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By Murray Jackson

Journalists! Were they invented to provide us with unintentional laughs as they blunder their way through a series of misquotes, half-correct information or purely invented gobbledegook? I wonder.

During my research I've come to the conclusion that you should never believe all you read. I've chortled away while reading the flubs of various journos who've obviously received their information via Chinese whispers and have blatantly overlooked checking their facts or the credibility of their sources. These are the people who've given credence to those "Elvis-is-alive-and-well-and-living-with-extraterrestrial-beings" stories you read occasionally in the lesser tabloids.

Take for instance the previous issue's Scrapbook article on the Voords. Count the number of correct statements - not a lot, huh? So, presented for your edification is the earliest dated Auckland Star article I could find. Spot the difference between fact and fiction. Perhaps I'm being a little too harsh on John Berry and fellow TV columnists who don't often get the chance to preview the programmes they are writing about and have to rely on the information they receive from overseas sources. Still, the article is riddled with errors. The most glaring ones I've picked up are as follows:

  1. The Menoptra were not villains.
  2. Bill Strutton did not dream up Doctor Who. He did however write The Web Planet in which the Zarbi and Menoptra appear.
  3. I'm damn sure the Slyther was not a beetle.
  4. British youngsters were speaking in the manner of Daleks, not their slaves (presumably Robomen), who spoke more as if they had been lobotomized.
  5. There is no way you could say the 'moth-men' conversed in a "blood-curdling screech language". Closer to the truth would have been to say they conversed much like a hesitant Julian Clary.

Others of you, more observant than me, may pick up more errors than those I have listed.

Who would have thought it possible?

[clipping 1] [clipping 1]

Auckland Star, 21 October 1965

This item appeared in TSV 32 (February 1993).

Index nodes: Scrapbook