Anorak News | Hell Hath No Fury

Hell Hath No Fury

by | 7th, May 2004

‘THERE seems to be only two people left in the country who believe the pictures published by the Mirror of Iraqi prisoners being abused by British soldiers are genuine.

One in the eye for the press

One is Mirror editor Piers Morgan; the other is an unnamed soldier who today comes forward to accuse rogue elements of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment of brutality.

Soldier C says the violence is being led by three ringleaders and was even encouraged by some officers.

And he added that he believed the pictures published by the paper last week showing a British soldier urinating on a suspected Iraqi thief were genuine.

“I probably know the person who took the pictures,” he said.

But Mr Morgan and Soldier C are in a small minority – the rest of the papers are convinced they are fakes and are revelling in the Mirror’s discomfort.

The Star, for instance, accuses bosses of the Mirror, which it laughingly refers to as a “down-market rag”, of taking blood money by selling on the photos around the world.

The Express cynically publishes a picture of the funeral of Darren Leigh MC, war hero and member of the same regiment accused by the Mirror of abusing Iraqi prisoners.

And the Sun calls on its rival to apologise for being conned and thereby inflaming the situation in Iraq.

Such squabbles between newspapers are commonplace; when the Press as a whole comes under attack, however, they close ranks like the journalistic equivalent of the Slater family.

The Mirror, for instance, is incensed that supermodel Naomi Campbell yesterday won her lawsuit against the paper for a February 2001 story exposing her drug addiction.

Law Lords voted 3-2 to overturn a 3-0 appeal court verdict in the Mirror’s favour, itself overturning an original High Court decision for the model.

Confused? It’s just a question of maths and the Mirror sums it up thus: “Five judges agreed with us. Four agreed with a lying, drug-abusing prima donna. She won.”

The Mirror’s chief lawyer Marcus Partington was furious, especially as certain Law Lords found for the appellant on the basis of a claim for privacy that had been withdrawn.

“Seemingly,” he said, “you can now be successful in litigation even though you commit perjury at trial and on the basis of a claim you haven’t made.”

Far from celebrating its rival’s defeat, the Sun stands shoulder-to-shoulder with it on this issue.

It calls the decision “disgraceful” and says the only people who will benefit from this de facto privacy law are “the rich, the famous and the crooked”.

And the lawyers, of course.’

Posted: 7th, May 2004 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink