Yesterday was Nadine Dorries’s day under attack from the left, today it’s new equalities minister Kemi Badenoch’s turn under the spotlight. Vice has published a supposedly explosive scoop claiming that, as a newly-elected backbencher in 2018, Badenoch made comments on tape that “mocked LGBTQ rights, questioned same-sex marriage, and called trans women “men””. The hack behind the piece, Ben Hunte, boasts that the comments were heard from “an explosive audio recording obtained by VICE World News.” When reading the article one thing becomes immediately obvious: the supposed audio recording is nowhere to be found. Neither is there any sort of transcript…
While there are a couple of very short quotes attributed to Badenoch, no wider context is included. The shoddiest section is on the claims that she “questioned same sex marriage”:
“In the recording, the minister also appears to mock gay marriage, and the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, which was spearheaded by several of her predecessors as equalities minister.”
That’s all the information the reader is given. No recording, no quote, no transcript, nothing.
Hunte has a history of this kind of sloppy reporting. From April 2019 to September 2021, he was the BBC’s “LGBT Correspondent”, where his piece on a ruling by senior judges against children having access to hormone-blocking drugs was found by the BBC’s complaints unit to have been “one-sided and risked endangering vulnerable people”:
“the article did not meet the BBC’s standards for due impartiality or the requirements of the BBC’s guidelines on reporting suicide or attempted suicide”
Guido suggests Vice swiftly rewrites the piece with proof to substantiate their claims, or it won’t just be The Huffington Post Kemi’s at war with…