Don’t believe the press

The Telegraph headline is Grand Theft Auto IV: Violence flares after launch and they know the cause:”A 23-year-old was repeatedly stabbed in Croydon, south London as he walked past 100 people queuing to buy the controversial game, in which players rob and murder their way through the criminal underworld.”

The Mail, as ever, don’t pull their punches with Teenager stabbed in queue at midnight launch of ultra violent video game Grand Theft Auto IV. They too know what happened: “A man was stabbed last night while queueing to buy one of the first copies of a controversial new video game.”

The BBC report the stabbing but make no mention of any game.

The Press association, which many journalists will use as their source, headline with Police hunt video game attacker and say “ Police are hunting a hooded man who stabbed a passer-by as he waited to buy a new edition of a notoriously violent computer game.”

So you can see already that they have different stories. Was the victim in the queue or walking past? Perhaps the local paper can clear this up for us.

So to the Croydon Guardian who have the best headline yet: Grand Theft slaughter. And they have a new slant on the victim “Queues of people waiting outside Gamestation in George Street saw the man staggering around covered in blood as they waited to get their hands on the latest copy of the game.”

But what is this we see at the bottom of the Croydon Guardian article, in the reader comments? Scroll down and we find: “I’d just like to clarify, that the incident and the four “blokes” involved had no connections with the people who were in the queue for Grand Theft Auto 4, nor did they have any intentions of purchasing the game. It just happened in the same place.
I was in the queue and saw the events unfold, but once again it seems instead of looking at the root of the problem it’s much more convenient to blame the games that we play.”

Yes that’s right, the stabbing in Croydon had nothing to do with GTA IV. Yet over the news media all day today and tomorrow morning the population of Britain will be fed a totally false message. The media should be deeply ashamed of themselves when they mislead like this.


  1. Hmm, I wondered why I didn’t hear of this, but surprise, I don’t read any of them.

    Ridiculously rubbish sensationalist journalism to a T. No fact checking I see, mmm.

  2. Not surprising at all – you should check out the crap the media talk about to stir up the so called War on terror – although because there is such a climate of fear people take the bait. Sad but true.

  3. Is this the same area where someone was stabbed a few years ago in the IKEA store when they had a well publicised sale? Why weren’t there calls to ban post-modern swedish furniture in Britain when this happened by the media?

  4. I was in the queue when all this happened. The guy that got stabbed diserved it! If the police bothered to interview anyone at the scene they would know this!

    The police took over 45minutes to turn up, and only did so when the fool decided to walk around croydon centre with a kitchen blade and half his back slashed open as well as huge slashes at his neck.

    Nothing to do with GTA 4 other than he believed that “we should all get a life” he thought he was invincible cause he was drunk – he got shown otherwise!

    Lock the prick up and stop treating him like a victim!

  5. I am bored by this. Everyone knows that GMTV IV is a best game for the win!1

  6. So we shouldn’t believe the press? Fair enough, I buy that. There are enough examples of inaccurate reporting that it’s sensible to take these things with a pinch of salt.

    But we should believe an unknown contributor in online article’s comments? How are they likely to be any better?

    Anyway, people underestimate the difficulty of actually forming a coherent picture on any event of this nature, due in part to the notorious unreliability of eye witness accounts.

    I personnally have been at events (football related crowd trouble) where the press reports have differed noticeably from what I saw. When comparing the experience afterwards with others who were there too, but had a slightly different view, I found that even we “eye witnesses” had a different understanding of the facts.

    I think too few people manage to report pure fact, when it is so natural to attempt at least some interpretation – maybe without even realising we are doing it.

  7. This most certainly has opened my eyes, thanks!
    So would you say the perpetrating press members responsible, are those of the traditional printed press, a la the Telegraph and the Croydon Guardian?
    If so I would say its about time such companies were seriously chastised – fined or even shut down for circulating sheer lies.
    The other media are no better though – also followed the GTA bandwagon.
    We just dont see the whole truth any more do we?

  8. There was a stabbing in Walpole Park, Ealing a few weeks ago. Will you all join my campaign to ban parks?

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