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Sunday 31 January 2016

Sun Josie Cunningham Creep-Out Busted

The Murdoch faithful at the Sun fill much of the paper with slebs. Slebs sell papers. They also fill much of the paper with people who aren’t proper slebs, but are what Russell Harty would have called “famous, nay, notorious”. Famous and notorious because of what they have done, and that the press has been on their case. One of these people is a single mother from Leeds called Josie Cunningham.
Josie Cunningham

Ms Cunningham is featured by the Sun regularly. Indeed, one might get the impression that she is featured by the Sun so often that the coverage verges on the creepy and exploitative. Another thought that readily occurs is that the Murdoch doggies wheel out Ms Cunningham to do no more than fuel their own prejudices about single parents and anyone receiving something out of public funds that the hacks don’t like.

The Sun’s latest leery exposé of Josie Cunningham is in that vein: “Boob scrounger Josie Cunningham blows £3k of your money on dodgy gnashers … Wannabe model’s crooked smile”. Did someone give her £3,000 which she then blew on dental treatment? To no surprise at all, the answer is that, no they didn’t. So what is the real story?

For this, we have to scroll to the end of the article to see a comment from Ms Cunningham’s agent: “Dentists agreed to treatment because she had a kidney problem as a child and trialled a new drug that resulted in her teeth being damaged”. Instead, the Sun invents “The shameless wannabe model was craving a white Hollywood smile … It is thought she will try to persuade the NHS to fit dental implant veneer … A source said: ‘This feels like the taxpayer’s got one back on her’”. Source my arse.

Woman has dental treatment no shock horror. Even the story of her breast implants has been turned into a “scrounger” one. Was she the only woman who ever got implants on the NHS? No. But she was easily manipulated into giving the press a story and posing for a few photos. And so back came the Sun: “Josie Cunningham breaks down on camera to plead 'I want help to be happy... I just want to be pretty’ … Woman dubbed 'boob-job scrounger' wants to turn her life around”. Dubbed by the Sun, let’s not forget.

And back they came again: “My brain is as big as my boobs... Navy wanted me to be a warfare specialist … Says Josie Cunningham”, this pile of steaming bullpucky containing the claim “Instead of serving the State, it ended up supporting her”. Sadly, the taxman’s profit and loss account for Ms Cunningham is missing. How convenient.

On and on goes that catalogue of exploitation: “FREELOADER Josie Cunningham is to cash in with a lucrative tell-all book about her life”. On which she could not possibly avoid stumping up tens of thousands in tax payments (readers are told it will be a “six-figure deal”). It’s a strange kind of freeloading that interests the Sun.

Josie Cunningham may be a willing participant in the Sun’s creepy game. But she is being exploited, and seriously so, to fuel the Murdoch press’ prejudices about benefit recipients and single parents. They are using her as a modern-day circus freak.

Much of the press would not sink that low. But there is no barrel that the Sun’s hacks are not prepared to scrape in the pursuit of sales. No change there, then.


ashie said...

What the heck is a dental implant veneer? I know what veneers are. I've got one. I know what a dental implant is, I've got two. But a dental implant veneer?

Tim Fenton said...


Being a Sun hack - cuts out thinking ;-)

Anonymous said...

Slebs, written about by slobs.


Crispin Fisher said...

When she is attacked in the street by somebody who has read the story and believed every word of it presumably 'The Sun' will claim it has got nothing to do with them.

Leigh Richards said...

the tory press's exploitation - and humiliation - of this obviously vulnerable woman is shameful.

Andy McDonald said...

Crispin Fisher:

Yes, it's remarkable how quickly a newspaper goes from "Setting the news agenda" to "Tomorrow's fish wrapper", isn't it?