Thursday, 13 November 2008

A price to be paid for his little life.

Today's Sun provides a salutary lesson in just how its journalism works. Here's its editorial:

"SHAMEFUL, disgusting, cowardly and disgraceful.

There are no words strong enough to express Sun readers’ anger at the buck-passing and blame-dodging over the horrific death of Baby P."

What evidence is there provided that this is in fact what Sun readers think? A whole five comments, presumably left on previous stories, which it reprints in its main piece.

It continues:

"The scandal is down to Haringey council, the same one that let little Victoria Climbie be tortured to death eight years ago.

This time, platitudes and inquiries simply will not do. We’ve heard all that before.

Sun readers demand SACKINGS for all who share responsibility for allowing Baby P’s appalling death."

Are Sun readers demanding SACKINGS? Err, no, the paper clearly is, as again the main article states:

"As ALL defiantly carry on working today we call on our army of outraged readers to join our crusade.

We urge you to sign our petition for them to be kicked out of their jobs."

This is the ultimate example of how the newspaper hides behind its readers, whether they themselves agree with its leader line or not: the paper has decided that all involved should lose their jobs, regardless of any evidence that they were personally responsible for the death of Baby P. Its readers might now agree and might now sign their petition, but for the paper to pretend that it's been motivated by its readers into demanding sackings is clearly abject nonsense.

Almost chilling are the last three lines of the leader:

"Mr Brown can make up for being caught wrong-footed yesterday by showing he DOES share the nation's outrage.

Baby P will NOT be forgotten by The Sun.

A price must be paid for his little life, and we will not rest until that price has been paid by those responsible."

A price must be paid for his little life. The price is further ruining the lives of those that are already no doubt traumatised and anguished by their failure to protect a little boy that was in their care. Witch-hunts seem to be all the rage at the moment, and this one has the potential to be the nastiest yet. But it's not what the Sun wants, it's what its readers want.

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