Daily Mail writer admits he’s been ‘had’ after publishing a fake news story

Andrew Pierce and Daily Mail logo

A Daily Mail writer has admitted that he accidentally reported a spoof blog post as real. As a result, he’s been criticised by people on social media, with one branding him a “dumb shit”.

Taken in

The Daily Mail published a piece by Andrew Pierce called Is UKIP Now Holy Acceptable?. Pierce said Ely Cathedral had recently flown the party’s flag to “mark a UKIP conference held nearby” and concluded:

if church leaders had the passion of Brexiteers like Nigel farage [sic], there wouldn’t be such a crisis of attendance in the pews.

It even said that Peter Broadbent, the Bishop of Willesden, “spluttered with outrage” at the news. But Pierce was forced to admit he’d made a big mistake. Because it turned out the source was a spoof story published by blog Archbishop Cranmer on 15 August.

Speaking to Cambridgeshire Live, Pierce apologised and said:

I’ve been had.

But Pierce wasn’t the only one that fell for the news. UKIP councillor Nigel Simpson appeared to tweet approvingly about the news:

Read on...

As did Suzanne Evans, a former UKIP leadership hopeful:

Daily Mail ridiculed

Ely Cathedral took to Twitter on 16 August to clear up the confusion:

Although this appears to have bypassed Pierce. Because the Daily Mail published his article on 20 August.

People on social media didn’t let Pierce brush it off so easily. They ridiculed him and the Daily Mail:

Even Broadbent, the Bishop of Willesden, joined in:

Basic facts

Ely Cathedral told Cambridgeshire Live:

we would never fly any political party’s flag over the Cathedral.

Archbishop Cranmer is a blog that puts forward an “unashamedly Christian perspective” on current events. And its UKIP story was allegedly criticising news that Ely Cathedral flew a rainbow flag for the city’s Pride. But regional Labour MEP Alex Mayer said the move showed a “tolerant and inclusive city”.

Pierce’s article is yet another example of how the Daily Mail puts outrage over truth. And it displays a serious hole when it comes to checking basic facts. But that probably doesn’t come as a surprise to most.

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