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Blogs and press caught out by Sun’s Fábregas hoax

A hoax mistranslation of an interview given by Cesc Fábregas in Spanish in relation to Spain’s Confed Cup defeat has been repeated as fact by newspapers and blogs alike around the world.

The Sun was the first paper in the UK to run the story, and from there it spread very rapidly indeed.

The original interview is 90% about the Spain international team who lost to the USA in South Africa. At the end of the piece the interviewer asks Cesc about Arsenal and the Ronaldo move to Real Madrid. Most of this is general chit chat, as in this opening bit…

“This year we tried to win the league, we gave it everything, but did not reach the level that everyone expected of Arsenal. When you win you are loved, but when you do not then you lose that love. For four years we have lived on that trust and we need to return that trust our fans have shown.”

Then when asked if he might leave as C Ronaldo did, Cesc said…

“That I never will. It is not my way of doing things. If I have something to say I will say it openly, not using the press. If someday I am not happy that I am the first to tell the boss.”

The interviewer asks, “So could you live without Wenger?. Are you always bound to his life?”

Cesc replies, “He is a very important person, whom I consider a second father. He has helped me and trained me. He has made me captain of Arsenal at 22s. He has given me everything. He is worth ten men and I respect him, appreciate him listen to his advice because it transmits confidence.”

Cesc later put out a statement on Arsenal.com reiterating that the piece in the Sun was nonsense. A few newspapers slightly changed their story on their web sites, but even those gave only a half-hearted retraction suggesting that Cesc had changed his mind. As we know few blogs or papers admit it when they have been caught.

This is the second time an Arsenal player has been the subject of a hoax interview. A couple of months back the Daily Mirror were caught out with a false translation of an interview in Danish by Bendtner which appeared to say that he demanded to play 90 minutes of every game as he was the best Arsenal had. They eventually published a mealy-mouthed retraction and a half-baked apology.

Of course, Untold Arsenal is not immune from such matters. We have had a huge number of posts from people who express negative views about Wenger and Arsenal.

Until now I believed that what linked them was the fact that they never produced coherent arguments and were often posting way off topic. But following a lead given by an insightful friend of the site, I started to check the IP addresses of the computers these people write from.

IP addresses are not perfect identifiers of people’s identities, but they give a clue. What I discovered was that loads of people contributing negative and off-topic comments to this blog had the same IP address, including our old pal Mason.

Which makes you think.

Anyway, it looks like following our ploy of printing a list of all the Arsenal players and where they are going, the newspapers have retaliated with a different game – the fake interview.

Maybe we should do one or two ourselves.

You will, in due course, find this article on Team Talk under a different author – a site where some of the people (ie the same person) who spread negative rubbish here, will engage in their habit of copying bits from here to there. Sky, the ultimate owners of the Team Talk site, don’t give a toss.

Hello Team Talk. Greetings from the real world.

(c) Tony Attwood 2009.

16 comments to Blogs and press caught out by Sun’s Fábregas hoax

  • stuartlondon

    Even the BBC are still peddling this rubbish on BBC News, with no reference to Cesc’s statement correcting the story.

  • FunGunner

    IP addresses are not perfect identifiers of people’s identities, but they give a clue. What I discovered was that loads of people contributing negative and off-topic comments to this blog had the same IP address, including our old pal Mason.

    Which makes you think.

    Tony, they do not come in good faith – take that guy who was posting negative comments on here and then posting your rebuttals on another site. If he really believed what he was saying, would he have done that? They’re spammers, not fans.

  • shotta-gunna

    None of the headlines on NewsNow state unequivocally “Media Hoax – Cesc leaving Arsenal” Instead it is the mealy mouth variety which leaves the impression that the original story had some credibility e.g. “Cesc Fabregas: I am committed to Arsenal” (The Mirror) or “Angry Fábregas to stay at Arsenal” (Independent) or “Angry Fabregas insists: I’m staying at Arsenal to bring back the glory years” (Daily Mail). The headlines from the blogs are just as bad, if not worse.

    The English media is simply Orwellian in the deliberate manner lies are shaped to sound truthful. Even when the lie and the liar is exposed, the retraction is simply rounded in a fashion to leave the impression there must have been some truth to the original story. No wonder newspaper circulation in England, as well as the US, which I am more familiar, is falling like a stone. Good riddance to the liars in my own opinion. I will take my news about the club from Untold Arsenal any day.

