headline is written in such a way that it suggests Rea wanted Curry’s actual head delivered to him, ISIS-style.
The story continued:
“…..detectives believe the 64-year-old, who is said to be in poor health, has detailed his alleged involvement in the killing as well as incriminating others. It is also thought his ‘confession’ reveals details of £40,000 in cash paid out to his killers.”
The only accurate part of that paragraph is the bit about Rea’s poor health. The rest, including I assume – or rather hope – the claim that detectives had fed this tripe to The Sunday World, can be filed away under the heading “Invented Stories”. Nonetheless, the PSNI should make their position clear: did this story come from its officers or not?
I have written the following email to the author of this garbage, one Richard Sullivan. We shall see what his response is:
Winston ‘Winky’ Rea did not utter a single word in his interviews with Boston College (BC) about the demise of Frankie Curry. I know that because as the director of the project, it was part of my duties to read the interviews when they were recorded. You will have noticed, I hope, from my blog that I have written to the Irish News, whose reporter Allison Morris was the first to peddle this canard, pointing out their mistake and highlighting the fact that, like yourself, no-one bothered to ring me, the former director of the BC project to check out this story. My email is well known and my phone number would be as easy to obtain. Why on earth would you not take the simple precaution of talking to me first? Or do you just not care when you get stories wrong? I am now asking you formally to publish my correction and give it the same prominence as the original, flawed story. Thanking you in anticipation.