Siobhan McFadyen criticised for “absolute tosh” in journalism row
A WRITER accused of malicious reporting on Scottish politics has continued to threaten criminal action over the response she received online.
Siobhan McFadyen, who has submitted various controversial articles to the Daily Express, was criticised by pro-independence website Wings Over Scotland for misrepresenting the 2014 referendum as containing “widespread outbreaks of violence”.
McFadyen was then mocked online in a wave of messages – at which point she began reporting critics to the police.
“People hate it when I incite violence. They're a nasty hate mob. So unfair!”, joked twitter user Jack Deeth.
McFadyen copied the message to the Metropolitan Police, and said she would make a police report.
Another user ‘Commonly Neil’ added: “Siobhan, with respect and putting all enmity aside, I strongly advise you to consider backing away for a while. I think perhaps we all should, out of respect for the enormous hole that is being dug here. Meant kindly.”
“Why are you threatening me? Or are you about to? You're tell[ing] me to do what exactly? I am reporting both these accounts to police. And I mean it this time,” McFadyen replied.
Metropolitan police were unaware of the case when contacted by CommonSpace.
McFadyen’s complaints to twitter over being described as “an utter disgrace” by Wings Over Scotland, edited by Stuart Campbell, lead to the site’s twitter account being suspended for a day before being reinstated.
The war of words – where McFadyen described Campbell as a “cult leader” – led to messages of support for his right to free speech.
Even if you find @WingsScotland nasty, distasteful or wrong, his ban from Twitter without explanation is disturbing. #freespeech @Support
— James Cook (@BBCJamesCook) September 12, 2016
Don't like @WingsScotland? Fine. Argue with him or ignore him. Don't try to shut him up. It's illiberal, the resort of bullies and cowards.
— (((StephenDaisley))) (@JournoStephen) September 12, 2016
Others criticised The Express’ reporting of race and migration issues.
I think that it's an utter disgrace that the Daily Express regularly stokes up hatred toward migrants. pic.twitter.com/LNp6H2q3Sp
— Ross Colquhoun (@rosscolquhoun) September 12, 2016
Mandy Rhodes, editor of Holyrood Magazine, critised McFadyen for a misleading piece regarding her interview with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
This is absolute tosh & @siobhanyc has the cheek to call herself a journalist & @dailyexpressuk a newspaper! https://t.co/tTEGzEFQUP
— mandy rhodes (@holyroodmandy) September 12, 2016
McFadyen previously wrote an inaccurate piece about former SNP communications director Kevin Pringle. The article, accusing Pringle of receiving free golf tickets through nepotism, was retracted once it was clear the piece had confused him with another Kevin Pringle.
Campbell, whose populist blog regularly mocks and challenges the press, was behind the ‘Wee Blue Book’ – which published 300,000 copies during the independence referendum.
While loved by his supporters for his direct and abrasive style, he has also faced criticism for controversial views on women’s equality, trans rights and the Hillsborough disaster.
McFadyen and the Daily Express did not respond to requests for comment.
Update 5:35pm, 14 September: After several requests, McFadyen commented: "I have reported this matter to the police."
Picture courtesy of Miles Winterburn
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