  • TheSKAGooner

    Tony,

    I’ve begun posting a standard reply to all Arsenal articles on goal.com –

    “It is the sole purpose of goal.com, its staff writers and employees to make every effort in order to foment discord among Arsenal supporters, to take every opportunity to link, without confirmation, a rotating list of Arsenal players with other teams in Europe or the EPL, to work ’round the clock to imply such a sense of disharmony between Cesc Fabregas and the Club so as to force him to leave The Arsenal simply to halt our production of said articles, and finally, we are obliged that all articles pertaining to Arsene Wenger, The Arsenal’s finances and any other aspects of The Club are presented as negatively as possible. Thank you, goal.com management.”

    Surprisingly, it’s actually made it into the comments section a couple times. haha :o)

  • walter

    I really do think that some parts of the press live with the idea to hurt Arsenal and there players.

  • steww

    Thank you Tony. This is the most sensible piece on Cescgate that I’ve read today.
    Don’t believe the lies folks. Get it from the official site or here. Do not believe anything you read in the media.

  • Tony,
    Firstly, do you know that is a fairly simple task to block such miscreants from even viewing your site in the first place? Drop me a mail and I’ll be happy to give you a hand. It’s quite difficult to copy paste content if you can not read the site or are constantly redirected to ooh, say tottenhamhotspur.com isn’t it?
    Secondly, Yes it is clearly a load of old codswallop from The Sun, no surprises there.
    Thirdly, I believe the headline should have been something similar to ‘Blogs and press caught out by FABrications’ which would mirror The Sun’s style quite nicely. You missed a trick.

  • Marc

    Tony, With regard to the reproduction of your articles on other sites, surely you must have some intellectual property rights. A decent solicitors letter might attract a little more respect.

  • Michael

    Hey, have you seen this news article?
    New details about Michael Jackson’s Death Emerge
    I was wondering if you were going to blog about this…

  • IndianGooner

    Tony,

    I have stopped reading these sort of articles on Cesc. It is better not to read them. And every time these reports come up, Cesc responds with the truth on Arsenal.com. But the most worrying thing for me is the amount of arsenal blogs who publish these articles that have come up on Cesc’s commitment in the last couple of years. We all know that one day He WILL return to his homeland. Thats obvious but I’m sure that is not gonna be soon.. It’ll only be after 5-6years. He has said that hundreds of times. i just wish atleast the arsenal fans stop publishing on these sort of articles..

  • Faron

    Fair Play to you Tony,
    Its people like you that we need, to stop the the Shitty journo’s from writing this crap. If we keep catching them out then they might actually get out there and do some proper reporting.

    Keep up the good work.

    With that same IP address thing, Could it be that they are Kids putting there posts on at school. so the posts would be from different people but from the same server? It was just a guess.

  • Michael

    Tony you are lovely, a true gunner. Thanks for this article, it really lightened up my day (R.I.P MJ)

  • Vivas

    Does anyone remember the Sunday Sport’s “WWII Bomber Found On Moon” story followed, after some debunking, by “WWII Bomber Disappears!”?

  • LRV

    Tony,

    The negative bloggers and the press are playing on the fears of some fly-by-night, so-called Arsenal fans. That’s probably because they are jealous of the status of Arsenal as (1) the only club to have a successful youth policy; (2) the only club among the top 10 to have a financialy self sufficient stabily; and (3) the only club among the top 4 to remain competitive without breaking the bank. I am absolutely sure that REAL Arsenal fans will not fall for such cheap trick. I feel privileged to call myself a true Arsenal fan, even though I only started supporting The Arsenal about 20 – 21 years ago.

    When I posted a challenge to one of these negative Arsenal blogsites, they called me all sorts of named and promptly blocked me from further commenting on their blogs. That tells me, unequivocally, that they are fans of ‘other sides’ who are doing all that they can to foment trouble.

    True Arsenal fans must stand firm in their beleive in the Team. By the way, KEEP UP the good work Tony.

  • LRV

    Sorry, I meant to write “stability”.

  • daokta

    I have a theory on these people who always post negative comments. They are never around when the team is doing well but the moment we lose or draw, they are out in droves.

    I would call them shit-stirrers – just delighting in causing a ruckus. They will post controversial or negative news not just on one but several sites at the same time and then see what happens. I cannot and will not believe these are true arsenal fans. I have a gut feeling that these same people would be doing similar posts on other Club blogs as well.

    The easiest thing would be to ignore them but its difficult when they spout such rubbish.