LIES, DAMN LIES, AND HYPERLINKS….My favorite NRO whipping boy, John Derbyshire, posts this short item in The Corner today:
In August 1999, English farmer Tony Martin shot dead a burglar who had broken into the isolated farmhouse where Martin lived. Martin was convicted of murder, later reduced to manslaughter. His bid for parole was just turned down. The parole board gave the following reasons for turning down Martin’s request. (1) He is “a danger to burglars.” (2) He is “not up to speed with the 21st century” and thinks that “things were better 40 years ago.” (3) He has refused to feign remorse. I have not made this up.
Now, it’s not that I don’t trust Derb, but I decided to click on the hyperlink at “I have not made this up” just out of curiosity. Here’s what the article in the Telegraph says:
The three members of the Parole Board, who met in London to review his case, gave no reason for turning him down.
It turns out that items (1), (2), and (3) were actually things that Tony Martin’s friends claimed were in the probation report.
Were those things actually in the probation report? I don’t know. Did the parole board make its decision based on those things? I don’t know.
But: Did the parole board give those things as reasons for turning down Martin’s request? Definitely not. Is John Derbyshire to be trusted? Definitely not.
Moral of the story: Follow the hyperlinks, dammit. Don’t just take someone else’s word for what the story says.