Today’s Sun front page merely hints about it; the editorial within confirms it. Rupe’s downmarket troops at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun are either living in some kind of warped parallel universe, or they really believe that they can dupe the readers into thinking that something happened yesterday that proves their paper victorious. We are back to the acquittal of Clodagh Hartley.
“Top Sun reporter cleared” proclaims the item at left on the front page. But Ms Hartley is not a “top Sun reporter”. More to the point, she is not any kind of Sun reporter: after her ordeal was ended yesterday, she confirmed that she would not be returning to journalism. And, despite the miserably pisspoor nature of its content nowadays, working at the Sun still counts as journalism.
And the front page item is a mere warm-up for the editorial, which proclaims “She was just doing her job. That’s what the jury found yesterday after the expensive trial of our colleague Clodagh Hartley ... It’s not just a victory for Clodagh, but for all journalism ... Because the press has become an easy target”. Brass neck, much? Why was she put on trial in the first place?
Clodagh Hartley was charged because of information provided to the authorities by the News International (as was) Management and Standards Committee. In other words, and using the Sun’s favoured technique of putting the really important stuff in capitals, SHE WAS SHOPPED BY HER OWN BOSSES. Yes folks, Ms Hartley WAS JUST DOING HER JOB until her bosses SHAT ALL OVER HER.
Do Sun readers get to know that? You jest. Instead, we get the Tory-supporting tabloid confirming Olbermann’s Dictum (“the right exists in a perpetual state of victimhood”) by bleating “[The Government] would have a meek press, over-regulated and under the tightest of controls. George Orwell warned about this ... while the focus on us all continues, social media gets away with whatever it wants”.
That would be the same social media that the newspaper proprietors cannot control, and have difficulty understanding. Meanwhile, the elephant in the room goes unnoticed: Clodagh Hartley got shopped by her own side, and, as James Doleman has noted in his report of the trial, she “also said that other senior staff at the paper were fully aware of her relationship with civil servant Jonathan Hall”.
One wonders if those senior staff included the Sun’s non-bullying political editor Tom Newton Dunn, who may well have been behind today’s editorial. Ms Hartley had a bullying complaint against him upheld, but now he is pretending that she was a valued colleague and he cares deeply about her predicament. Pass the sick bucket.
This was entirely of the Murdoch press’ making. The Sun’s reputation came out of it utterly trashed. No amount of pretence can clean away the stain. End of story.