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A Victory For Despicable Journalism

May 4, 2010

As a fan of snooker, I am disappointed by the revelations over the weekend that world champion John Higgins has been suspended over allegations of max fixing by The News of the World. Most people I know accept that The News of the World is more than just a sensationalist newspaper but a low IQ rag that will stop at nothing to promote itself by inventing stories where none exist by intentionally putting people into inescapable situations. The result is increased circulation at the cost of shattered dreams and reputations.

Take a look at the News of the World article see who the journalist is; one Mazher Mahmood. Now do a web search for his name and take a look at what he has been involved in.

One of the hits is the following article by respected journalist Roy Greenslade. Roy explains very well the devious and despicable methods that Mr Mahmood utilises to entrap and encourage his targets into acting in a way which can be construed as criminal, more crucially, he will coerce these people, through entrapment techniques, to behave in a way which is counter to their best interests and not normally something they would do or consider.

Mr Mahmood’s website lists his successes and proudly proclaims that his journalistic accomplishments as having helped to bring to justice a variety of corrupt individuals. The key factor linking all of them are that they are caught using entrapment techniques. No doubt some of these people deserved to be caught and imprisoned for their crimes, but does that make it okay to use the same methods to corner someone into talking about a crime which they would otherwise not consider?

What shocks me so much about the John Higgins affair is how its being taken so seriously. We have a newspaper, which has devised its own story, invented a trap to manufacture it, lured a high-profile sportsman into it and then sprung it. Then released all the details before anyone has a chance to breathe. More importantly, before his accused has a chance to confirm his willingness, by either taking money or indicating the exact details of which frames will be thrown. The video that has been released is the News of the Worlds own video, taken as a secret recording, and crucially, is their own cut on what they want us to see.

So, what we have here, is respected snooker player John Higgins lured to a meeting on the pretense of setting up another snooker tournament. Once there, however, the trap is sprung and the conversation moves instead to how a few frames would be thrown. A man of integrity has been put into a trap from which he can do very little to escape, all to further the career of a journalist who takes pleasure in being as nasty as he can to tear good reputations into little pieces.

I am hopeful that sense will be seen and Mr Mahmood will be seen for the unscrupulous little piece of weasel excrement he really is, and the evidence thrown out.

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