Helena Horton – maybe you thought I didn’t mean it?

I received an email from Helena Horton of the Daily Telegraph yesterday afternoon asking for a quote and a chat about NE’s licensing of taking Peregrines from the wild.

I, and Wild Justice, have recent experience with the Telegraph and Ms Horton (see here, here) and so back in February, after another lapse on the part of the Telegraph, I wrote here that to get anything out of me in future Ms Horton would have to write 20 lines ‘Mark Avery is not an animal rights activist’.

I reminded her of that yesterday.

Ms Horton wouldn’t comply and so I told her to go elsewhere and she clearly did.

Journalists are used to dealing with people who are gagging to have their names in newspapers and will put up with shoddy treatment in order to see their organisations mentioned – that doesn’t apply to me. I generally give people and organisations the benefit of the doubt until let down by them. The Daily Telegraph has treated Wild Justice and me shoddily so they will have to admit their error if they want access to me – and if they don’t, then that’s fine by me.

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13 Replies to “Helena Horton – maybe you thought I didn’t mean it?”

  1. Too err is human, to forgive divine.

    Don’t be so ungallant, Mark.

    I doubt if any “shoddiness” was deliberate. She probably just misheard or misunderstood you. Or didn’t quite grasp the point you were making.

    Give Helena another chance - phone her right away.

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    1. James - you either didn’t read the links or you just ignored them.

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      1. You did the right thing. There are some decent journalists out there. Ignore those that twist your words or put an unwarranted slant on your opinions. If everyone did that, the less than truthful types would lose their positions - or at least I hope they would. Then maybe they are just following editorial instructions to sell newspapers to their core customers. Still it shows lack of integrity.

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  2. I think I too might have told the Torygraph to go forth rather than give them a quote that will be misused, misquoted or put entirely out of context with tripe from their pals in Countryside Areliars.
    I see Mark that our friends in RSPB are taking a protectionist rather than conservationist stance over the Peregrine taking licences. Alltoo predictable yet apart from Investigations they hardly shout at all about the real issues of persecution and mismanagement of our uplands, or am I being unfair.

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    1. You may be being a bit unfair, Paul. RSPB do some shouting but it's not the only way of doing stuff.

      All I have seen on the peregrines is that RSPB are asking NE some "tough questions". I ran this issue past a serious birder friend today and his immediate reaction was "thin end of the wedge". I expect that's what RSPB will be worried about and no doubt they'll have had quite a bit of membership reaction already and be worried about that too!

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    2. Yeah, if I was in The Good Place then I'd tell her to fork off and eat shirt, because the Torygraph and its readers are a bunch of total counts.

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  3. I can’t understand why being described as an “animal rights activist” causes you such grief.

    True, you’re not at the extreme end of the spectrum - ie raiding animal-testing labs or throwing blood-coloured paint over women wearing fur coats - but you. campaign (with commendable vigour) for the right of raptors to be spared persecution by gamekeepers.

    To most people that would be classed as activism.

    Did you seriously expect Helena to accept the schoolmasterly ‘punishment’ you saw fit to mete out ?

    Was it truly your intention that either the Telegraph or your blog should have published the retraction from Helena that you sought?

    Helena would not have written the headline to which you took offence, so why seek to embarrass and humiliate her?

    Do you not see that as sexist, patronising and bullying?

    Give the reporter a break - she has done a lot of good work for the Telegraph in keeping environmental issues to the fore.

    Surely far better to make your peace with Helena than to hold a grudge?

    That way you can both move forward.

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    1. James - it's not a punishment, it's an admission. No admission = no forgiveness. I'm moving forward all the time thanks.

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    2. As far as being school masterly and patronizing James it's your comment that manages that, and the fact that the target for Mark's criticism happens to be female doesn't mean he's sexist! This wouldn't be a bit of attempted character assassination masquerading as (pseudo) moralising would it?

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  4. Well done Mark.

    If more people put these bullshit merchants in their place, we might have a more responsible, honest press; resulting in a better informed public and a fairer society.

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  5. Well done Mark. The Daily Telegraph is certainly one of those newspapers whose standards of reporting have sunk down and down over recent years. It has always been a mouth piece for the Tory Party but I can remember many years ago it did at least report reasonably factually. Now days as likely as not the degree of political bias and spin on their reports can often result in a misrepresentation of what is actually the case.
    The lesson is keep well away from these sorts of journalists . They are only in it for their own gain, not yours, and if one thinks one will benefit by having “ ones name in lights”, then think again and don’t be taken in.
    Again, well done Mark.

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  6. Spot on Mark.

    Somewhat bizarrely I did an internet search yesterday for the name of the dog lung wormer 'advocate' - and the first article returned was that Telegraph nonsense about dog-walkers being 'barred from swathes of the countryside' because of Wild Justice's action. I was still taken aback by the ludicrous hyperbole (not to mention outright inaccuracy of the headline) even though I'd read the article when your blog referred to it.

    James, you are absolutely wrong and I think you know it. The Telegraph's manipulation of these stories is clearly deliberate and plays to the Countryside Alliance's et al's agenda and when they continue wilfully to misrepresent someone it is just stupid to play along with them.

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