Graham Linehan’s complaint against Metro “not upheld” by IPSO
Graham Linehan. (Rob Monk / Edge Magazine / Getty)
The Independent Press Standardization Organization (IPSO) ruled that Subway did not violate media regulations when he said Graham Linehan was “known for his anti-trans rhetoric.”
February 23, Subway published an article on the Father Ted the creator’s decision to join Her, a dating app designed to “connect women and gays”.
Writing on his blog Substack at the time, Graham Linehan claimed he joined Her “to demonstrate that it is impossible to differentiate between men and self-identified” trans women. “
In his article, Subway said Linehan had “created a dating profile to make fun of transgender women,” adding that he “infiltrated the app and shared screenshots of trans women he considered not feminine enough.”
The article went on to claim that Graham Linehan had become “known for his anti-trans rhetoric”.
Linehan then complained to Subway on the article, prompting the media to edit their article to make it clear that he “denied being anti-trans.” Linehan’s “anti-trans rhetoric” line was also changed to: “He has become known to share his views on trans people. “
Otherwise, Subway edited a line stating that he had contacted Linehan for comment to make it clear that he had indeed contacted his agent.
Subway denied violating press standards in an article about Graham Linehan
Graham Linehan subsequently filed a complaint with IPSO on February 26, claiming that the post violated clauses 1 (Clarification) and 3 (Harassment) of the Editors’ Code of Conduct in its reports.
Linehan claimed the article “misrepresented his reasons for joining the dating app” and implied that he harassed trans women, thereby violating the accuracy clause.
Further, Linehan argued that the article violated the harassment clause by describing him as anti-trans. He said the complaint had led him to receive “abuse” from members of the public.
Subway denied breaking the Publishers Code, noting that its cover had “extensively cited” Linehan’s own blog on the subject to substantiate his claims.
The publication said it had never referred to Graham Linehan “harassing” trans women and in fact described his actions as “mocking.” Subway argued that such characterization was accurate and was based on comments made by Linehan on his own blog, where he wrote, “I’m not doing this JUST for a laugh.”
The IPSO press regulator clears https://t.co/dCtDGY281T of any inaccuracies after describing Graham Linehan as someone who has become “known for his anti-trans rhetoric”. https://t.co/1ylUVOyG2B pic.twitter.com/FVORhNKR0V
– Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) July 8, 2021
This comment, Subway argued, implied that at least part of her reason for joining the dating app was to prank trans women.
The outlet also argued that it was accurate to say Linehan was “known for his anti-trans rhetoric” in his article, noting that the article referred to past comments in which he “compared[ed] transgender activism to Nazism and accused[ed] LGBTQ + group[s] grooming ‘.
Further, the post noted that Linehan had been permanently banned from Twitter for “hateful conduct”. He then posed as a trans man on a fake Twitter account, using the platform to label Amnesty Ireland Executive Director Colm O’Gorman “a traitor to women, to gays and to yourself.” After signing an open letter of support for the trans community.
In his response, Linehan said he still believed the article misrepresented his reasons for joining the dating app for women. He said he would consider his complaint resolved if Subway issued a correction and an apology.
The press regulator found “no violations” in Subwayreported on Graham Linehan
Following an investigation, IPSO ruled that there was “no Subwayreported on Graham Linehan.
The regulator noted that the Subway The article was “not significantly inaccurate” when it said Linehan had joined her “to make fun of transgender women,” noting that Linehan “arguably referred to humor as one of the reasons for which he created the profile “on his own blog.
IPSO also found that Subway was “not inaccurate” when he said Graham Linehan was “known for his anti-trans rhetoric”.
“Although the committee understood that the complainant disputed the description of him in the publication in these terms, it found that the article was not inaccurate in circumstances where it had established the basis for the description and also clearly indicated that he denied being transphobic and included comments made by him on the subject in 2019, ”IPSO wrote.
“His position regarding this description of him was therefore made clear in the article.”
IPSO has found that Subway did not violate the accuracy clause on this point, adding that he “welcomed the publication’s decision to modify the article after being contacted by the complainant.”
The regulator also found that Subway did not violate the accuracy clause when he said he contacted Linehan for comment. IPSO noted that the publication had contacted Linehan’s agent, meaning there was “no violation.”
Finally, the committee noted that Subway did not violate the harassment clause in their report. IPSO noted that Linehan “had problems with harassment from third parties”, but said its harassment clause “relates to the conduct of journalists and not members of the public”.
RoseNews has contacted Graham Linehan for comment.