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Saturday 21 March 2015

Sun Four - Here Comes The Spin

Yesterday, four Sun journalists were cleared over allegations that they had paid public servants for information, when a jury decided that their actions had been in the public interest, and could thus be justified. The actions of Bettina Jordan Barber, however, they decided could not, and the conduit for so many of the paper’s stories, who had made around £100,000 from selling information, was jailed for a year.
Our free and fearless press has spent the past 24 hours atop its high horse, in full righteous outrage mode, lashing out in turn at the Police, the CPS, the BBC, the Guardian, campaigning group Hacked Off, and, just to be on the safe side, Hugh Grant, who, as any fule kno, is always somehow to blame. However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, the omission and hypocrisy on view is all to obvious.

The Mail, whose legendarily foul mouthed editor is always ready to defend his hacks’ right to do as he damn well tells them, told thatinformation held by public officials belongs to all of us”. Of course it does, Dacre doggies, unless the paper reporting it is the Guardian, and the information is about spooks’ overreach. Then it doesn’t belong to all of us, because, well, look, just don’t ask any of those difficult questions, right?
And after the double standards has come the omission: the Mail inevitably digs up last year’s Hacking Trial, telling “the jury cleared all the defendants apart from Coulson, who was convicted of phone-hacking and jailed”, thus managing not to tell readers that some defendants decided to plead guilty, such was the weight of evidence against them. But the greater righteousness comes from the Murdoch press.

The Times - supposedly independent of interference - weighs in with an editorial titled “Enough”, while the Sun has faithful Murdoch polecat Trevor Kavanagh describing the “3 year trauma of our honest men’s families”, and an editorial paints anyone they don’t like as snobby or sneering. The BBC is accused of “snooty, ingrained contempt”, as well as being a “left-wing foghorn” from which there is no hope of “fair coverage”.
But there is something, or perhaps that should be someone, missing from the Sun’s admission that it conforms to Olbermann’s Dictum (“the right exists in a perpetual state of victimhood”), and that is those about whom the paper reported, having paid for information that they might have expected to have been kept private. Yes, all those in the armed forces, and their families and friends - they do not feature.

Their plight may not matter to the self-serving and self-pitying Sun management, but some are not happy about the paper’s conduct. And the paper’s chief reporter John Kay is also unhappy - not that you’ll read that in the paper - at Murdoch’s UK Management and Standards Committee for shopping him and his sources to the Police. Yes, the trial was a direct result of Rupe’s empire throwing its own staff under the bus.

But it was all someone else’s fault in the retelling. Pass the sick bucket.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

John Kay - the "honest" wife killer who faked an interview with the widow of a Falklands vet.

Wouldn't have such a problem with it but if you check his bylines, a good number of them involve pretty loathesome reactionary reports about lags, cushy prisons, soft justice.

How much time did he spend in prison for killing his wife? None. A short time in psychiatric care. The hypocrisy is astonishing.