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Thursday 11 February 2016

Sun’s Sick Dowler Hypocrisy

The latest revelation about the last hours of Milly Dowler’s life was justification in itself for the Government to yield to the pressure to enact the second part of the Leveson Inquiry, especially when put alongside the press interference in both that case, and that of murdered private investigator Daniel Morgan. That the sick hacks at the Murdoch Sun have used the story for profit today merely underscores that view.
The banner headline in today’s Sun is “JUST SAY SORRY”, the latest instalment in the press campaign against Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan Howe. But it is Rupert Murdoch, his CEO Rebekah Brooks, and the rest of the shower who inhabit the Baby Shard Bunker who should be saying sorry - to the Dowler family, for shamelessly revisiting Milly’s story not just on the front page, but in a double-page spread inside the paper.

It merely underscores the stinking hypocrisy of Murdoch and Ms Brooks, who both wanted to give the impression of sincere apology and even contrition when the now-defunct Screws was discovered to have hacked the dead girl’s phone - and, as I observed yesterday, interfered in the Police investigation into Milly’s disappearance. It was so different then: Murdoch made his apology to the family personally.

Mark Lewis, the Dowlers’ lawyer, said at the time “We told him that his papers should lead the way in setting the standard of honesty and decency in the field and not what had gone on before … At the end of the day actions speak louder than words … He was humbled, shaken and sincere. This was something that had hit him on a personal level. He apologised many times and held his head in his hands”.

In resigning her position as CEO of the then News International, Ms Brooks said she felt a “deep responsibility for the people we have hurt”. She wanted to “reiterate how sorry I am for what we now know to have taken place”, and concluded “I have believed that the right and responsible action has been to lead us through the heat of the crisis. However my desire to remain on the bridge has made me a focal point of the debate … This is now detracting attention from all our honest endeavours to fix the problems of the past”.

Now we know just how sorry Murdoch and Ms Brooks really were: not at all. Rupe has re-appointed Ms Brooks as CEO of News UK, and she has now overseen another appallingly intrusive example of using others’ grief for corporate gain. Had she and Murdoch really been sorry, they would not have countenanced running today’s story.

Sun editor Tony Gallagher should not escape censure either: did it not occur to him to run that story past Ms Brooks and ask if she was OK with it? If he didn’t, he’s an even bigger louse than I thought. If he did, and she passed it, then she is not merely a hypocrite, but one of the lowest forms of newspaper life going.

Whatever the excuses that the Murdoch doggies will no doubt pitch in order to try and wriggle off the hook, there is only one acceptable course of action open to them. That is to say sorry to the Dowler family. In person. And this time show that they mean it.


Anonymous said...

The Murdoch gobshites WILL NEVER CHANGE. It's useless to think they will.

Those people simply have no human decency about them. They are the dregs of the species.

Anybody stupid enough to pay to read or listen to their far right neocon propaganda is complicit in poisoning our society.

Their "apologies" are the worthless mouthings of liars and hypocrites.

pete c said...

I don't know how it read, because I didn't do so, but yesterday's Standard had most of the front and 2 pages inside devoted to the subject.

Can't quite figure why Bellfield's mugshot has to be re-used at every opportunity.

It aint a pretty sight, and that must hurt as much as any words.