Will Smith wins damages and apology over Hitler slur

There's one thing reporting facts in a wrong or misrepresented way but another in then disseminating such slurs to a wider audience. Picking up on an interview in the Daily Record, WEN World Entertainment News had distributed a story that misrepresented Will Smith's views on Hitler's atrocities and warped logic as an endorsement of the Nazi dictactor as a 'good person'. While the original interview had been in the Scottish tabloid it was the news agency that distributed this misrepresentation that was in the High Court this Friday to issue its unreserved apology and offer undisclosed damages for propagating the libel.

As previously reported on Mediabeak, following a strangely written-up interview in Scottish tabloid the Daily Record, that was picked up and dstributed in the media by WEN as suggesting Hitler was a good person, Will Smith was forced to issue a clarification over what he had actually said in the interview.

WEN was today forced to offer an unreserved apology and damages in settlement of the incident. This episode highlights two things: First, how ridiculous journalism let itself interpret Smith's comments in such a way (he's not known for his right wing stance on any subject) and Second, a reminder to news agencies and wire services that they have to apply sufficient editorial controls to ensure that - even if the material they receive is already misrepresented - they can filter content to ensure they don't repeat or create libellous headlines or copy.


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