[Debate] (Fwd) Was Ray Hartley stupid or malevolent (or both)?
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Mon Aug 29 06:56:19 BST 2011
(I had lunch with him once twenty years ago, and I'd say 'stupid', i.e.
forgetful plus opportunistic. Our old friend, Debate-list-departed
Dominic, thinks there's a race plot - beyond, that is, selling more
newspapers with breathless, bogus 'scoops', a long-standing Sunday Times
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [SOS Relay] Hartley must go
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 07:34:29 +0200
From: Dominic Tweedie <dominic.tweedie at gmail.com>
*Hartley must go*
The publication of the three- or four-year-old 'Facebook racism'
photograph on the front page of the Sunday Times was a deliberate
The editor, Ray Hartley, knew better than almost anybody else in the
country that this story was at least three years old, because before he
was editor of the Sunday Times he was editor of The Times, which ran
this very same story prominently in October, 2008.
Why then did he fake the story up as news and run it again on the front
page of the Sunday Times, yesterday? Why now?
It is because thousands of young people full of vague talk of racial
"nationalisation" are going to start arriving in Johannesburg, today.
Hartley, a white person with the same interest as the white people who
faked the photograph, wanted to stir up racial trouble in the country.
At the same time as putting the incendiary image on its front page (and
on its web site, still up to now), the Sunday Times was busy, inside,
trying to twist its own previous allegations of Julius Malema's
corruption into this: "State institutions should not be used to settle
political scores - no matter who the target may be." It was trying, in
this editorial, to suggest that Julius Malema is the victim of misuse of
state resources - because the state is investigating the allegations
that the Sunday Times itself had published!
The Sunday Times' timing is more than suspicious. This front page story,
and the editorial allegations, were attempts to pour petrol on a fire,
and potentially, to burn down the whole country.
There are black people, like Julius Malema, who live by playing with
racial fire. And there are plenty of black people who are hurt and
vulnerable and who will react to this kind of provocation. This is the
background to what Ray Hartley and the Sunday Times did yesterday, with
full knowledge and malice aforethought.
The Sunday Times’ intentional use of the photograph is no different from
those who made the image in the first place.
These newspapers have not changed at all. They cannot be trusted. It is
now time to move to the Media Appeals Tribunal as fast as possible.
In the mean time, with or without the MAT, Ray Hartley must resign or be
*Sunday Times 'Facebook racist' story is 3 years old***
/Inflammatory image given front page splash was extensively reported on
in 2008 /
*Politicsweb.co.za, Johannesburg, 29 August 2011*
On Sunday the /Sunday Times/ - under the heading "Wanted: Facebook
racist" - led with a story
a picture of a white man posing "over the apparently lifeless body of a
black child - like a hunter celebrating his kill." It said that the
"undated picture", which it published prominently on its front page, "is
on the social networking site in the profile of a user called ‘Eugene
Terrorblanche'" and that "While it is not known if the photograph is
genuine or has been manipulated, a child protection charity has
expressed concern for the well being of the youngster."
The newspaper had sent a link of the picture to the Hawks unit of the
South African Police Service and they had immediately launched an
investigation. "The search is now on for the person or persons
responsible for the picture, for whoever created the user profile and
for those who have seen the photograph but failed to report it."
Although the /Sunday Times'/ did not date the picture or establish
whether it was posed, digitally created or real, its report was picked
up by AFP which sent the story around the world.
The picture, seemingly documenting, at the very least, the degradation
of a black child by a white man, provoked a Tsunami of fury and outrage.
DA leader, Helen Zille, released a statement calling for "all South
Africans to assist in finding the originators of this picture so that
the law can take its course."
At about the point where this tidal wave was peaking Mandy Wiener, the
Eye Witness News reporter and author of Killing Kebble, commented on
Twitter that she was " surprised by /Sunday Times/ lead story re
Facebook racism. I did the story for EWN several years ago & it was well
In a follow up message she said that in May 2008 "EWN exposed the
picture which is on the front page of the SunTimes on a FB group called
'Ek laaik nie 'n houtkop nie so what'." In answer to a query as to
whether the man with the rifle was ever tracked down she added: "I tried
at the time and seem to recall it was a hoax."
The story on the racist Facebook group - established by a few students
at the University of the North West - was extensively reported on in the
press in early October 2008. A Sapa report on October 6 2008 stated:
"The North West University (NWU) on Monday expressed shock over the
existence of a racist group on Facebook and the involvement of some of
its students as officers of the group...It was reported that the group
called "/ek laaik nie 'n houtkop nie, sou what/" (I do not like a
'houtkop', so what?) contains inflammatory comments posted by members.
The group apparently also showed a photograph of a young white man
holding a gun while posing over the trophy of a young black boy lying on
The Facebook group and the photograph were subsequently mentioned in
reports and analyses in /Beeld/, /Die Burger,/ /Volksblad/, the
Independent Group newspapers and the /Mail & Guardian/. (In November
2008 a student linked to the page was expelled from the university, an
action which again received extensive coverage in the press.)
_*/The Times/, then edited by **Ray Hartley*_, also reported on the
incident. In an article (*October 7 2008*) it stated that the
university's management and the Human Rights Commission had been alerted
to the existence of the Facebook page. Adding: "the ‘k-word' is used
frequently page, and a picture of a white man holding a gun while
standing over a young black boy on the ground is displayed. The picture
has been removed."
On Twitter on Sunday _*Hartley - now editor of the /Sunday Times/*_ -
defended the decision to publish this extremely racist image on the
front page of his newspaper despite its being at least three years old,
saying: "Our story is about an extremely racist image being published on
Facebook now, in 2011. We must find the person who published this image."
*Update:* /Beeld/ reports
the Hawks are now saying that the police had already investigated the
photo in 2007. The man concerned told the police back then that he had
paid the child to lie like that.
The Times/ report of _October 7 2008_:*
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