The ability of the Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun to put stories on the front page that are totally untrue is well known. But what of the back page, the sports coverage? Does the veracity of the copy improve at the other end of the paper? Sadly, if the ridiculous claim made in an article about the weekend’s Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix is anything to go by, the answer is that no, it doesn’t.
British (but now expat) Lewis Hamilton won the race in his Mercedes, after his team prevailed upon team-mate Valtteri Bottas, like Hamilton a resident of Monaco, to let him through from second place. Hamilton therefore got to chat with Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, as the head of Moscow’s gangster régime gets to hand out the prizes, because, well, it’s his show. And that is where the Sun went wrong.
“VLAD’S MAD … Vladimir Putin warned Lewis Hamilton not to spray him with champagne after Russian Grand Prix win … Hamilton drenched the Russian president on the podium three years ago and Putin made sure he got his orders in after British ace had powered to victory in Sochi” howled the headline. And what orders might those be?
“VLADIMIR PUTIN attempted to put the frighteners on Lewis Hamilton when he ordered him to to [?] drench him with champagne … Hamilton had powered to victory at the Russian Grand Prix to extend his lead in the race for the world title to 50 points … But no sooner had he leapt out of his car, he was being hauled in for a warning by the Russian president to ensure the Brit did nothing to embarrass him”. Yes? Yes yes? Yes yes yes?
“Three years ago a fearless Hamilton had soaked Putin on the podium by spraying him with champagne … At the time the leader laughed it off - but clearly the memory burned deep as he wasted little time telling the Mercedes star not to repeat the trick … Through his interpreter he conveyed the message as they waited to go out for the trophy presentations - catching Hamilton off guard”. Really? Do go on.
“In the green room after the race, Putin is caught on TV speaking to a translator, who turned to Hamilton and said: ‘I am accustomed to warning you something each year. Year, after year…’”. Except that isn’t what Putin, or the translator, said.
As Yelena McCafferty, who just happens to be a Russian translator, pointed out to the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker, “Dear @TheSun Putin didn't say ‘I am accustomed to warning you’ in Russian, he said ‘I am accustomed to awarding you [with] something each year’. The interpreter dropped ‘with’ and you misheard ‘awarding’ for ‘warning’. Your headline therefore is wrong”. And so is the rest of the article.
So when the Sun article carries on with “The 33-year-old did not cave in under pressure”, we now know there was no pressure for him to cave in to. It’s another crock of crap.
Not all mafiosi behave like the Murdoch mafiosi. I’ll just leave that one there.
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