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Sunday 20 January 2013

Who Set Up The Sun?

As I pointed out earlier, the Sun’s supposed “exclusive” featuring Lithuanian actress Natalija Belova presses all the right buttons: EU bashing, benefit scrounger exposing, and crafty foreigners who come over here and, er, work part time while bringing up a three year old daughter. But, as must have been obvious to anyone checking out the story, the Murdoch hacks did not just stumble on her.

So who pointed Rupe’s downmarket troops in the direction of Ms Belova? Well, another look at Dulcie Pearce’s story reveals that all four of the photos featured are reproduced under the copyright of INS News Agency. This organisation, based near Reading, provides copy to other media outlets, and, in its own words, enjoys a “reputation for getting the big exclusives”.

INS has a features department, headed by Tom Hendry. Recognise the name? Hendry has done his time as news editor of first the Daily Mirror, then the Sunday Express and Mail On Sunday. But he is not a Murdoch man. Even so, it’s not conceivable that he or his staff would pitch a story like this one and somehow forget to tell whoever was buying that the subject was an actress.

A more likely explanation is that Hendry supplied the photos on Ms Belova’s behalf, and that the “story” was correctly transmitted to the paper, which decided to try and get away with not mentioning her occupation. I am leaning towards this sequence of events, as Dulcie Pearce (hat tip to Martin O’Neill aka @DrNostromo) has form for the blatant fabrication of Sun shock horror scare stories.

The same author was on hand when the paper published two articles about young mums who had emigrated from the UK to the western USA. Both had young daughters (one was 8, the other 7) who were being given botox and fillers. One had allegedly tattooed eyebrows on her daughter after a former boyfriend had shown her how to wield a tattoo gun.

Needless to say, this pile of steaming bullpucky set media bullshit detectors going long and loud, and soon it had been shown that there was nobody living in the locations described with the names given. So it’s looking rather like the Natalija Belova story was another Dulcie Pearce steamer. Yes, Ms Belova is a real person, but most of the rest has been selectively quoted to order.

And almost everyone benefits (as it were): Natalija Belova raises her profile, she and INS get a nice little payday, the Murdoch agenda is satisfied, and the Sun readership gets the collective arse conned off of it once again. The ones not benefiting, of course, are the single mums working hard to bring money in while bringing up little ones, who are left to get spat on and abused by all those Sun readers.

There are no depths to which the Murdoch press will not sink in order to sell papers.

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