Telegraph cartoonist Bob Moran sacked over Covid-19 Twitter posts

Telegraph sacks cartoonist Bob Moran over Twitter posts targeting NHS doctor

Bob Moran Telegraph Twitter page

Update 13 October:

The Telegraph has sacked cartoonist Bob Moran over comments he made on social media targeting an NHS doctor over Covid-19 policy.

Moran revealed on Tuesday night he had been given his notice after two weeks on suspension.

It comes a week after he tweeted a lengthy statement in response to the backlash to his comment that a palliative care doctor “deserves to be verbally abused” for encouraging the use of masks on public transport.

He said: “I regret any distress caused by my comments… It was a mistake to send a tweet suggesting that she deserved verbal abuse and I’m sorry if she received any as a result.

“I want to make it clear that I did not target Dr Clarke in any capacity as a journalist or as an employee of Telegraph Media Group. I targeted her in my capacity as a desperate and angry father of a disabled child,” Moran said, explaining the impact the Covid-19 lockdown had on his family.

He added: “I may have gone too far in this instance. I may have violated Twitter’s terms. I may have broken the rules of civilised debate. But I have not broken my promise to my little girl [to stand up for her].”

Original story 28 September:

The Telegraph is set to suspend cartoonist Bob Moran over Twitter posts he has made targeting an NHS doctor, Press Gazette understands.

Moran encouraged his followers to abuse a palliative care doctor who posted about wearing masks on public transport to stop the spread of Covid-19.

He wrote: “She deserves to be verbally abused in public for the rest of her worthless existence. They all do.”

His tweet has since been removed by Twitter for violating its policies.

Doctor Rachel Clarke, tweeting as @doctor_oxford, responded to Moran saying: “Why do you employ a man who openly abuses NHS staff, @telegraph?”

Moran tweeted in response that Clarke “promotes disgusting ideologies” and that her behaviour was “pure evil”.

Press Gazette is not repeating the entire Twitter exchange for legal reasons.

Clarke reported the tweet to police and also threatened to sue Moran for defamation and asked her followers if they would help crowdfund the action if so. Many showed support, including LBC presenter James O’Brien.

The British Medical Association tweeted: “This is appalling to hear Rachel – this is completely unacceptable and should not be tolerated; there should be consequences for abusing NHS staff like this.”

Press Gazette understands that as of early Tuesday afternoon the Telegraph is planning to suspend Moran.

Moran’s website “about” page claims he is “notable for using humour and emotion to convey important messages, defend moral principles and invite people to reflect on what really matters in life”.

Some of his former tweets about Covid-19 include calling a vaccinated person “dangerously misguided” and suggesting the NHS was not being honest about pressure on hospitals.

In January he was challenged on Twitter by fellow Telegraph journalist Bill Gardner who wrote: “Very serious allegations, so I imagine you must have strong evidence that the NHS is ‘lying’. Feel free to pass across. Usual work email. Thanks.”

Five days later Gardner said of Moran encouraging people to break lockdown rules: “There’s sensible debate on lockdown… and there’s this.”

The journalist later added: “Perhaps you don’t read the Telegraph. Plenty of sensibly-held views there, from both sides. And journalists reporting the facts, rather than inciting people to break the law. Thanks.”

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Comments

8 thoughts on “Telegraph sacks cartoonist Bob Moran over Twitter posts targeting NHS doctor”

  1. There aren’t many people who think Covid is “just a harmless common cold” (I’ve never met anyone who thinks so).

    Having said that, the common cold is not always harmless:

    “Complications from a cold can cause serious illnesses and, yes, even death – particularly in people who have a weak immune system”.
    https://theconversation.com/can-you-die-from-a-common-cold-126241

    “Adenoviruses” are “thought to cause around 10% of all common colds in children, and it accounts for high mortality in neonates”.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7125703/

    The typical sceptical view, though, is that Covid is comparable to a bad flu, that its virulence has been exaggerated and that the measures taken to combat it have been disproportionate, ineffective and immensely destructive of society and of life. This is not to deny that Covid can be extremely serious and, for some, deadly, but it is now very clear that the infection fatality rate is much lower than was first believed and that death is rare outside the vulnerable groups that are similarly threatened by flu – although, unlike flu, Covid poses little threat to healthy children.

    Many of the worlds leading scientists and medical practitioners share this view, which is amply supported by the evidence – look at those who signed the Great Barrington Declaration, and try telling these globally renowned professors of virology, immunology and epidemiology, practising doctors and Nobel Prize winners that they “simply choose their own facts”.

    There are huge divisions within the medical and scientific community about Covid, but, sadly, the scientific debate has received little attention in the media, which by and large, have produced a simplistic and not always accurate account of the epidemic.

    Influenza accounts for thousands of deaths every year, but is mostly diagnosed by its symptoms and is not widely tested for, unlike the SARS-CoV-2 virus. If a million flu tests were carried out every day in the UK, as is now normally the case for the coronavirus, and influenza was designated a notifiable disease, it is not unreasonable to suppose the data would tell a very different story.

    Again if you look at the data for non-pharmaceutical interventions, their effectiveness has not been demonstrated. If early implementation and stringency of lockdowns reduced Covid and excess deaths, Peru would have suffered less than almost any nation. Instead it has had, by far the highest number of Covid-linked and overall excess deaths per million of any country on earth.

    There are idiots and ignoramuses on both sides of the argument, but I respectfully suggest you look into this a little more carefully.

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