The less than cordial atmosphere between the New Media upstarts of BuzzFeed and the distinctly Old Media establishment at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun will not have been diffused by the discovery by Alan White - BuzzFeedUK’s News Editor - that the Sun has not only reached bedrock in its desperation for clickbait, but that it has continued digging. The subject, as so often with the Murdoch goons, is sex.
Tony Gallagher - presiding over the direst of clickbait
After observing the Sun’s Twitter feed telling readers of “Man convicted of rape after what he secretly did half way through sex with partner”, White mused “I see we’re clickbaiting stories about rape now”. But that was not the half of it. First off, whoever was in charge of the Sun’s Twitter account must have been made wise to the criticism, because the Tweet was swiftly deleted. But the underlying article was left live.
This is a well-worn tactic, previously deployed by the Murdoch doggies when the Sun was hosting the bigoted and intolerant ravings of pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins. When she infamously compared refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea from north Africa to mainland Europe to cockroaches - subtlety is not Ms Hopkins’ strongest suit - after the chorus of protest refused to die down, the Twitter reference to the post was pulled.
But the offending article was left live on the Sun’s website, as has the piece behind today’s deleted Tweet. And from this, we can gauge the desperation of the Murdoch mafiosi to garner More And Bigger Click Counts For Themselves Personally Now. For starters, the article the Tweet refers to has now been online for almost two days. Hasn’t the Sun got anything more recent to tempt its followers with? And there’s more.
The story is not even about anything that happened in the UK. You read that right: it’s about something that took place in Switzerland. The lurid headline, “Man convicted of rape after secretly removing condom midway through sex … Outraged sex partner called the cops when she realised her lover was not using protection”, is about a court ruling in the southern Swiss town of Lausanne. The report won’t win any prizes, either.
Readers are told “A FRENCHMAN who had unprotected sex with his date when she thought he had condom on [sic] has been convicted of rape”. And the story was lifted from another website: “The man involved was handed a 12-month suspended prison sentence … The unnamed 47-year-old French man and the Swiss woman met on Tinder, according to the The Local”. Single-sourced, unverified content, Sun people? Er, HELLO?
But we do know that “For reasons unknown the man took his condom off during the romp”. Why can’t the Sun just say they were having sex? It’s lamer than the lamest thesis submitted during Lame term to the Lame faculty of the University of Lame in the Lameshire city of Lamesville. The story even has to have a photo of the Pope - which is not of Francis, but of Benedict XVI, who is no longer Pope - to pad it out.
Alan White has not only revealed the depth of the Sun’s clickbait desperation - he’s also shown that the righteous Murdoch goons are just copying and pasting others’ content to score more clicks. It’s journalism Jim, but not as we know it.