Boris created EU "fake news" 20 years ago

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Fascinating quote in a New York Times piece on the Brexit-backing British newspapers (and principally, The Sun):

With little regard for the truth — he was previously fired by The Times of London for making up a quote — Mr. Johnson wrote about a Europe scheming to impose standard condom sizes and ban his country’s beloved prawn-cocktail-flavored chips (both untrue).

“Boris invented fake news,” said Martin Fletcher, a former foreign editor of The Times, who was in Brussels shortly after Mr. Johnson. “He turned euroskepticism into an art form that every news editor in London came to expect.”

In effect, Boris created a caricature of the EU in his journalism days – and then effectively campaigned against that caricature once he became a politician.

Another reason to be uneasy about the revolving door between national-level journalism and politics.

Photo by Think London and used under a Creative Commons licence

boris johnsonbrexiteuEuropepolitical journalismpoliticiansPoliticsThe Sun

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.