The Super Soaraway Currant Bun losing a libel action is not a new phenomenon: the Murdoch goons have been in court regularly even since the days of the deeply unpleasant Kelvin McFilth. But their latest reverse was against a Labour MP - which means they, and their pals in the right-leaning press, would rather not talk about it.
Richard Burgon - smeared but victorious
As the Guardian has reported, “The Labour MP Richard Burgon has won damages of £30,000 in his libel case against the Sun over a claim that a heavy metal band he performed with delighted in Nazi imagery … The high court in London ruled that claims in the story, which ran under the headline ‘Reich and Roll: Labour’s justice boss ridiculed after he joins a heavy metal band that delights in Nazi symbols’, had caused the shadow justice secretary significant harm”. And there was more.
“The article, published in April 2017, reported on Burgon’s decision to record a track with the Leeds band Dream Tröll. It alleged that the typeface used in a spoof Dream Tröll Twitter post entitled ‘We Sold Our Soul For Rock N Tröll’ paid homage to the logo of the SS, which played a key role in the Holocaust … In reality, the judge concluded that Dream Tröll had simply tweeted a parody image of a classic Black Sabbath album cover and were not endorsing the Nazi paramilitary organisation”. And the judge concluded correctly.
So how expensive will this be for the Sun? “Burgon, a lifelong heavy metal fan who would be placed in charge of the legal system if Labour came to power, took the unusual decision to bring the libel case against the Sun and its political editor, Tom Newton Dunn.
Burgon used the libel lawyers Carter-Ruck; the newspaper, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, is now facing substantial legal costs”. Yes, it will be expensive.
Newton Dunn - disgraced. Again
So what have non-bullying political editor Tom Newton Dunn and his pals had to say for themselves? Well, while the BBC has covered the case, and Press Gazette has done likewise, the most distinctive part of this story is who has not covered it. And one of the outlets that has declined to cover it is, to no surprise at all, the Sun.
You read that right: even though Politics Home has featured the case, as have the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, as well as the Mirror and even the Daily Mail, the Sun has gone off in a mardy sulk. Perhaps yet another humiliation for Newton Dunn, and this time from an MP who backs Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, was too much for the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker.
Or perhaps the Sun’s reluctance to mention the case is because, as the Guardian report told, “During the trial, the Sun’s lawyers tried to justify the importance of the story by drawing connections to claims of antisemitism in the Labour party, suggesting that Burgon was attempting to use lawyers to shut down criticism”. That’s cheap. And it’s crap.
The Sun doesn’t want to tell its readers - and it is therefore the one trying to shut down criticism. The paper tried to use a cheap and crude smear in court to back up its earlier cheap and crude smear - and failed. The Murdoch mafiosi have only themselves to blame.
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