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Monday 2 February 2015

Sun Forgets Tommy Cooper

Just to reinforce the thought that the cheaper end of the Fourth Estate is carrying on as if the Leveson Inquiry never happened, the Super Soaraway Currant Bun has been caught generating clickbait from someone suffering an apparent cardiac arrest - because he was well-known. Only when family members intervened did the Murdoch doggies do the decent thing and take down the video. What was worse was that there was a precedent.
That's what I think of youse bladdy taste and decency ideals, ya bladdy whinging Pommie drongoes!

As the Guardian observed, “The sister of the Phoenix Nights actor Ted Robbins has described the Sun’s decision to publish a video of her brother having a cardiac arrest on stage as ‘vile’. Kate Robbins, also an actor and singer, said it was ‘beyond belief’ that the paper’s website carried not only a screengrab of the moment her brother collapsed at Manchester Arena, but urged readers to ‘join Sun+ today to see the exclusive footage’”.

Yes, the Sun will show you the moment someone had a near-death experience, and all you have to do is bung them a little money in return. What had happened? “Robbins, who plays Phoenix Nights villain Den Perry, was in the middle of a solo section of the revived live show when he clutched his chest, stumbled and fell to the ground during Saturday’s opening night”. Fortunately, assistance was swiftly given, and he’s OK.

The Sun’s spokesman also took the biscuit: “Ted Robbins collapsed at a live event in front of thousands of people and was recorded on a video that was passed to The Sun. We published this video with careful consideration of the fact that Mr Robbins was now sitting up and talking in his hospital bed. However, at the express wishes of the family, this video has now been withdrawn”. Careful consideration of the income, more like.

Then the thought enters that we’ve been here before, and the Sun should have known that publishing the video might not be clever: back in 1984, comedy legend Tommy Cooper suffered a fatal heart attack during his act on ITV’s Live From Her Majesty’s, which, as the title suggests, was being broadcast as it happened. The broadcaster later withdrew that part of the programme from retransmission.

However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, clips of the moment Cooper died subsequently surfaced, and someone uploaded at least one to YouTube. Wales Online notedshocking scenes of the moment the funny-man suffered a massive heart-attack and died on stage are circulating the internet. Thousands of people have watched the video … but the images have been labelled as being in very poor taste”.

The MediaWatch UK spokesman - that’s the kind of talking head the Sun goes to when it wants to kick the BBC - said “This is very poor taste. That the broadcasters have not repeated the incident shows they have a respect for him and I think that ought to apply also on YouTube”. The Sun’s staff will have known about that incident. They still went ahead and offered the footage - just to score some more revenue.

This is not just an isolated lapse of judgment. And it’s bang out of order.

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