Our free and fearless press, and their hangers-on, are still busy telling anyone and everyone that, whoever is to blame for the sad death of former Love Island host Caroline Flack, it isn’t them. To this end, LBC Gammonmeister Nick Ferrari has ordered “Get this in context. It's not the media”. Less effective than him ordering a kebab, methinks. And the deeply unpleasant Dan Wootton has called coverage of Ms Flack “despicable”.
To no surprise at all, that “despicable” coverage does not, for Wootton, include that of his own paper, the Murdoch Sun, and with good reason: while Rupe’s downmarket troops at the Baby Shard bunker have been desperately trying to divert attention from their shockingly nasty treatment of Ms Flack after she was involved in an alleged Domestic and stepped down as Love Island host, one Murdoch acolyte has come to their defence.
And that acolyte is none other than alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, who has let it be known that It Was Not The Sun Wot Done It. As the Guardian has reported, “No 10 has called on social media companies to go further to remove unacceptable content from their platforms following the death of the television presenter Caroline Flack”. How convenient for the Murdoch mafiosi. But the news was not all good.
“Politicians have condemned press intrusion, calling for more regulation of both traditional and social media … Asked for the prime minister’s view on social media bullying and press intrusion in light of Flack’s death, he said: ‘The industry must continue their efforts to go further. We expect them to have robust processes in place removing content breaching their acceptable use policies’”. In true Trump style, it was now a “both sides” issue.
Did social media create this headline? Er, no
Professor Brian Cathcart was unimpressed. "Government suggests the problem is weak social media regulation, not non-existent press regulation. Wilful blindness not to acknowledge irresponsible reporting by their friends at the Sun, Mail etc drove social media pile-ons … The problem for the government is that the more they demand action on online harms from Facebook, Twitter etc, the more those companies will be forced to point out how much of the harm is caused by dishonest, unethical UK news outlets”. Quite.
Was this "social media bullying"? Well, not as such
Consider the reality: which media outlet set the agenda on Ms Flack with headlines like “FLACK SACK AND WHACK FOR ITV”? Which outlet ran the headline “CAROLINE SMACK … Flack charged for beating lover” (and note no “allegedly” there)? Or “Court claim … SHE TRIED TO KILL ME … What Flack boyfriend told cops”? Or “Exclusive: Inside Star’s Flat … Flack’s bedroom bloodbath … Photo shows ‘attack’ carnage”? It has not yet been explained how the photo illustrating that last headline was obtained.
Which media outlet set the agenda on this story and so set up the target for all those supposedly “Vile Trolls” it pretends to condemn? In all of those cases, the answer is that it was The Sun Wot Done It. Hence the Sun’s Jane Moore telling anyone who will listen that it’s not the press’ fault. And Nick Ferrari doing likewise. Because it is their fault.
It’s no use blaming the CPS, Social Media or even ITV. This sad story fits a pattern of obsessive harassment by the Murdoch droids going back to the days of the singularly unsavoury Kelvin McFilth. But good to see Bozo is wiping their backsides to order.
Rupe will be pleased. As his goons move effortlessly on to their next victim.
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