Media Lens have received legal threats from the Times newspaper concerning their latest media alert, Selling The Fireball: Bush and Iran. Due to these threats they’ve had to amend their alert to remove responses from Times journalist Bronwen Maddox. To read the excellent alert, including the parts the editors have had to remove, you can try one of the following sites: UK Indymedia, CASMII (Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran).
The Media Lens editors posted the following message about the threats:
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.
Update (10 July 2008): Read the followup: News International Threatens Media Lens with Legal and Police Action