Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Injunctions and Hillsborough.

From today's Private Eye (No. 1234):

A month has passed since Ashley Cole obtained an injunction to stop the Sun publishing a picture of him sitting with a blonde in a nightclub (as footballers tend to do) while his wife was away climbing a mountain for charity. Although the Sun made a front page hoo-ha about the court order at the time, there's still no sign of an appeal.

Nor will there be. For, the Eye can reveal, the photo of Cole and the blonde was far too innocent and boring to be worth printing. The Sun decided instead to wind up Cole with hints of what might be in the picture, in the hope that he would panic and scamper down to the high court. This would be a far better story, implying that the photo really must be sensational. But would even the clod-hopping Cole be stupid enough to fall for the ruse?

Of course. And, on the night he won his injunction, there was champagne all round at Wapping.

Regardless of the fact that Cole had apparently told his wife that he wouldn't go out while she was away, the Sun had no right whatsoever to be sending its paps after him into a nightclub on the off chance of them managing to snatch a shot of some alleged misdemeanour. As unsympathetic an individual as Cole is, he has more than reason to loathe the paper, as I pointed out at the time, and indeed his rage resulted in him spending a night in the cells. It seems likely that all the shot the paper got was of a "blonde" being starstruck or asking for an autograph, which was enough for the paper to claim that two were thinking about discussing Uganda (to keep with the Eye theme). Not a bad night's work, and it managed to give "Lorraine Kelly" or presumably rather her ghost writer a column's subject. As for telling your readers lies, well, that matters much less.

P.S.

We couldn't really let today pass without mentioning Hillsborough. You might think that the paper might be somewhat ashamed of its own actions 20 years ago and therefore keep its coverage deliberately light, but like with everyone else, they've gone to town in much the same fashion. There's been no repetition of an apology, mainly because it will never be accepted and mainly also because the Sun's hacks now have about as much sense of history as the, err, average tabloid journalist. The double irony of the tragedy was that it helped pave the way for the Premier League - which almost certainly saved Rupert Murdoch's flailing satellite empire from bankruptcy. Smearing an entire city, profiting from it and getting away with it - possibly the lowest point ever reached by journalism as a whole.

4 comments:

sousbois said...

The double irony of the tragedy was that it helped pave the way for the Premier League - which almost certainly saved Rupert Murdoch's flailing satellite empire from bankruptcy.That's bollocks.

Smearing an entire city, profiting from it and getting away with it - possibly the lowest point ever reached by journalism as a whole. That's utter bollocks

septicisle said...

If you'd like to explain how either statement is wrong other than with "that's bollocks", I might be prepared to consider your case.

septicisle said...

Although profited from it on the second part is probably far too strong - considering the boycott on Merseyside has undoubtedly cost NI significant amounts of money. More a minor inconvenience than profiting from it.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Yes Sousbois, cough up facts and evidence or you're out on your arse.