Did the Fourth Estate speak truth to power when The Timesthis week published salacious headlines about fostering in east London? You might assume they did with the flurry of follow-up articles and MPs falling over themselves to react. But you would unfortunately be wrong.
The story actually concerns one young child taken by social services from her mother who was understood to suffer from alcoholism and a possible cocaine addiction, and placed temporarily in foster care. The hysteria surrounding the case appears to have been created because the young girl was Christian and the foster parents were Muslim. “Christian child forced into Muslim foster care” screamed The Times in its first front page; “MPs’ anger as Christian girl forced into Muslim foster care” followed the Daily Mail’s front page the next day.