December 19, 2016 Last Updated 11:17 am

The Daily Mail’s epic online apology, but still no explanation from US officials for travel ban

UK tabloid pays hefty fine for publishing columns by Katie Hopkins, the controversial columnist that proved too hot even for Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid The Sun

The UK tabloid the Daily Mail last night posted a pretty epic apology to Mohammed Tariq Mahmood and his family for articles published by the tabloid, written in columns by Katie Hopkins. The columns accused the family of having links to Al Qaeda and then suggesting that Hamza Mahmood, Mohammed Tariq Mahmood’s son, was responsible for a Facebook page containing extremist material.

Reporters who love to look down on the popular UK tabloid were quick to point to the apology was tweeted late last night, but the story was actually posted much earlier.

As background, all this mess started when US authorities would not let the family travel to Los Angeles for a trip to Disneyland last year. “Even to this day, the US authorities have not explained the reason why we were not permitted to travel; we assume it was an error or even a case of mistaken identity,” the family said in a statement issued by their lawyer.

What followed, however, was far too typical journalistic malpractice: two columns by ever controversial columnist Katie Hopkins which accused the family of extremism.

According to British media reports, in addition to the apology the paper will be paying out £150,000 to the family.

Hopkins move over to the Daily Mail after being fired by Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid The Sun for her offensive columns. There has been some speculation that, like Nigel Farage, she might find a home in the US once Donald Trump takes office. Hopkins’ style of column writing may fit in better with the tenor of US politics.

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