On Friday 22/03/2019, at 8.20 p.m., the famous performer Uri Geller posted on his official Facebook page a text, entitled “An open letter to Theresa May”. In this Facebook post, Uri Geller, urges Theresa May to prevent Brexit. He points out that the majority of the English citizens are not in favor of Brexit and do not want to occur, cautioning the British Prime Minister not to move on Brexit. Otherwise “I will stop you telepathically from doing this – and believe me I am capable of executing it” as he writes.
In view of Geller’s post, from the Reuters News agency was reported that an interview with Geller took place at 24/03/2019. After the interview, a new Reuters article was posted with the following title Uri Geller urges mass-telepathy against Brexit. In this new article there are references, along with other things, that Uri Geller “now wants Britons to join him in twice-daily bursts of telepathy directed at the Conservative leader, in the hope of inspiring her to call a second Brexit referendum”.
The reporting appeared in many news portals, using Reuters as the source. In Greece, the reportage was shared by the official Athenian – Macedonian news agency (APE-MPE/A.M.N.A.), with the tittle; “Block Brexit with telepathy” and a relevant paragraph stating that “now (Uri Geller) wants Britons to join forces with him in twice-daily sending telepathic messages at the leader of the Conservatives, in the hope of inspiring her to call a second Brexit referendum”.
The reportage from APE-MPE has been reproduced in many Greek web and traditional news portals, newspapers etc. In some articles there were references with similarities, while in others, the exact same words were chosen, as in the paragraph above from the APE-MPE article, which in essence, also reposted the Reuters news agency post, translated in Greek.
The news item is not accurate. Uri Geller never stated that he was calling Britons to twice-daily sending telepathic messages, in order to inspire the British Prime Minister to call a second referendum.
In the Reuters article there is not any proof that he calls Britons to join forces with him in twice-daily sending telepathic messages at the leader of the Conservatives. Also, the following video, which lasts for 2 minutes and 33 seconds and was made in Israel , Uri Geller’s country of residence, at 25/03/2019, provides solid proof; posted at 25/03/19 by Reuters News Agency, includes the whole Uri Geller’s statement, where there is absolutely not any call up to Britons for sending telepathic messages whatsoever.
In this video at the first part of his statements, Uri Geller uses the same words that were transmitted by Reuters. At the second part, Geller is calling up for Britons indeed, but not for sending telepathic messages in order to stop Brexit; he provokes and tries to motivate people to procced in a second referendum, arguing that Britons were not well informed about what they were voting for back then, as they are today. His exact words were: “I am sending to you my strength and energy, I hope you will accept it”. Specifically he states “I dare you really, to go to a second referendum. Look into my eyes, everybody, and look deeply into my eyes. Do what the nation wants, do this very powerful step: Bring the second referendum. The first one was a joke, people didn’t know what they were voting for, now they are more educated about it. Go for it. Go for a second referendum. Please. I am sending you this power. The energy. I hope you are receiving it”.
To conclude, the Reuters News agency interviewed Uri Geller because of his “Open letter to Theresa may”. However, his statements were interpreted incorrectly. On the contrary, this interpretation gained ground against the true meaning of the interviewee’s exact words, who only pleaded for people to demand a second referendum.
The way people’s statements being presented by some media, works for the informative-entertaining model they try to adopt. However, this model, does not allow deep information to take place.
RESEARCH | ARTICLE © Nektaria Psaraki and Giannis Goumakis, School of Journalism & MC, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, GR