Yesterday, a group of newspaper executives appeared before the inquisition of the Home Affairs Select Committee. Among their number was Paul Clarkson, managing editor of the Murdoch Sun, who was asked about Islamophobia in the press. His response was a brass neck classic: “In the media, in the mainstream media I don’t believe it is an issue”.
One can only imagine the strength of the stuff they sup on the 13th floor of the Baby Shard bunker nowadays, and indeed what planet Clarkson must have been on for the past decade. So let me enlighten him as to his own paper’s ignominious record of smearing and lying about all those Scary Muslims (tm) - starting with one of the biggest whoppers.
That one wasn't true ...
Norway’s 9/11: who can forget the Sun’s coverage following the massacre on the island of Utoya? The paper immediately called it for al-Qaeda, describing “Islamist fanatics” and a “homegrown al-Qaeda convert”. The perpetrator, Anders Behring Breivik, was very white and very Christian. And very far-right. The Sun was therefore very bust.
... and nor was that one ...
‘Muslim Convert’ Beheads Woman In Garden: 82-year-old Palmira Silva died following an attack in the garden of her north London home. The Sun then invented the “Muslim Convert” angle, which was not true. Their cretinous PR Dylan Sharpe, he of sending unsolicited topless photos to female journalists and politicians, said it was OK because other papers were running the same story. Another pack of lies busted.
... while that one was merely seriously misleading
1 in 5 Brit Muslims’ sympathy for jihadis: non-bullying political editor Tom Newton Dunn, who appeared before the cameras earlier this week telling a fellow pundit that he and his paper didn’t print anything that wasn’t true, er, splashed something that wasn’t true. The “Exclusive: Shock Poll” was a “Wake-Up Call After Paris Blitz”. Except that the idea that 20% of British Muslims sided with ISIS - the clear suggestion of the story - was another pack of lies. Even IPSO couldn’t wipe Newton Dunn’s arse over that one.
Liar says he is not a liar no shock horror
Croatian Double Lie: “A SUN investigator has managed to smuggle himself 2,000 miles from Turkey to Paris in just six days without showing his passport” told the Murdoch goons. Except that Emil Ghessen had spun yet another pack of lies: his sneaking across the Croatian border by hiding in the toilet was actually showing his British passport like any other tourist. And his train trip from Zagreb to Munich was impossible: there were no longer any direct trains, and the Salzburg passport control would have caught him.
What actually happened was that he exited Croatia on a plane, and the record of his showing his passport at Zagreb Airport was produced by the authorities as evidence of the Sun’s shitty “journalism”. Another Muslim scare story that wasn’t true.
Ramadan Train Wreck: Summer 2016 had the Sun salivating over another untrue assertion, as they told “Muslim train driver crashed after going without food or drink for 15 hours during Ramadan … Officials reveal the driver ran through TWO red lights at London's Paddington Station”. One red light - the Sun doesn’t understand railways, and misunderstood the indications given by ground signals - and the RAIB could not determine whether fasting had anything to do with what was just a slow speed derailment.
A lying bigot from days gone by ...
Fatima Manji Attack: the Sun’s disgraced former editor Kelvin McFilth attacked the Channel 4 News host for wearing a headscarf while reading the news, describing Islam as a “clearly violent religion". IPSO wiped the paper’s arse over that one, and just for afters, faithful Murdoch retainer Trevor Kavanagh dispensed a kicking of his own. The latter was probably the last straw for IPSO, who later sacked him.
... and another very much still on the scene
The Muslim Problem: and talking of the deeply unpleasant Kavanagh, there he was last August telling readers “One day soon … we will be back in charge of immigration. What will we do about The Muslim Problem then?” Kav later said it didn’t even cross his mind that he just happened to have used a 1930s Nazi anti-Semitic trope and swapped “Muslim” for “Jewish”. He’s a liar. And the Sun is a deeply Islamophobic newspaper.
Moreover, that short summary of Sun Islamophobia is by no means complete. There are countless other sly attacks on followers of The Prophet, and how the paper’s managing editor managed to miss all of them would be mystifying, if it were not so obvious that Clarkson was, like his colleagues on the paper, lying through his teeth.
One can only hope that the MPs he so flagrantly misled yesterday summon him to explain his economy with the actualité. Or, put it another way, ask him why his pants are on fire.