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Thursday, 17 September 2015

The Sun Needs More Wanking

Readers of the Super Soaraway Currant Bun may not be aware of it, but their paper, far from treating the Human Rights Act (HRA) like the plague, is relying on it to defend itself from a most interesting legal threat, a privacy action launched by one Daniel Hooper, who is newsworthy because he is “a man romantically linked with actress Kym Marsh”. Ms Marsh, in turn, is newsworthy because she stars in Coronation Street.
So far, so routine, but it is when it comes to the cause of the legal action that it becomes silly. Hooper had indulged in what Press Gazette calls “a solo sex act” on Skype, which means that he was masturbating. What Hooper did not know was that the “glamour girl” he was honouring with this imaginative tribute would enable the video to end up at the Sun on Sunday, which talked of his “web sex shame”.

Well, it probably qualifies as a shame that there was no physical contact, and that all Hooper ended up with was a handful of hot fish soup, but he was not a happy bunny, describing the article as “incredibly intrusive”, and saying he “suffered substantial distress and embarrassment”. The paper, he claimed, “displayed a flagrant disregard for [Hooper's] right to respect for his intimate private life … sensational and especially intrusive manner”.

So what did Rupe’s downmarket troops have to say in reply? According to PG, they “denied in its defence that Hooper ‘had any reasonable expectation that the information would remain private’ or that it owed him ‘any duty of confidence’”, and that “The story, it noted, did not contain pictures of the encounter or a link to the footage. The defence said: ‘It contained no graphic or intimate details of what took place’”.

Well, it was probably all a bit monotonous and repetitive, anyway. But then it gets ridiculous, as both parties try to use the HRA. “NGN denied a breach of Article 8 (right to privacy) of the European Convention on Human Rights and that, if it did, The Sun on Sunday's rights under Article 10 (freedom of expression) would outweigh this: ‘In so far as the article did interfere with [Hooper's] rights under Article 8’”.

So that’s a sort of Star Trek defence - the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. But then came the Sun’s clinching argument: “The continued commercial viability of the Sun on Sunday, and therefore its ability to exercise its rights under Article 10(1), depends on it continuing to publish stories which will engage the interest of its readers. The Sun is a popular tabloid newspaper. These therefore include stories such as that contained within the article complained of”.

That means that the very survival of the Sun on Sunday depends on finding and exploiting more wankers. Moreover, the paper is more than happy to use the HRA to defend its right to seek out wankers and shame them in the paper. That’s one heck of a defence for the Murdoch faithful to attempt to pull off.

So remember all you slebs, next time you use Skype, keep both hands on the keyboard.


Anonymous said...

If Murdoch seeks another wanker he only needs to look in a mirror. That also goes for everybody who works for him.

Arnold said...

The S*n is a newspaper not a human being. How can it possibly have any human rights?

Andy McDonald said...

Most odd indeed. Usually their line on businesses is that the strong survive and the weak go under, and nobody has any God-given right to success or solvency. Unless it's their business, of course. Because as we know, British tabloid journalists are speshul and can only do their jobs if they are allowed to do whatever they bloody well like (something that does not extend to journalists in any other medium).

Meanwhile, if they are basically admitting that their 'journalism' amounts to little more than boyfriend of ex-singer/soap actress has a wank on a webcam, in any other business that'd be a sign that it was time to shut up shop.

rob said...

Did they get Neville Thurbeck in to advise on "content"?

Robsoft said...

"Well, it was probably all a bit monotonous and repetitive, anyway" Hah hah, nice one. Great bit of writing.

rob said...

"That means that the very survival of the Sun on Sunday depends on finding and exploiting more wankers"

Sorry I'm getting a mental picture of newish Sun recruits The Guido Fawked Tonguers and "another fine mess". Oh dear!