One plus point about the tabloid press is the frequently direct language: there’s no driving it round the houses with the red-tops. The problem with this approach, though, is that, on the occasions on which they foul up – and this does tend to happen more than occasionally – it’s just a teensy bit obvious. And one paper that fouls up more than occasionally is the Super Soaraway Currant Bun.
But Rupe’s downmarket troops are also shameless, so they return to subjects after the event, brandishing 20/20 hindsight and hoping that nobody has a long enough memory to call them out. So it was today when non-bullying political editor Tom Newton Dunn Tweeted his opinion about the state of Iraq, pushing an editorial which may just have been authored by Himself Personally Now.
Under the heading “Price of failure”, readers are told “The naivety of successive Governments over Iraq – and later Afghanistan – is an embarrassment”. Not just Governments, Tom, but do go on: “From the enthusiasm with which Tony Blair sold Britain the idea of invasion in 2003”. So it was Tone who sold the Iraq adventure single-handed, was it, Murdoch hacks? Not your boss, by any chance?
Nowt to do with us, Guv
To that I call bullshit: the right-leaning press was in on the deal from the start. It wasn’t so much cheerleading, as a baying mob howling down anyone who dared show dissent. Some of the headlines were so OTT as to be unimaginable now: while the Telegraph and Times were merely onside, the Daily Star howled “Mad Saddam Ready to Attack: 45 Minutes from a Chemical War”.
And what did the Sun do with failed deputy political editors, Tom?
Ah, memories, eh? “Weapons of mass destruction” that never were, and therefore could not be deployed within 45 minutes. In turn, that brought back memories of those Cold War scare stories that suggested the Russians had ICBMs aimed at the UK which would vaporise us all within four minutes of launch. The Yanks, on the other hand, would get a full 20 minutes before getting wiped out.
Yes, Trevor Kavanagh is indeed a tragic figure
That was probably crap as well. But back to the run-up to the Iraq invasion, and the paper that outdid everyone else went with “BRITS 45mins FROM DOOM ... Cyprus within missile range”. That paper assured its readers that Saddam Hussein was just one year away from securing nuclear weaponry. We had to “GET HIM”. Hell, the article even criticised Saddam’s Human Rights record.
And which newspaper would that have been, Tom Newton Dunn? Yes, the very one at which you are now working – The Sun. When it comes to “naivety”, and “enthusiasm” for selling the idea of invasion, no other paper came close, even bellyaching about human rights – another of those subjects which has become rather more flexible when it’s used to kick the hated EU.
I give you Tom Newton Dunn, Rupert Murdoch’s personal one man shower of shit.