Something unprecedented has happened at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun: the paper has actually printed an adverse ruling from press regulator IPSO, and devoted an entire column to it. But the excuse note - over the infamous “1 in 5 Muslims’ sympathy for jihadis” front page and its supporting articles - is more noteworthy not for what it does say, but what it does not, and shows that IPSO is still toothless and ineffective.poll that formed the basis of that front page splash “didn’t make sufficiently clear that there were important distinctions between those travelling to Syria and those already fighting in Syria; between ‘sympathy’ for these individuals and ‘support’ for their actions; and between individuals attracted by the ideology of IS, and the ideology of IS itself”, but there is no apology.
The nearest we get is “Taken in its entirety, the coverage presented as a fact that the poll showed that 1 in 5 British Muslims had sympathy for those who left to join IS and for IS itself … In fact, neither the question nor the answers which referred to ‘sympathy’ made reference to IS. The newspaper had failed to take appropriate care in its presentation of the poll results, and as a result the coverage was significantly misleading, in breach of Clause 1”. That is the closest we get to an admission it was a pack of lies.
It gets worse: while the Sun admits “The coverage continued on pages four and five and included an article by a columnist for the newspaper, describing her reaction to what she presented as the fact of support for IS, and an article by the newspaper’s political editor”, it somehow misses the rant by former editor Kelvin McFilth.
Kel whined “Those worrying suspicions that I harboured about the attitudes of young Muslim men in Britain towards the medieval madmen of IS have been confirmed” and suggesting that the entire population of Turkey wants to come to the UK. And it gets yet worse: what the excuse note fails to tell readers is that the Sun doubled down on its accusations the following day with an editorial that blamed everyone but them.
The Sun Says rant told “If we cling to the fiction that IS have little or no support here” [note that “sympathy” has now become “support”] … Most of our survey, conducted after the Paris attacks, probed Muslim attitudes to IS specifically [four of the seven questions did not mention IS at all]”. Then we got a “look over there” moment: “Some on the political Left claim ours was a ‘rogue’ poll”. They were only telling an uncomfortable truth.
And that was what the Sun said after its shameful coverage of the Hillsborough disaster. Worse still is that it has taken four months for the paper to admit the all too obvious - that it published a bucket load of falsehood and misinformation in order to demonise Muslims, partly because it can’t get away with doing the same to Irish people, gays, those who are not white and anyone talking foreign.
Then its political editor had the gall to try and get himself the political editor’s job at BBC Newsnight. Being part of the Murdoch mafia means leaving your principles and self-awareness at the door - and, of course, never having to say you’re sorry.