On Friday afternoon, the British police attended an incident on Oxford Street after reports of gunshots in and around Oxford Circus tube station. How would two responsible British newspapers report on the incident?
On Black Friday, the streets of Central London, especially Oxford Street, are obviously extremely busy. So, when the Metropolitan Police explained on their Twitter account that they had received "numerous 999 calls within a short space of time reporting shots fired in a number of locations on Oxford Street and at Oxford Circus underground station," the social media bubble went crazy, as usual.
Police called at 16:38 to a number of reports of shots fired on #OxfordStreet & underground at Oxford Circus tube station. Police have responded as if the incident is terrorist related. Armed and unarmed officers are on scene and dealing along with colleagues from @BTP— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) November 24, 2017
And so was the competition between extremist tabloids the Daily Mail & the Daily Express to make of the Oxford Circus incident a terrorist attack.
The problem with these two titles is that they are not journalists but propagandists who love spreading fake news. They have only one thing in mind: press the panic button and get their extremist agenda on rail (as James O'Brien likes to regularly remind his listeners on LBC). And it usually works. Unless... there is no gunshot, no suspect, no casualty. No terrorist attack. In which case, they get found out.
As for the Oxford Street incident today, "officers working with colleagues from British Transport Police carried out an urgent search of the area. No causalities, evidence of any shots fired or any suspects were located by police," the Metropolitan Police later explained in a statement.
A big thank you for bearing with us whilst we and @metpoliceuk responded to #OxfordCircus.— BTP (@BTP) November 24, 2017
Armed officers were quickly on scene, no evidence of gunfire found. The area was searched swiftly and we are working to lift cordons and reopen stations.
It is not surprising to see the Daily Mail and the Express wasting so much energy to spread fake news and panic online, as when they are not competing for terror attacks, they compete for the most outrageous headlines against Remainers, the EU, doctors, foreigners... you name it. Unfortunately, they have an endless list of topics on their extremist agenda and billionaire tax-avoiding owners happy to pay for it.🔷
(This is an original piece, first published by the author in PoliticsMeansPolitics.com)