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Anorak | Hundreds dead in Sun newspaper horror story – Trevor Kavanagh reports

Hundreds dead in Sun newspaper horror story – Trevor Kavanagh reports

by | 13th, February 2012

IS Whitney Houston the Sun’s woman of the year? With 11 Sun journalists under arrest, the singer dies and gives the paper its first nine pages of news. Who needs journalists when you can press f9 on the keyboard and hear such news as:

* “Rihanna: I’m out of words”

* Aaron Ramsay of Arsenal in “Goal link to death” – the story that the Wales captain’s goals for the Gunners are followed by the death of a big name: Osama Bin aAden, Colonel Gaddafi, Steve Jobs and now Whitney Houston.

* Simon Cowell saying Whitney had a “great voice”. But would she have won the X Factor?

* Gordon Smart saying it is “JUST LIKE JACKO”.

* Page 2 has pictures of some pharmaceutical drugs Houston might not have taken – but might have!

It’s all happy days at the Sun. A dead star. Glory be!

But senior staffer Trevor Kavanagh, the paper’s associate editor, tells BBC Radio 5 Live’s Richard Bacon Show that the mood on the paper was “despondent” and there was “a feeling of being under siege“.

“There has never been a bigger crisis than this…there is certainly a mood of unhappiness that the company proudly, certain parts of the company – not News International I hasten to add, not the newspaper side of the operation – actually boasting that they are sending information to police that has put these people I have just described into police cells.”

As the Guardian notes:

News Corp’s MSC was set up last year in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal to co-operate with police investigations into hacking and allegations of corrupt payments to public officials. The arrests of Sun journalists comes after the MSC reconstructed an email archive of 300m messages and turned over parts of that archive to the police, providing the information that led to five arrests of Sun journalists last weekend as well as four last month and one last year.

Adds Kavanagh on the BBC’s World At One:

“I think it’s fair to say that there is unease about the way that some of the best journalists in Fleet Street have ended up being arrested on evidence that the MSC has handed to the police.”

The Guardian licks its chops and says “journalists on the Sun and the Times furious with they way they believe their bosses are ‘throwing journalists to the lion’s den'”.

In the Sun, Kavanagh writes:

“Witch-hunt has put us behind ex-Soviet states on free press… I think that’s an appalling suggestion and it’s resented bitterly and deeply by those many excellent journalists who have worked loyally for the company for most of their working lives. The point is you have people being raided by up to 20 police officers at a time when they are still in bed at home and they are having their children’s underwear drawers searched by policemen who in fact are being seconded from sensitive terrorist units at a time when we are trying to prepare for the Olympic games and the potential of a mass suicide attack. I think there’s no justification on the basis of what you and I know so far for any such precipitate and disastrous decision. I think it would be a catastrophe for British media and newspapers worldwide and even possibly for the BBC if action which at this stage suggests no actual guilt should be regarded as grounds for closing newspapers.”

The pursuit of Sun hacks lays the country open to massacre? Blimey!

 Trevor Kavanagh says his fellow Sun writers are being treated “like members of an organised crime gang”. You know, the kind of organised creme gans the Sun love the police to smash:
  • COPS RAID HOMES IN RIOT PROBE (Dec 2011): “Police launched a series of dawn raids across the capital today in a major swoop on suspected summer rioters, Scotland Yard said.”
  • DENNIS HOME RAID STUNS F1 (Feb 2008): McLaren boss Ron Dennis’ Formula One future was plunged into doubt last night after police raided his Surrey mansion over the Ferrarigate spy scandal.
  • REDKNAPP DEFENDS HIMSELF (Nov 2007): “Dawn raid … Police arrive at [Harry] Redknapp’s mansion as they launch early-morning swoop”

Anyone hear a word from the Sun about the police getting their priorities wrong when someone else is being got at by the cops? No.

Spotter: Political Scrapbook

 



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