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Media Watch

A look at the media and LGBT organisations in Manchester.

LGBT FOUNDATION REFUSES TO CORRECT QUENTIN CRISP ERROR

The LGBT Foundation's publication "Unlocking A Hidden History — A Researchers' Guide To Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Historical Sources In Manchester" claims that Quentin Crisp called Manchester "home". This is false. It even mentions Crisp ahead of Alan Turing and we think this error led to Quentin Crisp being included in the mural on the side of the Molly House in Manchester's gay village. Heritage Lottery Funding is being spent on inaccurate projects like this "guide" which misleads people about gay history and pretends to be a source for researchers. Read more (external page).

PRIDE AND THE MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS CONTINUE TO MISREPRESENT MANCHESTER'S GAY HISTORY

In an article dated 2 May 2016, the Manchester Evening News claims that 2015 was the "25th anniversary of LGBT celebrations in the city". This is untrue.

There was a Gay Pub and Club Olympics event in Manchester in August 1985 and Northern Pride in June 1986. There was the Section 28 March in 1988 and an event called Love Rights '89 in 1989 which was actually billed as a "celebration of Lesbian and Gay Sexuality".

In the article, Mark Fletcher the CEO of Manchester Pride, is quoted saying "twenty five years of LGBT events in the city goes to show what an open city we live in". Fletcher told us he has been only partially quoted by the Manchester Evening News. But, despite that and emails from other people, the article hasn't been corrected.

In 2017, Manchester Pride received almost £60,000 of Heritage Lottery cash for a project charting our LGBT history. It seems rather pointless when they are party to "news" articles which misrepresent the history and facts to hundreds of thousands of people.

"FASHION DESIGNER" QUENTIN CRISP BURIED IN MANCHESTER SAYS THE MEN — WRONGLY

In this article the Manchester Evening News states incorrectly that Quentin Crisp is buried in Southern Cemetery. In fact he was cremated and his ashes were flown to New York. In another article the MEN describes Crisp as a "fashion designer" and one of Manchester's "most famous gay people". Crisp never lived in Manchester, doesn't seem to have had any connection with the city except for dying in Chorlton Cum Hardy while on a flying visit, and doesn't seem to have been a fashion designer.

FAKE NEWS ABOUT THE 2013 CHARITY FIGURE

In 2013 the MEN told us that Manchester Pride had raised £34,000 "this year". It was untrue. Pride had made a loss of more than £16,000 that financial year and the £34,000 for good causes came from reserves in the bank account.

GAY VILLAGE CLOSED "AS USUAL" -- MEN

On 25 August 2015, the Manchester Evening News wrote: "as usual the gay village will be closed to people who do not have wristbands".

This was a lie. There was nothing "usual" about 2015. In April of that year the Local Government Ombudsman had ruled that members of the public and residents had a legal right to access premises without a wristband. What had happened in previous years had been unlawful. Yet the MEN didn't think that fact was newsworthy. The Evening News knew about the campaigning surrounding this issue and that the Department For Transport had made clear the situation in letters in August 2014, because it had written articles about it then.

Is it that they that like a bit of "to and fro" in the run up to Pride and some plucky protestors whom the MEN believes have no prospect of bringing change? But then when they succeed, shock horror, we must have a media blackout.

The Manchester Evening News didn't reply to several emails and the article remains online misleading the public.

RECORD AMOUNT RAISED SAYS MEN. BUT HERE'S WHAT IT DIDN'T TELL YOU

"Manchester Pride raises record amount for charity in 2016," wrote the Manchester Evening News on 25 November 2016.

What the MEN didn't tell readers was that Manchester Pride had changed its end of year accounting date from 30 September 2016 to 31 December 2016, giving it a 15 month accounting year in 2015/16 and an extra six to seven weeks of income before the announcement of the charity total. This is the sort of subterfuge that proper journalists uncover.

15 May 2017: "Fighting 'fake news': Why you should trust The Manchester Evening News as the general election nears." No, don't laugh. From the newspaper that told you 600,000 people had viewed the Mardi Gras parade in 1999, that you needed a wristband to get into the gay village in 2015 when the Department For Transport and Local Government Ombudsman had said you didn't and which published our spoof "naked streak" press release without the most basic checks.

Have they learnt their lesson? No...

19 May 2017: The Manchester Evening News has had to publish a public apology after printing an untrue story about a dead mouse being found in a protein shake. The company concerned describes the article as "fake news" and the Northwich Guardian reports they plan to take "appropriate legal action" against all parties involved.

1 July 2018: Here's another journalistic fail by the Manchester Evening News. The MEN writes that the incident happened outside AXM bar. But AXM had ceased to exist about 11 months earlier and the premises (which were once Hollywood Showbar) are called Club Bloom. In fact the closure was a "news" story for the MEN at the time. Riveting stuff... In another fail, their photo shows the opposite end of Bloom Street at the side of the bus station when the incident happened yards from the Princess Street end. What a great help this is in reaching witnesses.


Useful reading

The ruling by the Local Government Ombudsman in April 2015 (PDF). The Ombudsman decided that Manchester City Council had exceeded its powers by mentioning wristbands in a traffic order and that it was unlawful to restrict access to premises (businesses and homes).


Minutes of a meeting at Marketing Manchester in November 2002. These show that those present were told they couldn't charge people to enter public streets. However some of them went ahead and did so from 2003 onwards for a decade.

At the meeting were: Manchester City Council, GHT, the LGF (now known as the LGBT Foundation), Marketing Manchester, the organisers of Europride 2003. The advice seems to have come from the police. Yet the police apparently then turned a blind eye...

This document was unearthed at the Library Archives quite recently by a FactsMCR campaigner.


Factsheet 2021

2021 factsheet Our 2021 Factsheet (PDF) about Manchester Pride has been published. Read about your right to access the Gay Village without buying a wristband, gossip, history & opinion about the current fundraising controversy.

Download the PDF version.

And here it is as four images (handy for sharing on social media): page 1 | page 2 | page 3 | page 4

Our factsheet from 2019 is still well-worth a look. It has quotes and an article about police involvement. Download it as a PDF here. See our factsheets page for other years.


The media

Since the ruling by the Local Government Ombudsman in 2015 the media — both LGBT and mainstream — have stayed silent about the decade-long wristband fiddle and your rights. So some people continue to pay unnecessarily.

All your favourites know: GayStarNews, Pink News, Manchester Evening News, The Guardian, BBC and many more. In a letter to us, the BBC defended its journalist right not to report this. The same BBC that championed consumer rights at one time now prefers to cosy up to the civil-rights-infringing Manchester Pride, as a "sponsor" (the BBC says it doesn't give money).

These organisations don't need to lie. They simply ignore an issue completely. Or, they report some of the facts; perhaps popping in just one or two bits they don't like, to add a fake impression of balance. That's how they manipulate opinion in the direction they think it should go.

The veteran ITV reporter John Pilger says that "not reporting" is the most powerful form of censorship.

What else aren't they telling us?

 

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