The Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun have been after England cricketer Ben Stokes this week, but have only belatedly realised that this is a campaign which may turn out not necessarily to their advantage. As so often with our free and fearless press, the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker have been caught playing both sides of the field in their latest lame attempt to shore up the paper’s falling sales.
Ben Stokes correctly identifies a Sun reporter
This latest dilemma for the clowns on the 12th floor started earlier this week, when the Sun told readers that Stokes had been involved in a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub with fellow England player Alex Hales. This, though, was not sufficient exposure: the paper then released video footage of the altercation in which Stokes could be seen apparently brawling with one man, before decking another with a punch.
Only after this did the cricketing authorities take action. As the BBC has reported, “Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will not be considered by England for international cricket until further notice after they were involved in an incident near a Bristol nightclub … The all-rounder and Hales, who was with him when the incident happened, will miss Friday's final one-day international against West Indies at Ageas Bowl, Southampton”.
There was more: “The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced it is investigating the pair and will not consider selecting them, after the governing body saw footage published by The Sun newspaper which allegedly shows Stokes throwing punches at two men … But no timeframe has been given on their potential availability, with England due to play their first Test against Australia in Brisbane on 23 November”.
Then the Sun doubled down on its attack with today’s front page. “Cricket Ace In New Shame … Sick Stokes pokes fun at Katie’s disabled lad Harvey … HE’S GOT NO BOUNDARIES”. But then a thought was clearly allowed to enter the Sun newsroom, a newsworthy event in itself. What if Stokes’ absence meant England lost the Ashes series down under and fans took out their anger on their paper?
So it came to pass that this morning’s editorial showed the blind panic that had descended on the Murdoch mafiosi. “Robbing England’s cricket team of Ben Stokes’ talent isn’t the right punishment … Ben Stokes was rightly suspended after we revealed the punch-up video, but do not punish every English fan as well … THERE are suitable punishments for Ben Stokes … Leaving him out of the Ashes, and robbing England of his talent, isn’t one”.
Yes, they had taken out their largest onion. “He was rightly suspended after the punch-up video we had a duty to reveal. He must lose the vice-captaincy and be fined heavily … He should also now be urged to give to a disabled charity … But it will punish every English fan too, and compromise the series in Oz, to lose our most gifted match-winner”.
Yeah, right. The Murdoch goons should have thought about that when they put that video out there and then scoured the Web for the material which produced today’s story. They can’t score a few more sales and not cop for the consequences.
Meanwhile, cricket fans know what they need to do here - Don’t Buy The Sun.