Media Lens have felt the need to amend their 25th June alert, Selling the Fireball - George Bush and Iran following "repeated threats of legal and police action from Alastair Brett, legal manager of News International’s Times Newspapers on June 28 and July 2". This has now been picked up by The Guardian, in todays issue Peter Wilby has an article titled, publish and be damned. The original Media Lens report, before the amendments were made due to the legal threats can be read on this site and following is the message posted by the Media Lens Editors about the threats.
Times Newspapers threaten Media Lens with legal and police action
Posted by The Editors on July 3, 2008, 2:15 pm
We have received repeated threats of legal and police action from Alastair Brett, legal manager of News International’s Times Newspapers on June 28 and July 2. Brett claims a Times Journalist, Bronwen Maddox, has been subject to threatening emails from Media Lens readers. Brett also claims that we have breached copyright by publishing an email from Maddox without permission. We have sought legal advice and, having essentially zero resources for fighting a court case, feel we have no choice but to delete Maddox’s email from our media alert, ‘Selling The Fireball’, as demanded. You can see the amended version here:
With more than 1 million people lying dead in Iraq, it pains us greatly to see our attempt to host an honest, rational discussion on the looming threat of war with Iran butchered in this way.
It is almost exactly seven years since we started Media Lens and this is the first time we have been threatened with legal action. We will have more to say about this in due course, as will others. As ever, we strongly urge readers to maintain a polite, non-aggressive and non-abusive tone in communicating with journalists.