German police “shook their heads in disbelief” at the way the events of New Year’s Eve in the city of Dortmund were reported by right wing outlet Breitbart News, it has been reported.
Officials have joined the chorus of condemnation to a Breitbart story – strongly disputed by local journalists – which greatly exaggerated and distorted events on 31 December involving Syrian refugees.
What, all of them?
Condemned as “fake news” by some media pundits, the Breitbart article was headlined: “Revealed: 1,000-man mob attack police, set Germany’s oldest church alight on New Year’s Eve.”
However, according to local journalists, there was no mob and the St Reinold Church – which is not Germany’s oldest – did not catch fire.
So, it was all untrue? Well…
The brief fire on scaffold netting near the church was reportedly caused accidently by a wayward firework.
They can be pretty dangerous, those ‘wayward fireworks’…
Ruhr Nachrichten editor Peter Bandermann said: “Foreign media and users of social networks on the internet used our online reports for fake news, hatred and propaganda.”
How did they do that then?
He claimed that separate, minor incidents which occurred in the Leeds Square area in the crowd of 1,000 strong revellers – which included families and children – were falsely connected by Breitbart to make them appear to all be part of a disorderly “mob”.
Ah. So, there were incidents, after all?
They were not all men chanting “Allahu Akhbar” as claimed by Breitbart, Mr Bandermann said, adding that the phrase was “normal”.
Wait, which is it? They weren’t chanting, or they were, but this is ‘normal’? Normal for whom?
A flag briefly appearing in a video of Mr Bandermann’s embedded in the Breitbart story, showing a group of Syrians celebrating a truce announced in their home country, was depicted by the outlet as being connected to Isis and al-Qaeda.
However, it was actually a flag commonly used by those opposed to the Assad regime and dates back to the days Syrian independence from colonial France in the 1940s.
Ah, I see. It wasn’t a flag in support of a murderous death cult, it was a flag in support of, well, a different murderous death cult. Just the sort of thing ordinary moderate Muslims bring out on New Year’s Eve to wave on the streets of the country that has taken them in…
Glad we cleared that up.