Hillsborough: Sun reporter says Kelvin MacKenzie created the headline “The Truth”
HARRY Arnold tells BBC TV’s Hillsborough: Searching for the Truth that it was editor Kelvin MacKenzie who created the headline “The Truth”. On 15 April 1989, 96 Liverpool supporters lost their lives at Hillsborough football ground. They were in Sheffield for the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
Harry Arnold was a Sun reporter from 1976 to 1990. He tells the show:
“On the Sun, Kelvin MacKenzie was the rather controversial editor at the time, he liked to write his own headlines. He wrote the headline ‘The Truth’, and the reason I know that is I was about to leave the newsroom when I saw him drawing up the front page.”
The Sun yelled:
“The Truth – Some fans picked pockets of victims Some fans urinated on the brave cops Some fans beat up PC giving kiss of life.”
“Drunken Liverpool fans viciously attacked rescue workers… it was revealed last night.”
“Scouse killed Scouse for no better reason than 22 men were kicking a ball.”
But only the Sun called it “THE TRUTH”. It alone presented the story as fact. The headline was important. Harry Arnold says he reported the story in a “fair and balanced” way.
“When I saw the headline ‘The Truth’ I was aghast, because that wasn’t what I’d written. I’d never used the words the truth, “this is the truth about the Hillsborough Disaster” I’d merely written, I hoped and I still believe, in a balanced and fair way. So I said to Kelvin MacKenzie, ‘You can’t say that’. And he said ‘Why not?’ and I said ‘because we don’t know that it’s the truth. This is a version of ‘the truth’. And he brushed it aside and said ‘Oh don’t worry. I’m going to make it clear that this is what some people are saying’. And I walked away thinking, well I’m not happy with the situation. But the fact is reporters don’t argue with an editor. And in particular, you don’t argue with an editor like Kelvin MacKenzie.”
A police officers tells the BBC’s reporters:
“I didn’t see any Liverpool fans urinating on a police officer, or any police officers, and I didn’t see any Liverpool fans steal money, steal money from dead people or pick money up that had fallen out of people’s pockets. I didn’t see that. And it probably didn’t happen.“
Probably? Blimey! There is not a shred of evidence that anything of the sort happened. The police and media contrived to blame the dead and the Liverpool fans for what happened. A headline and baseless story gets written and decades later a policeman says it “probably didn’t happen”.