Rebekah Brooks: The Sun remembers that prejudicial reporting hurts lives (Murat, Jefferies and Shoesmith might laugh)
SO. How does the Sun (prop. Rupert Murdoch; former ed. Rebekah. Brooks; current ed. Dominic Mohan – hired by former New International Chief Exec. Brooks and Murdoch) report on the news that Rebekah Brooks has been charged with three counts of perverting the course of justice in light of the Met’s investigation into phone hacking? Answer: on page 12. The headline tells Sun readers:
“‘SCAPEGOAT FURY AS BROOKS IS CHARGED’”
Compare that, if you will, to the Sun’s headline when Cheis Jefferies was wrongfulyl arrested in connection with the murder of Joanna Yeates:
“THE STRANGE MR JEFFERIES”
His protestations of innocence were deemed unworthy of a headline.
Chris Jefferies won libel anges for the Sun’s attack on his good name. It was appalling. The Sun went for him, quoting a former pupils at Clifton College , where Mr Jefferies had taught:
“He was very flamboyant. We were convinced he was gay. “You didn’t want him to come near you.”
The Sun told readers:
* Mr Jefferies was also famous for his utter dislike of sports. At boarding schools, teachers often referee rugby or football matches – but not him.
* “He was a stickler for discipline and very traditional. He used to get very angry and shout and throw books and pens across the room. He kept repeating words in an odd way.”
One day on from that and the Sun had more bile:
* The former student said eccentric English teacher Jefferies made them watch films about Nazi death camps and scared some children with his macabre fascination. He added: “Jefferies just wanted to show us death. He was obsessed with it.”
* Neighbours have speculated that Jefferies was gay. But the woman, who has now left Bristol, said: “I thought he was bisexual. I felt he liked to control women and he was dominant towards them. If he’d had any type of relationship it would have been with a man.”
* He has these eyes where there seems to be no colour, and his expression was so blank ? there was nothing there. I felt scared, but never threatened enough to go to police. “Seeing him on TV was a shock. It brought it all back.”
* Yesterday, as forensics officers continued to comb the Victorian building where Jefferies lives, a couple told how they nicknamed him “Hannibal Lecter” while living in one of his basement flats.
The Sun was not alone. It and the Daily Mirror were found guilty of contempt of court and orderd to pay Mr Jefferies compnsation. Attorney General Dominic Grieve said the stories presented a “substantial risk of serious prejudice”, rendering a fair trial impossible.
So much for the Sun’s “Strange Mr Jefferies”, a tabloid victim given the treatment previously inflicted on Robert Murat, another innocent man subjected to an unwarranted attack in the Sun.
Today the Sun reports:
Mr [Charlie] Brooks, 49 — who faces two charges with his wife — said she was the victim of a “witch hunt”.
Another Sun victim, Sharon Shoesmith, may clack her tongue and snort with derision.
Mr Brooks, who has never worked for News International, added: “I have grave doubts that my wife can ever get a fair trial, given the huge volume of biased commentary which she has been subjected to.”
Looks like it’s not one law for them and another for the rest of us after all…
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