By Rick Hiebert. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Something odd involving the local newspaper, the Croydon Advertiser, whose reporting eventually led to Todd Bentley being banned by the UK government from entering Britain.
I ask Google, using their Google Alerts function to send me e-mails about news coverage about Todd Bentley. Today, Google Alerts sent me this link:
News 1 new result for “Todd Bentley”
Face-kicking ‘faith healer’ will not be banned from UK, says minister
This is Croydon
Canadian pastor Todd Bentley, who believes he can “heal” people by kicking them in the face, is to hold a three-day event at Croydon Conference Centre, in Surrey Street, at the end of the month. ?. Todd Bentley, an evangelical pastor from Canada …
But if you click on the link the story has disappeared from the website where the paper’s stories run. A search of the site cannot find the story. This is as I write–perhaps we’ll see a revision–but it is strange.
Several things could have happened.
1. The paper ran this story confidently quoting someone predicting that Bentley would not be banned a few days back in their print edition, only to be overtaken by events–the ban. In this case, the paper should have prominently run an editor’s note explaining this, but keeping the story for the historical record.
2. This story ran only recently with the paper not realizing that Bentley has been banned. Very doubtful, as I’m sure local MP Malcolm Wicks, who was probably tipped off by the paper that Bentley was coming to the UK, would keep the paper fully informed.
3. The story ran a day or so ago in the paper edition of the paper. “Minister” could, of course, refer to a cabinet minister, such as the Home Secretary, agreeing to work against the Bentley ban. I don’t think so, as that would have been trumpeted in the lede.
What is much more likely is that a local minister–perhaps the organizer for the Bentley visit–is working on getting the ban reversed, or plans to do so. They told the paper and the story ran. Their Bentley supporting source panicked and called the newspaper and said something like “My God, I meant this to be off the record, you have to pull the story from the website! I need to be able to work quietly on this without being flamed by those who fear Bentley.”
Unless the reporter totally got the position of the “Bentley supporting minister” wrong and the paper is in a frenzy trying to limit the damage by “memory holing” everything.
Anyways, this is passing strange and I felt a need to make a note of it. Let’s be kind to the Croydon paper as I know from personal experience that reporters are not perfekt.